Everyone’s skin is different and can benefit from a tailored skin care routine. Male skin is typically oilier, hairier, and thicker, so certain practices and products may be more useful. Some routines can also address each person’s skin needs.
This article explain how a man can develop a routine to care for his skin type.
Determining skin type
Skin varies from person to person. Different factors can make skin drier, more oily, or more prone to acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are 5 skin types:
- Normal skin, which is generally clear of blemishes and oil, is not sensitive to products containing dyes or other fragrances.
- Oily skin, which appears greasy or shiny.
- Dry skin, which is rough, itchy, or flakes off.
- Combination skin, where some areas are dry while others are oily.
- Sensitive skin, which may react to certain products and cause burning, itching, or stinging sensations.
The appearance, feel, and sensitivity are easy ways for people to identify their skin type and follow a routine that works best for them.
Basic skin care routine
To properly care for their skin, a person should follow this basic routine:
- wash daily
- shave hair
- apply skin moisturizer
- apply sunscreen
- check skin regularly
The AAD suggest that people pick products based on their skin type. They also make general recommendations, such as using products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic items will generally not cause clogged pores that can lead to acne.
Wash skin daily
Any good routine typically starts and ends with washing the skin. This action includes cleaning the face in the morning, evening, and after exercise or sweating. A person should use gentle soaps that do not contain oils or other ingredients that may clog the pores.
Shaving the face and other areas of the body may not be a daily routine for all people. However, when people shave hair, the AAD recommend not stretching the skin. They also suggest:
- moistening the skin with water
- applying a moisturizing shaving cream
- shaving in the same direction as the hair growth
- rinsing while shaving
- changing the razor blade after every 5–7 times
After shaving, a person should rinse any shaving cream off their face. They should also apply a moisturizing ointment or cream.
Apply skin moisturizer
Moisturizing skin is important for overall skin health and appearance, as it can help reduce oil and dryness. This action can also help minimize the appearance of skin blemishes.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center recommend applying skin moisturizer to the hands after each wash. They also suggest the following tips to help keep the skin moist:
- avoiding hot, prolonged showers
- using a humidifier
- only using mild soaps
- patting the skin dry after washing
- drinking plenty of water
Apply sunscreen on skin
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend using sunscreen every day at least 30 minutes before going outside. You should also use sunscreen cloudy days, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays can still reach the Earth’s surface. They also suggest applying sunscreen to the entire body, which covers a person if they shift or remove clothing.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) recommend people use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least SPF 30. This recommendation even applies to people who spend most of their time indoors or inside vehicles, as the sun’s rays can still penetrate windows.
People who spend more time outdoors should consider sunscreens with a stronger SPF.
Check skin regularly
Dermatologists recommend that people without a family or personal history of skin cancer undergo a full-body skin check once a year.
People with a personal history of skin cancer should see a dermatologist every 3–4 months for a check-up. Those with a family history of this disease should see a skin care professional every 6 months.
People who are most at risk for skin cancer also should check their skin once a month using a well-lit room.
As everyone’s skin is different, these recommendations may vary depending on the person and their history. Consult with a dermatologist to discuss an individual care plan.
Things to look for on the skin include:
- spots on the skin
- wart-like growths
- a scaly or red skin patch that could bleed or crust over
- sores that do not heal after several weeks
- a mole with irregular shapes or colors
- a mole that changes in shape, color, or size
Care routine for oily or acne-prone skin
Oily skin appears shiny and generally feels greasy. People living with this skin type should look for oil-free products that will not clog pores. They should also moisturize the skin to help prevent too much oil from forming.
People with acne-prone skin may want to add acne medication or ointments to their regular skin care routine, which they can perform in the mornings, evenings, or both.
The AAD recommend people take the following steps to treat acne-prone skin:
- avoid scrubbing the skin with abrasive wipes
- do not pop or scratch acne
- avoid touching the face
- use fingertips to apply skin cleansers
- wash the hair regularly
- avoid direct sun exposure or tanning beds
Care routine for dry or sensitive skin
A person with sensitive skin should pay close attention to the skin products they use.
Many of these products contain dyes, fragrances, or other ingredients that can irritate the skin. The AAD recommend those with sensitive skin check products that claim to be fragrance-free, as other ingredients may cause irritation.
For dry skin, a person should make sure they moisturize the skin regularly. They may also need to do additional steps, such as:
- avoiding hot water when washing
- using moisturizing soaps
- patting the skin dry
- using a humidifier
- drinking plenty of fluids
Care routine for combination skin
It can be difficult for people with combination skin to manage both oily and dry skin symptoms.
People should try strategies from oily and dry skin routines. Then see what works best for the skin.
Care routine for older skin
The National Institute on Aging recommend older adults take additional steps in their routines to help minimize the effects of aging. These steps include:
- using a humidifier
- taking fewer baths
- using skin moisturizers
- talking about any long-lasting skin bruises with a doctor
- avoiding or reducing smoking tobacco
- limiting sun exposure and wearing sunblock and clothes that cover the body
- using effective products to treat wrinkle on the skin
When do you need to see a doctor?
A person should talk to their doctor if they notice any signs of skin cancer. These signs include moles that quickly change in color or shape, or sores that do not heal.
A person should talk to their doctor if they have chronically oily, dry, or acne-prone skin. Doctors will suggest changes to skin care routine or regular products. Doctors could also prescribe medicated creams or ointments to help treat an underlying condition.
Skin care routines may vary based on a person’s skin type, but they should include regular washing, moisturizing, shaving hair, sunscreen use, and thorough skin checks.
Following a regular routine can help ensure people take the best care of their skin.