Men’s grooming 101: a guide to skincare for men

The best skincare products for men and how to use ‘em

Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team
Mar 28, 2019 · 6 min read

We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Hey guys. So, we know the skincare and beauty industry is oversaturated with products, many of which can seem to be targeted at women. If you’ve been looking for a solution for your skin and feel a little left out, we feel you. Men’s skin needs a little love, too! Don’t worry — we haven’t forgotten about you. Really, when it comes to skincare, it doesn’t really matter your gender. Your skin is unique, and it has a unique set of needs and preferences. That’s where we come in.

Frankly, the main difference between skincare for men and skincare for women is the packaging. Since we provide a custom formula for each member, Curology is, of course, gender-neutral — and we design the bottles to reflect our belief in simple, accessible skincare for all.

But there are some minor differences between men’s and women’s skin, mainly when it comes to beard care and/or shaving your face. As male skin is thicker, in general, they may tolerate stronger ingredients in their skincare products. But there is no “rule” — some men have sensitive skin, some women have thicker or tougher skin, etc. We’re here to make achieving great, healthy skin easy and accessible to everyone with a custom solution and the best derm-vetted product recommendations out there. Let’s get into it with our dermatology-provider-recommended men’s grooming and skincare products, plus advice on best practices.

A simple guide to men’s grooming

Men’s skincare can range from effortless to multi-step routine, depending on your (sk)individual situation. Some guys do nothing but wash their face with a cleanser in the shower, or maybe add a little moisturizer to soothe their skin after a shave. If your skin is prone to acne, sensitive, or gets irritated by shaving (for just a few examples), you might have tried everything marketed towards men in the skincare aisle at your local drugstore and been left feeling unimpressed, if not disappointed. There’s a reason for this! Just like you, your skin and its needs are unique. The ingredients in the products you use are key to treating your skin right and achieving the results you want.

Best skincare products for men

Not to toot our own horn, but Curology makes a great face cream for men. When you sign up and do a quick online consultation, we’ll hook you up with your own personal dermatology provider, who’ll recommend a custom formula including prescription-only ingredients that get to work while you sleep. To simplify the whole skincare routine thing, we’ve even got an option where you can sign up for the Curology set: a simple, gentle cleanser and your choice of moisturizer. Need to call back-up on your acne? We’ve got you covered — just slap on an emergency spot patch to help absorb pus and oil from your biggest zits. And if you suffer from stubborn body breakouts, our acne body wash is just for you. It’s all in one convenient box, delivered right to your door.

Beard care: the basics

Beard acne, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs are all common issues guys have to grapple with in their personal skincare routines. The first piece of advice Curology’s dermatology providers tend to give guys is to pay attention to the ingredients in any products you’re using on your skin.

Here’s one essential tip: avoid using aftershave, toner, or any product that contains alcohol. Astringents such as alcohol can leave the skin dried out and vulnerable to inflammation and “bad” bacteria, which also increases the likelihood you’ll get pimples, bumps, and other signs of irritation.

One more pro tip: try not to shave too close to the skin. Using an electric razor, a single-blade disposable, or a razor made specifically to avoid shaving bumps and ingrowns (such as the Bump Fighter Razor) may be helpful. The “wet shaving” technique with a single- or double-edged blade is also a popular technique. Try an electric clipper set to leave a five-o’clock shadow if you’re down to leave a little bit of stubble.

Check out our step-by-step guide to shaving your face and keeping your skin happy in the process!

Best face moisturizer for men

Whether you’ve got dry skin, oily skin, or some combination (your skin type can actually change depending on the time of year, FYI!), the right face lotion can make a big difference. The Curology moisturizers were formulated by dermatologists to be hydrating without any pore-clogging ingredients. Our complete set comes with your choice of moisturizer: gel for lightweight, cloud-like consistency or rich for deep hydration with a creamy finish.

And hey, you can always relax and treat yourself to a facial. A men’s facial is no different from the kind of facial a woman would enjoy — it just depends on your skin type! There are also plenty of face masks, treatments, serums, and other great products you can easily use at home to help with dryness, oiliness, breakouts, irritation, and any other skin condition under the sun. Check out some of our recommended face masks you can do at home. For everyday hydration, check out our recommendations of face oils that don’t clog pores, especially if you’re looking for something that 1) will hydrate, soothe, and nourish your skin all at once, and 2) you can put on before bed and leave on overnight.

Acne body wash for men

If you’re prone to breakouts on your chest and back, we feel you. Body acne (aka bacne) can be just as frustrating as the acne on your face — and may even be more stubborn.

If you want to get rid of body acne, try a body wash with salicylic acid (like the one by Curology) or a bar of zinc pyrithione soap. You can also take a look at the ingredients in your current body wash to see if any are pore-clogging. Lots of men’s body washes smell great, but can cause breakouts.

Read more in our guide to body acne.

Keep it simple, smartypants

Curology is the everyman’s one-step skincare routine — take it from the Dolan twins. Head over to to sign up for a free trial and discover the life-changing, daily-routine-simplifying magic of custom skincare for yourself. You deserve it, dude.

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Curology Team

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