If you’ve noticed an increase in men paying attention to their skin, it’s not a coincidence. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of more men investing in skin-care products and treatments. A survey conducted by the research firm Mintel found that 58 percent of men aged 18-24 and 54 percent of men aged 25-34 in the U.S. use facial skin care. Due to the growing demand, many skin-care brands have created and marketed products specifically for men. As access to a wide range of male-centric solutions grows, more members of the opposite sex are adding facial cleansers, moisturizers, anti-aging creams, and treatments to their grooming routines. Here, top dermatologists share the best ways men can start treating and taking care of the body’s largest organ—after sunscreen of course.
For younger men just getting started with skin care, New York dermatologist dermatologist Elaine Kung, MD recommends using simple products like The Ordinary Granactive Retinol ($12) paired with The Ordinary MultiPeptides with Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($31). “However, for the over 40 age group, I recommend investing in skin-care hybrids. The skin-care hybrids are pricier, but they are one-stop shops for most of the necessary ingredients for good skin health.”
“Men can be stubborn and tend to think it’s not manly to take care of their skin or undergo anti-aging and rejuvenating procedures and surgeries, but believe it or not, there is a large percentage of men that do this secretively since it’s still thought to be taboo,” says New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. “After sunscreen, I recommend washing daily and using an occasional scrub, along with a daily moisturizer,” she says.
Her picks? The same she recommends to her plastic surgeon son, Dr. Andrew Peredo. “I personally use baby shampoo daily and AlumierMD Microderm Polish Face Scrub ($68),” he adds.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
“Moisturizing reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and plumps the skin, producing a more supple and youthful look,” says New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD. “I highly recommend our PSD Antioxidant Moisturizer and Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($54) for the face and neck.”
Use Skin-Friendly Ingredients
“Hydrate and moisturize,” says Eagan, MN dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD. “This includes using a ceramide and antioxidant-rich lotion with the appropriate SPF after all bathing, showering, and face washing. I recommend using a gentle cleanser followed by my Dr. Crutchfield’s Natural Skin Cream ($99), which is especially helpful for the face and neck.”
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
The first rule of fight club might be never talking about fight club, but the first rule of skin care is using sunscreen and you better believe dermatologists are going to talk about it. “It has to be SPF 30 or higher,” says Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley Loss, MD. “I love Elta MD UV Clear ($41) because it’s light weight, doesn’t smell like sunscreen, doesn’t make you look white and pasty.”
At night, Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD recommends increasing skin cell turnover with a retinoid. “Given their more heavily sebaceous skin, most men tolerate a prescription retinoid. My favorite is Altreno Tretinoin, 0.05% lotion,” she says. “As a lotion, it spreads easily and its base contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and powerful humectants that maintain the skin barrier to reduce irritation. Although its FDA indication is for acne, like other retinoids, Altreno is effective to reduce the signs of both aging and photoaging.”
Polish + Reset
Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill says the perfect nighttime routine for men includes the basics: cleanse, exfoliate, anti-age and moisturize. “Men should exfoliate once or twice a week depending on their skin type. In addition to that, I advise using an anti-aging serum, a vitamin C, a retinol, and a hydrating moisturizer.”
“I think another must for men is to treat yourself to a hydration facial especially as you get older,” says Louisville, KY, dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD. “As a side note, men need to make it to the salon and amp up their game. Pedicures are a must. I am amazed at how bad male feet are—get working on them!”
Wearing daily sunscreen is the number-one tip Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD recommends to male patients, and beyond that her top tip includes laser skin resurfacing. “Resurfacing and tightening devices such as Clear + Brilliant can make a major difference to the skin.” Dr. Segal recommends her male patients use Alastin Skin Nectar as part of their skin care routine.
Frown Line Fix
For both her Louisiana and Texas male patients, Southlake, TX and Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD offers several no-downtime treatments to help reverse signs of aging. “Daxxify is the newest FDA-approved neurotoxin that I think is a great choice for men because it lasts up to six months requiring appointments only twice a year, instead of every three to four months like other neurotoxins,” she explains. “Most guys don’t mind coming in every six months for subtle treatments to keep them looking their best.”
“Absolutely, the number-one thing guys need to do is use sunscreen,” says Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby. “Men have the advantage over women of having more oil glands, which keeps your skin better lubricated along with creating a better barrier and less wrinkles. But I do find the men that exfoliate whether it’s by skin care like a peel or by a device like a CO2 peel, their skin stays healthier and more youthful-looking.”
Resurface + Remodel
“Morpheus8 is a great new treatment to help with pores, texture, and wrinkles on the skin with minimal downtime,” says Baton Rouge, LA dermatologist Ann Zedlitz, MD. “Morhpeus8 helps to contour the jawline, increase collagen levels, reduce scars, and smooth out texture. Men suffer from these concerns too.”
Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD says men get fillers, too, despite it not being spoken about as often. “Men often don’t consider doing injections or minor laser work. Generally, Botox and fillers can make as much, if not more, of a difference in men than women as the benefits are significant,” he says. “The challenge is to get men to consider taking the plunge. Volume loss happens in both men and women, so it is essential to consider the thought of replenishing the loss.”
Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
“For sun damage, redness, enlarged pores pores and general skin rejuvenation and evening out skin tone, my most popular procedure for men is an IPL and PDL V-beam PhotoFacial,” says Studio City, CA dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD. “Starting with a series of three and then once a year for maintenance, I like to combine the IPL and V-beam to address sun damage, brown spots as well as redness and broken blood vessels. A Photofacial is the most effective way to stave off brown spots and red vessels that come with the aging skin on the face and neck.”