Skincare for men can bring about all kinds of curly questions.
Should I moisturise morning and night?
Do I really need to exfoliate?
Isn’t it just secret women’s business!?
Navigating the skincare aisle can be overwhelming for even the savviest of shoppers, let alone if you’re someone who thought a foaming body wash from the supermarket could also double as a face cleanser and a shampoo.
There are so many products, so many steps and so many science-y sounding ingredients like AHA and retinol (both are actually naturally derived). Pair that with the reality that skincare has traditionally been seen as a “woman’s” game, and it’s no wonder some men choose to skip skincare altogether.
Here’s the thing: There is nothing unmanly about proper skincare. It’s your largest organ, after all. So, whether you’re a gent who’s scrupulous about his appearance or you’re more of a low-maintenance kind of guy, establishing a well-rounded healthy skincare routine is a must.
While it’s true that proper skincare for men involves a few non-negotiable steps, we promise there’s no need to overcomplicate things. A soothing cleanser, quality serum and hydrating moisturiser are usually all it takes to keep your skin looking clear and healthy. The trick is matching the right steps with your own skin so if you’re noticing common problems like acne, fine lines or sun damage, there are a stack of nourishing products available that can help.
So whether you’ve come to the realisation that you need a skincare routine on your own, or you’ve finally picked up on the not-so-subtle hints from your SO, stick with us.
In this article, we’re sharing our best skincare tips for men. But first, let’s look at some common skin concerns men face (pun intended!) and our favourite products to treat them.
The top 3 skin concerns men deal with
If you thought acne was a teen thing, think again! This obstructive disorder of the skin is incredibly common - even in men who graduated high school decades ago.
Acne is triggered when hair follicles under the skin’s surface become clogged by sebum (aka your skin’s oil), dead skin cells, dirt or bacteria. This build-up can lead to a trifecta of blemishes known as blackheads, whiteheads and painful, pus-filled cysts.
So, how can you spot the difference with these, er, spots?
Blackheads look like black dots on your skin. They’re open bumps that fill with excess oil or dead skin cells. Whiteheads are the result of clogged pores under the skin’s surface. They look like small, white or yellow raised bumps.
Cysts, on the other hand, are a type of inflammatory acne that forms deep under the skin. Dealing with large, red and painful breakouts that don’t have a head to squeeze? It’s likely to be cystic acne, so if the simple steps below don’t offer relief, you may need the help of a professional.
If you experience any of these breakouts, using a gentle, effective skincare routine that pinpoints the underlying causes of the type of acne you have while hydrating and restoring your skin's barrier is essential.
Identifying your skin type is key. When you think of acne, you probably think of excess oil, but here’s a fun fact: dry skin can break out, too.
When skin lacks moisture, it can become rough and scaly, potentially causing an excess build-up of dead skin cells. This build-up can clog your pores and produce acne.
Fortunately, there is skincare for men who have dry or oily skin that includes acne-fighting ingredients like glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which will keep your complexion clear and comfortable.
These are our top tips:
A must-have for oily skin prone to cystic acne, this cleanser is a dirt-busting miracle worker that minimises pores and eliminates oil. Salicylic acid is a wonder ingredient that helps slow the production of serum while clearing out acne and bacteria from blocked pores,
Recommended for men with dry skin, this soothing cleanser has been formulated to dissolve oil and break down dirt. It’s super hydrating and, with regular use, will keep your skin soft, supple and blemish-free.
Enriched with glycolic acid, an exfoliant that helps to shed dead skin cells, this is our hero product for men (and women!) who suffer from clogged pores and other skin concerns like dullness and pigmentation. We recommend using this scrub 2-3 times per week.
This powerful gel formula fights surface bacteria and controls congestion while actively targeting acne. It also works to prevent future breakouts by keeping your pores clear with salicylic acid, which buffs dead skin cells away.
Specifically designed to improve skin tone and minimise pores, this essential serum promotes a softer, clearer, more radiant complexion. It also helps to reduce the redness caused by zits. Bonus!
This all-star formula reduces irritation and redness while hydrating your mug. It’s also packed with vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, Rosehip oil and silica to absorb excess oil and prevent unwelcome spots.
If you’re part of the oily skin club – signs include a shiny T-zone (that’s your forehead and down the nose), large pores and blemishes on your forehead or chin – your acne-fighting skincare regime will look a lot like the above.
And a pro tip for all men with acne-prone skin: avoid products with vitamin C. It can irritate and exacerbate your symptoms.
Skin changes are the most visible signs of ageing, and no one is immune. While you can’t rewind the clock, a solid skincare routine can help keep your face looking springy and youthful - whether you’re 23 or 53.
Your skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile as you age, so if you’ve sailed through your early (or even mid) adulthood without giving much thought to your skin, you might now be noticing the tell-tale signs of the passage of time.
- Fine lines - which look like small creases on your skin.
- Crow’s feet - wrinkles that form around the outside of your eyes.
- Jowls - saggy, loose skin around your jawline.
- Pigmentation - when certain parts of your skin are darker than the rest.
Certain lifestyle habits or environmental factors can cause your skin to age faster - not drinking enough water, smoking and spending too much time in the sun are big culprits. But ageing is, of course, part of life.
If you’ve started to notice a wrinkle or two, don’t curse Father Time and bury your head in the sand. It’s never too late to start a healthy regime, and there are a ton of proven skincare products for men that can regenerate and reveal more youthful-looking skin. Phew!
These are our favourites in the Issada range:
If you have a female partner (and she’s a skincare buff), you’ve probably heard her mention the word ‘retinol’ here and there. This wonder ingredient is a household name for a reason – from plumping fine lines to reducing hyperpigmentation and smoothing uneven skin tone, there isn’t much it can’t do.
Our 1% Retinol + HA is one of our most sought-after products, delivering powerful anti-ageing benefits to minimise wrinkles and improve skin texture.
One customer even called it “life-changing!”.
The trick with retinol is to introduce it slowly – start using it twice, maybe three times a week, before working up to daily use.
Retinol should also only be included in your nighttime routine after cleansing and before applying a serum.
Our anti-ageing serum is infused with youth-inducing ingredients like niacinamide and beta-glucan to tackle fine lines, pigmentation and dark spots. It also promotes collagen production (the key to making your skin bounce!) and is incredibly hydrating.
You can use this serum daily, morning and night, but always before your retinol when applying in the evenings.
This hardworking moisturiser is rich in antioxidants and filled with deeply hydrating ingredients like papaya extract and white willow bark. Formulated to encourage cell turnover, you’ll notice your skin feels softer and more supple after use.
Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can wreak havoc on your skin.
If you’re a man who works in the elements, you’re at increased risk of common sun damage symptoms such as wrinkles, dark spots and even freckles. But if you live in Australia, everyday activities like walking your dog, dining outdoors or simply moving between your car and the office can all increase your sun exposure.
What’s more, new research is showing that men are less likely than women to use sun protection, so it’s about time you got into the habit of applying a high-quality SPF on the daily.
While the best sunscreen is one you’ll actually use, it’s best to look for products that are at least SPF 30 and are labelled “broad spectrum”. This means they’ll protect against UVA rays (which age your skin) and UVB rays (which cause sunburn).
If too much time in the sun has left its mark on your mush, we recommend introducing these Issada skincare products into your routine.
We like to call it our Pigment Power Punch.
This cleanser is non-drying, which is ideal for sun-damaged skin, as it tends to be on the parched side.
To soften dry skin.
Which inhibits the formation of pigmentation-causing tyrosinase.
To increase cell turnover (remember, use this at night!).
Which will exfoliate and buff away dead skin cells.
This brightens, hydrates and visibly improves skin tone.
SHEER DEFENSE SPF 50+ SUNSCREEN
To prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature ageing.
Our basic (but brilliant) skincare routine for men
Maybe skincare for men is a new playing field for you. Perhaps you’re wanting to take a more considered approach to your existing routine.
Either way, the best skincare regime will include a combination of products specifically formulated to target your skin type and concerns.
By this, we mean there's no one-size-fits-all (or all-in-one solution), but you can introduce some basic steps to encourage a healthy, happy complexion.
Step 1: Cleanse your face every day
And not with the slimy soap in your shower cavity. Invest in a quality cleanser that will remove dirt, debris and oil.
We suggest our Daily Gentle Cleansing Gel
Step 2: Apply a serum
To prevent and manage common skin concerns such as wrinkles, acne and dullness.
We suggest our Anti-Ageing Serum
Step 3: Hydrate
Yes, even if your skin is on the oilier side. A good moisturiser is key to preventing water loss and improving your skin’s firmness. There are also anti-ageing benefits.
We suggest our Replenishing Daily Moisturiser
Bonus step: Exfoliate!
This doesn’t have to be part of your daily routine, but exfoliating 2-3 times per week (after you cleanse and before you apply your serum) will help buff dead skin cells away and reveal new, healthier skin cells.
We suggest our 14% Glycolic Polishing Scrub
Every man needs a skincare routine
But many need to pay more attention to the importance of taking care of their skin, and many more are hesitant to use skincare products regularly.
And let’s not gloss over the fact that it can be tricky to separate the miracles from the marketing. Retinol, serum and glycolic acid can sound like a foreign language to anyone new to skincare shopping.
If that’s you and you’re feeling a little clueless, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team or check out our skincare finder to source the right products for you.