Good grooming habits are one way to care for yourself and put your best foot forward in the world. With so many different options for skincare, body care, and beard care for men, it can be tricky to sort out the good from the bad.
Plus, everyone has their own style of personal grooming. The products that work best vary from person to person—that 2-in-1 shampoo/body wash that works fine for your buddy at the gym might leave you with breakouts.
We’re here to guide you through the world of men’s grooming with a quick list of the basics so you can build an easy, sustainable routine that won’t break the bank.
Beard acne, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs are common for men with facial hair. Taking care of your facial hair combines hair care and skincare, so it can get complicated. To keep it simple, we broke down the basics of men’s facial hair care by whether you prefer a clean-shaven face or growing facial hair.
If you go for a clean-shaven look, your daily beard routine is just as important as your skin routine. Help prevent razor bumps by soaking your face with shaving cream for a few minutes. Follow up with a clean, sharp razor in gentle strokes that follow the grain.
Shaving creams we recommend:
If you’d like to grow out your beard, you probably won’t have to worry about razor bumps. Regular beard maintenance includes trimming, brushing, and conditioning facial hair with a product like beard oil. Avoid facial care products with ingredients like coconut oil (pore-clogging) and alcohol (irritating), which can cause breakouts and other skin concerns.
Beard oils we recommend:
Ah, the daily task of removing stink from our bodies. It’s not enough for your deodorizers of choice to have the masculine energy of an ancient ax-wielder—products with a high concentration of fragrance might be too aggressive on your skin (and your coworker’s noses). Keep in mind your product’s formula when choosing products since some ingredients might cause unexpected reactions.
It’s a routine staple: a 2017 consumer study found 75% of dudes use body wash at least a couple times a week. Body acne can be a big problem—you might start to see it pop up if you’ve been working out. We recommend using a body wash with salicylic acid to help keep skin clean and pores unclogged.
Body washes we recommend:
Pits with a manly scent just might help you get a date, but many of the products called deodorants are actually antiperspirants. Antiperspirants often contain aluminum, compared to true deodorants, which use antimicrobial agents to neutralize smell. Consider looking for deodorants labeled aluminum-free on the shelves of your local drugstore.
Practicing daily sun protection strengthens your body’s defenses against harmful UV damage, so it’s good to get in the habit of applying (and re-applying) sunscreen. There are a lot of different kinds of sunscreen out there. A non-comedogenic mineral sunscreen is a good option for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Those will work on your face, too, though you may prefer a no-white-cast sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF.
A simple, three-step skincare routine is a way to invest a few minutes of your day into your skin’s long-term health. But what kind of skincare products are best for men? In addition to wearing sunscreen, cleansing, and moisturizing, choose a skin treatment to treat your specific concerns (like acne, dark spots, or uneven skin texture).
Keeping your face clean and fresh is skincare 101, but many soaps are too harsh for the skin on your face and can strip away your skin’s natural moisture. Opt for gentle, non-clogging products designed for the face instead (especially if you’re acne-prone). Follow up your face wash with a lightweight moisturizer and broad-spectrum SPF 30+ to keep your skin hydrated and fortified. Want to know which face cleanser is right for you? Read our guide to choosing the right cleanser for your skin.
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Exfoliation clears away dead skin cells, which can help smooth skin and unclog pores (and might help you look like Pharrell Williams). Exfoliation doesn’t need to be done daily—in fact, it’s generally recommended to exfoliate 1-3 times weekly, tops. Physical exfoliants like konjac sponges buff the skin. If that’s not your thing, you might want to use a chemical exfoliant instead.
Chemical exfoliants we recommend:
Skin concerns like acne and dark spots may not go away with over-the-counter products. That’s when it’s time to call in the experts. Prescription-strength ingredients like tretinoin can help clear blemishes and improve signs of aging more effectively than their drugstore counterparts, saving you time and money. You can get prescription skincare sent to your door when you become a Curology member.
Signing up for a trial of Curology is easy and free. Just tell us about your skin and send us some pictures. A dermatology provider licensed to practice in your state will evaluate your skin and consult with you about treatment. If Curology is right for you, we’ll send you 30 days of your Custom Formula, plus our other recommended skincare products, for just $4.95 to cover shipping and handling.
Don’t want to read all that? We’ll make it simple: Curology is taking the guesswork out of skincare with simple, affordable, dermatologist-designed products. Just easy, effective skincare that you don’t have to think about. Try it for free.
We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).