The Best Skin Care Routine for Men in 2020

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    Introduction

    One thing that guys tend to neglect is taking good care of their skin. If you want to maximize your appearance as much as possible then you will need a good skin care routine (aka. skinmaxxing) – plain and simple.

    Most guys tend to overcomplicate their skin care routine, but it really doesn’t need to be that complex. For a basic (yet incredibly effective) skin care routine all you need are a few simple products:

    • Cleanser
    • Moisturizer
    • Sunscreen (preferably SPF30+)

    The best part is that you can pick up all of these products for less than $50 online, which is honestly a small price to pay for bright and radiant-looking skin.

    Before we get into our skin care routine let’s go ahead and find out what skin type you have.

    Skin Type

    To put it simply, your skin type refers to the hydration level of your skin.

    So… why do you need to know your skin type?

    Knowing your skin type is useful as it will help you determine what kinds of products will work best for your skin. Keep in mind that your skin type is just a generalization and not an exact science, which means you do not have to copy everything completely as its written.

    Your skin type is how your skin usually looks and feels. This is useful in determining how your skin will react to certain products, so we can choose the best products for skin.

    There are quite a few different skin types. The most common skin types are: dry, oily, normal, and combination.

    Keep in mind that the behavior of your skin can also change throughout the year. This can happen due to your hormones, medications, and other things such as climate.

    Since everyone has different skin types, you may find what works for someone else may not work the best for you. So it may take a bit of trial-and-error before you are able to figure out the best routine and skin care products for you.

    What Is My Skin Type?

    Finding out your skin type is very easy.

    All you need is a pH balanced cleanser and a couple of hours of your time.

    Start by washing your face with the pH-balanced cleanser I just told you to get. After that is done, do not apply any other products to your face – just leave your skin as it is.

    Wait around 1-2 hours and then examine your face. If your skin is noticeably shiny and greasy then you have oily skin. If your skin feels tight and you can see some flakiness, then you have dry skin.

    If you notice that some parts of your face is oily while other parts are dry then you have combination skin.

    If your skin is neither dry nor oily then I have some good news for you – you have normal skin!

    Skin Type Characteristics Advice
    Normal Skin Skin feels nice and balanced Follow a general skin care routine
    Dry Skin Skin feels itchy, tight, and there are visible flaky patches Use gentle non-foaming cleansers to maintain as much of your skins sebum as possible.
    Use heavier creams that help to lock the moisture into your skin.
    Oily Skin Skin is shiny and greasy with no visible tightness Use low-pH cleansers. Use water-based serums and gels to add moisture to the skin without adding oil.
    Combination Skin Use low-pH cleansers. Use water-based serums and gels to add moisture to the skin without adding oil. Apply certain products only to areas of your face that need it.

    Keep in mind that ethnic people tend to have oilier skin compared to people with fairer skin.

    If you’re stuck trying to figure out what skin type you have then don’t worry. You will find out what products work best for your skin along the way.

    Your Skin Care Routine

    Now that we have determined your skin type let’s get ahead and get you started on a good skin care routine.

    Ideally, you want to split your skin care routine into two different parts: morning (AM) and night (PM).

    The first thing you should do before you start applying any kind of product is to rinse your face off with some lukewarm water from the sink. This will help to remove any excess dirt, grime, and oil from your face.

    If you are someone who has a long fringe then I suggest using a headband to keep your hair out of the way while you perform your skin care routine.  After your face is washed you will be ready to start your skin care routine.

    The order of your skin care routine should look something like this:

    Morning (AM)

    1. Cleanser
    2. Vitamin C Serum**
    3. Moisturizer
    4. Sunscreen

    Night (PM)

    1. Cleanser
    2. Exfoliator**
    3. Moisturizer

    ** Not compulsory to use

    Frequency and timing of your skin care products is important, so be sure to follow these steps in the order that they appear when you are performing your skin care routine.

    Cleanser

    What Is a Facial Cleanser?

    Cleansing is important as it helps to remove any dirt, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells found on the surface of the skin.

    What Does a Facial Cleanser Do?

    Cleansing is not only good for treating acne, but it also helps to prepare the skin for the rest of the products you will be applying afterward.

    If you are experiencing any dryness, irritation, or redness of the face when you are cleansing then you may want to cut down on how often you cleanse. For instance, you may want to limit it to only mornings or nights instead of both mornings and nights, and then go from there.

    How to Use a Facial Cleanser

    Cleansing should be the first step in your skin care routine after you have washed your face. You will be using a facial cleanser once in the morning, and once at night.

    It’s not that hard, but for those of you who don’t know how to apply a cleaner to your skin then let me guide you.

    Start by applying a small amount of cleanser to your hand (roughly the size of a coin) and work it in-between both your hands (make sure your hands are dry during this process). When this is done you can start applying the cleanser to your face by gently massaging it into your skin, making sure to work it into all areas of the face.

    After you have finished cleansing you can go ahead and remove it by gently rinsing off your face with lukewarm water.

    Finish things off by patting your face dry with a soft clean towel or cloth. Try to avoid rubbing the face if possible.

    Moisturizer

    What Is a Moisturizer?

    As the name may suggest, moisturizers help to ‘moisturize’ the skin.

    When you cleanse the skin you are removing some of the oils that help to keep your skin supple and moisturized. Moisturizing helps to restore what is lost from cleansing and to also add a bunch of other useful ingredients to your skin.

    Keep in mind that even if you do have oily skin it is still important for you to use a moisturizer.

    I won’t bore you too much with the details, but there are 4 different moisturizer classes:

    • Occlusive
    • Humectants
    • Emollients
    • Rejuvenators

    If you find that your moisturizer is irritating your skin or causing acne to appear then you may want to swap over to a different brand. Ideally, your skin should feel supple and bouncy after applying your moisturizer.

    You may notice that a number of moisturizers contain SPF, which means that you do not have to apply sunscreen afterward if you use them. I would recommend choosing one that does contain SPF for the sheer fact that you only have one less step to do.

    Choose a moisturizer that contains SPF 30 at least, broad-spectrum.

    Exfoliator

    What Is Exfoliation?

    Exfoliation is the process of removing the excess dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This causes the body to want to regenerate the skin by increasing collagen production.

    If you plan on using an exfoliator then you need to use a sunscreen (you should be using one anyway). Exfoliating makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, which makes your skin more prone to being damaged.

    Types of Exfoliation

    There are two main types of exfoliation:

    • Physical exfoliation: Uses products that are abrasive and gritty to physically remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. They are generally deemed as less safe compare to chemical exfoliators.
    • Chemical exfoliation: Works by dissolving the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

    If you are new to skin care then start off with a chemical exfoliator as it is less likely to damage your skin. If you do go for a physical scrub then I would highly recommend only applying it only once a week. And when you do use it just make sure you are scrubbing very lightly.

    I recommend starting off with a salicylic acid process, which is a great exfoliant as it goes deep inside the pores to unplug them and remove any dirt.

    If your skin starts to burn, sting, or feel sore after applying your exfoliator then stop using it. That is a pretty good sign that your skin is being stressed.

    Why Is It Important to Exfoliate?

    When you exfoliate your skin your products are going to absorb better and work more effectively due to this.

    Is Exfoliating Bad?

    If you exfoliate every day then you may be causing more harm than good to your skin. In fact, it can actually cause breakouts due to stripping the skin of its natural oils.

    How Often Should You Exfoliate?

    You do not need to exfoliate every day. I would suggest exfoliating around two to three times a week. This will give your skin a good amount of time to regenerate its lost skin cells before they need removing again.

    Sunscreen

    Sunscreen is an extremely important product to use – no matter what skin type you have.

    Not only is sunscreen great for the skin, but it is also very safe and cost-effective. There is no reason to not include sunscreen into your daily skin care routine.

    The sun affects our skin in many ways. Sunscreen helps reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, and prevent fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and reduce the risk of getting sunburnt.

    Obviously, don’t be so scared of the sun that you go and lock yourself inside all day. You just need to be smart and protect yourself properly.

    When purchasing a sunscreen go for something that has minimum SPF30+ to protect your skin properly from sun damage.

    Sunscreen is even more important if you are applying any actives to your skin that increase its sensitivity to the sun (i.e. AHAs, retinoids, and benzoyl peroxide). If you use any of these products then sunscreen is an absolute must for you.

    As mentioned previously, if your moisturizer already contains SPF then you don’t need to apply it again to your face.

    Vitamin C

    What is Vitamin C?

    Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that is found naturally in the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin. As we get older these levels slowly begin to decline. Thankfully, we can look to restore these levels by applying vitamin C to our skin.

    If you want to fight the signs of aging then vitamin C is a must.

    What Is the Role of Vitamin C?

    Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis and helps protect against UV damage. Other benefits include brightening skin tone, evening out skin texture, and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.

    The purest form of Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid and is the only form of Vitamin C that the body can use immediately.

    Sounds amazing right?

    Yeah… but it does come with a big drawback.

    Vitamin C in its purest form is extremely unstable. In fact, it starts to degrade/oxidize as soon as it comes into contact with oxygen, water, and even UV light.

    So with that being said, you may be asking yourself “why do you see products with vitamin C in it at the store then?”

    Good question.

    Skin care brands have developed more stable forms of vitamin C known as derivatives. When derivatives are absorbed into the skin the body breaks down the derivative and releases the compound.

    I see many people posting online about making their own vitamin C serums, but I don’t think that it is a good idea unless you plan on making a new batch each time you apply it. It just isn’t worth the time investment.

    You’re better off just buying a serum that contains a vitamin C derivative such as sodium ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate from the store.