It's very important that men use skincare products specially designed for men since men's skins have some distinctive characteristics that make them unique from those of women's, such as being thicker, having more oil glands, and having bigger pores, among others. From cleansers to serums, you get so many different choices for skincare products that it could get confusing to pick.
Worry not, as we've made this handy-dandy buying guide to help you in choosing the right men's skincare products, and we've also asked for some comments and tips from dermatologist Dr. Maria Elinor Grace "Meg" Sison. Lastly, we prepared our top 10 list to get you started in developing your own skincare routine!
Dr. Sison is a board-certified dermatologist who practices in the Philippines and sees both medical and cosmetic dermatological cases on skin, hair, and nails.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
The most important consideration when choosing any skincare product is its suitability towards your skin. First, determine your skin type. Then, make sure to pick the products that are indicated for your skin type, either through the ingredients list or the label of the product.
If you notice that your skin tends to become greasier and shinier than normal, you must have oily skin. For oily skin, you would generally want something that effectively addresses the oil on your skin, while not causing excessive dryness.
As much as possible, go for light, water-based products, such as lotions, so as not to add more oil to your skin. Also, look for products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, as these products don't clog your pores.
Some of the ingredients to go for when dealing with oily skin include clays and charcoal, which both help in absorbing oil and mattifying your skin. Additionally, formulations with salicylic acid may help in the management of acne due to its ability to chemically exfoliate your skin and reduce oiliness!
For cleansers, look for those that are in gel format or foaming cleansers that can remove excess sebum without causing your skin to become dry. You can also opt for skincare products with salicylic acid because it can help with oil control, and it can also minimize the appearance of large pores.
For moisturizers, look for gel moisturizers, emulsions, or lightweight lotions that contain more humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Finally, for sunscreens, choose products that are in gel or fluid format with SPF of at least 30, and these should also be broad-spectrum.
Dry skin is characterized by having a dull and rough complexion. You'll want to counter your dry skin with some moisture and hydration. When applicable, opt for heavier products, such as creams, as these serve either to hold in the moisture of your skin or to draw moisture from the environment and onto your skin.
In terms of ingredients, you may opt for hyaluronic acid and glycerin, two humectants that draw water from the atmosphere towards the outer portion of your skin, leaving it moisturized without feeling greasy. Ceramides, on the other hand, are great since they keep your skin intact, thereby, allowing your skin to effectively seal in moisture. Panthenol is also another great ingredient for hydrating the skin.
Dry skin has rough patches and flaking. Choose cleansers in milk or cream format because they do not strip off the skin's natural lipids. A lipid-free cleanser is also a great option.
For moisturizers, choose those with more occlusives like lanolin or shea butter and emollients like ceramides. Moisturizers and sunscreens in cream formats are recommended for dry skin. Choose sunscreens with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, petrolatum, etc.
If your skin is the type that becomes oily at the T-zone area while your cheeks and temples remain dry, then you most likely have combination skin. To tackle this, try out lighter formulations, such as products that you would use for oily skin. Trial and error is the name of the game here, so make sure to observe how your skin reacts with lighter formulations.
If you feel that lighter products leave your skin feeling too dry, start trying out the heavier products. Ultimately, you would want to stick to a well-balanced skincare regimen that leaves your skin not too greasy and not too dry.
Combination skin is characterized by an oily T-zone with some dry patches on the face. Lightweight lotions, emulsions, or gel formats would work well for those with combination skin, especially during warm, humid weather.
If your skin still has dry patches even after using these skincare products, you can also spot treat the dry patches with cream-based moisturizers to achieve the ideal level of moisturization.
Sensitive skin is characterized as being easily irritated, itchy, or inflamed. When it comes to sensitive skin, potentially irritating ingredients are the things that you have to watch out for. And take note that it doesn't matter if a product is “natural” or not, as both natural and synthetic natural ingredients may potentially cause your sensitive skin to flare up.
Go for formulations that are explicitly designed for sensitive skin, as these usually feature ingredients that are less likely to cause hypersensitivity. Some irritating ingredients to avoid include alcohol, fragrances, and sulfates. A good rule of thumb is that the fewer ingredients a formulation has, the less likely it will cause irritations.
Not all ingredients are bad for sensitive skins, though. Examples of these include aloe vera, allantoin, Centella Asiatica, calendula, and chamomile extract, both of which work to soothe your skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties. These are especially great for those sensitive skins that often exhibit redness.
Those with sensitive skin react easily to skincare products, and they experience burning, itching, or stinging sensation. Choose skincare products with a short ingredients list and are fragrance-free since these are less likely to cause irritations.
Look also for soothing ingredients like green tea, colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, and chamomile, to name a few. Make sure to patch test first and observe for signs of irritation before using a particular product on a large area.
Normal skin is described as skin that is neither too dry nor too oily. Since normal skin is considered to be the middle ground of all skin types, you can use almost any kind of skincare product for it, depending on what you feel your skin needs for the day.
Normal skin is characterized by being soft and supple, with minimal blemishes. It does not react easily to skincare products and you can use any format (gel, cream, lotion, emulsion). Make sure that the skincare products are not too harsh or drying for the skin.
Your skincare regimen does not need to be complicated. Sticking to the essentials will make it easy for you to be consistent with your daily routine.
A skincare routine will always start with a good and reliable facial cleanser. Your facial cleanser serves to remove the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that have accumulated on your skin, which ultimately makes it easier for your next skincare product to penetrate and act on your skin.
Facial cleansers are commonly available for different skin types. Go for those that correspond to your skin type. Always aim for facial cleansers that are strong enough to cleanse your face, while staying mild enough at the same time, so that they don't leave your face dry or strip off moisture.
Cleansing is the first step in our skincare routine. It aids in the removal of dirt, sweat, sebum, and unwanted materials from our skin. Choice of cleanser depends on skin type, skin concern, personal preference, and budget. Choose cleansers that are pH balanced (slightly acidic) which do not strip off the skin's natural lipids.
After cleansing your face, the next move would usually be to apply toner. Toner is a water-like formulation that contains different active ingredients. Toners are usually applied to the skin with the use of a cotton ball.
Toners serve different functions. They further cleanse your face and readjust your face's pH to the optimal value, leaving it ready for the next skincare product that you will be applying, such as moisturizers. Aside from this, some toners also have a specific function, some of which include treatment for acne, management of oily skin, hydration, anti-aging, and many more.
Toners were originally intended to remove soap residue left behind on the face from the use of lye-based soaps & hard water. However, advancements in cleansers have already been made in such a way that no residue is left behind after cleansing. Toners are optional, but nowadays, they are used for the purpose of hydrating the skin or as mild exfoliants.
Regardless of your skin type, your skin could definitely use a moisturizer. A moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated, making it healthy and more resistant to other skin issues such as inflammation, wrinkles, and premature aging. Just make sure that you get the one that corresponds to your skin type.
Moisturizers help maintain our skin barrier and prevent transepidermal water loss from the outermost layers of the skin. A good moisturizer has the right amounts of occlusives, humectants, and emollients that keep our skin hydrated and nourished.
Facial serums are definitely some of the more obscure skincare products. They are very important, though. Facial serums are concentrated formulations that are designed to deliver essential nutrients to your skin. Ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, peptides, zinc PCA, and many more.
Facial serums are typically used to address specific skin issues. For example, some facial serums are specially formulated to address wrinkles and dark spots, while others are mainly for managing acne. With the different kinds of serums out there, you're sure to find the one for you!
Serums are highly concentrated formulations that are meant to be applied in small amounts. They can either be oil or water-based. They may contain antioxidants, retinol, niacinamide, AHAs, BHAs, hyaluronic acid, peptides, to name a few. Consult a board-certified dermatologist to guide you in choosing the right serum based on what your skin needs.
A usual apprehension against body lotions is that they tend to leave a greasy feel and that they have a "feminine scent". Fortunately, it's quite easy to find body lotions nowadays that are both non-greasy and fragrance-free, at the same time.
Body lotions are actually moisturizers that spread easily and are made for large areas. They also contain various occlusives, humectants, and emollients to prevent moisture loss from the skin. There are a lot of body lotions in the market that are non-greasy and fragrance-free that can be used by men. Body lotions are best applied within 3 minutes after bathing to seal in the moisture in the skin, and they should be applied several times a day as needed.
The general rule of thumb is that you should go for formulations with at least SPF 30 for effective sun protection. And while dedicated sunscreens are the more commonly known formulations with SPF, many serums, facial moisturizers, and body lotions have SPF ratings, as well!
These combination products are great to have, as you're hitting 2 birds with one stone! Just make sure to apply a generous amount to ensure that you're getting maximum protection from those UV rays!
Sunscreens are must-haves in every skincare routine. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. It should also be at least SPF 30 and water-resistant.
Apply 1/2 teaspoon of sunscreen on the face and neck and 1 shot glass for the exposed skin not covered by clothing to ensure that the correct amount is applied. Remember to seek shade when the UV rays are the most intense (10 am to 4 pm), wear UV protective eyewear, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV protective clothing whenever applicable.
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Ultra Facial Cleanser
A pH-Balanced Cleanser That Is Gentle Yet Effective
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Facial Serum to Get Rid of Dark Marks and Blemishes
Hydro Boost Clear Lotion
Moisturizing Toner for All-Day Hydration
Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
Calendula Toner to Soothe You Skin
Oil-Free Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Facial Moisturizer That Hydrates and Protects You at the Same Time
Moisturized Skin Without the Heavy Feel
Super Screen Sun Gel SPG 50+ 50 mL
SPF 50+ Sunscreen for Maximum Protection From UV Rays
Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Body Lotion Fortified With Colloidal Oatmeal
Lightweight 2-in-1 Lotion That Provides All Day Hydration
Hypoallergenic Calming Relief A.I. Body Lotion
Soothing Body Lotion for Easily Irritated Skin
Kiehl's is an international brand known for its gentle yet effective products, and this cleanser is no exception. It is formulated to remove dirt and debris without over-drying or stripping the skin. It is pH-balanced and free from paraben, synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, and dye, so you're also less likely to experience irritation from it.
Moreover, it is formulated with nourishing ingredients like squalane, apricot kernel oil, vitamin E, and avocado oil to maintain the skin's moisture balance. It's no wonder many reviewers, even those with sensitive skin, rated this product highly, remarking that it did not make them break out.
Do you have a couple of facial blemishes that just won't go away? Consider grabbing this Niacinamide + Zinc serum from The Ordinary. Niacinamide reduces the appearance of skin blemishes, while zinc acts by decreasing the oil production of your skin.
Simply put, this product helps have that even, blemish-free complexion that we all would love to have. It doesn't hurt that this also has quite an affordable price for a quality serum. Just take note that while this is indicated for scars and blemishes, it's not a treatment for acne.
Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Clear Lotion can be your go-to hydrating toner for instant moisture infusion right after cleansing. Formulated with a "Progressive Release Technology," it is designed to consistently and efficiently restore and lock in moisture throughout the entire day. It is enriched with pure hyaluronic acid, a hydrating powerhouse known to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water.
Glycereth-26 and sodium benzoate further improve the formula's effectiveness, ensuring your skin feels thoroughly nourished. Panthenol and polysorbate 20 are also in the lineup of ingredients to enhance your skin's overall texture and health. Meanwhile, the addition of olive leaf extract provides an extra layer of nourishment and protection.
If you have oily to normal skin and anything in between, consider grabbing this facial toner from Kiehl's. This classic facial toner is being offered by Kiehl's since the 1960s, and it's easy to see why. You get a formulation that cleanses your skin without the use of harsh drying agents.
This toner is formulated with Calendula, an age-old ingredient typically used in Chinese medicine due to its soothing and hydrating properties. Allantoin, and Great Burdock Root are also featured, giving this product an overall skin-soothing and blemish-clearing effect. It's great for sensitive skins, too, since it doesn't contain parabens, fragrances, silicone, alcohol, mineral oil, and dyes!
Skincare and UV protection should always go hand in hand, as UV rays are one of the primary causes of skin aging. For hassle-free application, go for a moisturizer that provides you protection from UV rays, such as this one from Neutrogena. It has a broad-spectrum sunscreen so it can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays!
Having a rating of SPF 15, you'll need to reapply this product quite often to make sure that your skin stays protected. That won't be much of an issue, though, as this moisturizer has an oil-free and non-comedogenic formula, making it very comfortable and non-greasy on the skin. Ultimately, this product will do a great job in making you feel fresh and protected when outside.
If you're looking for a lightweight facial moisturizer, look no further than the Celeteque Facial Moisturizer. With its oil-free and water-based hydrogel formulation, you might not even feel it on your face after applying it. It's non-greasy and hypoallergenic, too!
It contains glycerin, panthenol, and aloe vera, all of which work together to provide long-lasting hydration for your skin. Most buyers laud its lightweight feel on the skin, with some even suggesting that they found it to be the perfect facial moisturizer for the hot Philippine climate.
If you really have to stay under the sun for long stretches, nothing beats a reliable and high-quality sunscreen, such as the Super Screen from Face Republic. It's rated at SPF 50+ and PA+++, which means this can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays!
This one has a gel formulation that makes it non-sticky, non-greasy, and super lightweight. It has both aloe and eucalyptus leaf extract that leave a cool feeling on your skin. And with its niacinamide content, you'll find that it will slowly work to minimize your pores and lighten dark spots.
A common theme that can be read from the product reviews sections is that users loved the lightweight feeling. They also noted that they found the Super Screen great for oily skin!
Whatever your skin type, you're definitely going to benefit from using a body lotion. If you have normal to dry skin, consider going for Aveeno's Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Aveeno states that it's clinically proven to improve the health of dry skin in 1 day, and you could even see significant improvements in just 2 weeks!
It's formulated with colloidal oatmeal that helps in soothing your skin. This, along with the included rich emollients, prevents your skin from drying out for a full 24 hours! Do take note that although it's fragrance-free, some users reported a faint scent that some described as plasticky.
Not all lotions leave a greasy and heavy feeling on the skin. This Moisturizing Lotion by Cetaphil features a lightweight formula that surely won't weigh you down.
This product contains six types of moisturizers, plus vitamins E and B5, which ensure that you get all-day hydration that could even last for as long as 24 hours! Plus, this product can be used by all skin types, so we're sure that it is an easy and great pick.
Probably the best feature of this product is that it's 2-in-1, making it usable for both your face and your body. And since this product is made by Cetaphil, you get a moisturizer that's suitable for all skin types from such a highly trusted company. All these features at a relatively low price make this product a great bargain!
Treat your easily-irritated skin with a gentle and soothing body lotion, such as this one by Physiogel. Featuring a formulation that's hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and free from fragrances and colorants, you're sure to get a body lotion that's going to work gently on your skin.
This lotion has Physiogel's BioMimic Technology, which features fats that mimic those naturally found on the skin, helping repair and strengthen the skin's moisture barrier. Plus, it moisturizes and provides relief to itchiness, making it perfect for those with skin issues such as eczema.
Skincare products and cosmetics are typically formulated using different ingredients, many of which could serve as allergens. The question is, how do you make sure that you won't be experiencing a nasty skin reaction from using a new product? Luckily, Seoul Mamas shared the steps for a simple test to check whether your skin will react to a particular product, called a patch test.
Patch tests are used to find out whether someone with contact dermatitis has an allergy to a certain allergen. Patch testing uses commercially available standardized allergens or a patient’s personal care products. The allergens are placed on the back under occlusion, removed at 48 hours, and a final delayed read is performed at 72 or 96 hours.
Certain situations call for an extended reading time of up to 7 to 10 days. This is different from the repeat open application test (ROAT) or use test in which a substance is applied to the crook of the elbow twice a day for 1 to 3 weeks to simulate real-life use. ROAT is useful for testing leave-on personal care products, especially since not all individuals have access to patch testing done at dermatology clinics.
After reading all that information, you might still have some burning questions you want to be answered. To help you in that regard, we asked Dr. Meg some of the most asked questions on the web, and here are her answers!
Men's skincare is essentially the same as women's skincare. They also need to use cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens to take care of their skin.
The best time to use skincare products starts at a young age. They can already use mild cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens suited for their skin type. As they age, they can slowly incorporate skincare products based on what their skin needs.
Not necessarily. Skincare is not gender-based, and men can use whatever skincare products they need even if the label does not indicate it's "for men."
Avoid trying out several skincare products all at the same time to minimize breakouts and skin irritation. Make sure to always consult a board-certified dermatologist to guide you in choosing the right skincare products for you, especially if you have skin concerns.
So you've started taking care of your skin, but why stop there? Check out these other grooming products and tools to help you look, smell, and feel your best in every occasion!
Author: Adriel Coseip
No. 1: Kiehl's | Ultra Facial Cleanser
No. 2: The Ordinary | Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
No. 3: Neutrogena | Hydro Boost Clear Lotion
No. 4: Khiel's | Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
No. 5: Neutrogena | Oil-Free Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 15
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