Facials 101: The Best Products for Men

Key Points

  • Men’s skincare products need to include essential ingredients like salicylic acid and retinol.

  • There are different types of men’s skincare products including brightening, anti-aging, and hydrating facials.

  • Some ingredients – like alcohol and added fragrances – should be avoided.

Facials have long been associated with women, but men’s skincare products are increasingly popular. Men’s skin is often thicker and oilier than women’s, which requires specialized attention and care.

Men’s skincare products offer a range of benefits, including improving skin texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, facial products help minimize the appearance of pores and address common issues like acne and razor burn. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the world of facials, this guide contains tips and discusses the many benefits of these indulgent men’s skincare products.

Man doing facial in tub

Search for These Ingredients

The best ingredients for men’s facials are those that target their unique skin concerns, such as oiliness, sensitivity, or signs of aging. By choosing the right ingredients, you’ll enjoy a facial that leaves your skin looking and feeling its best.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that’s effective at exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells, making it a popular ingredient in facial treatments for oily or acne-prone skin.


Retinol is a vitamin A derivative known for its anti-aging properties. This workhorse reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that brightens and evens out skin tone, making it a superb choice for facials targeting hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

Man using facial product

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that’s successful at hydrating the skin and plumping up fine lines and wrinkles.

Aloe Vera

This soothing natural ingredient is effective at reducing redness and inflammation, making it an excellent option for men wanting to target sensitive or irritated skin.


This powerful ingredient is known for its ability to draw impurities and toxins out of the skin, making it optimal if you have clogged pores or dull, tired-looking skin.

Avoid These Ingredients

When it comes to choosing skincare products for your face, be aware of ingredients that may irritate or damage your skin. Avoid these common irritants and toxic ingredients; they may cause more harm than good.


While fragrances are tempting, they are a common irritant or allergen for many people – especially those with sensitive skin. Look for fragrance-free products or those with natural fragrances only. 


Alcohol has drying properties and often irritates the skin. It’s commonly found in toners and astringents, but it’s better to choose alcohol-free alternatives.


Sulfates are a type of surfactant that create foam and lather in cleansers. However, they are harsh and strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Many people have adverse reactions to sulfates. 

Man applying face mask

Synthetic Colors

Synthetic colors are often added to skincare products to make them more appealing. However, these ingredients irritate the skin and may cause structural damage. Opt for products with natural coloring or no added colors.


Parabens are preservatives commonly used in skincare products to prevent bacteria growth. However, they have been associated with hormone disruption, and some studies have linked them to certain health concerns.

Harsh Exfoliants

Harsh exfoliants – such as apricot kernels – cause micro-tears in the skin and lead to irritation and inflammation. Search for products with gentle exfoliants, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs).

Different Types of Facials

The skincare market offers many products, making it a little confusing – especially for beginners – to know exactly what to buy. Never fear! Understanding the differences in formulations and how they react with the skin is easy to understand.

Deep Cleansing Facial

Deep cleansing facials clean the skin by removing dirt, oil, and even dead skin cells. This type of facial utilizes multiple techniques, including steam, extractions, and masks. These products detoxify your skin and unclog pores.

The Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator

Fresh Beauty’s The Sugar Polish Exfoliator is a gentle exfoliating scrub that removes dead skin cells and impurities, leaving the skin soft, smooth, and radiant.

The key ingredients in the Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator are brown sugar, strawberry seeds, and grapeseed oil. Brown sugar is a natural humectant that hydrates the skin, while the finely ground strawberry seeds provide gentle exfoliation. Grapeseed oil is a lightweight moisturizer that the skin absorbs easily.

The exfoliator is also enriched with vitamins C and E, which brightens and protects the skin from environmental stressors. It has a sweet, citrus scent and a creamy texture that transforms into a milky lather when you mix it with water. This makes it easy to apply and remove, leaving the skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Anti-Aging Facial

Anti-aging facials reduce the signs of aging by promoting collagen production and improving skin texture and tone. They often include exfoliation, a massage, and a mask with anti-aging ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid.

Man using facial mask product

Khiel’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide

Khiel’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It contains a combination of key ingredients that work together to provide anti-aging benefits.

Retinol stimulates collagen production, increases skin cell turnover, and reduces signs of aging. Collagen is a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Increasing your collagen production reduces indications of maturing skin.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that also stimulate collagen production in the skin.

Ceramides are lipids that occur naturally in the skin and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. They keep the skin hydrated and prevent moisture loss that contributes to the development of fine lines and wrinkles.

Together, these ingredients work to provide youthful-looking skin by stimulating collagen production, increasing skin cell turnover, and improving skin hydration and barrier function.

Acne Facial

Acne facials treat acne-prone skin by reducing inflammation and preventing future breakouts. Extractions, deep cleansing, and masks with anti-inflammatory and acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil are all acne treatments.

If you have acne-prone skin, it’s best to start slowly with a new facial routine.

“If you have problem skin, though, probably every two to three weeks is good or until it’s (acne) under control,” says Cindy Kim, the co-founder of Silver Mirror, a New York City facial “bar” that specializes in customized facial treatments.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant exfoliates and unclogs pores, leaving the skin smoother, brighter, and with a more even tone. It contains two percent salicylic acid (BHA), which penetrates deeply into the pores to dissolve oil, dead skin cells, and other debris that contributes to acne, blackheads, and enlarged pores.

Applying a face mask

The product is made with green tea extract, a potent antioxidant that helps to soothe and protect the skin from environmental damage. It’s also enriched with chamomile extract, known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is particularly beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin because it reduces the appearance of blemishes and prevents future breakouts.

Brightening Facial

Brightening facials improve the overall appearance of the skin by reducing discoloration and improving your skin tone. Brightening facials include exfoliation, a massage, and a mask that features brightening elements like vitamin C and licorice extract.

SK II Facial Treatment Essence

SK II Facial Treatment Essence is a popular brightening product that improves the appearance of your skin texture, tone, and radiance. It’s a clear, lightweight liquid that contains a high concentration of Pitera — a natural ingredient that is derived from yeast fermentation.

Pitera is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are essential for healthy skin. It promotes cell renewal and repair, increases skin hydration, and improves skin texture by plumping firmness.

SK II Facial Treatment Essence is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It can be used twice daily after you cleanse and tone. Simply pour a small amount of the product into the palm of your hand and pat it onto the face and neck. Make sure to avoid the eyes and lips. Follow up with your regular moisturizer and sunscreen during the day.

Using face skincare product

Give Facials a Chance!

Facials are a great way for men to improve the health and appearance of their skin. With a variety of facial treatments available, choose a facial that meets your individual needs and concerns. Whether it’s deep cleansing, anti-aging, hydrating, acne-fighting, or brightening, a new facial routine will improve your skin in no time.

It’s important to consult with a skincare professional to determine the best facial treatment for your skin type. With regular facial treatments and a quality at-home skincare routine, you can achieve healthier, smoother, and more youthful-looking skin. Take the time each day to pamper yourself with a facial and invest in your skin’s health and well-being.

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