Men Have Skin Too: Products for the “Less Fair” Gender

Key Points

  • Men's skincare needs are a bit different than women’s needs.

  • Skincare products for men include items for cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing.

  • Brands like Drunk Elephant and Fresh carry great skincare products for men.

Skincare concerns are usually associated with women, but in the 2020s, more men realize the importance of taking care of their skin. This interest in skincare products for men has created a healthy market — and healthier skin for many members of the "less fair" sex.

At the risk of eliciting a loud chorus of "Duh," men and women are different. Men's skin is often oilier and thicker than women's. Their skincare needs are unique. To achieve and maintain healthy, glowing skin, they need to understand the variety of skincare products for men and develop a routine that works for them.

What's the Difference Between Men's Skins and Women's?

There is no visible difference between the skin of men and women. Unlike birds, the male's "plumage" is not more colorful. Of course, there are physical differences. Women's skin is softer, for example.

Other differences are not so obvious but are the reasons why men need their own skincare products and cannot share their wives', girlfriends', or sisters' stuff.

Man applying skin care product

“Men's skin has many attributes that allow it to age differently than women's skin,” says Dr. Ted Lain, a Texas-based dermatologist and physician trainer in dermatology procedures. “First, men's skin is 25% thicker due to higher collagen content. Second, the oil glands in men are more active, allowing for greater innate moisturization over the adult years.

"The aging process is more gradual from a young age in men," Lain continues, "whereas women's skin maintains thickness and moisture content consistently until menopause when decreasing estrogen levels cause dramatic changes.”

Oil Production

Men's skin typically produces more oil than women's skin and is more prone to acne and breakouts. Men produce more sebum in their skin than women due to differences in hormones.

The "male hormone" testosterone stimulates the sebaceous glands to make more sebum, which results in pimples and other breakouts.


Testosterone is also linked to skin thickness. Men's skin is thicker and tougher than women's. This makes it more resilient to aging but also more susceptible to ingrown hairs and razor burn.

Man with skin care product on face

Hormonal Changes

Women's skin becomes more sensitive and prone to breakouts due to hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy. Men's hormones generally remain stable.


Regular shaving is harsh on the skin and causes irritation, redness, and ingrown hair. Men need to choose skincare products designed to address these concerns.

Sun Exposure

Men often spend more time outdoors and are more likely to engage in outdoor activities. This puts their skin at greater risk for sun damage.

Skincare Routine for Men

Everyone's skin is different, so adjust your routine to fit your needs. Always patch-test new products to detect any skin reactions before incorporating them into your routine.


Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and sweat. Using soap strips your skin of its natural oils.


Use a gentle scrub to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Exfoliating two or three a week improves your skin's appearance.


Toning restores the skin's pH balance and tightens and refreshes the skin. Apply a toner to a cotton pad and swipe over your face, avoiding the eye area.


Apply a light, non-greasy moisturizer to hydrate your skin and lock in moisture. Look for a moisturizer with SPF if you'll be spending time outside.

Man putting skin care on face

The Best Skincare Products for Men

The best skincare products for men cater to the unique needs of men's skin.

For example, products designed for men control oil production and prevent breakouts. They contain ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores. Many men's skincare products include sunscreen or other ingredients to protect the skin from sun damage.

When it comes to men's skincare routine, ease of use is a big factor. Men often prefer simple, straightforward routines that don't involve several products. Products that are easy to apply and don't take a lot of time or effort tend to be appealing to men.


Cleansing is the foundation of any good skincare routine. It is particularly important for oilier skin.

A good cleanser removes dirt, oil, and impurities and leaves skin clean, refreshed, and ready for the rest of your skincare products.

Man using skin care product

Fresh Soy Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Fresh Soy Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is a great product for men. It's made with natural ingredients such as soy proteins and cucumber extract to gently soothe and hydrate the skin's barrier. This is important because men's skin is often more sensitive and prone to irritation.

This product effectively removes dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin without stripping away its natural oils. Over-cleansing worsens men's skin problems.

This versatile cleanser works great on all skin types, making it a great option for men who are unsure of their skin type.

The Fresh Soy Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is easy to use with a creamy texture that lathers well and rinses clean. This is appealing to men who prefer simple, straightforward skincare routines.


Exfoliation is an essential step in any good skincare routine. Sloughing away dead skin cells promotes cell turnover and leaves skin smoother, brighter, and more even.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator works wonders for men's skin. The gentle, rice-based powder and water mixture creates a creamy exfoliating paste.

This delicate formula is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. This is important for men who experience redness or irritation with harsher exfoliators.

The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator effectively removes dead skin cells and impurities, leaving skin smoother and brighter.

The exfoliator is an excellent choice for men because it is easy to use and simple to incorporate into a daily skincare routine. Mix a small amount of the powder with water to create a paste, massage it onto the skin for one minute, and rinse it off.

This product is great for men without the time or inclination to engage in a complex skincare routine. Its natural ingredients of rice enzymes, salicylic acid, and papain are gentle on the skin and promote a healthier-looking complexion.

The product also comes in a mini packaging size that's just right for the busy man on the go.


Toners are a great addition to men's skincare routine. Toners restore the skin's pH balance, which is easily disrupted by soaps or other cleansing products.

An unbalanced pH leads to issues such as dryness, irritation, and breakouts. Toners reduce the risk of these problems.

Man cleansing face

Toners remove any dirt, oil, or impurities missed during the cleansing process. This is especially important for men's skin, which tends to produce more oil and is more prone to breakouts than women's skin.

Using a toner ensures your skin is thoroughly clean and reduces the risk of acne and other skin issues.

Toners also prepare the skin for the rest of your skincare products, such as serums, moisturizers, or sunscreens. Applying a toner first ensures your other products are more easily absorbed, making them more effective.

Toners soothe and hydrate the skin. Many toners contain ingredients that calm irritation and boost hydration for men's dry, sensitive skin.

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic for Men

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic for Men invigorates and refreshes men's skin, thanks to ingredients like caffeine and vitamin C. It also removes any remaining dirt or oil and prepares the skin for the rest of your skincare routine.


Moisturizer is one of the most important steps in any skincare routine, whether you're a man or a woman. It keeps the skin hydrated and protects it from environmental stressors.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer

Drunk Elephant avoids what they call the "Suspicious 6" ingredients, which include silicones, essential oils, and fragrances. This benefits men with sensitive skin prone to irritation.

The Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer is a good choice for men who want a lightweight, hydrating, anti-aging moisturizer that does not include irritating ingredients.

Men Can Have a Great Skincare Routine

Taking care of your skin is essential for men of all ages. While skincare for men was not as popular in the past, male grooming is now a booming industry with a wide variety of skincare products designed for men.

Man with towel and skin care product

From cleansers and moisturizers to serums and exfoliators, there are many products available to help you achieve your best skin ever.

By incorporating a simple-yet-effective skincare routine into your daily regimen and selecting products that work for your unique needs, you can keep your skin looking healthy, youthful, and glowing for years to come.

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