Skincare is something that a majority of guys take for granted, probably for a number of reasons. It could be because we are lazy. It could be that we don’t think we need it. Or it’s likely the thought of caking a bunch of shit onto our faces before bed is quite emasculating.
Confession: when I referred to other men, I’m really just referring to myself about five years ago. Wash my face? Ha, that’s what the shower is for! Then, I started to notice my girlfriend spending 30 minutes in the bathroom before bed and it wasn’t because she was on the toilet. I have to admit she had a slight influence on taking this very important hygienic step in my life. After all, she’s the one that has to look at this ugly mug every day for the rest of her life.
When I first started up my nightly skincare routine, the act of spending 15 minutes lubing up my face with half a dozen products didn’t feel right. But I can say the results have been worth it. My face has cleared up, skin is looking so young and refreshed, plus I’m getting ID’d at the bar more and more and it’s not because I have the acne of an adolescent teen. Skincare isn’t just about avoiding breakouts, it’s about keeping your face looking as youthful as time will allow. With all that said, I’m going to take you through my nightly skincare routine, along with some other important tips to keeping your face in top form.
Step 1. Cleanser
First step to your nightly routine is to give your face a deep clean. Pretty easy process, all you need is some cleanser, running water, and a wash cloth. First, I wet the washcloth with warm water and apply to face until it’s damp. Next, I lather up a washcloth with a cleansing cream and rub it onto my face until I resemble a circus clown (forehead, nose, neck, etc.). Once on your face, wipe off with said washcloth. Once cleanser is fully removed I pat my face down with a dry towel feeling as refreshed as a beer at a ballgame. I’ve sampled countless face washes over the years but the Noxzema Classic Clean is my favorite.
Step 2. Toner
Toner pads help do it all. They clean the skin, minimize the appearance of pores, prevent new zits, and support natural cell turnover. They’re also known to assist with anti-aging as they reduce fine lines and wrinkles. With all those positives you’d think they smell like pure rubbing alcohol but in actuality they have the aroma of a peach bellini. I’m a long time user of the Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion pads, but as of late I’ve switched over to the Counterman Clarifying Toner Pads.
A couple pro tips on toner pad usage: First, they have two sides, one a little more rugged to help exfoliate your skin and the other for a deeper clean. Secondly, to get more bang for your buck consider cutting your pads in two for them to last twice as long.
Step 3. Protein Serum
This brings us to the manliest product I’m going to talk about: PROTEIN. Dudes love protein, we yearn for protein. This Jack Black protein serum is consistent with other reasons for protein consumption: it’s directly tied to being aesthetically appealing to the opposite sex. I refer to this as the magic potion. The genie in a bottle. The secret sauce. Two pumps of the serum are plenty to rub into your face, helping you achieve Benjamin Button type results. After this is applied I usually like to let it soak in for a couple minutes before moving to the next step (fill the time by brushing your teeth).
Step 4. Eye Cream
Eye cream is a necessity if you want to battle Crow’s Feet and fight those inevitable bags growing under your eyes. Those long days at the office and late nights playing video games are eventually going to appear on your face, and eye cream is the best defense in the league. Throw a little on your middle finger and pat around your orbital bone, up to the outer corner of your eye. It’s the second most metro-sexual thing you can do right behind wearing a male romper. I’ve yet to discover a notable difference between eye creams, so for recs I will defer to her.
Step 5. Moisturizer
A lot of men make the mistake of using body lotion on their face, though I would recommend investing in a moisturizer geared specifically for your mug. I’m a huge fan of the Jack Black Clean Break moisturizer, and recently started using the Counterman Oil-Free Face Lotion. Much like the protein serum, give a couple pumps and simply rub into your face and neck. Not only do I use this to finish off my nightly routine, I also apply in the morning after I shower. This moisturizer will make your face feel as quenched as a Gatorade after a night of Fireball. If you’re looking for a daytime moisturizer for days out in the sun, Jack Black’s Double Duty moisturizer features SPF 20.
That’s it, you’re finished! See, wasn’t that painless? If you felt that was a little overwhelming, I used to be right there with you. As a starting point I would recommend Steps 1 and 5. This will give you a good wash and refresh. Try it for a couple weeks (or months, or years) and once you get comfortable we can open up the playbook a bit to include all steps. As when you starting enjoying adult beverages, stick with the shit beers first and eventually you’ll be ready for some craft IPA’s.
Beginner: Cleanser and Moisturizer
Intermediate: Cleanser, Eye Cream, Moisturizer
Advanced: Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Eye Cream, Moisturizer
Now that we’ve established a nightly routine, here are 4 additional measures I’ve incorporated into my daily habits to promote healthy skin.
Remember that scene in Home Alone when Kevin McAllister slaps Brute on his cheeks and screams in agony? I never did understood alcohol based aftershaves. Not only are they uncomfortable to apply, they dry the fuck out of your skin. Avoid them like that co-worker who always says “hey we should get together outside of work.” Art of Shaving has a plethora of high quality shaving products, but my favorite is their Lavender Moisturizing After Shave. It has a subtle yet refreshing scent and will make you ditch your Grandfather’s aftershave forever.
I don’t care how big of a badass you think you are, the one thing you’re not tougher than is the sun. While we all want that mocha colored skin, it can come at a price. Neutrogena makes an oil-free facial sunscreen that’s going to protect your face while minimizing that greasy feel that inevitably accompanies most sunscreens. Sun damage is one of the biggest contributors to early aging, so don’t hit the beach without it or skin will soon resemble an old leathery baseball mitt.
Most fats are bad, but Omega 3 fatty acids are good. I take two of these puppies every morning. Fish oil is packed with benefits for the bros, which include but are not limited to heart, prostate, joint and mental health. Though as it applies to this article, studies show fish oil is also tied to hair and skin strength. Move over milk, it’s Omega 3’s that do a body good.
You’re a grown fucking man, is it really necessary to explain why it’s vital to drink water? You could follow every step above, but if you consistently have cotton mouth than it’ll all be for naught. So carry around a water bottle with you and aim for 100 ounces a day. If that’s tough to gauge just drink enough water so that your piss color resembles a glass of Pinot Grigio. That’s what we call championship level hydration.