How to Build the Ultimate Skin Care Routine for Men

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William Barton Avatar by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Jan 14, 2021

What’s the secret to healthy looking skin? 

Consistency. 

I used to work with a guy who was much older than me—in his early or mid-50s. His skin looked fantastic, so I had to ask him what the secret was. 

That’s what he told me. Consistency. He started a basic skin care routine when he was 30 and 20 years later he was a verified silver fox. 

So how do we end up like Ol’ Jimmy with the nice skin? I’m going to break down the best skin care routine for men, and give you a few options based on your lifestyle. I’ll also let you know the products I’m using after trying nearly a dozen brands. 

Let’s dive in. 

Should Guys Have a Skin Care Routine?

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It’s time us dudes drop the idea that a skin care routine is somehow feminine. If you’re still holding onto that little voice that says washing your face at night is weak-sauce, forget it.

Think of it this way: taking a shower is a form of skin care. So you’re already doing it. But now it’s time to do it right. 

You don’t know it yet, but a great skin care routine can even out the tone of your face and give you more confidence. And that confidence boost shows in your relationships and professional life. Seriously. Give it a try. 

I get it. Even though I’m a big advocate for dudes building out a skin care regimen, I still don’t get to washing my face every night. I find myself skipping the serums and oils because I just don’t want to deal with the extra stuff. 

If that sounds like you, I have good news. Even a bare-bones skin care routine is going to help you a ton. 

Find Your Skin Type

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Does your face shine in photos? Or does it get red and blotchy when the weather turns cold? If it wasn’t already obvious, your face is different than the guy sitting next to you. So you may need a different product.

There are four major skin types:

  • Balanced
  • Oily
  • Dry and sensitive
  • Combination (often oily on the nose and forehead, and dry elsewhere)

The most common issues guys face is too much oil around the nose and forehead. A lot of skin care comes down to trial and error. But in my experience, certain brands work better than others, regardless of whether you have oily skin or dry skin

Any product with activated charcoal is a big boost for guys with oily skin. Charcoal has a high surface volume, so it acts almost like a magnet with dirt and oil and will cut down the number of blackheads you get. 

The Simplest Skin Care Routine For Men

The core of every good skin care routine is a face wash and moisturizer. I’m using the combo from Lumin Skincare.

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Lumin really shines with their face wash and moisturizer. Their products go on smoothly and don't leave any residues. Most importantly, they work. The brand also carries several spot treatments to help with specific skin care issues.

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Their Charcoal Face Wash has excellent sudsing action and uses activated charcoal to clear out dirt and oil from deep in my pores. It’s also easy to wash off so I don’t have to stand over the sink for 20 minutes scrubbing my face. 

Lumin moisturizing balm

After I’ve dried my face, I hit the Moisturizing Balm, which goes on super light and feels incredible. 

Lumin has a lot of other spot-treatment products for guys, which I’m a fan of, but if you’re just looking for the basics, I’ve found that Lumin has an excellent balance of price and quality. 

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The Complete Collection from Lumin
(Get 21% off any order with code FEELGOOD21)

You get the basics like face wash, moisturizer, and an exfoliating scrub. But you also get Lumin's highly effective Dark Circle Defense, Anti-Wrinkle Defense, and Recovery Oil so you can spot treat your specific skin care issue.

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To keep your skin looking young, even as you start to creep up in age, us fair-skin guys need sunscreen. 

For that, I use Neutrogena UltraSheer sunscreen. It doesn’t “white-cast” and doesn’t make you look greasy or shiny. 

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

This is one of the best non-whitecasting sunscreens we've tried. It has a high SPF rating, which is hard to find in a lotion that goes on with no greasy feeling.

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So if you’re looking for a core skin care routine, here it is:

Those three products will take you far, whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin. 

Of course, if you struggle with wrinkles, dark circles, or uneven skin tone, there are a few other products you should try, too. 

Other Skin Care Products

Lumin complete package lineup

You may also want to add a few more skin care products to do what’s called spot treatment. Basically, a cleanser and moisturizer will improve the look of your skin overall, but there are more targeted products that will help specific issues.

The next most important item in a man’s arsenal is an exfoliating rub. It’s the deep cleaner that removes dead skin and helps even out any oiliness. It’s the best way to prevent blackheads. 

My favorite skin care pickup of the year was The Complete Package from Lumin. It comes with:

  • Charcoal Face Wash
  • Moisturizing Balm
  • Exfoliating Rub
  • Dark Circle Defense
  • Anti-Wrinkle Defense
  • Recovery Oil
Exclusive Discount Available
The Complete Collection from Lumin
(Get 21% off any order with code FEELGOOD21)

You get the basics like face wash, moisturizer, and an exfoliating scrub. But you also get Lumin's highly effective Dark Circle Defense, Anti-Wrinkle Defense, and Recovery Oil so you can spot treat your specific skin care issue.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Not only does it have the basic moisturizer and cleanser, but it has an excellent exfoliator, and a few spot treatments. 

I’ve always had a more wrinkly forehead, and over the years have noticed darker circles under my eyes. So while I can’t get rid of those things altogether, I can stop them from getting much worse.

That’s where the Dark Circle Defense and Anti-Wrinkle Defense come in handy.

How to Avoid Shaving Bumps

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While this isn’t a guide on how to wet-shave, there are a few basics that will help you preserve your skin and avoid red, irritated bumps.

Here’s my four-step process:

1. Warm Your Skin With Hot Water

Get some hot water flowing through the tap and splash your jaw and neck. If you shave after your shower, you can skip this step. This is to soften up your stubble and open your pores so the razor can glide through easier. 

2. Apply Pre-Shave Oil

Pre-shave oil is a game changer. It adds a layer of protection to your skin, and lowers your chances of irritated skin. 

Art of Shaving makes a fantastic product, and I like how the sandalwood fragrance blends in with my Lumin skin care regimen.

The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil

Never tried pre-shave oil before? This sandalwood scented oil helps keep your face hydrated as you apply shaving cream, which drastically reduces the amount of razor burn and bumps.

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Just pour a dime-sized drop of oil onto your fingers and massage around your neck and jaw. 

3. Apply Shaving Cream

I’m a badger hair brush kind of guy. 

I love the whole wet-shave process—it’s much more satisfying than EZ-Cheeze style shaving cream. 

I use a puck and keep it in a ceramic bowl. Over the years, I’ve found that the shaving cream isn’t as important as your skin care products. Really, if you’re washing and moisturizing with the right stuff, your shaving cream shouldn’t make a big positive or negative impact on your skin. Just don’t use bar soap. 

4. Finish With a Strong Moisturizer

I used to have a specific after-shave balm, but I’ve been able to ditch it since switching to Lumin Moisturizing Balm. 

Any time you can cut down on products is a win in my book. 

Whatever you use, the moisturizer is the most important part of the process if you want to avoid itchy, irritated red bumps all over your neck. 

Wash Up

Skin care is really that simple. 

Start with a face wash and a moisturizer. Take the time to find a brand you like—most will send free samples and you can try them out for a week or two. 

Exclusive Discount Available
Lumin Skincare
(Get 21% off any order with code FEELGOOD21)

Lumin really shines with their face wash and moisturizer. Their products go on smoothly and don't leave any residues. Most importantly, they work. The brand also carries several spot treatments to help with specific skin care issues.

Shop Lumin Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Once you’ve found your brand, add an exfoliating scrub and SPF sunblock to your routine. 

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

This is one of the best non-whitecasting sunscreens we've tried. It has a high SPF rating, which is hard to find in a lotion that goes on with no greasy feeling.

Check Best Price on Amazon Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Those four products alone will make your skin healthier and more vibrant in just a few short weeks, plus prevent a lot of issues in the future. 

If you want to go above and beyond, add spot treatments like eye creams or anti-wrinkle oils. Spot treatments are less essential, but they can make a big difference if you have a specific issue. 

To break it down another way: face wash and moisturizer will get you 80% to where you want to be. An exfoliating scrub and sun block will put you at 90%. Add spot treatments, and you’re 100%.

FAQs

Where do I start with skin care?

Start by getting a face wash and moisturizer. Use them whenever you shower or any time most convenient for you. Aim to wash and moisturize your face once a day, but don’t worry if you skip a day.

How can I identify my skin type?

At the end of the day, how does your skin look? If you’ve developed a shine, you have oily skin. If your skin is starting to flake or turn red, you have dry skin. If it does neither of those things, you’ve got balanced skin.

How much should I wash my face?

You should wash your face at least once a day, and moisturize afterward. It’s best to wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, though many guys don’t get around to it. Don’t wash your face more than twice a day.