It began about five years ago. My husband, whose definition of skincare had been to quickly wash his face with soap in the shower (the soap he used on his body, naturally), one day suddenly asked me if I had any moisturizers he could use.
After picking up my jaw off the ground, I began the interrogation. What are you using now? What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin concerns? Are you sensitive to any ingredients?
Of course, he had no clue. But as any beauty obsessive knew, you couldn’t just give someone any moisturizer. There are so many varieties out there, each addressing a myriad of skin concerns, from fine lines to dehydration to breakouts.
Fortunately for my husband, I had an arsenal of beauty products to ply him with. First, I got him a gentle cleanser — it took a bit of arguing to get him to understand that squeaky clean, tight-feeling skin is not the goal of cleansing one’s face. Then I had him use a light gel moisturizer, something non-sticky and quickly absorbed so he didn’t feel like he had “something on his face.” He quickly ran off, though, when I started going into the importance of sunscreen.
Fast forward to today. My husband not only uses sunscreen every day, he’s incorporated a serum and a hydrating toner into his regimen. So when I asked him for his expertise in writing this story, he spewed out a list of do’s and don’ts without hesitation:
- Essentially, guys want to do two things: Wash their face and slap on a moisturizer.
- Scent is a big no-no. If it’s too flowery or “girly,” he won’t use it.
- Uncomplicated is key. A product has to be easy to use, without too many steps or a special method of application. A multi-tasker, like a moisturizer with sunscreen, is a big plus.
And as someone who got her husband to at least a three- to five-step skincare regimen, some tips I’ve learned about sharing skincare with your man:
- Introduce skincare in steps
Don’t bombard him with a 10-step regimen that will make his eyes glaze over the same way yours does when he tries to explain what a designated hitter is. A cleanser and moisturizer is a good start. Slowly move on to sunscreen and a hydrating toner after he acclimates.
- Take the opportunity to swap out existing skincare
When my husband began blade shaving, he needed an aftershave. I convinced him to forgo the drying astringent and opt instead for a hydrating toner with witch hazel.
- If your man is a skincare newbie, have his use light or gel textured product
As he becomes accustomed to having things on his face, he’ll be OK with heavier textures.
- Skincare together
If you’re in the dating or honeymoon phase with your man, he’ll likely go along with a couple sheet masking session as you binge-watch a Korean drama on Netflix. (My husband once did, as well. No longer. Ah, you can’t win ’em all.)
- Compliment him on his skin
If he thinks it’s working, he’ll likely stick to it.
Ready to get your man toned and plumped and hydrated? You can start with these man-friendly skincare products:
If you have to, trick your man into taking better care of his skin. He’ll appreciate the nice “whipped” foam lather of the acne-fighting LJH Tea Tree 30 Cleanser. You’ll appreciate that it doesn’t contain any skin-stripping sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates.
Swap out your man’s aftershave with Blithe Vital Treatment Essence-Five Energy Roots, flush with nourishing root extracts. He’ll never be the wiser with its unobtrusive, minimalist look, and since guys are used to slapping on an astringent after a shave, he’ll even get some patting action into his regimen. If your man is really lazy, get him a hydrating mist, like LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist Toner, good for irritated skin, or Soyedodam Organic Ginseng Mist, an organic face mist formulated with Red Ginseng, Manuka Honey and Aloe Vera with a natural herbal scent.
The serum and moisturizer-in-one that is Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum is the perfect introduction for the skincare-phobe. Its light gel texture cools and calms skin without oiliness or tackiness, and yet it’s packed with 63% Ice Plant extract, which deeply hydrates while minimizing pores. It’s got a light, herbal scent that’s definitely unisex.
I've fallen in love with Blithe's pressed serums from the first time I tested them, and recently I've been slathering this Crystal Iceplant pressed serum every morning after toning (with Earth's Recipe's Energy Boosting Toner), without an additional essence or serum… and it actually works like a serum + moisturizer + even primer in one! My sunscreen and BB cream blend in naturally, almost instantly. Skin feels and looks plump and doesn't dry out throughout the day. Still incredibly impressed by the innovation in convenience, ease of use, and noticeable results that this young brand Blithe offers. My current morning skincare go-to. Iceplant for the face anyone? ❄️🌿 #PressedSerum #KBeauty #Innovation #GlowTesting
Call it a “date night in,” and get your guy to do a sheet masking session with you. Try Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Facial Sheet Mask, made with real fermented sea kelp. He may actually go for the “ick” factor, the scent of the ocean and the cool green shade. (Tell him Shark Tank’s resident athlete and sport fanatic Robert Herjavec really dug it.)
Because guys like to care for their skin, too. They just don’t want to admit it.
Anna M. Park is the editor of beauty and travel blog Styleunderpressure.com.