Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 1/4/2022
To shave or not to shave: When it comes to guys’ skin care, that’s usually the question. While things have certainly changed in the last few decades, the average guy still doesn't spend much time thinking about his facial skin and how to care for it.
So if you’re all about what’s quick and easy — you’re not alone.
Good skin care is possible, and there are some ‘hacks’ to make taking care of your skin even easier.
Read on for the best skin care hacks for men — along with some background on why it’s important to take care of what you see when you look in the mirror.
Good skin care is about taking care of your skin, plain and simple. And you should want to do that, because well-maintained skin is going to look better, feel healthier and heal faster when injured or damaged.
Aging isn’t some magic changeover from young to old, but rather the deterioration of your body’s ability to produce new cells and keep up the pace with its various processes over time.
With your skin, aging means that you lose elasticity, your cells become less efficient and your body produces new ones more slowly, and that crucial proteins like collagen, keratin and elastin that keep your skin looking firm, glowy and youthful begin to fade and lose their efficiency.
This happens naturally for a variety of reasons related to everything from your genetics to external factors like sunlight and pollution in the air, to how much water and nutrients you’re getting.
Many of these same things also affect your body’s ability to self-regulate and prevent breakouts that cause acne and other blemishes to appear over time.
So what does skin care do for you? Over time, it can do a lot.
There are limits of course. Preventing acne and aging isn’t possible in total; you’re not going to be a wrinkle-free 120-year-old, sitting glowy and dewy by the pool.
But you can reduce the effects of factors that make acne and aging inevitable by taking care of yourself and your skin. And fortunately, you don’t need a super fancy skincare routine to get there.
A full night’s rest, sunglasses and sunscreen, and a litany of other preventative measures you can employ without the advice or assistance of a healthcare professional can contribute to a total package of skin benefits that will keep you from looking like a deflated football before you’re old enough to retire.
And of course, if you’d like to learn more about your skin type or any issues you might be experiencing, it’s always helpful to consult with a healthcare professional or provider for your best, personalized plan.
In the meantime, here are some skin care hacks for men that can help you keep your skin healthy.
Here are some ways to help get your skin in its best shape in as little time as possible — without breaking the bank.
There are some great tools for combating wrinkles available over the counter, in skin care products you can use daily with few problems.
Vitamin C is a common ingredient in products that can act as an antioxidant for your skin. It fights the free radicals that come from things like air pollution and UV rays, which can harm your cells’ ability to reproduce, and damage your collagen.
It’s also of great benefit to wound healing: Vitamin C has been shown to help you heal faster.
There’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep. Sleep offers all of your organs direct benefits like increased cellular growth and function.
People who get enough sleep also see better blood circulation and an increase in collagen and keratin production — two proteins you need for healthy skin.
Collagen is a crucial part of your skin’s firmness and bounciness, and while your body produces a supply of its own, supplementing it can help you keep up with the demands on collagen, which include protecting you from fine lines and wrinkles.
There are ways to get collagen through your diet, though the most effective mechanism to get new collagen might be through the use of some active ingredients such as vitamin C and certain types of retinoids, which can also help stimulate collagen production.
Removing oil from your face isn’t just about reducing shine. Excess oil can trap irritants and debris that can inflame your skin and cause breakouts and other cosmetic issues.
It’s also the best way to manage and prevent acne generally if you have oily skin.
At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it on drying your skin, which can have the same damaging effects as allowing it to be excessively oily.
Dry skin is dull skin, and left unaddressed, it can cause your oil glands to work overtime, creating the same problems of bacteria-supporting conditions that lead to pimples.
Moisture retention doesn’t just keep your cells looking less dry for longer — it can also help prevent blemishes from appearing. Keep your skin hydrated and it’ll look and feel better.
Bonus: Apply moisturizer to damp skin after you get out of the shower, to help lock in hydration.
Dry skin cells are a problem, but dead skin cells have the double danger of promoting bacterial growth and causing your skin to look older.
You can treat this by exfoliating in a number of ways — such as gently wiping your face with a washcloth in the shower, or through a premade facial scrub.
You might also want to look into retinoids, which act as chemical exfoliants and can sometimes be gentler than physical options.
Over-the-counter versions of retinoids offer a lot of skin care benefits (and some hazards if used improperly), but the big guns (like tretinoin) prescribed by a healthcare professional can do extra duty; they can actually boost your collagen production, too.
While the simple skin care hacks mentioned above can help you look and feel better, there's one "hack" you might want to try if you are experiencing excessively dry skin or problematic acne — and that’s consulting with a healthcare provider.
A healthcare professional may suggest some of the same tips above — as well as individualized treatment recommendations based on your skin type to better help you combat aging or acne.
Generally speaking, though, skin care for men can be relatively simple and include good habits like eating and sleeping well, and using a good sunscreen. To learn how to take care of the skin down under, check out our blog on the best way to manscape.