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Skin care is usually unisex (aside from shaving the face, of course); no matter your gender, a gentle cleanser and ingredients such as Vitamin C, resveratrol, BHA, and AHA all benefit skin and improve signs of aging, breakouts, clogged pores, and sun damage. It's a common misperception that men don't care about their skin, or wouldn't jump at the chance to banish blemishes, reduce sun damage, lighten brown spots, and look less wrinkled.
In fact, judging from the number of questions we get from men, there are many guys out there who want guidance in finding the products that best fit their needs.
We've compiled the top five products men should definitely not be without, all based on the most common questions we're asked by guys.
Skin-care products aimed at men are too often poorly formulated, and we mean really bad formulas! Many men's lines load their products with fragrance and other irritating ingredients (talk about a burn!). There are far better options available, including many in less-than-masculine containers; however, if great skin care is the goal, it shouldn't matter what the packaging looks like!
Here are five power-players to help get his skin clean, smooth, and younger looking, plus treat issues like ingrown hairs, breakouts, bumps, and dark spots. These are a man's all-star, best-status products for getting (and keeping) his skin in great shape.
This first step is often the most overlooked—a gentle cleanser that washes away sweat, oil, and grime without taking away the substances that keep his mug healthy. Bar soap may seem masculine (anyone remember soap-on-a-rope?), but it's actually one of the worst cleansing options. The residue that bar soap leaves behind and its drying nature plays havoc with skin, leading to dullness and a rough texture, even itchy skin.
Consider an "all-in-one" product, such Paula's Choice All-Over Hair and Body Shampoo! It is a super-light gel cleanser with enough foam to impress most guys and it works for skin and for hair. Bonus: Many of our male customers and staffers love the All-Over as a shave gel due to its unique formula, making it a 4-in-1 product! You can also consider using a good, non-creamy body wash as shampoo. We like those from St. Ives and Dove Men + Care. Of course, if you want a separate face and body wash, you can also consider the gentle gel formula of PC4MEN Face Wash and go for a gentle, soap-free body wash.
If your skin is dry and needs something a little more moisturizing, Moisture Boost One Step Cleanser is the ideal product to prime your face for shaving and products to follow, without leaving skin dry or tight. Dry skin below the neck? Then go for a moisturizing body wash from brands such as Dove and Olay.
If your arms and legs have red bumps resembling chicken skin, the perfect treatment to tackle those plus face breakouts, ingrown hairs, or post-shave redness is Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA. It works to smooth rough, bumpy skin on the body—the super-sheer lotion consistency vanishes into the skin and helps unclog pores, reduce redness and ingrown hairs, and hydrate without feeling slick or heavy.
If you have large pores, facial breakouts, and ingrown hairs from shaving, the must-have product no other men's line offers is PC4MEN Soothe + Smooth. It's water-light texture glides on right after shaving to reduce redness and irritation, all while powering skin to look and act younger, no gym membership required!
Don't write off a serum because you're not sure what they are or whether you need one. Serums can be excellent double-duty products for guys. Simply put, a serum is a more concentrated treatment-type product that, with the right formula, can smooth skin (so you can skip the moisturizer) as it lays down anti-aging ingredients to improve wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and other signs of too many days in the sun (before you knew better, of course)!
With few exceptions, the best serums aren't found in men's lines but in mainstream lines that cater to either gender. Our top picks for guys:
You know that pimple or red mark that's bugging you? We bet you want it gone as fast as possible. Rather than work your way through the drugstore spot-treatments that leave dry, peeling, or irritated skin in their wake, check out a unique spot treatment, Paula's Choice Resist BHA 9!
BHA 9 uses a proprietary time-release technology that dramatically improves stubborn imperfections, from rough patches of skin, post-breakout red marks, new pimples, and even dark spots and large pores. Just a little dab is like bringing in the "big guns," without waging war on his skin. It's so effective, you might be tempted to whisper, "Say hello to my little friend," while applying to the offending blemish. Come on, would Al Pacino back down from a fight with a breakout? We think not!
At night, a guy needs to fuel his skin with skin-repairing ingredients that strengthen and firm. If dry skin is the issue, PC4MEN Nighttime Repair is the perfect amount of moisture (without being greasy). If you have normal to oily skin, then a gel or liquid, such as our Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum or Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner is all you need!
During the day, to minimize the damaging effects of unprotected sun exposure (think wrinkles, mottled skin, and, potentially, skin cancer), a great broad spectrum sunscreen is a must for Superman-like skin. Applying a daytime moisturizer with SPF is like wearing a seatbelt—it's a life-saver! Seriously, don't get us started on the ravages skin cancer can take on your skin, not to mention your entire body. Nothing about that is manly or dignified!
Guys with normal to oily skin, slather on Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy SPF 50 from the neck down (exposed skin only). It's a sheer lotion loaded with antioxidants like vitamins C and E plus anti-irritants. For sun protection on the face without a trace of oil or shine, try PC4MEN Daytime Protect SPF 30. More top-rated lightweight sunscreens are found here.
Men, you've told us that you do care about your skin and overall appearance, and we want to make it easy for you. A good skin-care routine is essential, and we promise that following one daily will have you smiling at the improvements you see in the mirror. And don't think that special someone in your life won't notice the change for the better, too!
The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Men's Skincare Products.
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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:
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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.
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