The beauty industry is slowly expanding to welcome more men into the conversation with new celeb-backed lines and innovative products that are inclusive. However, men’s education on skin care is likely not as deep as women who have been exposed to it since their teenage years. On Instagram, we let men ask their biggest skin-care questions so we could have them answered by some of our top doctors.
“What’s a simple and easy-to-do yet effective skin-care routine for men?”
“The simplest routine is to wash your face twice a day. Depending on your location and the season, it would be reasonable to incorporate moisturizer and retinol,” says West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD. “I think that using an exfoliator to get rid of the damaged skin cells is a good idea as well.” Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias notes that applying sunscreen is also essential.
“Scalp care. How do I treat the eczema under my hair without drying out my hair?”
This man is on trend as scalp care is having a real moment right now. For this specific issue, Dr. Beer recommends trying a biologic modifier, such as Dupixent, or a foam formulation. However, Dr. Elias notes that eczema under your hair might not be true eczema. He recommends trying Nizoral Shampoo ($17). If the condition doesn’t improve, he suggests following up with a board-certified dermatologist.
“How do I reduce the appearance of my pores?”
This “question” was just submitted as “pores,” which is honestly the age-old question. How do we get our pores to disappear? Well, sorry to tell you that you can’t shrink the size of your pores. However, you can refine them and reduce their appearance.
Dr. Elias says retinoids can help improve the look of pores. He and Dr. Beer note that laser and light devices like Fraxel and Clear and Brilliant can also help. When shopping for over-the-counter products look for those with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid.
“How do you know what skin type you have so you can choose the right products?”
If we’re going basic here, the options are oily, dry, normal and combination. Your skin type would depend on if your skin is more oily and acneic or dry and rough or somewhere in between. To get more specific, Dr. Elias recommends seeing a board-certified dermatologist who can give you personalized recommendations. He says looking at the Baumann Skin Types and deciphering which most closely reflects your skin can also be helpful.
“How do you get rid of acne scars?”
This is one of the toughest questions in skin care for men and women alike. Dr. Elias recommends seeing a board-certified dermatologist to better understand the type and depth of the scars. He notes that there may be reasonable options such as over-the-counter topicals—like resurfacing and brightening products—or devices like lasers and microneedling. Dr. Beer says he sometimes injects filler into deep rolled scars, while in other cases, he uses a laser, like Fraxel, to address scars.
“Besides moisturizer and sunscreen, what else should I put on my face every day?”
Dr. Elias recommends implementing some sort of vitamin A cream, either an over-the-counter retinol or a prescription retinoid, only to be used at night. In addition to retinol, Dr. Beer suggests using antioxidant products, which helps prevent damage from free radicals and environmental aggressors.
“What are three things to keep in mind when caring for your skin?”
“It’s the only skin you’ve got, so take care of it,” says Dr. Beer. “Use products that feel good and also help your skin look and feel its best.” Dr. Elias kept his advice even more simple: “Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.”
“Is CeraVe a good brand for men’s skin care?”
Truthfully, in very straight-to-the-point yet still confusing man fashion, this question came into my inbox simply as “CeraVe?” The brand makes excellent unisex products for skin, says Dr. Elias, noting that he particularly likes their moisturizers and cleansers. “The ceramide found in the product mimics the ceramide of the skin,” explains Dr. Beer.
“What’s a good starter regimen when lost on where to start?”
Dr. Elias recommends following the four pillars of skin care. “Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, moisturize, apply sunscreen and finally, use a retinoid at night.” Keep it simple when you begin. Dr. Beer suggests using an exfoliating product a few times a week and then a mild face wash like Neutrogena and retinol or tretinoin daily.
“Is it okay to use body wash as shampoo?”
The experts were perplexed by this question. “Live large and get a product for each region,” suggests Dr. Beer. “The body wash can stay on the hair. It won’t harm anything, but it will look funny.” This question just resulted in more questions from Dr. Elias like, “Why?” and “What kind of body wash?”