As the saying goes, “hydration is key.” And when it comes to skincare routines, this couldn’t be more accurate. Men’s skin is unique, and its moisturizing needs vary depending on factors like skin type, including dry skin and oily skin, and oil production levels.

For men, the concept of moisturizing, applying creams, lotions, and emollients might seem foreign; it isn’t often discussed in male grooming circles.

For far too long men’s skin care has been decidedly simplistic, often reduced to the basic act of washing the face with soap and water. However, growing evidence underscores the importance of a more comprehensive skincare routine, particularly the inclusion of moisturizing, for men.

Doing so helps retain skin elasticity, prevent premature aging, and protect the skin from environmental aggressors such as pollution, UV rays, and harsh weather conditions.

Let’s delve deeper into why moisturizing is crucial for men:

Naturally Thicker Skin Must Be Hydrated

By some estimates, men’s skin is approximately 25% thicker than women’s – that’s a significant difference! This is largely due to the influence of certain hormones like testosterone. However, thicker doesn’t necessarily mean more resilient. Men’s skin can be more susceptible to dehydration due to higher rates of sebum production. Sebum is the skin’s natural oil, and while it serves to protect the skin, it can also lead to excess oiliness and even block the skin’s natural moisture retention capabilities.

Therefore, moisturizing for men is crucial to maintain a healthy balance of skin oils and hydrating the deeper layers of the skin. Regular application of a good quality moisturizer can help reinforce the skin’s natural defenses and promote optimal functionality.

Shaving Stresses Skin and Can Lead to Dehydration

Shaving is part of many men’s everyday routine, but despite its ubiquity, it can have adverse effects on your skin. Shaving can cause microscopic abrasions, remove the outermost layer of skin, and strip the skin of its natural oils – all of which can further exacerbate dryness and lead to irritation, redness, and even increased susceptibility to bacterial infections. A quality moisturizer used post-shave can replenish lost moisture, soothe shaved skin, and act as a barrier, protecting raw skin.

Moreover, moisturizers containing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and tea tree oil offer soothing, calming, and antibacterial properties, which can be particularly beneficial for shaved skin.

Moisturizers With SPF Provide Essential Sun Protection

Once you step outside, your skin is exposed to the harsh UV rays of the sun. While some exposure is beneficial for vitamin D production, too much can lead to a host of skin health concerns including premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and an increased risk of skin cancer. As per the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s recommended to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Incorporating a moisturizer that includes SPF into your skincare routine will not only hydrate your skin but also protect it from sun damage. This is particularly beneficial for men, who may feel more comfortable applying a single product rather than layering a moisturizer and sunscreen separately. Doing so simplifies the skincare routine without compromising on protection.

Anti-Aging Benefits

While our buddy Ponce de León might have been unsuccessful in his quest for the Fountain of Youth, modern men have a powerful tool in their anti-aging arsenal – moisturizer. Fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots can be exacerbated by dry skin, and maintaining skin hydration can help slow the visual markers of aging.

So if you want to keep a youthful complexion, consider integrating a moisturizer into your routine. Look for products with anti-aging ingredients such as retinol, hyaluronic acid, and peptides that can help boost collagen production, increase cell turnover, and hydrate the skin on a deeper level.

How Often to Moisturize

Men often get tripped up on how often to use moisturizer. In general, it’s recommended to moisturize twice daily, morning and night. After cleansing your face with a mild facial cleanser, while your skin is still slightly damp, apply a dollop of moisturizer and massage it into your skin. Applying moisturizer to damp skin helps to lock in moisture, enhancing its hydrating effects. For example, you might want to consider products like Huron’s Face Moisturizer covered here, which are specifically designed for men’s skin.

Post-shave, moisturizing is especially crucial as it can soothe the skin and prevent it from drying out or becoming irritated. If you shave daily, make sure to follow up your shaving routine with a good moisturizer. This boosts the skin’s natural barrier and helps prevent razor burns or bumps.

Considering environmental factors like temperature and humidity changes throughout the day, an extra application of moisturizer could be beneficial. These elements can strip away the necessary natural skin oil, leaving your skin dry. So, if you’re spending more time outdoors, continually exposed to central heating or air conditioning, or living in a particularly dry climate, an extra application of moisturizer can help maintain skin hydration.

Tips for Moisturizing Your Face

Adding moisturizing to your skincare routine is one thing, but doing it correctly is something else. Adopting the following habits, as suggested by experts at Tools of Men, can significantly enhance your moisturizing routine:

  1. Know your skin: Understanding your skin type—oily, dry, combination, or sensitive—can help you select the right moisturizer, whether that’s a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer or a heavier cream with added emollients.
  2. Clean before moisturizing: Always cleanse your face before applying moisturizer. This removes dirt and excess oil that can prevent moisturizers from being absorbed. Using a towel for gentle exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin cells, revealing a fresh layer ready for moisturizing.
  3. Use the right quantity: Too much moisturizer can clog pores and cause breakouts, while too little won’t be effective. Approximately a coin-sized amount should suffice. And remember, if you’re using a moisturizer with potent active ingredients or retinol, less is often more to avoid irritation.
  4. Don’t forget your neck: The skin on your neck is thin and often overlooked. Extend your moisturizing routine to your neck to keep it soft and healthy. Similarly, do not forget to pamper the delicate skin around the eyes with an eye cream loaded with nourishing ingredients.
  5. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can be drying. Look for alcohol-free moisturizers when choosing one for your skincare routine.