It seems that there are endless resources for women’s skincare online but unfortunately the same can’t be said for men’s skincare. However, while everyone has skin on their face (duh!), that skin for men is different than it is for women. As a skincare and beauty pro, I’ve quickly realized that even though I have a solid understanding of how to build out a skincare routine and how products work together, I’m lacking a bit in the men’s skincare department. Of course, I can help suggest products for my guy friends and my dad but it doesn’t really go beyond that. That’s why, in the lead-up to Father’s Day I enlisted the help of skincare legend, the iconic Dr. Dennis Gross who is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon who has been in practice for 25 years. Dr. Gross also has a line of skincare innovative products that are effective and easy to use, even for the skincare newbie.
Wondering where to start when it comes to men’s skincare? Read on for Dr. Dennis Gross’s pro tips and advice!
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Blair Stutz: What makes men’s skin different than women’s?
Dr. Dennis Gross: Male and female skin share more similarities than differences. At my practice, I prescribe skincare regimens based off of my client’s skin type vs. gender. That said, male skin tends to be thicker and more oily due to increased receptors for androgens. They also produce more testosterone than women, which can lead to added sebum production and additional breakouts.
BS: For men with a shaved head or are bald, where does the forehead end? How far up should they be applying moisturizer?
DDG: Your face is broken down into thirds with your forehead being your top third. Your hair helps your scalp retain moisture – if you are bald or have a shaved head, you should apply a daily moisturizer on the entire area. This prevents itching or flaking.
BS: What are some non-negotiables when it comes to building a skincare routine for men?
DDG: The key to building an effective skincare routine is consistency. Be sure to choose products that you can commit to for a morning and nighttime routine. At the bare minimum, I advise integrating a cleanser, daily chemical exfoliation, moisturizer and physical sunscreens into your routine. The ingredients should vary depending on your skin type – look for products with higher concentrations of alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids for oil regulation, and soothing ingredients like chamomile, aloe vera and marine algae for sensitive, dryer skin.
BS: What are some common misconceptions that men have when it comes to skincare and taking care of their skin?
- Skincare products are gendered: Regardless of your sex, men and women should be shopping for products based off of their skin type. All of the products we formulate are unisex and created to treat a range of skin types & concerns.
- Shampoo doubles as a face cleanser: You need a cleanser specifically for your face – specifically one that does not strip the skin. When skin is stripped, you damage the moisture barrier which can lead to breakouts and dry skin.
- Moisturizers will cause breakouts: Because male skin tends to be more oily, many patients avoid moisturizers assuming they will clog their pores. The opposite is actually true – you need a moisturizer to keep skin in balance. For oily skin, look for an oil-free formula that will hydrate the skin without clogging pores.
BS: Some men have never had a skincare regime. How should they get on board? What products should they start with?
DDG: As a baseline, men should integrate a cleanser, chemical exfoliant, moisturizer and physical SPF. Choosing a cleanser and exfoliant with alpha and beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid, for example, will detoxify the skin and remove the dead skin cells that have accumulated throughout the day. From there, integrating serums with ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol and bakuchiol will promote cellular turnover and boost the body’s natural production of collagen, thereby reducing fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. Finally, topping off with a moisturizer and physical SPF will hydrate the skin and protect you from sun damage and skin cancer.
BS: Are there any face treatments that you’d recommend for men?
DDG: Lasers, chemical peels, Botox and injectables are popular face treatments selected by male patients at my practice. Our professional chemical peel is a stronger version of our Alpha Beta daily face peels and will treat ongoing and future blemishes and give the skin an immediate glow. Men also love the Botox brow lift – one of my personal favourites – it opens up the eye for a brighter, more youthful appearance. My style and goal are to always provide an authentic look that enhances men’s natural features.
BS: Do you have any tips on how gents can prevent acne and ingrown hairs from shaving?
DDG: To avoid acne, ingrowns and razor bumps, be sure to apply relative, gentle pressure to the razor as you shave. Be sure to shave the night before going out into the sun, too, to avoid irritation and sensitivity. Also, shaving in multiple directions will help prevent ingrown development. Integrating a chemical exfoliant routinely will help create a smoother, softer shave and prevent additional breakouts. My Alpha Beta Daily face peels are a great option here – or the Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment for the body.
BS: How should someone with a beard approach skincare?
DDG: Apply your topical products and ingredients to your forehead and cheeks as you traditionally would (i.e. cleanser, chemical exfoliant, physical SPF, etc.), but avoid applying moisturizers or oil-based products around your beard. This will clog the hair follicle and irritate the skin, leading to potential breakouts. Think of treating your beard similar to how you would treat your hair – you would not apply your face cleanser, chemical exfoliants or moisturizers to the hair on your head. That said, maintenance around the surrounding area is key. Shaving technique also matters – remember to go in all directions with the razor, not just against the grain. And be sure to apply smooth, gentle pressure – too much can cause further irritation.