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A Guide: Skin Types for Men

A Guide: Skin Types for Men

This guide is approximately an 8-minute read.

Your face is one of a kind, and not just because it doesn't look like anyone else's.

Each guy's skin has its own unique characteristics, and the features of your complexion affect how you should take care of your skin.

Using face & skincare products that are geared toward your specific skin type can help you keep your complexion healthy and decrease your risk of developing dermatological problems like acne or irritation.

Not sure which of the skin types for men you are or what products you should be using for your skin type? Not to worry!

This guide to how to determine men's skin types and shop for products based on men's skin types will give you the answers you need to create a great regimen.


Men's Skin Versus Women's Skin

Before delving into how to determine men's skin types, it's important to understand that there are big differences between men's skin and women's skin, including:

The impact of shaving on skin...

Of course you know that ladies don't grow facial hair, but what you might not realize is that because you probably need to shave on a more frequent basis, this impacts your skin.

The friction from the razor is hard on a man's complexion, making guys prone to problems like ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and razor burn that women don't deal with.


Thickness of skin...

Men's skin is about 25 percent thicker than women's skin due to the presence of testosterone.

The thickness of a man's skin can affect how well products absorb, so men's skincare formulas are typically made to penetrate more deeply into the tissue than women's.


Effects of aging on skin…

Men and women both experiences reductions in collagen levels as they age. Collagen is the stuff that lies beneath your skin that gives it its elasticity and helps it resist wrinkling.

Guys are lucky to suffer collagen loss at a steady pace throughout life, while women lose more collagen after menopause. This means that while anti-aging skincare is still important to guys, most men don't need to alter their regimens with age to continue to promote a youthful complexion.



Guys produce more natural skin oil or sebum than women. As a result, men have different needs when it comes to hydration.

Men's skincare products for different skin types are therefore formulated differently than products for women to account for the differences in hydration levels.

 Skin Types for Men


Common Skin Types for Men

Now we’ll dive into different skin types for men starting with oily skin.

Skin Type: Oily

Defining Characteristics

Guys with oily skin produce too much sebum, leading to problems with shininess all over the complexion, widespread enlarged pores, and frequent acne blemishes.


Face & Skincare Products to Look for

For a daily oily skincare regimen, use:

Clarifying Face Cleanser

A clarifying cleanser, which will help to reduce the amount of sebum on your skin. Gel cleansers and foaming products are the good bets for oily skin.

An example of a gel face wash is the Clarifying Gel Face Wash from Brickell:

 Brickell Clarifying Gel Face Wash


Astringent Toner

Use an astringent toner to balance your skin's pH levels and help to slow down oil production. Astringents help to diminish pore size and purify the tiny openings in your skin to reduce the risk of breakouts.


Oil-Free Moisturizing Face Serum

Use an oil-free moisturizing serum or balm to replace hydration that is lost due to evaporation without increasing the oil content of your skin.


You may also want to add the following to your regimen:

Clarifying Face Scrub

A clarifying face scrub can be used 2 or 3 times per week to remove dead skin and purify the pores.


Acne Spot Treatments & Lotions

Use acne spot treatments and lotions to address existing blemishes and decrease the risk of future breakouts. These products often feature benzoyl peroxide to control oil production and kill acne-causing bacteria or salicylic acid to break down blemishes and remove dead skin that clog the pores.


Clarifying Face Masks

Use clarifying masks to absorb sebum from the pores and address skin congestion. These products often contain clay, which is very good at drawing toxins and other impurities out of the pores.


Important Tip:

Make sure to use oil-free and noncomedogenic skin care products to avoid ingredients that worsen greasiness and can clog the pores.

If you have oily skin, check out our guide on how to choose grooming products for men with oily skin.

 Men's Skin Types


Skin Type: Dry

Defining Characteristics

Guys with dry skin don't produce enough sebum, leading to roughness, flakiness, and sometimes, itching and redness. If your skin is dry, you likely won't be able to see your pores, and your face may sometimes feel tight.


Face & Skincare Products to Look for

For a daily dry skin care regimen, use:

Moisturizing Face Cleanser

A moisturizing cleanser will remove dirt and impurities without leaving your already dry skin more parched.

These products typically contain natural oils that actually add more moisture to the tissue to reduce the risk of dryness.


Hydrating Face Toner

Use a hydrating toner to adjust the pH levels of the skin tissue and help to boost oil production. Make sure to choose a toner that is alcohol-free to avoid drying out your skin.


Moisturizing Cream or Lotion

A moisturizing cream or lotion that is rich in emollients like natural oils and butters to increase moisture levels in the skin. If your skin is very dry, a product with an occlusive like silicone can help to seal moisture in the tissue to reduce the risk of dryness.


You may also want to add the following to your regimen:

Face Scrub

A facial scrub or exfoliant can remove dead, dry skin that looks flaky or dull. Typically, scrubs and exfoliators should be applied at least once per week, but you may need to do so more frequently at first.

An example of a men’s face scrub is the Face Bomb Deep Cleansing Mud from Portland General Store:

 Portland General Store Face Bomb


Hydrating Serum

You can apply a hydrating serum before your moisturizer to give your skin an added dose of moisture. These products can be especially beneficial during the winter months when dry skin is likely to become even more dehydrated due to dry winter weather.


Night Cream

A night cream can increase hydration levels while you sleep. Many of these products can also diminish lines and wrinkles, which can become more prominent when skin grows parched.


Important Tip:

Dry skin is much more likely to develop signs of aging prematurely. Using products that contain antioxidant ingredients can cut down on the likelihood of wrinkles forming at an early age.

If you have dry skin, check out our guide on how to choose grooming products for men with dry skin.


Skin Type: Combination

Defining Characteristics

Guys with combination skin have symptoms of oily skin along their foreheads, noses and chin – known as the “T-zone” - and either normal or dry skin on their cheeks.


Face & Skincare Products to Look for

For a daily combination skin care regimen, use:

Balancing Face Cleanser

A balancing cleanser can help to hydrate skin in dry spots and control oil in the T-zone.

During the summer months, one that foams can help to better fight shine and promote clearer skin. You can use a non-foaming cleansing gel in the winter or choose a creamy cleanser if your skin becomes dry during the cold weather months.


Face Toner

A facial toner that is free of alcohol, which will help to keep the pH of your skin regulated across your entire complexion. Toning will help to normalize oil production, so regional oiliness and dryness can become less pronounced.

An alchol-free toner that you may want to check out is the Willow Toner from Portland General Store:

Portland General Store Willow Toner


Oil-Free Face Moisturizer

Use an oil-free moisturizer to hydrate dry areas adequately without congesting the T-zone.


You may also want to add the following to your regimen:

Face Scrub

Exfoliating once or twice every week with a scrub can help to keep the pores in your to T-zone clear, diminish pore size, and remove dry, dead tissue from your cheeks.


Moisturizing Serum

During the winter months, you can apply a moisturizing serum after toning and before your moisturizer to your cheeks to keep them hydrated.


Acne Spot Treatment

When blemishes develop on combination skin, it's best to address them with a spot treatment that contains sulfur, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. This will help you to avoid over-drying and irritating the dryer portions of your complexion.


Important Tip:

For successful combination skincare, you need to be aware of your skin's condition. Pay attention to how dry and oily the various regions of your face are. You may need to experiment with different products to find the ones that will best meet your skin's moisture needs all over.

For more information on combination skin, check out this guide on how to choose grooming products for men with combination skin.

  Men's Skin Types

Skin Type: Sensitive

Defining Characteristics

Men with sensitive complexions frequently suffer from redness, itching, and stinging when using skincare products and after shaving.


Face & Skincare Products to Look for

Note: if you have sensitive skin (or aren't sure if you do), please don't test out any grooming products before consulting with your dermatologist or doctor first.

For a daily sensitive skincare regimen, here are some potential products to incorporate into your routine:

Non-Foaming, Allergy-Friendly Face Wash

To remove impurities that can irritate sensitive skin, choose a non-foaming cleanser that is labeled as hypoallergenic or allergy-tested. If your skin is on the oily side, look for one that is gel based or noncomedogenic.

For drier sensitive skin, select a creamier face wash.


Face Toner with Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients

In order to promote a healthy moisture balance, pick a toner that is hypoallergenic or allergy-tested and free of alcohol.

Look for products that feature aloe vera, chamomile, bisabolol, lavender, vitamin E, calendula, or other inflammation-fighting ingredients to promote calmer skin.


Gentle Face Moisturizer

Finish with a hypoallergenic or allergy-tested moisturizer, preferably one with some of the anti-inflammatory ingredients named above. 

To properly hydrate oily sensitive skin, pick a noncomedogenic moisturizing lotion or balm or select a hydrating cream for dry sensitive skin.


You may also want to add the following to your regimen: 

Mild Face Scrub

A hypoallergenic or allergy-tested face scrub with moisturizing beads can help you remove rough skin that develops after hypersensitivity reactions. Look for ones without acid ingredients, which can be too harsh for sensitive skin.


Anti-inflammatory Serum

When inflammation arises, you can add an anti-inflammatory serum to your regimen after toning and before moisturizing.

These products may also be called calming serums, anti-redness serums or soothing serums and contain high concentrations of inflammation fighting ingredients that can reduce redness and swelling.


Important Tips:

If you have sensitive skin (or aren't sure if you do), please do not experiment with new grooming products without consulting with your dermatologist or doctor first.

If your dermatologist or doctor allows you to try out a product, you may want to do a spot test by applying a small amount of the formula to a discreet location (e.g. skin under your jaw). Wait a day and look for any signs of irritation.

If you have sensitive skin, check out our guide on how to choose grooming products for men with sensitive skin.

Normal Skin  

Skin Type: Normal

Defining Characteristics

If your face doesn't fit into any of the other categories, you have what's considered normal skin, meaning that your glands produce the optimal amount of sebum all over and the tissue is not sensitive.


Face & Skincare Products to Look for

For a daily normal skin care regimen, use:

Daily Face Wash to Suit the Season

Wash twice every day with a daily face wash to keep your skin clean.

During the summer months, it's typically a good idea to use a face wash gel, which is better able to remove skin oils.

If your skin becomes drier during the winter, you can use a moisturizing face wash with a creamy base to add extra hydration to your skin.


Alcohol-Free Toner

Toning will help to keep your skin's moisture level regulated, so your skin doesn't shift and become oily or dry. Pick one without alcohol, which can dehydrate skin.


Face Moisturizer to Suit the Season

Just as your cleansing needs can change with the seasons, your moisturizing needs may vary as well.

During the summer months, most men with normal complexions can hydrate optimally with a cleansing balm or lotion that contains plant oils like jojoba or humectants like hyaluronic acid or glycerin.

An example of a face moisturizer for you to check out is the Daily Essential Face Moisturizer from Brickell:

Brickell Daily Essential Face Moisturizer

When drier winter weather arrives, you may need to shift to a moisturizer cream made with plant oils and butters like shea or coconut.


You may also want to add the following to your regimen:

Face Scrub

Exfoliating one to two times per week can help to keep your normal skin smooth and give it a healthy glow.

To get double the exfoliating benefits, choose a product with mechanical exfoliators like ground pumice or nut shells and chemical exfoliators like lactic acid.


Anti-Wrinkle Serum

To keep your skin looking youthful, you can add an anti-aging serum to your regimen, applying it after you tone and before you moisturize.

Ones with antioxidants are ideal for younger men who want to decrease their risk of wrinkling, while ones with peptides, vitamin C, and collagen work best for men who wish to minimize the appearance of existing wrinkles.


Important Tip:

Don't take your normal skin for granted. Without regular care, normal complexions can become dry or oily. Make sure to keep up with your daily skin care regimen.


Step Up Your Grooming Game

If you're interested in continuing to learn and step up your grooming game, click on the image below to get your free copy of "A Useful Guide to Men's Face Care Products" (which comes with a Welcome Bundle of gifts like a 15% off promo code, gifts with purchases, and more):



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