Women aren’t the only ones who can desire good skincare. For way too long, men were expected to not care about their grooming. As if men were supposed to achieve nice skin with nothing but water, sweat, and testosterone. Alas, that’s not how it works.
If you’re ready to start your men’s skincare journey, we’ve prepared a series of guides to help you achieve that glow-up. Whether you’re dealing with acne, scarring, or oily skin, here’s everything you need to know to get started.
LOOK: A Beginner's Guide to Men's Skincare
1. Figure Out Your Skin Type
We’re going to assume we’re starting at square one. The biggest mistake people make when starting their skincare journey is jumping from zero to one. Running to the drugstore to find a cheap product to fix your popped pimple isn’t going to help you in the long run. Cheap products tend to be harsh, which would only make your skin worse.
So, first things first: figure out your skin type. Before you even consider shopping for skincare products, you need to understand your own skin. You don’t want to waste money on products just because you didn’t do your research beforehand.
- Oily skin - On a hot day, you look like you could fry eggs on your forehead. Sebum is the skin’s natural oil, but some people tend to produce more sebum than others. Excessive oiliness can lead to clogged pores, enlarged pores, and blackheads.
- Dry skin - Flakiness is often the most common sign of dry skin. Too little sebum can be just as troublesome as too much sebum. Dry skin can lead to peeling and flaking, which is never a good look.
- Combination skin - Skin is complicated, and combination skin is proof of this. If you have oily and dry skin, oiliness tends to appear on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and dryness can manifest in flakiness around your mouth or jaw area.
- Sensitive skin - If your skin turns red when you try new products, then you definitely have sensitive skin. It might not impact your acne, but it will affect how you can treat your acne.
- Normal skin - Don’t mistake normal skin for perfect skin. Normal skin just means your skin isn’t oily, dry, or sensitive. It’s relatively well-balanced.
2. Determine Your Problem Areas
Once you know what canvas you’re working with, it’s time to point out what problems you’re trying to solve. Ask yourself, do you have acne, and if so, which areas are most affected? The forehead and cheeks are the most common areas for acne, but for men, it’s also common along the hairline and beard.
Perhaps you don’t have acne. Perhaps you want to get rid of your crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, or pimple scarring. There are products for each problem area, but there isn’t a magic elixir that’ll fix your acne, wrinkles, and scarring. Take note of your problem areas, because you’ll tackle them one at a time.
3. Examine How Your Lifestyle Might Affect Your Skin
The biggest misconception in skincare is that skincare products heal all. Another misconception is that hormones are the main culprit of your skin problems. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Practice a little self-awareness. If you’re concerned about oiliness and clogged pores, do you eat oily food regularly? If you’re dealing with acne along your hairline, could your shampoo be too harsh? If you have acne on your cheeks or temples, do you regularly clean and change your pillowcases? If you have pimples in random areas, could it be caused by your habit to touch your face without washing your hands? If you’re a gym rat, do you change your clothes and towels immediately after a workout?
How you live can determine the state of your skin. You’d be surprised at the small lifestyle changes people will make that vastly improve their skin. Some people install water filters in their showers and sinks to ensure their skin gets the cleanest water, while others adopt vegan diets to avoid oily food and manufactured products altogether. Sometimes, the answer to your skincare concerns isn’t buying a bunch of products. Sometimes, it could just be as easy as avoiding burgers and fries every day.
4. Sort Out Your Priorities
Once your self-analysis is done, it’s time to figure out your intentions. What is your purpose on your skincare journey? What do you want to accomplish, and more importantly, what do you want to accomplish first?
When you’re just starting out, you can’t treat everything at once. Take it a step at a time and address issues one after the other. Settle your priorities and then order them, whether it’s acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, blackheads, or just the general texture of your skin.
5. Settle a Budget
Skincare isn’t cheap—or at least, good skincare isn’t cheap. Before you get overwhelmed by the cost of skincare, keep in mind that skincare isn’t an expense, it’s an investment. Good quality cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, and serums can cost anywhere from P250 to P1,000. The more “advanced” level products can exceed P1,000, but if you’re just starting out, it might be best to stick to the products under P1,000.
We’ll get to skincare routines and steps in another story, but here’s the gist: you should have, at minimum, four steps in your skincare routine: cleanser, serum or treatment, moisturizer, and sunscreen. With four steps, you’ll need four products. A budget of P2,000 to P3,000 for your products could last you three months or even more, but as we said, good skin is an investment.
6. Start Product Canvassing
Now, you’re ready. Now, you’re equipped with all the knowledge you need to find the skincare products for you—and you won’t be wasting your money this time around. When canvassing men’s skincare products, remember that there is no product that will fix everything. Zero in on products that will suit your skin type and address your problem areas, all while staying within budget.
Consider a few lifestyle changes to assist your skincare routine. Change your pillowcases every other day, avoid oily food, and try not to touch your face after touching your keyboard or doorknob.
Skincare is a journey, so it might take some time, but you’ll get that glow-up eventually.
*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.