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What are the skin care products men need?

Everyone is going to have slightly different needs and preferences when it comes to skincare, and while in the past, men may have been told that they don’t need any specific skincare, that’s simply not true. Your skin, especially the skin on your face, is delicate. And because it’s exposed to the elements more than any other part of your body, it requires a bit more care. A good cleanser and moisturizer are great starting points, and a toner is another important step, especially for active people who may have more acne-prone skin. That’s why we designed the Train Your Skin System, to make these three steps a part of your daily routine, in one simplified process. But there are other useful components to skincare as well. Serum can also be helpful for men dealing with fine lines from aging, or certain skin issues like redness or unevenness. Sunscreen is another important addition, of course, especially for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. 

What is toner?

Toners are water-based liquids that clean and refresh the skin while also reducing the appearance of pores. For acne-prone skin, they’re an even more important step, since they can help remove unnecessary oils without stripping your skin of all moisture. They’re typically applied with a cotton pad after cleansing your face, in order to remove any impurities left behind and to boost skin’s appearance. They set the stage for moisturizing your skin, or can be used in a pinch to quickly give your skin a refreshed appearance and feeling.

Can men use women’s skincare products?

Absolutely, though you may find that your needs are slightly different. Men’s skin is similar to women’s skin, obviously, but things like facial hair and regular shaving can mean you’re looking for a different type of product. Men’s skin also tends to be a bit thicker and more oily. So, while you can absolutely use skincare made for women, borrowing skincare products from a girlfriend or roommate may not be a good idea, since your needs might differ from hers. Additionally, you may simply not like some of the fragrances that are typically used in women’s products, and prefer formulations that are designed for men or are more unisex in nature. 

Is there face cream for men?

Absolutely. There are many brands that are now designing skincare products for men, including The American Boxer. Many face creams tend to be thicker—picture a heavy lotion—and for all but the driest skin types, a full face cream may be excessive. For most men, something like our moisturizer will be ideal. Rather than a heavy cream, it’s a lightweight hydration that goes on without a trace, and leaves skin feeling gently hydrated but not greasy. 

Can you use body wash on your face?

There’s that old saying, ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.’ Body wash, especially formulations targeted at men, tends to be harsher than a face wash, and rarely contains the same high-quality ingredients, especially if you’re buying your body wash at a grocery store. Body wash works great for dealing with intrusive body odor, but it comes at the cost of being much more caustic and moisture-stripping. It also often has certain fragrances and dyes added that may not irritate your body, but will irritate your face. (To learn more, Insider has a great piece on this topic!)

Can you use face wash instead of body wash?

You can, but you may not get the results you’re hoping for. See the question above: Body wash is tougher on skin because it needs to be in order to penetrate your thicker, tougher skin on the rest of your body. Face wash might work in a pinch, but it will be gentler and might not have the same odor-fighting deep clean that you’re looking for. Additionally, this is a pricey habit to develop, since face wash tends to be a bit more expensive, and often comes in smaller volumes.

Are moisturizer and lotion different?

Definitely. In terms of actual makeup, moisturizer is a thicker cream while lotion is more water-based and liquidy as a result. And in terms of what each does, moisturizers are able to more deeply penetrate the skin to deliver active ingredients below the skin’s surface, while lotions sit on top of the skin to provide protection and moisture. That’s why moisturizers tend to be used on the face, while lotions are typically used on the rest of the body. 

What’s the difference between face cream and lotion?

Face creams are typically just moisturizers. However, sometimes cleansers designed to help remove makeup are referred to as face creams, so make sure you read the label before buying a random face cream to use as a moisturizer!

Are hydration and moisturizing different?

While moisturizing and hydrating are typically used interchangeably when talking about skincare, they are technically two different ways of improving skin texture and tone. Hydrating the skin refers to using ingredients like humectants, which include glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which work by hydrating skin by helping the skin itself hold water. Moisturizers, on the other hand, are oil-based and work by creating that barrier between the skin and the environment. Many moisturizers, including The American Boxer Moisturizer, contain ingredients that both hydrate and moisturize. 

Do men need face-specific skincare?

Yes. Even though men’s facial skin might be slightly thicker than women’s facial skin, it is still more delicate than other areas of the body. It’s also exposed to the sun and other environmental factors much more than any other body part (unless you’re living in a nudist colony!). Because of this, it needs a bit more TLC. A gentle cleanser, refreshing toner and a lightweight moisturizer designed for the face is an optimal way to start.

What is serum?

Serums are typically gel or thicker liquids, and they contain high concentrations of certain ingredients that play very specific roles in skincare. A serum can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores, help with redness or unevenness, or simply improve the tone and texture of skin. Some people prefer a serum to a moisturizer, especially if you’ve been acne-prone and have a fear of over-moisturizing skin. 

Do men need serum?

It depends on what your skin goals are. If you’re hoping to minimize fine lines or tackle other specific skin issues like redness or unevenness, or add more hydration, then a serum can be a great addition to a skincare routine. But unless you’re using a system like ours at The American Boxer, make sure that the serum’s ingredients pair well with the other products you’re using, since the high concentrations in them can make them more prone to irritating skin when mixed with other ingredients. For instance, a serum with retinol shouldn’t be mixed with an acne-fighting salicylic acid in a cleanser.

When does serum get applied?

Because serum typically contains hydrating ingredients, or other ingredients that need to penetrate the skin in order to perform their best, serum should be applied after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizing. Because moisturizer provides a barrier between your skin and the environment, it will also create a barrier between the serum and your skin, making it less effective.

What skincare do you need for acne?

You might think acne-prone skin means you don’t need moisturizer, but that’s actually not the case. In fact, sometimes acne can be a result of over-drying skin in an attempt to make skin less oily: It’s a vicious cycle. Using harsh cleansers and drying acne-fighting products can make your skin start to produce even more oil to help balance it out, which can lead to more acne. Keeping your skin balanced by cleansing, toning, and using a lightweight moisturizer is actually the best way to keep acne at bay, while spot-treating the specific flare-ups. It takes patience and being gentle with your skin, but a steady skincare routine is better than fighting with your skin’s natural tendencies. 

When should I apply skin care?

Skincare routines can happen in the morning, after a workout, or in the evening. Ideally, you’ll cleanse, tone and moisturize in the morning and evening, as well as after a workout that requires a shower. But aim for once a day to do all three if you can’t manage morning and evening!

Do men need to exfoliate?

Not everyone needs exfoliant, and for men who shave their faces regularly in particular, exfoliating in addition to shaving can cause too much skin removal. And avoid using harsh scrubbing tools like a loofah on your face as a physical exfoliator. Generally, those tend to be too hard on delicate skin and can cause irritation and inflammation. 

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