Starting a New Skincare Routine for 2020
When the new year rolls around, it’s a good chance to take stock of the past twelve months and plan ahead for the next twelve. For a lot of men that means upgrading various routines to make them work for an ever-changing lifestyle.
One of the biggest things to think about for 2020 is your skin. Is your routine doing enough? If you’ve struggled with skin issues over the past year but you haven’t yet worked out what exactly is causing them, it might be time to rethink your skincare routine. Luckily, there’s a wealth of products out there to help you work towards a better feeling face this year. We might be nearing the end of January, but trust us, it’s never too late to start a brand spanking new skincare routine that really works for you.
Redefining Your Skin Type
For some men, a skincare routine is as simple as soap and water in the shower. Whereas, for others it can be a dedicated daily ritual that takes time. Whichever category you fit in, you should ask yourself: is my skincare routine giving me the feel & confidence I’d like.
This is relatively simple to answer. Look at the way your skin has felt over the past few months – have you started breaking out in spots? Are you noticing dry patches that weren’t as bad a while ago? It might be that your lifestyle has changed and that is having an effect on your skin, or it could be that you are using skincare products that aren’t working for your skin needs anymore.
Redefining your skin type could be the key to unlocking a whole new way of taking care of it. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll proabably need to invest in a few key products to help you on your journey to better skin.
The first step, however, is working out your skin type. Generally, although there are a few different skin types, let’s keep things simple with the main groups;
Oily skin is caused by an over-production of sebum in your sebaceous glands – basically you’re making too much oil and your face doesn’t know what to do with it. This results in that not-so-lovely shine that doesn’t seem to go away. The sebum also clogs pores and increases the chances of acne.
Dry, sensitive skin is the result of your skin reacting badly to certain factors, from using the wrong products, to being in an environment with distinct temperature changes. Having sensitive skin can often lead to a snowball effect where the dryness leads to itching, then the itching leads to flakiness, which you then itch. Not great.
This is where your skin is all over the place. You might have an oily t-zone but dry cheeks, or vice versa. It’s basically when your skin can’t decide what it wants to do so it does a little bit of everything. Again, this could be down to a number of reasons, from what you eat to the airborne dust you come into contact with on a daily basis.
It’s worth mentioning mature skin as its own type too, as there are factors that are purely unique to skin as it ages. Elasticity is the main thing – with your skin being less plump and stretchy as you get older, it starts to sag which is why you get wrinkles. Aging skin, combined with any of the above skin types, also requires a bit of extra care.
Working out your skin type is the first step to being able to take control of your skincare routine and make it work for you.
Stocking Your Bathroom Cabinet
Once you’ve worked out your skin type, it’s time to stock up on everything you need for your new 2020 skincare routine. You might be familiar with most skincare products out there, or you could be asking yourself … “what the heck is a toner?” Whatever your experience, it’s easy to work some key products into your morning and evening routines.
Let’s take a look at the different types of skincare product out there and what they can do for men’s skin.
Cleansers work to remove dirt, oil, dead skin cells and other pollutants from the surface of the skin. They pack a powerful punch when it comes to unclogging pores, but a good cleanser is gentle enough not to dry out the skin as it works.
There are lots of different versions of a cleanser, and they used to contain strong astringents and alcohol, but nowadays they are much gentler. They often contain moisturising agents as well, so you can cleanse the skin without leaving it feeling dry.
Toners work their way into the skin quite quickly, delivering a hit of hydration. You would ideally use a toner after you cleanse to help reset the natural balance of your skin (which can be interrupted by your cleanser, some of which have an alkaline make up).
A toner will basically help to reduce oil and give your skin some TLC. They can be quite similar to an astringent, but if you choose the right one you won’t get the dry, stretched feeling you might have gotten from the toners of the olden days.
All hail moisturiser, the bringer of hydration! Ok, maybe we’re being a bit dramatic but we really can’t stop singing its praises. Male skin needs extra hydration no matter what skin type you have (yes, even oily skin). However, it’s vital you choose one that is designed for your skin and that you use it regularly to get the full effect.
Moisturiser is the best way to help retain the skin’s natural moisture as well as replenish what has been lost throughout the day. There are tons of reasons why your skin might get dry, even if you don’t have dry skin as a rule, so it’s better to be safe and sorry and moisturise every day.
You might think you don’t want no scrubs (sorry), but exfoliating is a great way to get down to the nitty gritty of your skin. Dead skin cells and grime build up and sometimes a daily cleanse isn’t enough, which is why you should use a face scrub a couple of times a week to help unclog pores and help the rest of your products penetrate more deeply into your skin.
Some scrubs use harsh exfoliants like walnut shells, which are too rough for the face. Choose a product that uses a gentle exfoliating agent, like oats.
Your Skincare Routine from Start to Finish
Too many products, too little time? Don’t worry, here’s a step-by-step guide to the perfect morning and evening skincare routines.
Step 1: Cleanse
Lather up on wet skin and rinse
Step 2: Tone
Apply after shaving and/or cleansing skin. Splash onto dry skin or apply with a cotton pad.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Wet face with warm water. Massage a small amount of face scrub gently into the skin and rinse well. (Use 2-3 times a week)
Step 4: Moisturise
Apply evenly to face and neck.
Easy peasy, right?
A Little Bit of Extra TLC
There are some other optional products you can include in your routine, like:
If you struggle with bags under your eyes or they feel tired and in need of a lift, a moisturising eye cream is a great addition. Apply the roller-ball directly to the area under your eyes. Use morning and night after applying moisturiser.
Serums are designed to add intense hydration without being sticky. They’re good at leaving the skin feeling firm, smooth and nourished. Use morning and night. Apply evenly to face and neck after cleansing either alone or under your moisturiser.
A good, lightweight emulsion will help to relieve dry skin and will leave the skin looking healthy and feeling hydrated. Apply after cleansing or toning the skin.
Sheet masks are a great way to give yourself a bit of luxury. Use them semi-regularly and relax for ten minutes while they brighten tired, dull looking skin.
If you think your skincare routine is going to take up valuable morning and evening time (we know there’s not enough hours in the day), don’t fret. All it takes is an extra few minutes after your shower and before bed to see a difference.