Back to the basics – Beginner skincare routine for men

For all the gents out here – do you have a baseline skincare routine? Regardless of our gender, healthy skin needs daily care. Often, men will only pay attention to their skin when they encounter problems like breakouts, ingrown hairs, or irritation. But a simple and straightforward routine can do wonders for the health of your skin. It treats and prevents problems and keeps you looking more youthful for longer. Not to mention – having healthy skin can do wonders for self-esteem.

What is the difference between men’s and women’s skin? What are some of the essential products you need? How can you put together a simple skincare routine?

What is the difference between men’s and women’s skin?

Men produce more testosterone, and on average, their skin is 25% thicker than women’s. Men also produce thicker sebum which can turn the skin oilier (women’s sebum is thinner due to higher collagen levels). Men’s skin also has larger pores and more sebaceous glands. When combined, all of these factors can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.
Like women, men also start to lose collagen in their 30s, but at a slower pace. Also, shaving exfoliates the skin, so men who shave daily can be more prone to irritation and sensitivity.

Determine your skin types

Before you start, you’ll need to determine what is your skin type. Look for some of the following:

Dry skin – it feels tight, rough to the touch, and can, in some cases, flake.
Oily skin – skin tends to be shiny, or you might have oily patches. You can also be more prone to breakouts or acne.
Combination skin – oily forehead and nose, dry and sensitive cheeks.
Aging skin – prominent fine lines and wrinkles, sunspots.

The basics of a baseline routine


The cleanser is the first step to healthy skin. In the mornings, it removes the sweat from the night before. In the evenings, it removes sunscreen (it’s a must!), daily pollution, and grime. Cleansing preps the skin for the rest of the steps in your routine.
Look for cleansers with a skin-friendly pH that will not leave your skin feeling dry and tight. Yes, even if you have oily or combination skin. Cleansers with a high pH will remove the natural oils, and the skin will overproduce oil to compensate. Also, traditionally, men’s products contained ingredients like menthol or eucalyptus to give you that refreshing feel. But these can irritate the skin and dry it out further.


The second step in your routine is a treatment serum. Think of what you would like to treat and use a product to target that.

  • Prone to breakouts? Go for Mandelic or Salicylic acid.
  • Is your skin feeling dry and dehydrated? Think Hyaluronic acid and other skin-repairing ingredients like Ceramides.
  • Want something to target the signs of aging? Try retinol.
  • Want a general antioxidant to repair and protect the skin? Vitamin C should do the trick.


Soothe and hydrate the skin with a light moisturiser. It seals in hydration and keeps your skin comfortable.


The last step in your routine every morning should be sunscreen. It protects your skin against sun damage that leads to sunspots, wrinkles, and, in some cases, cancer. If you can’t be fussed to use a dedicated sunscreen, find a moisturiser with an SPF included to cut down on the number of steps in your routine.

A word about shaving:

If you shave daily, you’ll need a suitable shaving foam or gel. Look for products with skin-soothing and hydrating ingredients rather than ones that foam excessively and dry out the skin.
Use a clean, sharp razor to avoid nicks and razor burns (which can lead to infections).

A four-step routine is all you need to start. The key is to be consistent with your skincare routine, and you’ll soon see the results.

For some of the products that are popular with our male customers, check this article.

Roberta Striga