Back in the day, most brands handled men’s skincare like this: take a woman’s product; change the fragrance into something manly; put it in a bold, dark bottle; sell it for 30% less. There was little thinking around building a skincare line from the ground up that really addressed men’s unique skincare needs. Frankly, many brands today are still guilty of this.
Similarly, because women were—and technically still are—the primary consumers of skincare, little testing was done on men on the efficacy of clinical skincare. They just weren’t a big enough market.
Today, though, men’s grooming is on the rise, and men are becoming more demanding of products that better target them. So, if you’re a man on the hunt for a better skincare routine for yourself or your partner, or if you’re a woman who wants to make an educated decision on buying for him (after all, Valentine’s Day is around the corner), here’s our guide on how to buy skincare for men.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN’S SKIN AND WOMEN’S SKIN
Let’s start with the basics. There are a number of ways that men’s skin and women’s skin differ, due to biological and lifestyle factors. Keep these differences in mind when buying your products.
- BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES: Biological differences in men’s skin and women’s skin are largely due to hormones. Men naturally produce more sebum, which means they’re more prone to acne and may have oilier skin. Men’s skin tends to have a significantly poorer ability to heal than women’s skin, making them more susceptible to injury and wounds. This also can translate to poorer immune function, which means that men are also twice as likely as women to get melanoma or other types of skin cancer. Finally, men are more prone to sweating on their face, and tend to have more hydrated skin than women do.
- LIFESTYLE DIFFERENCES: On a very general level, there are also differences in men and women in terms of lifestyle. Of course, these assumptions don’t apply to everyone, but a western male diet tends to differ from a western female diet in that men tend to eat more inflammatory foods, like red meat and processed sugar. Men also tend to have a shorter daily routine than women do, whether that’s due to not wearing many skincare products or due to not wearing makeup. Finally, men tend to shave their face—or if they elect not to, they’re dealing with facial hair.
Now that you have an understanding of the basic biological and lifestyle differences between men and women’s skin, let’s take a deeper dive into men’s skincare itself.
SKINCARE FOR MEN IN GENERAL
Men who shave their face and men who don’t shave their face need different things when it comes to their skincare. That being said, there are definitely some overarching rules to follow for all men, regardless of their grooming habits.
- Products with SPF: Since men are more prone to skin cancer and melanoma, this one is a no-brainer. Investing in a daily sunscreen, especially one that isn’t heavy or greasy, is essential. If that feels too cumbersome for your routine, you should definitely at least choose other skincare products that have SPF 30 in them.
- Products that can multitask: We’ve said it before—multitasking products are the multivitamins of skincare. If you or your man aren’t looking to add too many extra steps to your routine, stick to multitasking products instead of highly targeted solutions. They can address a number of skin needs, all at once.
- Products specially formulated with men’s skincare needs in mind: This is where our CBx for Men line comes in. The CBx for Men line isn’t just women’s skincare in a manly bottle—in fact, the technology behind this line is really remarkable. If you aren’t familiar with the line, the CBx line contains phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis sativa plant. This is pretty significant—you see, people have been aware of the soothing, healing properties of cannabis for a long time. But due to the legality of the plant in question, it was often difficult to extract out the right agents. As the plant has become legalized and more mainstream, accessing the non-psychoactive, healing components of it has become much easier. In fact, Perricone MD is one of the first brands to start using cannabidiol in skincare. And don’t worry—CBx is completely legal and contains no THC.
- Cold Plasma Plus: If you or your man is looking to address long-term skin transformation, Cold Plasma Plus is the way to go. When it comes to products that address the long term effects of ageing—uneven texture, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, discolouration, and puffiness—there’s no need to turn to a men’s specific product. Our skin, overall, tends to age in the same way, regardless of if you’re a man or a woman. Plus, Cold Plasma Plus is the essential multitasker, so it’s an easy step to add into your routine.
SKINCARE FOR MEN WHO SHAVE
Let’s start with the good news. Shaving is a phenomenal exfoliator. That means that men who shave are constantly exfoliating their face—removing dead skin cells, allowing for faster skin turnover, translating to brighter looking skin. Building up dead skin cells on your face is the number one contributor to dull-looking skin. This means that if you or your man shave(s), you can skip the exfoliator.
However, all men who shave their face are dealing with some sort of problem—irritation, itching, ingrown hairs. Men of color who are dealing with coarser facial hair, especially, have to be really cognizant of how their shaving habits affect their face. One way to mitigate that is to look for skincare that focuses on nourishing, soothing formulas. A cream-based cleanser, like our Neuropeptide Facial Cleanser, is a great, mild way to cleanse skin that will leave skin feeling softer and hydrated. Our CBx Super Clean Face Wash is another great option—its gentle gel-to-foam formula helps to not only cleanse, but soften stubble prior to shaving.
After shaving, products that help relieve razor burn and hydrate skin—without feeling heavy or greasy—are key. We’d recommend our CBx Soothing Post-Shave Treatment and our Lightweight Moisturizer for after-shave care.
SKINCARE FOR MEN WHO DON’T SHAVE
For men who do shave, exfoliation is important for helping to slough away dead skin cells. And when it comes to exfoliating, avoid abrasive physical exfoliators—like those with microbeads or walnuts—as they can cause micro-tears in your skin, further exacerbating redness, inflammation, and irritation.
Instead, we’d recommend something like our Exfoliating Pore Refiner, which gently exfoliates and clarifies skin. Instead of rubbing it into your skin and washing it off, like you would with a physical exfoliator, you simply need to saturate a cotton pad, dab it onto your skin, and let it absorb.
Additionally, remember that men with beards need to—first and foremost—take care of their beards the way they take care of hair on their head. That means shampoo and conditioner! Additionally, a beard oil is always a great idea to not only nourish and hydrate the skin underneath, but to help tame flyaways and unruly beard hair. Our The Fixer Solid Oil can help to tackle those problems with no mess or fuss. You can even use it to tame your eyebrows!
Whether you’re looking to switch up your skincare as part of your New Year’s resolution, or if you’re just trying to plan ahead for your Valentine’s Day gift, we hope our men’s skincare guide has put you one step closer to finding the perfect skincare routine.