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The 5️⃣ Step Starter Skincare Routine for Men

An effective skincare routine can not only improve skin complexion but also significantly reduce issues such as acne, spots, dryness, or premature aging.

However, establishing a routine for men can be quite challenging – especially if you don’t know where exactly to start. This guide breaks down the different components of a skincare regime for men, so you can have a clear idea of what to include in your routine and why.

1️⃣ Identifying Your Skin Type

To get the results you are looking for, you need to know what your skin type is. Your skin type will be one of the following: oily, dry, combination, normal. Sensitive skin is not a type, per se, but rather a condition that can exist in conjunction with any of the four primary skin types.

🤔 Why This Matters

When you know where on the spectrum you fall, you can create a tailored skincare regimen that addresses your specific needs and concerns. This will also save you time, money, and potential frustration by eliminating the trial and error process and you can confidently select products that’ll help provide the most effective solutions for your skin.

⏳ Time Commitment

One-time; about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

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We put together a step-by-step guide on how to identify your skin type for optimal skincare treatment.

2️⃣ Wash Your Face Regularly

Unfortunately, washing your face with just a bar of soap isn’t going to cut it these days. You’ll need to use a cleanser or face wash to remove the dirt, oil, and bacteria that accumulate on your skin throughout the day. There are lots of different face washes out there, and the type you choose will of course depend on your skin type, but also on your specific needs and preferences.

🤔 Why This Matters

At a minimum, washing your face helps to maintain the health and appearance of your skin. Men who wash their face diligently will notice a reduction in pore size by lifting away excess oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities—leaving behind clean, refreshed skin. Face washing also improves the efficacy of other products you use in your routine by ensuring that they’re being applied to a clean surface, enabling better absorption and effectiveness.

⏳ Time Commitment

Twice daily; about 5 minutes.

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Read this guide to understand the 7 key aspects to consider when choosing a facial cleanser.

3️⃣ Exfoliate for Smoother Skin

While this step may seem optional at first, it isn’t. Exfoliating twice weekly sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal fresh, brighter skin underneath. This process also prevents buildup of dead skin cells which can cause blackheads, acne and a dull complexion.

Exfoliators are available in two primary categories: physical and chemical. Selection will depend on your skin type, budget, and personal preference.

🤔 Why This Matters

Exfoliating your skin can make a big difference in its overall appearance and health. Think of it like a deeper cleaning for your skin that can clear out clogged pores and reduce the likelihood of breakouts. It also helps to promote cell turnover, which will make your skin look brighter and smoother over time.

⏳ Time Commitment

Two to three times weekly; about 5-10 minutes.

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Everyone. Especially oily skin.

4️⃣ Moisturize

Adding moisture back into your skin is a critical step in any skincare routine. After washing and exfoliating, your skin can be left feeling a little dry and tight. Moisturizers cover a range of products including face creams, eye creams, serums, and lotions that can help replenish the skin’s natural lipids and water content.

🤔 Why This Matters

Beneath the surface of your skin, your cells are constantly working hard to maintain optimal hydration balance. When you cleanse, you strip away not only dirt and impurities but also some of the natural oils that help keep your skin’s moisture levels balanced.

Moisturizers assist in replenishing these oils, essentially giving your skin a helping hand in maintaining this balance. Regular use of a moisturizer will help to alleviate dryness, flakiness, and tightness. Men especially can benefit from moisturizing due to frequent shaving which often causes skin irritation and dryness.

⏳ Time Commitment 

After cleansing twice daily; about 2-3 minutes.

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Everyone. Especially dry and sensitive skin.

Need further advice? Here are 8 tips for choosing a moisturizer.

5️⃣ Apply Sunscreen

1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 (source). Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin damage, resulting in problems such as premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer. Using a sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is necessary to protect your skin against the harmful UV rays of the sun.

🤔 Why This Matters

Protecting your skin properly improves complexion and wards off pre-mature wrinkles. Moreover, regular sunscreen usage limits your risk of developing serious health concerns, such as skin cancer. Many consider the application of sunscreen a core preventive measure in taking care of your skin, since it blocks the damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun that hurt the skin’s health and appearance.

⏳ Time Commitment

Every morning; about 5-10 minutes.

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Advanced Skincare Routine Steps

While every man should follow the basic skincare steps above, those that want to commit to a more advanced routine can do so by adding additional steps:

1️⃣ Toner: A toner offers additional cleaning after a face wash, targeting impurities that your cleanser might have missed. They also help to balance the pH of your skin, which can be thrown off by the alkaline nature of most cleansers.

2️⃣ Serums: Face serums are lightweight moisturizers that contain a higher concentration of active ingredients such as antioxidants, peptides, and skin brighteners like vitamin C.

3️⃣ Eye Creams: These are specially formulated moisturizers designed to minimize puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines around the sensitive eye area.

4️⃣ Spot Treatments: These targeted treatments are formulated to tackle specific skin issues like acne breakouts, pigmentation spots, or redness.

5️⃣ Mask (Weekly): Masks offer deep nourishment and hydration to the skin and come in various types – clay masks (for deep cleansing), sheet masks (for hydration), peel-off masks (for exfoliation) etc.

6️⃣ Prescription Treatments: For men with severe acne, rosacea or other skin conditions, prescription treatments might be needed. These include topical retinoids, antibiotics, and other medicated creams.

7️⃣ Anti-Aging Treatments: These treatments, often in the form of serums or creams, contain potent ingredients like retinol, peptides, or hyaluronic acid that help slow down or reduce the signs of aging.

Applying these additional steps in your skincare routine, while demanding, can certainly elevate your skin health to the next level. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that the skincare journey is all about consistency and dedication. After all, achieving and maintaining great skin is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires consistent daily care, regular evaluation, and patience.

Does Age Matter?

Adopting a skincare routine can be beneficial for men of all ages for various reasons. Men in their teens to early 20s will often deal with skin issues like acne, which can be managed with a consistent routine of washing, exfoliating, and medicating when necessary.

Whereas men in the 30s, 40s and beyond may start to see signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, at which point introducing products with anti-aging properties like retinol, peptides, and antioxidants.

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