The absolute unit of a guide to men’s cosmetics and skincare
If you’ve landed on this article, you've probably recently spotted a new wrinkle, spot or random dark mark that you’d like to do something about but have no idea where to start. It can be so confusing navigating through a world of men’s skincare and cosmetics when you have no idea what you’re looking for.
There are so many options out there with all kinds of fancy claims and ingredients, so how do you go about deciding what to use? Should you use makeup too, or treat the root cause of the problem? Should you shop organic and natural, or does any of that stuff actually matter?
Hopefully, this article will help you build some all-important knowledge so that you can feel more confident in your choices.
The essence of male skincare
The start of any men’s grooming routine should always be skincare. It’s important to take care of your skin, not only because it will improve the overall look of it but because it’s imperative for your health. Your skin is your largest organ. It helps to keep all the good stuff in and bad bacteria out. It prevents us from getting cancers and from our insides turning into a puddle of mush. Keeping it in good condition is important for a healthy life.
Easily the best way to look 30 when you’re 40, or 50 when you’re 60, is to take care of your skin. And it’s never too early or late to start. You don’t need to spend hundreds on fancy formulas to get decent results. There are plenty of drugstore products which can give great results, and they’re definitely better for your skin than using nothing, soap, or shampoo.
If you’re a skincare sceptic, we totally get it. You might have a grandparent who swears by a certain product, like rosehip oil or “just good old soap and water”. While they may look great, they also probably didn’t have access to the kinds of science and products that we do now. There’s so much research that goes into most reputable skincare products, so learning a little bit about how ingredients work will help with your understanding of why people are so obsessed with it all.
A great place to start with research is YouTube - there are some really knowledgeable people out there who can help break it down for you, like Hyram and Doctorly.
While some people claim that natural is always best, this isn't necessarily the case. Yes, you can smash up an avocado with some honey and use it as a face mask… But it’s not going to have long-lasting results. It’s better to find skincare which has been designed in a lab (not somebody’s kitchen). People study cosmetic science for years and years to be able to take the specific enzymes and chemical compounds out of plants and fruits to be able to have the desired effect on the skin. Leave creating formulas to the experts, not the chefs.
How to begin with men's skincare products
If you’re just getting started with skincare, there are just 2 products which are most important: Cleanser and moisturiser (ideally with SPF!).
Cleansers do what they say on the tin. They clean. It’s important to keep skin clean because it will help to prevent spots, build-up of dry skin, and blocked pores. Face cleansers also help to remove the build-up of pollution, which causes premature skin ageing too.
Moisturisers are also fairly self-explanatory. They moisturise. Keeping skin hydrated will help you to look younger almost instantly. It will help to keep skin supple and in good condition.
When it comes to choosing which to try, start by finding products that are made for your skin type. That way, it will contain ingredients that ensure your skin feels most comfortable and will have an impact in the areas you want to correct.
If you’re not sure which skin type you have, you can easily test this by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water. Leave your skin for 30 minutes or so and observe how it feels. If it feels a bit tight and you have flaky areas, you probably have dry or sensitive skin. If your skin is shiny and your pores look enlarged, you likely have oily skin. If it feels fairly comfortable, you probably have a normal skin type. You may also find you have some parts that are dry, and some that are oily. This is considered to be a combination skin type.
What else to consider when choosing men's facial products
If your current moisturiser doesn’t include SPF (sun protection factor), it’s a good idea to invest in one. SPF in skincare feels totally different on the skin compared to the kind you use while on holiday. They aren’t greasy and thick - but will have the same level of protection. It’s important to use SPF every day - come rain or shine - as the sun can lead to skin damage, premature ageing (which shows up as wrinkles and dark spots), and also skin cancers.
Once you’re using a cleanser and moisturiser regularly, you might want to think about adding in additional products to target specific concerns. For example, an eye cream to help with dark circles and crow's feet, or a serum to get deeper into the skin to target fine lines. You can try a moisturiser or serum specifically for nighttime - so that while you’re asleep and your skin is going through its natural reparative process, your skin is getting a boost. You could also use an exfoliator to help remove the build-up of dead skin, plus a toner to help care for your skin’s pH.
There are so many options for products out there, so it’s a good idea to add them into your routine slowly so that your skin can adjust to them and so that you get in the habit of using them (and don’t waste money on products you won’t use!).
The best way to get good results is to be as consistent at using them as possible. Keep your products out next to your toothbrush, or somewhere you’ll see them every day. This way, you’ll remember to use them. Using your products consistently gives them the best chance of working, and you’ll be encouraged to keep using them when you can notice the results after a few weeks.
Men’s makeup (hint hint ya’ll)
Of course, skincare can’t do everything. If there’s something you want an immediate fix for, men’s makeup is the way to go. If you’ve not considered using makeup before, it may seem strange, but it’s been around for thousands of years. No, seriously, makeup was even a thing in ancient Egypt. It’s become much more popular in recent years, and never before has it been so readily available to men.
Here’s a simple explanation of what the most common makeup products can do and the order you should apply them for the best results.
Primer is a clear gel-like liquid that smoothes and evens your skin for a better application of other products. Use this as the first step in your makeup routine, after applying moisturiser and SPF.
Concealer is perfect for covering dark circles, spots, scars and blemishes. We make two options. The first is a pot Concealer which has a cream base, so has great coverage. The second option is the Concealer Pen, which has more of a liquid consistency for lighter coverage.
Tinted Moisturiser or Foundation. Tinted Moisturiser is a hybrid of foundation and moisturiser. It helps to even out your skin tone and keeps skin moisturised throughout the day. It is very lightweight, so great if you just want to look that little bit fresher. Foundation has more coverage and will create a uniform colour to your complexion. It is thicker than the Tinted Moisturiser but still looks very natural.
Anti-Shine Powder is a translucent pressed powder to help soak up oiliness and shine. It will also help keep your makeup in place all day. You can top up with it during the day.
Bronzer is a pressed powder used to give extra definition and warmth to the face.
Beard & Brow Gel will shape and control your facial hairs, keeping them in place all day. Beard and Brow Filler is a pencil that will fill in any gaps in the hair to give a fuller look.
There are lots of online tutorials to check out for individual products - check them out on our website.
Should I use face cream for men?
Whether you have perfect skin or problem skin, a moisturiser is essential. A common myth is that if you have oily skin, you shouldn’t moisturise, but this isn’t true. Blemish-prone skin needs hydration too. In fact, drying out oily skin sends a signal to your body to produce even more oil, a nightmare for those who already suffer from problem skin.
Using a moisturiser designed for men is a good idea but not 100% essential. The ingredients will still do their job whatever type of skin they’re applied to. But men’s moisturisers are designed to deal with the fundamental differences between skin types. For example, we generally have thicker skin, larger pores, and of course, facial hair to deal with.
sources to reference
Hide spots, scars, rosacea or dark circles with our Concealer then even out and hydrate your skin using our Tinted Moisturiser. Then remove it all to leave your skin feeling fresh at the end of the day.
For those wanting to try out makeup, the War Paint Starter Set is the kit for you. Try it at home and work out the best way to apply the basic products, by following our 'How To' guides.