So, you’ve decided to start a skincare routine- fantastic. Now, where to start? We’ll walk you through exactly what you need.
At a bare minimum, no matter what your skin type or specific skin concerns, every skincare routine needs to start by washing your face and should end by applying a moisturizer. Cleansing and moisturizing make up the simplest of skincare routines. If you do nothing else, commit to these 2 steps.
Why is washing your face so important?
This first step removes dirt, dead skin cells, and pollution from the surface of your face. If not removed, this dirt and grime will build up, leading to things like redness, excess oil, acne, and can even increase the signs of aging.
Keep in mind that the skin on your face is much different than the skin on the rest of your body, for any of you currently using a body soap as a facial cleanser. Body soap tends to be too harsh for the face, drying out the skin, and, any fragrances could cause skin irritation.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Once your skin is clean, it now needs to be rehydrated. Without proper moisture, your skin will become unbalanced, which leads to dryness or oiliness, causing breakouts.
Moisturizers come in all shapes and sizes, so there truly is something for everyone. Lotions tend to be lighter weight and great for normal skin that and skin that may be a bit oily. Creams tend to have a slightly richer texture, ideal for dry skin.
If you need a little more help with building out the rest of your routine or addressing specific skin concerns, keep reading!
The extras: addressing specific skin concerns
Maybe you’re experiencing irritation after shaving or noticing flaky, dry patches on your skin or in your beard. It is quite possible that on their own, cleansing and moisturizing are not enough for your skin to be its best. Now that you know the men’s skincare basics, for those of you looking for a little more from your routine, here are a few additional options to increase the health of your skin. This is a great way to streamline your skincare while focusing on your skin’s unique needs. Simply add to your routine the steps that speak to your specific skin concerns and skip anything that doesn’t.
Exfoliate to remove dead skin and unclog pores
Every night while you sleep, your skin cells regenerate, creating fresh new cells. These new cells push older cells to the surface, creating a layer of dead skin. Exfoliants work to remove this top layer, preventing clogged pores that lead to breakouts and dryness that can lead to excessive flakiness and irritation. By removing this dead layer of skin, other skincare products are able to penetrate deeper and be more effective.
There are two types of exfoliants, physical and chemical:
- Physical exfoliants, such as scrubs, remove dead skin by the physical action of scrubbing it off. Look for facial scrubs that use spherical jojoba beads or fine powders instead of sharp shell fragments that can snag pores and cause irritation.
- Chemical exfoliants, such as fruit enzymes or alpha-hydroxy acids, remove dead skin by gently dissolving it and have the ability to improve the health of the skin by stimulating cellular functions. Enzymes and acids can be a little stimulating, so opt for a facial scrub if you have more sensitive skin.
Try using an exfoliator during or right after your shower. The steam from the shower softens dead skin and opens pores allowing the scrub or enzyme to easily remove build-up. This is great to do before you shave. It will help prevent ingrown hairs and promote a closer shave. For those of you with beards, make sure to use your exfoliating cleanser in your beard, lifting the hair in the opposite direction it grows. This will help remove flakey dead skin trapped under your facial hair.
Skip the aftershave- try a facial toner instead
Aftershaves were designed to neutralize bacteria on the skin, and heal any nicks or cuts your razor might have created while also tightening pores. Unfortunately, most aftershaves use alcohol to achieve this, which is incredibly drying for the skin. Aftershaves also tend to be heavily fragranced, which can cause the skin to become irritated. Instead of reaching for a traditional aftershave post grooming, opt for a facial toner.
Toners are fast-absorbing liquid skincare products designed to balance the pH of your skin while removing excess dirt and oil. They often use ingredients like salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that is naturally antimicrobial, fantastic for dissolving build-up in the pores and increasing moisture. Simply press a little toner into your skin after you shave to add hydration and soothe any razor-induced irritation.
Experiment with facial oils
Facial oils are multifunctional skincare products that can be used in place of moisturizers. Derived from plants, nuts, and seeds, facial oils contain a wide range of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3, 6, and 9, that can be amazing for the skin, even for more oily or acne-prone skin types.
Oils high in omega-3, such as rosehip oil (which doesn’t smell at all like roses), are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help protect the skin from UV damage. Oils high in omega-6, such as hemp seed and safflower oils, are fantastic for both cleansing and moisturizing the skin, are exceptionally well suited for oilier skin types, and can even help prevent breakouts. Facial oils high in omega-9, such as argan oil, are ideal for moisturizing dry skin and conditioning facial hair.
Fight aging with antioxidant rich serums
External aggressors like pollution and UV exposure trigger our bodies to produce cell-damaging molecules called free radicals. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals and prevent damage to our cells.
One of the most common and most beneficial antioxidants is vitamin C. Vitamin C is a multifunctional antioxidant that defends against age-inducing free radicals, stimulates collagen, brightens the skin, and protects the skin from UV damage. Using skincare products that contain vitamin C is a simple way to quickly improve the health of your skin. There are numerous forms of vitamin C used in skincare products. While all have skin benefits, some are more stable than others, which helps them absorb easily and without causing irritation.
Always Wear SPF
Applying a sunscreen daily, on top of your moisturizer, is an easy way to prevent aging and protect your skin. UV-induced sun damage is the leading cause of skin aging. By adding an SPF to your daily skincare routine, you are, in one streamlined step, protecting against sunburn, decreasing your risk of skin cancer, and preventing the formation of discoloration, wrinkles, and sagging skin.