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The Manual

5 Skincare Mistakes Most Men Make

by Matthew Taylor Ruggieri on February 13, 2016.

Does the term ‘skincare’ fill you with uncertainty? Do you have a skincare regimen? The fact is that most men don’t use any skincare products at all. The biggest skincare mistake that the majority of men make is simply that they don’t spend any time on skincare. Don’t worry. Taking the time to give your skin a little extra attention isn’t hard. Find out the 5 mistakes you might be making in your skincare regimen and what you should be doing instead.


Don’t feel intimidated if you have no idea what your skin type is. It’s not some wispy, hard-to-define idea like “what’s your astrological sign?” Seriously, why does anyone care about horoscopes? Here are some basic guidelines to help you determine your skin type.

Normal skin is the Goldilocks of skin types: it’s not too dry or too oily, and it’s not too sensitive either. If you have shiny skin, dilated pores, and are prone to blackheads, you most likely have an oily skin type. On the other end of the spectrum is dry skin. Dry skin is characterized by red patches, more visible lines, and an overall rough complexion. Combination skin, as you might guess, can exhibit traits of normal, dry, and oily skin in different areas of the face. It’s especially common for people with combination skin to have an oily T-zone.

Remember: like Brad Pitt’s facial hair, your skin type can change over time. Pay attention to your skin—you don’t have to stick with one face wash until the end of time. Your days of boring old bar soap are over.


If you’re like most men, you might just wash your face with regular old bar soap. Soap is soap, right? Nope! This is a definite skincare faux pas, as bar soap is incredibly drying. Every man should be familiar with his skin type so he can choose the best facial cleanser suited for his skin.

For quick reference, cream-based facial cleansers are best for normal to dry skin types, while gel or foaming cleansers are right for normal to oily skin. Every man should have a trusty facial cleanser. Check out some here; you can even search by skin type! If you have sensitive skin, learn more about how to find products that won’t irritate your skin here.

If you’ve been using bar soap until now, the sheer amount of cleanser choices might feel overwhelming. We recommend checking out the Ursa Major skin care line’s face wash, Baxter of California’s daily face wash (for all skin types, even sensitive skin), and the Jack Black glycolic facial cleanser (best for combination and oily skin.)


Using a daily moisturizer—especially one with SPF 15 or 30—is essential for hydration. You shouldn’t just reserve SPF for summer days at the beach. Prevent skin cancer and keep your skin looking as bright and fresh as Ashton Kutcher’s with a good moisturizer. (Kutcher really does have incredible skin—Google him and be amazed.)

Peruse these moisturizers. Again, you can easily search by skin type. Try to choose one with SPF, as it’ll do double-duty in terms of hydration and sun protection. For example, this Malin Goetz moisturizer has SPF 30 and green tea anti-oxidants, which slow down the appearance of aging.

Imperial Barber Products offers an after-shave balm and moisturizer that even sensitive skin loves. If your skin is oilier, look into Apivita’s Moisturizing Gel Cream—it helps regulate your skin’s oil production. 


Your beard may be so epic that you could be on IFC’s Whisker Warsbut that still doesn’t mean that you can forget about the skin underneath your awe-inspiring facial hair. A common mistake many men make is neglecting to thoroughly cleanse and care for every part of the face.

When cleansing, always make sure that your face wash completely permeates your facial hair and reaches the skin underneath. Watch out for dryness, redness, and blemishes under your beard that don’t occur on other sections of your face. This is a sign that it needs a little extra TLC and that you should experiment with some beard-specific skincare products.

In addition to choosing the right facial cleanser for your skin type, pre-shave oil is important for moisturizing and protecting your skin when you have facial hair. Check out Baxter of California’s Shave Tonic and Imperial Barber Products’ Pre-Shave Oil. Both include important oils and vitamins essential to reducing redness and irritation, and maintaining healthy skin when shaving.


News flash: all shaving razors are not created equal. Make sure your razors are a cut above the rest by investing in good-quality razors. Not only do they give you the closest shave possible, but they also really do make a difference in maintaining healthy, happy, and non-irritated skin.

Merkur offers a good variety of sizes in safety razors. If you’re new to premium shaving razors and you’re looking for a great way to dive in, the Baxter of California Baxter de Razor is a chrome double edge safety razor. It even includes an instructional card and a pack of starter razor blades.

But wait—having a quality razor isn’t the final step. Using shaving cream and after-shave lotions or balms is crucial for ensuring that your skin is hydrated. Kyoku for Men offers two kinds of sake-infused shave cream: one for normal skin and one for sensitive skin. Sake isn’t just for birthday sake bombs at Benihana. Japanese sake actually softens skin and prevents skin irritation.

When you’ve finished shaving, splash your face with cold water to calm your skin. Then apply an aftershave lotion or balm, which are vital for moisture. Proraso shaving products offer three kinds of aftershave balm, one for each skin type. Look into Proraso Refresh Aftershave Lotion for all skin types, Proraso Protective Aftershave Balm for dry skin, and Proraso Sensitive Aftershave Balm for sensitive skin

See how little just a bar of soap does for your skin? Stop neglecting your skin and start giving it a little extra care today. We’re not saying that once you start taking care of your skin you’ll look like George Clooney—but we’re not NOT saying it either. But c’mon, Clooney totally uses quality razors. If we’ve made you a skincare convert, check out our personal favorites in skincare products here.

Related Products:

Port Products Conditioning Beard Absolute Port Products Conditioning Beard Absolute
2016 Men's Health Grooming Awards Winner - An all natural, hydrating beard oil enriched with Argan and Grapeseed oils that softens and smooths facial hair while moisturizing the skin beneath with nourishing antioxidants.
Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser
2015 Best In Shop Selection - A powerful cleanser with kaolin clay, volcanic ash and glycolic acid for washing away dead skin and pore-clogging oil for smoother, fresher skin. Best suited for combination and oily skin types. Fragrance and paraben free.
Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm

Regular Price: $36.00

Special Price: $30.60

This lightweight face lotion nourishes and firms all skin types without adding shine or clogging pores.

Matthew Taylor Ruggieri

Men's skincare expert at The Motley. Dreamer of the golden dream. Fan of Bob Dylan, Jean-Luc Godard and Richard Avedon.