Men, put down your wife or girlfriend's facial cleanser right now! I see you there holding it and thinking, “What’s the difference?”
The difference is men and women have different skin. With different types of skin come different problems. And, different problems require different solutions.
In this article, I’ll give you some advice on how to take care of your face the right way. You’ll learn how to treat male acne and how to prevent it from returning.
How is a man’s skin different from a woman’s?
For one, it is usually thicker. That makes it harder for the skin to absorb the nutrients in a face cleanser or cream. Even the best women’s face cream may not have what it takes to get down deep into a man’s skin where it is needed most.
The other key difference is that men produce more sebum. That is the oily substance released by your skin to get rid of waste. This sebum can clog pores and trap bacteria, which causes acne. And it can be a problem for men into their 40’s.
Luckily, there are a lot of face care products on the market specifically geared towards men and work well in giving you healthy skin.
But, different skin conditions require different products. The best face moisturizer for oily skin isn’t going to be the best facial cleanser for dry skin.
How do you know what to use to properly cleanse your face for healthy skin?
Let’s start be going through the different types of products for men’s skin care where I will highlight what it does best.
Facial Cleanser for Men
What is the difference between soap and face cleanser? Well, face cleanser is much more mild than soap.
The problem with soap is that it can’t tell the difference between good and bad oils on your skin. It just strips your skin of its oils and leaves a barren landscape behind it.
It leaves your skin dry and susceptible to damage and even acne.
A facial cleanser is more mild and solvent based. That means it dissolves the oil on the surface but leaves a moist barrier in the skin. It actually keeps the sebaceous glands from producing more sebum because it doesn’t leave the skin dry.
Facial cleansers still clean away the dirt and sweat, too.
Tips for using a facial cleanser:
- Rinse your face with warm water
- Take a dime to quarter sized portion on your palm and rub it into your skin
- Using a circular motion, go over your entire face
- Rinse with warm water.
Most men’s face cleansers can be used up to 2 times per day. More than that is not only unnecessary, but may also end up damaging your skin in the long run.
Before buying a facial cleanser take a look at the ingredients. There are some things you want to avoid.
Avoid a face cleanser with alcohol as that will dry your skin out. Same goes for sodium lauryl sulfate. They can both also really irritate your skin especially if you have sensitive skin.
Glycolic acid is something that I am conflicted over. It is an ingredient in the best facial cleanser and it does a great job at dissolving the oil on your skin without stripping the natural oils you want to leave behind. One issue though is that it may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. If you plan on going to the beach, you may want to avoid using the cleanser that day. Or, find a cleanser without it.
The Best Face Washes ComparedTable could not be displayed.
The Best Face Cleanser for Men
Baxter of California Daily Face Wash
I love the product line from Baxter of California. This daily face wash is a must have in your skin care arsenal.
First, it is formulated with the man in mind. It can give your skin a deep clean, but no matter how rugged your skin, it is still gentle.
They are careful to avoid drying agents like alcohol and instead rely on citric acid. Aloe Vera and coconut keep your skin moist and the caffeine definitely wakes it up.
I recommend this as a good go to for just about any guy since it works on just about every skin type. If you have oily skin, it can reduce the oiliness. If your skin is dry, it won’t make it drier. And if your skin is sensitive it is gentle.
Other benefits are that it is fragrance free, which is not only nice to not have a strong smell, but also added fragrances can be harmful, and that is is low foaming. To get a rich, thick foam requires some not so nice additives.
Bottom line is you will get exactly what your face needs from this men’s facial wash.
Best Face Wash for Men in Summer
Our skin has to change to handle whatever gets thrown at it. From air pollution, to too much sun to the quality of the water we wash in.
The change in season can also do a number on your face. It stands to reason that if your skin changes by the season, then so should the products you use on it.
If you plan to go to the beach a lot or live in a very dry sunny area of the country then you will need the right skin care product.
Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash for Men
Though this isn’t formulated specifically for summer use, it is the perfect face wash when your sun is sensitive from too much sun. Especially if you have a sunburn.
It has activated charcoal which gently cleanses your pores and eradicates any bacteria to prevent acne. Too much sun can really get the bacteria going and summer time see an uptick in acne for most guys.
The real key though, is that it is a moisturizing face wash. It rehydrates after a day spent out in the hot sun and dry air of the summer. The jojoba oil, olive oil and aloe vera help rehydrate the skin and keep it hydrated longer making it the best face moisturizer for dry skin.
Your skin will feel softer and, though I hate this word for some reason, suple. During the summer, shaving can be uncomfortable. If you add this face cleanser to your daily routine, then you will notice you get a better shave with less irritation.
They use only all natural ingredients making this an ideal summer skincare product for men.
There is a scent of peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass for an invigorating aroma. It doesn’t last very long to the consternation of some and the delight of others who aren’t necessarily looking for a scented face wash.
It can be used twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Best Face Wash for Men in Winter
Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser
During the winter your face can take a real beating. Cold, dry air blasting your face. Then overly heated homes and offices make you sweat. On top of that, there are bacteria and viruses everywhere so it is very easy to get sick because you’re touching your face.
That’s when I recommend this daily face wash for men by Jack Black.
It not only does a great job at gently cleaning your face, but it contains witch hazel, sage leaf extract and rosemary to kill bacteria on your skin. The witch hazel is an astringent that tones your skin and tightens your pores.
Spending a lot of time indoors can really clog the pores and accumulate dirt and grime. This cleanser does a great job at cleaning without stripping. Chamomile and aloe vera soothe the skin and restore it to its natural glory after the winter has had its way with it.
Exfoliating Face Scrub for Men
Cleansers and moisturizers should definitely be a part of every man’s skincare routine. What about exfoliants? Should a man exfoliate his face?
The short answer is maybe. In other words, not every guy needs to exfoliate and even then maybe it should be a once in a while thing.
If you have thick or oily skin, then you should definitely be making it a part of a bi weekly routine.
Exfoliating strips away the dead layer of skin and helps your moisturizer do its thing. If you have rough, thick skin then it is especially important to give your moisturizer a head start by exfoliating.
If you work out a lot and sweat profusely, then exfoliating a couple of times a week is definitely a good thing to do.
If you often have clogged pores, then a good exfoliator will be the best pore cleanser for men since it can help reduce acne.
Be very careful when exfoliating and read the instructions carefully. Many exfoliants contain acids to removes the dead skin cells and can damage your skin if you aren’t careful. Exfoliants with scrubbing beads can be very aggressive and irritate your skin, use wisely if you want to feel that scrubbing action from beads.
If you have dry or sensitive skin and still feel that you could benefit from an exfoliant, make sure you choose a mild formula.
The Best Face Scrub for Men
BEAU BRUMMELL FOR MEN - Mens Exfoliating Facial Scrub
I love promoting products like this. All natural and work well. This Beau Brummell exfoliating scrub uses ground up walnut shells instead of beads to give you that deep scrubbing effect. It isn’t rough though. They are ground finely enough to not feel like you are rubbing gravel on your face.
In fact, the walnut shells are much more gentle than they plastic microbeads found in many facial scrubs.
It also contains activated charcoal so once the layer of dead skin is removed, it gets in there and absorbs the impurities lurking in your skin.
You get a wonderful invigorating sensation once you are done from the tea tree oil and peppermint oil. Your skin is left feeling fresh and vibrant.
This is so gentle on your skin that it is ok to even give yourself a shave after you’ve used it. It is gentle enough to work on any skin type. Perfect for guys with rough, oily skin, if you’re looking for a good facial scrub for sensitive skin then this is it.
Give yourself a quick dose of a good moisturizer and you are good to go.
Best Face Moisturizer for Men
Non-Greasy Men's Face Moisturizer by Beau Brummell
If there is one thing I hate when using a moisturizer is that greasy feeling afterwards. I feel like my face is oily and wet and I want to wipe it off with a towel.
That’s why I love this moisturizer. It absorbs quickly into your skin and doesn’t leave it looking shiny either. It’s also the best face moisturizer for sensitive skin.
Once again, we see activated charcoal as an ingredient. This helps pull impurities out and trap the toxins.
You can even use it as an aftershave as it has the antiseptic properties and skin tightening qualities you look for. It can even repair the damage from shaving thanks to the presence of Argan Oil.
It’s one thing to moisturize the skin, it’s another to also protect it afterwards. The argan oil and also vitamin E can keep your skin protected from pollution and it also has SPF properties to protect you from harmful UV rays.
If you exfoliate your face, then you definitely need to be adding a moisturizer to your skin care regimen. In just a few days you will notice a huge improvement in how your skin feels and looks.
Treatment for Male Acne
Prevention is the best medicine, it is said. Doing the above skin care routine can do wonders in preventing breakouts.
However, acne is a complicated thing and the cleanliness of your skin isn’t the only factor in getting acne.
If you are doing everything right with regards to your daily face care, but still see some pimples, then you need to treat the problem specifically.
We’ll get into the best skin care products for men with acne in a minute. For now, let’s take a look at what might be causing your acne so you know how you should treat it.
There are three main factors that cause acne, especially in men.
Hormones. Clogged Pores. Shaving.
If you are having an outbreak of acne even though you are really committed to your grooming routine, take a minute and examine other outside factors in your life. Are you stressed at work? Money problems? Relationship issues? Stress can raise your hormone levels which then makes your body produce excess sebum.
Treat the stress and drop your hormones back to reasonable levels and you may find your zits disappear.
Ok, you’re not stressed. Life is grand. Everything is going your way. Except for your face. Just when you start feeling good about yourself you catch yourself in the mirror and are confronted with acne.
Take stock of your grooming habits. Have you been doing a good job of cleansing, scrubbing and moisturizing? If the answer is yes, but you still have acne, then you will need to make a few changes with regards to the skin care products you’re using. Read on and see what acne products you may need depending on your skin type.
Lastly, you don’t usually get zits, but your new job requires you to shave everyday. Since you started doing that, you notice you’re getting pimples around where your beard grows funny above your Adam’s apple.
You’re likely dealing with either ingrown hairs or pseudofolliculitis barbae. This is a nasty sounding word for ingrown hairs caused by shaving. Also known as razor bumps. The biggest problem with razor bumps is that they get worse as you shave more and can be quite painful.
The key is to change how you shave and to then use products that kill or prevent bacteria from forming, since it’s the bacteria trapped under your skin that is the culprit. Most times it is simply razor bumps, but in some cases it’s a condition called folliculitis. If your problem is getting worse, or is is painful to even the lightest touch, then consult with your doctor as if it is not pseudofolliculitis barbae, then you will need a prescription antibiotic to get rid of it.
Ok, let’s get into what products you need to use to treat male acne.
Products for Best Acne Treatment for Men
The Best Acne Treatments ComparedTable could not be displayed.
Best Spot Treatment for Acne
Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash
If you have persistent acne and want to eradicate it from the face of the Earth then this is the strongest acne treatment for men that you can find without a prescription.
10% Benzoyl Peroxide will get down to the toughest acne on your face.
It may seem like a scorched Earth policy that will do a number on your skin. As long as you don’t have very sensitive skin, then this isn’t so hard on your face as it sounds.
It is meant to be used as a face wash, but since it is so potent and absorbs so quickly, I think it really shines as a spot treatment.
Simply rub it into the affected area and let it sit for a minute or two. Then rinse with warm water and towel dry. If you needed to cover a lot of area because of a bad breakout then you should throw some moisturizer on there after.
They say that it can take up to 6 weeks to see results, but I think that is worst case scenario. You should see a difference in about a week and will be able to mostly eradicate the issue in the 6 weeks they recommend.
If it is important to you, it’s also worth noting that they don’t test on animals and none of the ingredients are animal based.
Best Treatment for Acne Scars
Keeva Acne Treatment Cream for Scars
Most acne scars are the result of skin hyperpigmentation. In other words, dark spots. After you’ve had a bout of acne, you need to calm those spots. This all natural acne scar remedy will do the trick there.
The other issue is the scars themselves caused when you pick at a scab caused by pimples. Obviously the best way to prevent these scars is to not pick at your blemishes. If you already have the scars, that advice arrives too late, but you can diminish them with this product.
Most people that have scars from acne are still getting pimples. It isn’t like the acne is gone and the scars remain. So you need a skin product that reduces scars and prevents breakouts from happening again.
That’s why I love Keeva, because the formula cleanses, disinfects and moisturizes.
Instead of having a bunch of products, just use this and save yourself time and money. If you have cystic acne then you’ll find this is the best treatment for cystic acne.
The best part is it is all natural. It does all of this without any harsh chemicals that leaves your face a wasteland after. Your scars will be reduced and your skin looking healthier than ever.
How to Get Rid of Acne Razor Bumps
Since razor bumps are essentially pimples, just pimples caused by shaving, you need to use products that treat the bumps as more than just irritation.
The bumps are ingrown hairs that are stuck under the skin that has grown over them. Bacteria forms around the follicles and they grow just like a zit. But, usually more painful than a zit. And the area around where the razor bumps occur can be irritated all over, not just the bump itself.
People who have coarse, wiry beards are usually more susceptible. Black, Hispanic or Middle Eastern men are the most afflicted, but it really can happen to anybody.
An effective, albeit painful, way to get rid of ingrown hairs is to use tweezers and literally pull the hair out. If you only have a couple this might be the way to go, but then make sure you are doing what you can to prevent them later.
If you have a lot of bumps and the whole area is irritated then tweezers are not an option. Patience is key as you will need to give it time for the product you are using to have an effect.
You’re only other option, really is to grow a beard. If you don’t want the chin rug, then take care of yourself with the right product to get rid of razor bump acne.
Best Razor Bump Treatment for Men
LAVO Tea Tree Gel w/ Salicylic Acid
If you’ve read any of the other reviews of skin care products in this article then you may have noticed that I like to recommend 2 in 1 type products.
The reason I love LAVO is not just because it is great at treating razor bumps, but it also helps prevent them and can even be used as a shaving gel or aftershave.
That’s a serious workhorse.
If you’re susceptible to razor bump acne but currently are not suffering from any, then the best way to prevent them from coming is to use this as a preemptive strike.
The key to treating razor bumps is to exfoliate and disinfect. It has Salicylic acid to help calm the burn of irritation from razor bumps and acne in general while it acts as an exfoliant. The tea tree oil disinfects your skin deep down since it is exfoliated which will help kill the bacteria causing the pimple or razor bump. And then the aloe vera soothes the skin.
Which is precisely why it makes such a great shave gel. If you prep your face well for a shave, then apply the gel, you’ll give yourself a nice smooth shave with the added benefit of protecting from acne or razor burn.
It feels invigorating when you apply it, which is a nice way of saying it burns a little. That’s the combination of tea tree and peppermint oils doing their thing. But, after a couple of minutes, it leaves your skin feeling fresh and awake. Any irritation from the razor is gone due to the Salicylic acid.
If you already have a shaving cream or routine that you like, then add this to your repertoire as an aftershave and watch as your razor bumps gradually fade away. Any red splotches that you may get from shaving also disappear.
The best part is it works on other areas of your body that you may shave or have some irritation.
After reading this guide, hopefully you are more confident to tackle whatever skin care issues you are having on your face. Treat your face right and it will treat you right.
There are a lot of products out there, so if you decide that none of the ones from the list made your cut or you want to try something else, just make sure you do your homework on the ingredients. Many products actually make your problems worse if you aren’t using the right one for your particular problem.
As usual, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
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