The Best Men’s Skin Care Routine (+ Products for All Skin Types)

Want to know what the best men’s skin care routine is?

That means you have a leg up on many men who still think applying any creamy substance to their face is “girly”, or men who won’t bother until they spot their first wrinkle.

The truth is, all men benefit from keeping a simple skin care routine.

Besides slowing the development of wrinkles and keeping you looking younger for longer, it has the immediate effect of making you look fresher and healthier today.

And it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. Let’s see what a basic skin care routine looks like.

The best men's skin care routine and products

Note: This article may contain affiliate links. That means if you click a link and purchase something, I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Your Basic Skin Care Routine for Men Who Want a Healthier-Looking Skin

Every man should at the very least take up the following habits to take care of their skin:

  1. Cleansing 
  2. Moisturizing
  3. Exfoliating (a.k.a. scrubbing)

Those are the three most critical steps. They are the least you want to do when it comes to skin care.

Additional steps you may take are:

  • Applying toner
  • Applying eye cream
  • Applying anti-aging cream

These steps are certainly worth doing, but if you want to build a skin care routine from scratch, I recommend starting with those first three steps.

So let’s see how those are done.

1: Cleansing

Cleansing your face involves washing your face to remove impurities and bacteria and to prevent oil from clogging up your pores. (Snore! Don’t worry, I’ll try to minimize the cosmetics crap as much as possible, for both our benefits.)

Now you might be thinking, “That’s easy! I’m already washing my face!” But to sufficiently cleanse your face, you need to do more than just splash a bit of water on your face.

Splashing water on your face is only the first step. Then, you should apply a face wash, and rub your face gently using circular motions for about 30 seconds. After you are done, rinse and pat dry.

That’s right. It only takes 30 seconds. You can muster that, can’t you?

When and how often: Do this every morning as you shower and at night before bed. 

2: Moisturizing

After cleansing, you also want to keep your skin properly moisturized. This has countless benefits for your skin both short-term and long-term. It also happens to be super-refreshing.

Through moisturizing, you form a barrier film on your skin’s surface, which prevents the loss of moisture/oil, which makes the skin feel smoother and softer. It helps the skin to look healthy and helps cells to repair themselves.

Your skin will feel smooth and supple and you won’t just look but feel fresher. Plus, it also keeps the effects of aging at bay. (Men who moisturize develop fewer and less-severe wrinkles, so your face won’t end up looking like your fingers do after taking a hot bath.)

When and how often: You should apply moisturizer in the morning after showering and shaving, and once more at night.

3: Exfoliating

Exfoliating your skin goes beyond just cleansing it; it involves scrubbing it to remove dead skin and other undesirable buildup, which in turn allows newer, better-looking cells to grow and make your skin look younger.

When and how often: The best time to exfoliate your skin is in the morning since the skin has been doing repairs during the night, which means it’s likely to have lots of dead skin cells.

You should do it before you shave, because your skin will be too sensitive for scrubbing after shaving. The removal of dead cells and dirt also gives you a cleaner shave, helping prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

Unlike cleansing and moisturizing, you shouldn’t do this every day. Instead, you want to aim for 1-3 times a week, depending on your skin type. Oily-skinned men should do it more often, and dry or sensitive-skinned men should do it less often.

Speaking of skin-types…

How to Find the Proper Skin Care Products for Your Skin Type

First a quick disclaimer:

Disclaimer: You will try any of the recommended tools and products on your own risk. This site and its owner will not be held responsible for any and all accidents you might have when using recommended tools, nor for any and all adverse reactions you might have from using any of the products. 

So, it’s on you to be diligent. For example, if you happen to be allergic to any of the ingredients in the recommended products and have an adverse reaction, that’s not on us.

Okay, sorry for the legal interruption. Let’s get back to out regular programming. Time to discover what type of skin you have and which products you need to best treat it.

So how do you determine your skin-type?

Simple. In the morning, cleanse your face take a shower, wash up, etc. But don’t apply any moisturizer or other creams. (Shave the night before so you won’t have as much growth the next morning.) When you’re done, take a moment to look in the mirror. Take note of how your face looks.

Then, leave it alone for about two hours. Try not to touch or wipe your face with your fingers.

When the two hours are up, go back to the mirror, and check how your face looks and feels.

  • If your skin still feels and looks the same as it did before and you don’t notice any difference. You have normal skin.
  • If your skin looks shiny and feels moist, you have oily skin. (You’re likely familiar with occasional breakouts.)
  • If you skin feels tight, especially when you smile or make other facial expressions, you have dry skin.
  • If your nose and forehead (your T-Zone) is oily and the rest is normal to dry, you have combination skin.

Beyond this test, you should also check whether you have sensitive skin, as this would require a different skincare regimen. Guys with sensitive skin are prone to rashes and red patches and might feel a burning or stinging sensation when they apply products. If you have any pre-existing skin-conditions, you might have sensitive skin.

If you’re still unsure, you might try taking some skin care tests online. You can find several by just googling “ skincare test” or “ skincare quiz.” (Note: They’re mostly created for women, but skin-type doesn’t differ between sexes. You just might get some awkward questions about your make-up habits with some of them.)

Now, once you determined your skin-type, just click the link below that applies to you:

Skin Care Recommendations for Normal Skin

Congrats, you are a lucky son of a beeswax.

Most guys would love to have your skin-type as you are least likely to experience issues such as acne, rashes, or irritation.

You can also use almost any skin product — except for the ones that specifically state otherwise — without worrying too much about adverse effects.

Just because you have the best skin-type in the world, doesn’t mean you should skip any of the steps. If you do, your skin probably won’t stay that way for long. So cleanse and moisturize twice every day, and exfoliate 2-3 times a week.

Face Wash for Normal Skin

Moisturizers for Normal Skin

Face Scrub for Normal Skin

Skin Care Recommendations for Oily Skin

Oily skin feels slightly greasy. If you have this skin type, it looks like you’ve already applied oil to your skin even when you have not. When you touch it, it feels slick. And as you probably know, oily skin is more susceptible to blackheads, acne, pimples and other kinds of breakout.

You should keep an eye out for products that are designed for oil-control. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid, witch hazel and mineral clay.

And just in case you’re wondering, yes, it’s absolutely necessary to moisturize oily skin. You might assume it would only add to the shininess and oiliness of your face, but with the right moisturizing product, you actually control the production of oil.

Follow the steps exactly as outlined earlier, and exfoliate three times a week.

Face Wash for Oily Skin

Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Face Scrub for Oily Skin

Skin Care Recommendations for Dry Skin

When you have this skin-type, your skin will often feel tight and itchy. With very dry skin, you might also experience flaking of the skin, making it appear to have a dandruff-like substance on it. Dry skin is susceptible to irritations.

With dry skin, you want to look for hydrating face washes and strong moisturizers. Look for ingredients like maca root, aloe vera, allantoin, glycerin, sage leaf and brazil nut.

Exfoliate no more than once or twice a week. Try setting a habit of exfoliating about once every three or four days. 

Face Wash for Dry Skin

Moisturizer for Dry Skin

Face Scrub for Dry Skin

Skin Care Recommendations for Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, you’ve been dealt one of the toughest skin-types to properly care for. It’s like your skin can’t make its mind up about what it wants to be.

 A combination typically comes up as an oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dry cheeks. But you may also experience your skin changing its type from day to day. Dry one day, oily the next.

Look for products that say “suitable for all skin-types,” and look especially for products with vitamin E or ingredients like menthol, algae, caffeine, plants or fruits.

You can exfoliate three times a week, but go easy on your cheeks. Spend more time on the T-zone.

Face Wash for Combination Skin

Moisturizer for Combination Skin

Face Scrub for Combination Skin

Skin Care Recommendations for Sensitive Skin

With sensitive skin, you’re prone to break out in irritation and inflammation. This can come up as swelling, redness, itching, or even stinging. You have to be extra careful when trying new skin products.

If you have sensitive skin, avoid skincare products that contain dyes, fragrances, and preservatives. Look for products that are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and paraben-free.

Before you try a product on your face, run a test first on a small patch of your arm. Wait a day, and if you don’t experience a reaction, try a little behind your ear and wait another day. If you still have no issues come up, the product should be fine to use.

Then, you want to avoid scrubs that are too harsh on your face. Go for a gentle face scrub and don’t use it more than twice a week. 

Note: The products below come highly recommended for men with sensitive skin, but that’s no guarantee you won’t have a bad reaction to them. I implore you to do the test as instructed above before applying to your face.

Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

Face Scrub for Sensitive Skin

Find the Best Men’s Skin Care Routine for YOU

Using this guide, you should be able to find the best men’s skin care routine for your skin type, whether you have normal, oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin.

Now’s the time to start taking care of your skin, no matter what your age is. The sooner you start, the more you’ll benefit. So get started.

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