From luxury beard oils to tasty, pocket-friendly lip balms, more products have hit shelves with men in mind. Now the dude-specific skin care industry has been more on-point than ever. Which is great — but the influx might also leave you feeling at a loss for what to buy.
Here are a few things to consider.
1. Know your skin type
“Men tend to have oily and thicker skin, mainly due to the effects of testosterone,” Kwan says. Many products for fellas will be formulated to combat oil. But if you have flaky, dry skin, seek out products that address that. For dry skin, Kwan recommends a cream cleanser and a heavy moisturizer.
You may also have a mix of oily and dry patches. If so, look for products formulated for combination skin. And if you have sensitive skin, you may be prone to burning, stinging or irritation. Choose products listing as few ingredients as possible.
Pro tip: Try “cocktail moisturizing.” This isn’t a fuss-free way to do skin care, but it can be game-changing for combination skin. Instead of using an “all-in-one” moisturizer, try tackling your individual skin concerns with targeted products.
2. Forget gender
“Men-specific products are nice, but many skin care products are unisex and typically are suitable for men and women,” Kwan says.
Don’t limit yourself to skin care lines based on packaging. If you’re hoping to avoid scents, look for fragrance-free products. Or opt for items with earthy or woodsy essential oils, like sandalwood or cedarwood. These can also have a calming effect.
3. Consider your ethnicity
Your heritage may affect your skin type and skin care needs. “African-American men tend to have more ingrown hairs, usually related to the natural curl of the hair,” says Kwan, a specialist in ethnic skin. “For these men, I often recommend using a depilatory instead of shaving to reduce razor bumps.”
“Asian and Hispanic men are more prone to irregular skin pigmentation,” he continues, “so they should be careful of sun exposure and perhaps add a skin-brightening product to their regimen.”
“Choosing skin care is often as easy as trial and error,” Kwan says. “If possible, buy products from a store that allows returns, or start with samples.”
If you’re still at a loss for what to put in your medicine cabinet, one way to play around with products is to order a subscription or sample box that sends you a selection of travel sizes based on your preferences.
Managing skin irritation and eruptions
Bumpy textures are usually the biggest concern guys face when it comes to skin care, Kwan says. He often treats men for razor burn, ingrown hairs, or pimples.
Shaving is one of the most common causes of irritation, but a proper skin care routine in conjunction with shaving can improve skin.
“Start with something simple, like a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide wash in the shower daily,” says Kwan. This type of cleanser will help treat most bumps, like folliculitis, ingrown hairs, and acne. “I do recommend electric razors if you get ingrowns or too irritated from shaving. They tend to be a bit easier on the skin.”
Should you choose salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide?
- Salicylic acid acts as pre-shave exfoliant because it removes dead cells from pores and the skin’s surface. It’s also an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant that can combat redness and damage.
- Benzoyl peroxide battles bacteria that may cause bumps, but it’s harsher and might make sensitive skin sting or burn.
The market for men’s personal grooming products is projected to grow to more than $60 billion by the end of the decade. That stat should tell you that more guys are giving up outdated ideas skin care and pampering should be left to the gals.
Research shows that skin concerns or disorders can affect self-image, relationships, and performance. But it’s never too late to develop a skin care routine.
A master thesis out of Karlstad University in Sweden found that men, from ages 15 to 45, are taking control of their appearance and hygiene and embracing ideas of self-care. Guys are buying products as a way to solve skin issues and boost self-esteem.
Working to solve skin concerns, if any, gives you a bit of control over them and helps you build confidence.
2. Texture test
Genuine silk of lower ply can be easily threaded and pulled through a wedding ring because silk is naturally flexible and smooth. On the other hand, artificial silks would scrunch up and would be impossible to pull through
3. Lustre test: The color on the surface appears to change as the angle of the light changes. Artificial silks, however, gives a white sheen no matter what the angle of light falling on it. It is shimmering. The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors. This “shot” effect gives a surface that “shines” and appears to change color as the angle of light on it changes. Synthetic fabrics shine white, no matter what the angle of the light.