The internet is awash with jokes about men grooming themselves with 7-in-1 cleansing products or having personal care basics marketed to them in the most aggressive ways thanks to toxic masculinity. It’s widely known that most North American men don’t put as much care into their daily toilette as their female counterparts do, because it’s considered too feminine, which apparently is a bad thing. So they use everything from hand soap to body wash to clean their faces, and follow up with the same moisturizer they use for their bodies.
If you’re a skincare enthusiast, these practices are probably an affront to your well-honed sensibilities, spurring you to encourage an immediate change in habits. In the past you might have tried without much success to get the man (or men) in your life to exercise proper skincare habits, and the lack of progress could be due to a number of reasons. Healthy skin is just as important for men as it is for women and everyone else, and just as we were lucky to learn from others, we must pass the knowledge on to others who lack it. Here’s how you can help.
Healthy skin is as important for men as it is for everyone else, and just as we were lucky to learn from others, we must pass the knowledge on to the men in our lives.
1. Build a Solid Routine With Minimal Steps
For the uninitiated, the sheer volume of skincare product options available can be daunting, resulting in a complete abandonment of the notion, or an unsuccessful trial of concoctions that yield unfavorable results. As the first step to helping the men in your life form good skincare habits, take the effort out of it by helping them build a routine.
Just as you would ease any other person new to skincare into the process, create a routine with only the most necessary steps. This isn’t the time to introduce your partner or brother to the wonderful world of the Korean 10-step routine. If they’ve been washing their faces with a Dove bar for as long as they can remember, they’re hardly going to take to a multi-step routine like a duck to water. Stick to essentials like cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. If you can find an all-in-one product that combines the toner, essence/serum steps, even better.
2. Look For Minimalist Packaging
A walk through the personal care aisle of your local drugstore perfectly demonstrates why packaging is an important factor in the process of introducing the men in your life to skincare. Male-targeted grooming products are usually packaged in darker-colored containers compared to women’s versions. They also feature language that evokes feelings of strength like, “bold” or “sport,” and manly scents like tobacco, pine, and musk.
There isn’t really an abundance of that kind of language on the shelves of notable beauty retailers, so when curating a routine for men, choose the next best option—minimal packaging. Go for products in neutral or unisex-colored containers—brands like Erno Lazslo, SkinCeuticals, La Roche-Posay, Dermalogica, Aesop, and Ole Henriksen. Alternatively, look to brands created specifically for men like Jack Black or Bulldog, as well as special lines for men made by brands that cater mostly to women, like Kiehl’s.
3. Make It a Fun Activity or Opportunity For Bonding
I’ve heard a lot of people say that their male partners’ interest in skincare started with trying out a mask or letting someone else apply a skincare routine for them. When introduced in a fun manner like weekly sheet masking sessions while watching a movie together on a Sunday night, it can demonstrate the fun side of skincare, associating happy memories with the activity. After the man in your life tries out your favorite serum or moisturizer a few times and sees the difference it makes in the look and feel of his skin, it won’t be long before you have to buy him his own stuff because you’re tired of running out of product twice as fast.
4. Explain Why Healthy Skin Is Important
It’s vital to explain what the benefits of a dedicated skincare regimen are, or else all the careful work of putting together a routine will be for naught. Ultimately, it’s up to the recipient of your advice to put in the commitment. Understanding how each step fits into achieving the overall goal really helps to drive that home.
Go over the different skin types, making sure to focus on what category they fall into, and what their needs are. Also talk them through the routine you’ve put together, highlighting their functions and why you picked them. Mention how glad they’ll be a few months down the road when all their hard work pays off, and encourage any progress you see them make, no matter how little. Remember that once upon a time, you were in their shoes, clueless about what hyaluronic acid was or why it was important to use a moisturizer even for oily skin.
If all fails, you might have to resolve to tricks like swapping out his current staples for better ones yourself, or positioning products in areas where he’s sure to use them, like cleansers in the shower and sunscreen by his body lotion. There’s also the option of introducing steps one at a time if even a four- or five-step routine proves too difficult. Start with sunscreen, then a pH-balanced cleanser, followed by a toner and a simple serum. Some skin types can thrive off a very simple routine consisting of a cleanser, toner, and sunscreen, and this method is a great way to tell if more steps are needed.
How did you get the men in your life to skincare?