Grooming Editor

A Guide to Basic Skincare for Men: Groom 101

The New Year is about new beginnings, starting afresh, and of course, new year’s resolutions. With the majority of us feeling mentally, physically, and financially drained after enjoying the party season, January is the ideal time to start devoting a bit more of your day to self-care. This makes it the perfect opportunity to start building the smart skincare habits that will see you reap huge benefits down the line. For this reason, as part of our Groom 101 series this month, we’re taking it right back to basics with a guide to the basics of skincare for men.

Groom 101: Basic Skincare for Men

The Fundamentals: finding out what you need from your skincare

Before we delve into any practical advice on skincare for men, it’s important to get to grips with a few fundamental ideas:

  • Your skin type – this is the most important factor to consider when figuring out what needs to be included in your routine, what products you need to choose, and which you need to stay clear of. You can read more about skin type here.
  • From your skin type, you should be able to get a good idea of what your main skincare concerns are.
  • Those with the oily skin type should choose products which aim to control levels of sebum on the skin, as well as address the problems that often come with it, such as blackheads, acne, and shine.
  • Those with dry skin should prioritise replenishing and retaining moisture, as well as removing dead skin cells, the build up of which can inhibit healthy skin function.
  • Many will also have skin of a combination type, in which the skin behaves differently depending on environmental factors, ingredients in skincare and food, or even just in different areas of the face and body.

Building your routine

Once your fundamental skincare needs have been established, building a routine based around products that address these concerns is the next step. Your overall skincare routine can be divided into four key parts, and fine tuning each of them is the easiest way to guarantee you’re getting the maximum benefits. These parts are:

  • Day Routine – daytime skincare should be simple and quick, but above all, consistent. Sparing less than 5 minutes each morning to go through the steps outlined in our simple 4-step skincare routine will have a huge payoff long term.
  • Night Routine – day routines are all about convenience, but night time routines give you the opportunity to deliver intense benefits without being bothersome. Cleansing, toning if you have oily skin or use cosmetics, and applying a night cream or anti-ageing moisturiser at night will remove impurities, and ensure you receive the maximum possible nutritive effects.
  • Facial Treatments – facial treatments that are more time and labour intensive, but deliver incredible results, such as face masks and chemical peels, need to be used less frequently. Added to this, there are many daily products such as Retinol creams or high Vitamin C concentrates that can be used daily, but should be used for limited periods of time with breaks in between, and therefore will not always form part of your daily routine.
  • Spot Treatments – building a strong routine will put you in the best possible position to ensure your skin is healthy, but spots and outbreaks, as well as dryness or oiliness, are inevitable from time to time. In these instances, rapidly acting treatments like anti-blemish creams and serums, as well as concealers, matte powders, toning pads and more can be carried with you to quickly address the issue as and when it arises.

Cleansers and Facewashes

Your facial cleanser and face wash is the foundation of your routine, and that’s why it’s extremely important you choose a product you know you can trust. Try to identify your skin type, and pick a product that is tailored to you. From their, try a few products out, and see which works best. Experimenting is crucial, as depending on how your skin responds to them, certain products will be relatively ineffective, and once you find one that works for you, your skin will be extremely grateful.

Face Scrubs and other Exfoliating Products

Face scrubs and other exfoliants both clean deep into the pores, dislodging deep lying dirt and grease, and help to buff away dead skin. Besides clearing away flakes and contributing to cleansing, this process is thought to have two major benefits: it prevents the build up of dirt and grease that leads to blemishes such as blackheads and cystic spots, and helps to speed up skin cell regeneration, causing your skin to appear refreshed and renewed. Use these once or twice each week, or more if your skin responds well to them, in order to get the maximum benefits.

Moisturisers, Anti-Ageing Treatments & Night Creams

Moisturisers perform two absolutely vital jobs for your skin. They firm and plump the skin, combating the signs of ageing, and replenish the moisture lost throughout your skin throughout the day or when cleansing. Through this latter function, a moisturiser helps to restore the skin’s barrier function, helping to prevent flaking, as well as outbreaks of blemishes. Moisturisers come in a range of styles, with some designed to be fast absorbing, more appropriate for daytime use, some packed with antioxidants and other such ingredients to maximise their anti-ageing effects, and some designed to have long lasting moisturising effects, more appropriate for night time use.

Face Masks

Face Masks are made to fill a number of different roles, but the majority can be divided into two camps. Clay and charcoal masks, as well as other cleansing masks, are applied in liquid form, allowing them to penetrate deep into the pores, before rapidly drying. Once washed away, the impurities it absorbs from deep within the pores are removed along with it, leaving your skin brighter, clearer, and free of blackheads. Moisturising masks, on the other hand, are designed to soothe inflamed or tired skin, as well as deliver intense hydrating benefits in a short period of time. This makes them an ideal treatment ahead of an important occasion, or after a big night out.

Spot Treatments and Concealers

Last on our roundup of the fundamentals of skincare for men are quick, straightforward treatments and solutions that you can deploy in response to a breakout. A blemish can catch anybody by surprise, so having a spot treatment at your disposal is always recommended. Usually formulated with a medium to high concentration of an anti-bacterial ingredient, spot treatments rapidly dry spots out, preventing them from becoming worse. This will allow them to heal much quicker, and reduce redness and inflammation. When this fails, or if you find yourself with little time to allow the blemish to heal altogether, a concealer is a fantastic way to even out your skin and hide discolouration. Read more about how to apply concealer here.

If you like this content, check out more of our skincare related blog posts. Discover the top eye creams, the best body washes, top 12 face washes, and SPF moisturisers. In addition, read about the 5 changes to your grooming routine you need to make this year. As always, for more male grooming expertise, keep up to speed with the Mankind blog.




Writer and expert

Creative storyteller. Believer in the power of natural ingredients and cruelty-free formulas. Always puts skincare first for a no-makeup look.