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Maintaining your mug isn’t just about nose hair-trimming, shaving, and tending to your beard. If you’re looking for ways to make your face look healthier, feel cleaner, or appear more awake, then it’s time to upgrade your grooming regimen with a few skincare products.
The best men’s skincare brands today aren’t the same as your dad’s (or granddad’s) face and body soaps. Peruse your local drugstore and you’ll find more shelf space dedicated to face washes, serums, moisturizers, and face masks geared towards guys — and some, like CVS, are even stocking men’s makeup. And Rihanna’s Fenty Skin isn’t the only star-powered beauty brand that’s catering to everyone. Perennially-young, multi-hyphenate musician Pharrell Williams is also launching a gender-free skincare label, Humanrace, in November.
The normalization of men’s grooming is a welcome change, says celebrity groomer Christine Nelli, whose clients include Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, Tom Holland, and Jon Hamm, among others.
“I remember I used to use a lot of women’s-marketed skincare products because the men’s market was very small,” Nelli tells Rolling Stone. “Now you can go into Target and there is a whole aisle dedicated to men’s grooming products with anything you can think of. I think there is more demand now than there used to be because guys have gotten more comfortable normalizing beauty habits for men.”
Beverly Hills-based esthetician and men’s groomer Lashelle Ullie agrees. A makeup artist who has worked with singers Toni Braxton, Michelle Williams, and Kelly Rowland, he’s witnessed how “modern” masculinity has shifted men’s receptiveness to the beauty world. “It’s the everyday man — no longer the ‘metrosexual’ — who’s really wanting to know what is good for their skin. It’s all about a holistic approach to health. And they’re interested in doing their own skin treatments at home, they’re doing their research, and they’re listening,” he says.
Says Nelli: “I’ve noticed a lot of guys are more open to getting facials and want to know who the go-to person is when it comes to skin. They want to know all the tips and tricks on how to take care of their skin to prevent wrinkles so they can look more youthful, just like women. The trend I see a lot with men lately, which I didn’t in the beginning, is all-natural skin care, or a more holistic, vegan, eco-friendly approach to what they put on their skin.”
Ullie credits the change to “a new breed of men” that’s noticeably different than generations past. “They’re more emotionally available to their families, they’re more aware of their own needs. They really pay attention to self-image, apart from the haircut and getting dressed. I also credit more mental health awareness,” he explains.
Social media is also a driving factor. Grand View Research found that “increased exposure to social media has been contributing to the healthy demand for men’s skincare solutions. […] Men are becoming increasingly aware of the need for body image, hygiene, and self-grooming. Furthermore, skincare brands are increasingly targeting shoppers through the online platform (e-commerce) and allowing them easy accessibility to a rapidly expanding product range.”
Women should also get props, Nelli says. “For instance,” she offers, “a girl buys her husband, boyfriend, or guy friend products to try at home or teaches them how to take better care of their skin, or a guy would use their significant other’s face wash or moisturizer. In turn, I think guys went searching for products that were more geared towards men. Brands saw a market open up and seized it, which then normalized men’s grooming,” she explains.
What Are the Best Skincare Brands for Men?
Let’s be clear: You don’t need to go jump up to a 10-step regimen a la K-pop idols. (But if that’s what you’re looking for, more power to you). Thanks to advancements in science, modern men’s grooming companies have nailed down multi-tasking products that deliver results — think the ability to soothe razor burns while reducing the appearance of wrinkles, or combatting flaky skin while clearing clogged pores.
Today’s grooming products are also formulated for a range of dudes and Fitzpatrick skin types. That means that what might work for your fair-haired pal may not be as effective for darker-skinned dudes due to differences in epidermis thickness, oil production, and hair texture. (FYI, it’s a myth that men with melanated skin don’t need sunscreen — SPF for all!)
Whether you’re a bearded businessman, a clean-shaven commuter, or an oily-skinned outdoorsman, there are trusted companies that zero-in on concerns including environmental damage, aging, dull skin, acne, and discoloration. If you’re looking to restock your personal care kit, or upgrade to better products, we’ve rounded up the best men’s skincare brands for every type of guy, skin tone, and lifstyle. Below are the best ones to try.
Disco tapped a Yale-educated dermatologist and Johns Hopkins professor to help create its clean men’s skincare products, and it prides itself on transparency, efficacy, and sustainability. The direct-to-consumer brand’s lineup includes face cleanser sticks, masks, scrubs, and moisturizers alongside eye sticks, body wash, and deodorant.
Everything’s formulated with natural, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients such as vitamins C and E (for protecting and brightening), macadamia oil (for fighting wrinkles), bentonite clay (for absorbing toxins), and willow bark extract (for evening out skin tone), to name a few. We like that the brand offers subscriptions, which will save you time and money in the long run.
The premium skincare brand allows you to customize its entire regimen of skin, hair, and body products depending on your skin type, tone, and concerns. You can buy skincare as individual products or in complete sets that focus on maintenance, anti-aging, correcting, and repairing, and the roster includes anti-wrinkle serums, under-eye rollers for reducing dark circles, charcoal cleansers for purifying the skin, and moisturizers for treating hyperpigmentation, among others.
What’s cool about Lumin is that it offers a free trial when you subscribe to its skincare sets so you can see the difference within your first month. While you’re on the site, you can stock up on hair care that strengthens your strands and repairs your scalp.
Asystem was designed for wellness-minded men seeking high-performance products that can keep up with their active lifestyles. That translates to science-driven skincare that makes it simple to keep up appearances by revitalizing, hydrating, and protecting the visage with its three flagship products: a twice-daily cleanser, an SPF moisturizer, and an overnight cream.
Buy them separately or order them in 30- to 90-day supplies for delivery every one to three months. The L.A.-based company also makes supplements and products for pain management and muscle recovery, including a menthol- and CBD-infused relief roll-on gel (we’re big fans) and anti-inflammatory pills.
4. Scotch Porter
Originally developed as a non-toxic grooming line for Black men, Scotch Porter offers a full range of face, hair, beard, and body products that address concerns for every skin type and tone. Gents with more melanin and textured facial hair tend to have more razor burns and ingrown hairs, and the brand’s skincare is a great choice for treating those issues and leaving the skin smoother and healthier, thanks to anti-inflammatory turmeric root, soothing licorice root, and exfoliating white willow bark.
5. Jaxon Lane
California-based brand Jaxon Lane counts Nick Jonas and Justin Theroux among its famous fans, if that counts for anything. Although Korean skincare isn’t new to U.S. beauty buffs, the company uses the same ingredients-focused approach and formulates products for men’s skin. It’s known for its nourishing and soothing hydrogel Bro Mask, which works for all skin types. The rest of its products are equally top-notch, thanks to clean ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, niacinamide, and squalane, which all work together to reduce fine lines and strengthen and protect the skin.
For men looking to overhaul their entire approach to wellness without leaving the house, telemedicine startup Hims (which also has a women’s-focused platform, Hers) is the place to go. The company offers convenient online visits for primary care and psychiatry, as well as free evaluations and consultations for sexual health, skin, and hair.
The brand also has its own line of prescription-strength skincare — think moisturizing creams that target acne and smooth wrinkles and an antioxidant serum for balancing the skin, to name a few products. You can also stock up on supplements and hair care, and its licensed medical professionals can also prescribe a range of prescription medications (including for mental and sexual health).
This luxury men’s skincare brand is known for its natural and organic formulas without synthetic and toxic chemicals. You can shop Brickell by routine (say, you’re interested in advanced anti-aging) or by regimens best suited for sensitive, dry, or oily skin. The label also features products designed to protect from the environment and pollutants, repair blemishes, firm up the skin, and cut down inflammation (among other concerns) as well as other grooming and shaving essentials for all skin and hair types.
Formulated with melanated men in mind, Bevel’s roster includes a range of products for head-to-toe personal care. That includes skincare designed to treat common issues in skin of color, such as discoloration, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, previous damage, and uneven skin tone. Also on offer are sulfates- and silicone-free hair care for textured tresses, nourishing body washes, and shaving products that have been clinically proven to leave coarse-haired skin smoother after just a month.
There’s a reason why the heritage apothecary brand has been in business since 1851 (and it’s not just good marketing). The New York-born company was among the first in the U.S. to list its product ingredients on its labels, and its skincare products have become cult favorites thanks to their effective, science-backed formulas.
Its men’s line is comprised of aftershave balms, hair and beard grooming products, exfoliating body scrubs, deodorants, and a full range of skincare (including cleansers, anti-aging moisturizers, and firming masks) that leaves the skin refreshed, hydrated, and overall healthier.
The dermatologist-driven brand doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all skin routine, and its online diagnostic tool will help you nail down a personalized regimen to address signs of aging, sun damage, hyper-pigmentation, and acne, to name a few. Geologie says it prioritizes efficacy, clean formulas, and “clinically-proven active ingredients.”
That means you can expect to find face washes, morning and night creams, and eye creams packed with miracle workers like retinol (which helps reduce wrinkles and puffiness), peptides (which help boost collagen production for firmer skin), and hyaluronic acid (for hydration), among others, and none of the unnecessary filler ingredients.
Long beloved for its non-toxic cosmetics and skincare, cult-favorite clean brand and certified B corp Beautycounter launched its first men’s grooming line in 2019. Like its women’s offerings, the company’s Counterman range doesn’t contain any of the 1,800+ “questionable” ingredients on its expansive “Never List.” Instead, it develops its own innovative ingredients, such as sequoia stem cell complex (which protects the visage from environmental stress) and sets for daily maintenance, beards, and shaving make it a cinch to create a safer skin routine.