Today’s skin care and men’s grooming are considered far more serious, and beneficial, than that. You also have a million choices: body lotions, anti-aging creams, acne treatments, facial cleansers, and so on.
But, as always, we’re here to help.
In this post we’ll discuss the best skin care products for men, starting with Brickell’s Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash Along the way, we’ll provide some buying tips as well as reviews of the best products in eight categories.
Let’s get started.
- Before you buy: 3 Things to consider when purchasing skin products for men
- 8 Best skin care products for men 2018
- The method to our madness: How we chose these products
Before You Buy: 3 Things to Consider When Purchasing Skin Products For Men
Our advice for purchasing any men’s grooming product is always the same, i.e., don’t grab the first item you see on the shelf. Or, the one with the coolest packaging or logo.
Skincare products are no different – knowing what to look for before you buy helps prevent you from wasting money on an inferior product that may turn you off to the proper grooming regimen. Don’t do it, men. And we’re here to help with a handy shopping guide:
1. It’s all About the Skin
Considering that this post is about men’s skin care products, it only stands to reason that your type of skin is a high priority during the selection process. Whether it’s body lotion, anti-aging creams, facial cleansers, or acne treatments, knowing your skin type is everything.
- Oily skin
Every man’s skin needs a certain amount of oil to maintain its proper pH balance. But some men’s skin is oilier than others and you fall into this category if you have large visible pores and if you develop a slightly greasy, oily sheen not long after you washed your skin.
Oily skin men need to use products that regulate oil production without drying out their faces.
- Dry skin
You’ll know that you have dry skin by the flaking, itchiness, and tightness that accompany it. Your mission is to find skin care products that take care of dirt and grime without stripping the skin of natural oils. Look for products with strong moisturizing qualities.
- Sensitive skin
If your skin is prone to irritation or redness after your skin care routine, you probably have sensitive skin. Your quest includes looking for products packed with soothing ingredients – such as aloe vera – and that help to balance your skin’s pH level.
- Combination skin
Combination skin means that you have skin that’s oilier in some places and dryer in others. Search for skin care products that get rid of dirt and oil from your skin without stripping it of your natural oils, as well as provide proper hydration.
Ingredients are everything when it comes to skin care products. We prefer natural ingredients, and many of our reviews include products loaded with natural ingredients, but we’re not saying that you should only buy products that include them (but know that we like natural ingredients a lot).
Let’s take a look at various skin care products and their important ingredients:
- Face Wash/Cleansers
There are a variety of ingredients to look for – depending on your skin type, of course – regarding fash washes and cleansers, including aloe, salicylic acid (which exfoliates and moisturizes), glycolic acid, allantoin (good for sensitive skin), olive oil, coconut oil, and more.
- Face Moisturizer
Retinol, a common ingredient found in skin care products, is an important ingredient for face moisturizers because it acts as an exfoliating agent that reduces dead skin cells that clog pores.
Also look for moisturizers that have antioxidants such as vitamins A and C, green tea, pomegranate, etc. Alpha Hydroxy Acids naturally found in many fruit products also help clear away dead cells while smoothing out the skin.
- Acne Wash
Two important ingredients in acne washes are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria that causes acne and removes excess oil and dead skin cells that may clog pores. Another common acne wash ingredient is alpha hydroxy acid.
- Anti-Aging Cream
Anti-aging creams include a couple of big-named ingredients – dimethylethanolamine and methylsulfonylmethane (spelling quiz next week) that are natural, not chemical. DMAE prevents the loss of elasticity in the skin while MSM helps skin cells be more absorbent.
Other key ingredients in anti-aging creams are retinol, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, antioxidants such as vitamin B3, C, and E, and more. Creams with Coenzyme Q10 are good for reducing wrinkles around the eyes.
Many of the top quality exfoliators include natural ingredients such as pumice, cornmeal, walnut shell powder, caffeine, and oats. Skin exfoliators also contain scrubbing beads that remove dead skin cells and range in size from super fine to coarse.
Caution: Do not choose microbeads made of polyethylene plastic. They wreak havoc with the environment and are banned in the U.S.
- Lip Balm
You’ll find Ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, essential oils, and cocoa butter in lip balm.
- Body Lotion
Important ingredients to look for in body lotions are ceramides, alpha hydroxy acids, emollients, humectants, and alpha hydroxy acids. Also look for moisturizing agents such as shea or cocoa butter, carrier oils, and essential oils such as green tea oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil.
3. Other Things to Consider Before Buying a Skin Care Product for Men
Many men’s skin care products (and women’s skin care products, too) include sun protection that works like sunscreen in protecting your skin from the sun’s most harmful rays. Some other factors to consider include:
- Your age – Retaining moisture in the skin becomes more important as you age
- Your climate – Where you live, whether it’s in a harsh climate or a milder climate, should influence your skin buying decisions.
- Price – The price of a product doesn’t determine its quality, so what really matters in this case is your budget. Just know that some expensive brands are worthy of their price tags, while others are not. On the flip side, an inexpensive product may suit your every need.
- Fragrance – Are you looking for skin care products that have a noticeable fragrance? It always helps to check out a product’s scent before deciding to buy it.
Hopefully, the above information helps you during the buying process, and there may be other deciding factors that fit your personal needs and style. But now let’s move on to the best men’s skin care products 2018.
8 Best Skin Care Products for Men 2018
1. Face Wash, Great Example — Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about cleanliness. And, technically, there’s nothing wrong with washing your face with bar soap. But you can do so much better.
While standard bar soap removes dirt and grime, it dries out your facial skin and can strip it of its natural oils. That’s why we strongly recommend that you use a fash wash such as Brickell’s Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash. It cleans your face, just like a bar of soap, but does so while gently removing oil and bacteria without irritating or drying out your skin.
Don’t be fooled by “charcoal” in its name, meanwhile. We’re not talking about charcoal in the same sense as we would the type of organic matter over which you grill meat. True, it’s the same substance, but used in a medical grade form you’ll find in many skin care products.
Charcoal is good for the skin because toxins stick to it to provide deep cleansing and detoxification. It’s non-abrasive but digs deep to remove excess oil, bacteria, free radicals, and other irritants from your skin’s pores. And, again, it doesn’t dry out your skin in the process.
Brickell takes things another step further with the addition of other natural ingredients to its Purifying Charcoal Face Wash:
- Jojoba oil – Which helps your skin to retain needed moisture by providing a protective cushion (after cleansing it of dirt and bacteria).
- Olive oil – Olive oil gently dissolves and removes oil from your face while replacing it with healthy oils which nourish facial skin.
- Aloe vera – Aloe vera is an ingredient common to many, many skincare products and it works to retain moisture after the other active ingredients give your face a deep-cleaning.
- Other ingredients – Brickell’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash includes a variety of other natural and organic ingredients and nutrients, including white willow bark extract, peppermint leaf oil, lemongrass oil, vitamin E, vitamin B-5, vitamin C, eucalyptus oil, and more.
Another reason we included the Purifying Charcoal Face Wash on our list of best men’s skin care products is that it’s suitable for men of all facial skin types. Moreover, the green tea and essential oils act as a skin toner, which makes it an excellent multi-purpose face wash.
The good folks at Brickell advise using their Purifying Charcoal Face Wash twice a day – morning and night – and after you exercise. To use, first wash your face with warm water, then rub a quarter-sized amount of the wash over your face with your hands.
Brickell has made quite a name for itself in the past four years. Started in 2014 by co-founders Josh Meyer and Matt Bolduc – with their first “headquarters” being Matt’s garage – Brickell sells its products in over 20 countries while garnering the attention of many major publications. With products such as its Purifying Charcoal Face Wash, their growth shows no signs of slowing. It should be a part of every man’s skin care regimen.
2. Face Cleanser, Great Example — Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser
Before we dig into Jack Black’s Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser, let’s talk a bit about the differences between fash washes and cleanser. The truth is, there aren’t a lot.
Both facial cleansers and face washes serve the same basic function, i.e., they clean your face. Perhaps the main difference between the two, however, is that a face wash is more like soap, including in how it lathers (more than a cleanser). The best face washes don’t include ingredients found in bar soap that dehydrate the skin and cause irritation.
A facial cleanser, meanwhile, is a non-foaming liquid that doesn’t need to be rinsed out after application. Cleansers are great for removing oil-soluble impurities from the skin while hydrating it. Like a facial wash, cleansers work to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oils.
While face washes work superbly as part of your everyday grooming routine, a cleanser is a good choice if you’re exposed to excess dirt, grime, and air pollutants during the day. If you work outdoors, gives your face a good washing with a facial cleanser once you’re home from work.
OK, now on to Jack Black’s Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser – the best men’s facial cleanser for 2018. Why is it so good? For starters, it’s a two-in-one facial cleanser that digs deep to remove dirt and oil and to leave your face clean and shave-ready (if you so desire). Secondly, it doesn’t over-dry your skin but instead leaves it properly hydrated and fresh.
Like many great men’s grooming products, the secret of Jack Black’s Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser lies within its list of ingredients.
- The Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser’s cleansing action is powered, in part, by witch hazel – which acts as an astringent, antioxidant, toner, and anti-irritant. Oat and coconut-derived surfactants also help clean the skin.
- Certified organic ingredients such as organic sage leaf and rosemary have anti-bacterial properties as well as healing benefits.
- Organic chamomile and aloe leaf soothe the skin and reduce redness.
All of Jack Black’s skin care products are dermatologist-tested and approved, and consist of organic ingredients that are gluten and paraben-free, as well as vegan-friendly. It’s all part of Jack Black’s PureScience formulas which help lock in the therapeutic benefits of natural ingredients.
Another benefit of the Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser is that it works well for men who suffer from blackheads and acne because of the way it unclogs skin pores. Then again, it’s good for men of all skin types, and you’ll like its lightweight texture.
You’ll like how your face looks and feels after an application of Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser. Your face will feel clean and look polished (but not greasy or oily), and left with a light herbal scent that isn’t overpowering.
3. Face Moisturizer, Great Example — Rugged & Dapper Face Moisturizer for Men
True, the mark of a good moisturizer is how well it hydrates your face. It wouldn’t be a moisturizer if it didn’t. However, if you find a moisturizer that not only moisturizes but provides other skin benefits there’s no reason not to take a long, serious look at it.
Rugged & Dapper’s Face Moisturizer for Men is one such product and delivers in a variety of ways: it moisturizes, protects the skin against post-shave irritation, it helps reduce and eliminate signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, and provide protection against harsh weather and damage due to excess exposure to the sun.
Like Brickell and Jack Black, Rugged & Dapper – founded in Los Angeles by the husband and wife duo of Ryan and Janine Labaqui – is a serious player in the men’s grooming game. Their list of skincare products is designed exclusively for men, especially “everyday” men who lead hectic lives.
Also like Brickell and Jack Black, R & D’s products include natural and organic ingredients and not the harmful chemicals and toxins found in many skincare options. The key natural ingredients found in Rugged & Dapper’s Face Moisturizer for men are aloe vera, botanically-derived hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, shea butter, as well as a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; all of which make it a good skincare choice for men with all types of skin.
There’s much more to like about this face moisturizer, as well, including that it’s lightweight and non-greasy, and that it’s fragrance-free. There’s no need to worry whether your face smells a bit non-masculine.
But it’s the multi-purpose nature of R & D’s Face Moisturizer for Men that helps make it a cut above the rest. If you’re an older gent, you’ll appreciate how this moisturizer helps prevent the signs of aging on your face. While no product can stop the aging process – the search for the proverbial Fountain of Youth continues – a good facial moisturizer does help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Rugged & Dapper’s face moisturizer also provide defense against the sun’s damaging rays, as well as against harsh weather conditions, that may accelerate signs of aging.
Because of its thinner texture, the R & D Face Moisturizer for Men absorbs quickly and easily into the skin without leaving behind a greasy or shiny residue. Instead, your skin will have a smooth, matte finish.
4. Acne Wash, Great Example — Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash
Perhaps the first thing to say about Humane Benzoyl’s 10% Acne Treatment is that it’s strong stuff. Really strong. Strong enough that you shouldn’t use it if you have sensitive skin.
But strong is an excellent attribute to have on your side in the fight against acne. While Humane’s Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Treatment Body & Face Wash doesn’t include abrasive chemicals such as propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, or formaldehyde (avoid them like the plague), it does contain Benzoyl Peroxide, a common ingredient that’s used to treat mild to moderate acne.
Benzoyl Peroxide is different from salicylic acid, another common acne-fighting ingredient, in that it kills the bacteria that causes acne breakouts. Salicylic acid, on the other hand, removes dead skin cells that clog skin pores and may lead to acne.
Humane’s Benzoyl Peroxide treatment treats acne on the face, body, and back. It comes in a non-foaming lotion that absorbs quickly into the skin and is good for daily use. However, if you notice redness, irritation or peeling skin with everyday use, you may want to scale back to once a day (instead of in the morning and at night), or every other day.
While it digs deep into pores to kill acne-causing bacteria, it also clears existing pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and other blemishes. Yes, it’s great for teens who often fight acne on a more daily basis than other age groups, but it’s also excellent for adults who struggle with acne breakouts. If you’re one of those adults, you’re certainly not alone.
Another reason to like Benzoyl Peroxide is that it’s anti-inflammatory. It’s strong stuff, indeed, but the pump that comes with the container ensures that you get the proper amount of product with each use.
Humane’s Benzoyl Peroxide treatment also includes sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, and a good dose of old-fashioned water. Sodium benzoate is found in cranberries, plums, and other fruits, and works to eliminate scarring that often comes with acne. Sodium hydroxide, meanwhile, helps keep skin smooth and elastic.
A couple of other points about this product, 1) give it time to work. It may take up to six weeks before you get noticeable results, but the key is to apply it on a daily, consistent basis for several weeks; and, 2) use a gentle cleanser to wash your face before applying it. After you’ve patted your face dry following the cleansing, apply a thin layer of the Humane Benzoyl Peroxide, and let it sit for three to five minutes before washing it off with warm water.
If you do experience some irritation while using this product, treat your skin with an oil-free moisturizer after applying Humane’s Benzoyl Peroxide.
Finally, Humane offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t like it or it’s not working for you, just let them know to get a full refund.
5. Anti-Aging Cream, Great Example — Brickell Men’s Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream
Getting old doesn’t have to be so difficult. True, you may feel aches and pains that you never felt before, you can’t burn the midnight oil as you did in, say, your 20’s, and your skin is showing signs of aging.
Fortunately, products such as Brickell Men’s Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream is here to help – at least when it comes to your skin. It’s the best anti-aging cream for men.
As with all their products, Brickell’s list of ingredients in their Men’s Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream is 100% natural. Natural ingredients don’t always seal the deal, but they are better for your skin in so many ways. They also work to slow the signs of aging, which is the bottom line in this case.
Brickell’s Men’s Revitalizing Anti-Aging cream is designed for a man’s thicker skin and works for all skin types, including dry, sensitive skin. You’ll notice a significant decline in your wrinkles, crow’s feet and other indications of aging thanks to it’s powerful, natural formula. Here’s how it works:
- Two important ingredients in Brickell’s Anti-Aging Cream are dimethylethanolamine and methylsulfonylmethane – two big, bad chemical-sounding names. But don’t let the names fool you; both DMAE and MSM come from natural sources. DMAE counteracts facial atrophy, a leading cause of wrinkles, while MSM – found in foods such as spinach and kale – reduce age spots and other pigmentation issues.
- Another powerful, natural ingredient found in Brickell’s Anti-Aging Cream is green tea. Green tea is a strong antioxidant that helps reverse signs of aging and sun damage.
- Hyaluronic acid, considered the ultimate moisturizer, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by absorbing and retaining moisture.
- Another ingredient is aloe, which helps soothe the skin to prevent irritation.
Another word about Brickell’s ingredients: they don’t include parabens, sulfates, glycols, petrochemicals or a whole lot of other chemicals that can irritate and dry out your skin.
You’ll like the thick texture of Brickell’s Anti-Aging Cream and the fact that a little of it goes a long way. Just use a dime-sized amount for each application; one container should last a month and a half, or more. For the best results, use it twice a day – once in the morning and once before bedtime. Its moisturizing effects continue working while you sleep.
Many reviewers rave about Brickell’s Anti-Aging Cream’s scent, which is a mix of peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. The fragrance is refreshing, not overpowering, and lingers throughout the day.
Again, there’s no stopping the process of aging, but products such as Brickell’s Anti-Aging Cream help slow its progress while reducing its obvious signs – such as wrinkled skin.
6. Exfoliator, Great Example — Kyoku For Men Exfoliating Facial Scrub
Our face and bodies shed skin cells throughout the day – so much so that new skin cells completely replace old cells in two weeks. There’s a problem with this scenario, however; when our body (and face), can’t shed skin cells fast enough, the dead cells may trap oils, clog pores, and create other problems.
And that’s why it’s important to exfoliate your skin.
Exfoliation means clearing your skin of dead cells before they become a problem. That’s why you have a choice of exfoliating facial scrubs available – but none better than Kyoku’s For Men Exfoliating Scrub.
The “for men” part is important, because all of Kyoku’s products address a man’s skin, which is naturally thicker and tougher than a woman’s skin. The trick is to develop an exfoliating scrub that’s strong enough to clear away excess dead skin cells without irritating the face.
Kyoku’s Exfoliating Facial Scrub does just that, as well as nourishing and toning your facial skin while protecting it from harmful bacteria. Furthermore, it helps reduce signs of aging while balancing out your skin’s pH level to make it elastic and less prone to wrinkles and fine lines.
How does it work? Well, for starters, Kyoku uses ingredients that you won’t find in skin products made by other brands: volcanic ash, Japanese adzuki bean powder, and rice bran.
You’ll find volcanic ash in all of Kyoku’s skin care products and it benefits the skin by removing excess oil and dirt to leave your face feeling smooth, but not gritty.
Japenese adzuki bean powder provides the power behind Kyoku’s exfoliating punch that removes dead skin cells while also serving as a moisturizer, and rice bran works to smooth the skin.
Two other key ingredients in Kyoku’s Exfoliating Facial Scrub are vitamins A and E, which help balance the skin’s pH level while also improving the skin’s elasticity and revitalizing patchy, dull skin.
Here’s another big reason to like Kyoku’s exfoliating facial scrub – it’s excellent for acne sufferers. It provides a deep cleaning that removes blackheads and other signs of acne breakouts while also removing bacteria that may lead to acne. The scrub also works to reduce the signs of aging.
None of Kyoku’s skin care product contains harsh chemicals and parabens that may upset your skin’s natural pH balance. It’s gentle enough for to use a couple of times a week and you only need to rub a small amount of the scrub on your skin to get desired results.
This scrub’s texture is thick but without being overloaded with exfoliating beads. It also includes a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15, which gives your skin another shield against the damaging effects of the sun’s most harmful rays.
Finally, exfoliating your skin will give you the smoothest shave possible because you’ll get rid of dead skin cells that may clog your razor’s blades. There’s just too much to like about Kyoku’s Exfoliating Facial Scrub to leave it off of this list.
7. Lip Balm, Great Example — Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
Anyone who lives in a cold climate at this time of year, or anyplace where harsh weather is not uncommon, knows what impact the environment has on his lips. Dried skin, chapping, soreness – all are symptoms that can make a long winter seem even longer.
But at least you can thank the skin care gods for lip balm. The stuff is almost mandatory for surviving grueling stretches of harsh weather, particularly products like Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25.
Jack Black’s signature lip balm is our choice for the best lip balm of 2018 for many reasons, including that it includes beeswax, which provides protection, and shea butter, which serves as the primary moisturizer. Both provide natural protection against Mother Nature’s most harsh conditions.
We also like it, a lot, because it also includes sun protection and has an SPF of 25, which is higher than what you’ll find in any product that’s not labeled “sunscreen.” Other key, natural ingredients include green tea, avocado oil, and cocoa seed butter. Jack Black is another company that sticks by the premise that men’s grooming products should have natural ingredients.
The Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm comes in a tube, not in a lipstick-like container like many lip balms, but is easy to apply. It even comes in a variety of flavors for you folks who prefer that sort of thing in a lip balm (and not that there’s anything wrong with it). Its mint flavor is said to freshen one’s breath.
You’ll appreciate that this balm spreads easily on your lips without leaving a lot of shine. Moreover, it’s dermatologist-approved.
All in all, this is the lip balm to have with you whether it’s a frigid January morning in America’s Midwest or a hot day at beaches around the world. Your lips will thank you for it.
8. Body Lotion, Great Example — Lubriderm Men’s 3-in-1 Body Lotion With Light Fragrance
Lubriderm has a long history of making high-quality products for women. Some say, however, that their 3-in-1 Body Lotion is even better than their lotion designed for women.
We’ve talked about before, but it’s worth repeating. Men’s skin is different from women’s, it’s 25% thicker for one, so it only makes sense that a man needs a lotion that caters to his skin. Men also have more collagen than women, so finding a lotion that provides a collagen booster is important. Lubriderm’s 3-in-1 Body Lotion does that and more.
As its name suggests, this lotion is a triple-threat: it works as a body and face lotion, as well as a post-shave lotion. It’s also lightweight, fast-absorbing, and non-greasy.
The Lubriderm brand is all about healthy, comfortable skin. Their dermatologists understand that skin is often impacted by the environment, including extended exposure to the elements, and loses its ability to retain moisture over time. But Lubriderm is clinically-proven to improve moisture and collagen to give your skin a full feeling of elasticity. It’s enriched with aloe that soothes the skin, especially after shaving.
Lubriderm’s 3-in-1 lotion comes in a 16-oz pump container that’s easy to use and cost-effective. We think you’ll also like its scent, which is decidedly masculine with hints of black pepper and sandalwood. There aren’t many men’s body lotions on the market that smell this good.
The Method to Our Madness: How we Chose These Products
In some ways, this post is a compilation of other best-of reviews we’ve done on the types of products we listed above. But we also wanted to take a fresh approach and do some more research on products we’ve already written about while comparing them to others on the market.
A number of factors went into our decision-making, including price. Price isn’t everything, yet we strive to include products that fit a variety of price ranges and budgets. Most of all, we judge a product by its results. If it does what it says it can do, and consistently at a high level, it always gets our attention. Ingredients and ease of use are among other factors, as well.
As always, we welcome your feedback. What are your favorite products in each of the categories listed above? What products are you using currently? We’d love to hear from you.