Are you tired of forehead bumps, uneven skin tone and dry patches? Skincare for men addresses most if not all concerns with effective products on the market. With the overwhelming options around, looking after your skin can be intimidating. Thankfully, men's kits and sets by well-known skincare brands offer simple, straightforward solutions.
How important is skincare for men?
Rather, is it necessary for men to have a regimen in place? Consistent skin pampering is more than just self-care - it's your best bet at preventing future skin troubles. Our dermatology expert says men tend to have a skin type that's "easily prone to infection, oiliness and clogged pores".
"Men should definitely have a skincare routine," said Dr Aashim Singh Kukreja, a specialist dermatologist with Medcare Medical Centre in Dubai. "Most of them are outdoors under the sun, or engaged in sports, where their skin is exposed to dust, dirt, pollution and other physical stressors. [Having a skincare routine] will help them maintain their youth, glow and hydration for a long time."
As for everyone, skincare should ideally begin at the onset of puberty, when teen glands start becoming active. This is where common concerns like acne crop up. "With the sun comes sunburn and pigmentation issues, especially in the temple area, where many start to darken first," said Dr Kukreja, who adds that signs of ageing are also commonly seen on the temples. Fair skin types are more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles.
What skincare routine should men have?
It's as simple as having three to four products in your arsenal. Men's skincare routines can comprise the basic essentials, starting with cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen, says Dr Kukreja. The addition of a chemical exfoliator once or twice a week could help with any texture and offer a deeper cleanse.
"Always go for the chemical kind, as physical exfoliators increase stress on the skin. For instance, men are already exposed to physical stressors and friction during sports, when they sweat a lot and rub their faces," she said.
A good rule of thumb is to pick up an exfoliator with lactic acid if you have dry skin, glycolic acid for pigmentation and salicylic acid for oily skin types. Sunscreen for all skin types is a must, even more so if you spend most of the day outdoors.
Dr Kukreja said: "For deeper skin tones, SPF (sun protection factor) 30 should be sufficient, but fairer skin tones can go for SPF 50. Reapply every three hours when outdoors. Most usually don't want something heavy, so they can choose a water-based sunscreen, such as from Isdin, La Roche Posay or Heliocare, which won't leave a white cast."
She says skincare sets could be an easier starting point, since these kits only include the basic products. This means, potent actives for specific skin concerns may be missing. Dr Kukreja urges consultation with a dermatologist before targeting breakouts, pigmentation and other issues with active ingredients.
With the help of expert recommendations, we've rounded up the best skincare kits for men to use, below. Most of these don't feature a bottle of sunscreen, so make sure to pick up one recommended by experts. Shop with Prime to get free, same-day delivery.
1. Best Overall: Kiehl's Healthy Skin Starter Kit
Our dermatology expert tells us that Kiehl's skincare kits are most opted for by the majority. Its Healthy Skin Starter Kit is a good place to start, packed with five essentials that can help you retain moisture and strengthen the skin barrier. Your routine begins with Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming face wash, which is great for oily skin types. Moisturise using the brand's bestselling Ultra Facial Cream, formulated with 4.5% squalane that delivers 24 hours of hydration. Top it with the Avocado Eye Cream to de-puff and brighten the under eyes. If you're noticing fine lines, tackle them before moisturising with two pumps of the vitamin C serum, Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. And, finally, at night, you could incorporate the Midnight Recovery Concentrate face oil to remove any signs of exhaustion.
2. Best for Sensitive Skin: Bulldog Men's Skincare and Grooming Sensitive Full Face Kit
Devised for sensitive skin types, the Bulldog full face kit includes a fragrance-free face scrub, besides the cleanser and moisturiser. All products strive to reduce irritation and soothe the skin. You'll find natural ingredients like baobab oil, oat oil and willow herb to help your sensitive skin stay clean and smooth. Reviewers who've suffered from redness and dry patches from shaving say they've healed their skin with this kit. Others add that it's cleared their breakouts. Oily skin types can also check out Bulldog's Oil Control moisturiser and cleanser kit.
3. Best for Acne: CeraVe Skin Care Set For Acne Treatment
CeraVe is a trusted brand for many dermatologists, including Dr Kukreja. If you're familiar with what works best for your acne, then you might find an affordable option in CeraVe's acne kit. Four coveted products from the brand help with battling pimples, post-acne scars and hydration. It comes with the Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser that has 4 per cent benzoyl peroxide, ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide - all aid in clearing whiteheads, acne and blackheads. For acne scars, you'll need the Resurfacing Retinol Serum to renew skin cells and help with acne scarring. Retinol is a strong active that can dry out the skin, which is why this kit contains different day (AM) and night (PM) moisturisers. The AM lotion is infused with SPF 30, while the PM lotion makes sure the skin stays hydrated throughout the night. The kit is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic or not pore clogging. Impressed users highly recommend it to men and teenage boys in the reviews, saying that they saw results right away.
4. Best for Oily Skin: Bevel Skin Care Set for Men
Another essentials kit for oily-prone skin, the Bevel Skin offers the perfect three-step products to treat blemishes, bumps and discolouration. Starting with the aloe vera-infused face wash, the cleanser features witch hazel, niacinamide and coconut fruit juice, which soothe the skin and help prevent acne. Then come the exfoliating toner pads with 10% glycolic acid to lighten shaving nicks and dark spots, and avoid ingrown hairs. Lock in the benefits of the acid with the moisturising face gel that feels lightweight and hydrating, while reducing discolouration with vitamin C, sun damage with vitamin E and breakouts with anti-bacterial honey. Men with deeper skin tones leave five-star reviews on this kit, mentioning smoother skin, no blackheads and sebum control.
5. Best for Dry Skin: Clinique Men's Daily Intense Hydration Starter Kit
Suffer from dry skin? You need a skincare set that focuses on hydration, like this Clinique men's starter kit for extra dry skin types. It offers a gentle cleanser made with ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice and sodium hyaluronate (a derivate of hyaluronic acid), a rich shaving cream to prevent nicks and cuts, and a water-gel moisturiser that delivers an increased moisture boost of 179 per cent for 24 hours. This daily set ensures you have a skin-safe shaving routine that doesn't dry you out further. All products are fragrance-free. Buyers pick it up as a special gift for husbands and fathers, since the kit is travel-sized.
6. Best Comprehensive Kit: Jack Black Skin Saviors Set
For a more comprehensive set, try the Jack Black Skin Saviors set - it takes care of the most basic needs, from sun protection to lip care. The Pure Clean daily facial cleanser is a face wash and toner in one, removing the day's impurities gently with aloe vera and sage leaf. Follow up with the Face Buff Energising Scrub once or twice a week to clear congested pores and ingrown hairs, allowing you to get a closer shave. Exfoliating calls for hydration and sun protection - the Double-Duty SPF moisturiser has a broad-spectrum protection of SPF 20 that must go on 15 minutes before sun exposure. However, the protection factor is still lower than the recommended minimum for outdoors. Finally, add a generous layer of the Intense Therapy Lip Balm to heal dry, chapped lips, with SPF 25. Reviewers are happy with the value for money they get, as several first-time users marvel at how soft and clean their face feels.
7. Best Value Kit: L'Oreal Paris Men Expert Look Lively Anti-Fatigue Skin Duo
A decent introductory kit would have just the two products - a cleanser and moisturiser. Dr Kukreja mentions the L'Oreal Paris Men Expert's hydration line. Great to have on the bathroom counter, if you already own a trusted sunscreen, the Hydra Energetic face wash and moisturiser are enriched with vitamin C and guarana. The instant wake-up effect leaves the face feeling refreshed and energised first thing in the morning. The anti-fatigue cream is non-greasy and absorbs quickly, yet hydrates for up to 24 hours. Many reviewers attest to how it wakes them up right away, leaving them with refreshed, clean skin.
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