How to Talk to Your Man About Skincare


For every skincare-savvy Beautylish dude out there, there are three totally clueless ones. Men’s skincare is still a source of mystery and confusion for many guys, so here’s a handy little guide to help you help them look their best.

Assess your dude

Before you get in his face waving a Clarisonic and pore strips, be sure your advice is welcomed. Get a sense of how aware he is about his skin. What level of knowledge are we working with here? What’s his comfort level with products? Has he asked for your help, or are you jumping the gun a bit?  

Approach with caution

If your guy has been hinting at some discomfort with his skin, it’s a good bet he’d be interested in some solutions. Suss out his skincare concerns, and work with him to find a regimen he feels good about using. Some men would rather not broadcast their cosmetic exploits, so be sensitive to his comfort level.


Men have naturally thicker skin than women—and that’s not a turn of phrase. It’s up to 25% thicker, in fact. Higher levels of testosterone leads to higher production of collagen and elastin, which is part of the reason George Clooney just seems to look better and better. Some genders have all the luck. So the male dermis can handle (and needs) thicker, more penetrative products.

Cures for the common complaint:

Too-oily skin

Thicker skin leads to more sebaceous glands, so men generally have oilier skin than women. Try a moisturizer with mattifying properties, like Peter Thomas Roth’s Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel (bonus: skin looks smoother). If oily skin is causing breakouts, try the Proactiv refining mask for heavy-duty pimple-blasting. Use once a week or spot-treat.

Enlarged pores

Men have larger pores due to having more hair follicles, and excessive oil production can widen pores and exacerbate the issue. Weekly exfoliation will help to minimize the pores (men have been secretly using St. Ives apricot scrub for years), and Clinique has an entire pore-minimizing line.

Sun protection

Of course, everyone should be concerned about protecting themselves from harmful UV/UVA rays, but men generally don’t get the incidental protection that comes with foundation and other cosmetics with SPF included. Also, sun damage can directly combat that collagen/elastin advantage we mentioned, which would be a shame. Supergoop makes awesome sunscreen wipes for no-muss, no-fuss application.

Razor burn

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Tend Skin is a cult favorite for post-shave application to prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs, and other irritation (swipe his bottle for your bikini area!). Products with salicylic acid (most anti-acne treatments contain it) will also help treat the issue.

General anti-aging concerns

Kiehl’s has an extensive, man-friendly line ranging from cleansers to toners to moisturizers and other symptom-specific treatments. Swipe some samples from your nearest department store for him to try, or take a shopping trip and consult with a Kiehl’s expert.