We’ve collected the best men’s skin care products in 15 categories, because at GQ, we cover every topic of skin care under the sun. We’ve delved into ingredients, from hydrating hyaluronic acid to skin-smoothing niacinamide to pore-clearing salicylic acid. We talked about specific categories (like the best serums) and talked about how to address specific issues (like the best cleansers for sensitive skin and the best postpartum skin care). We even have SPF explained and picked out the best sunscreens for your face. Literally everything under the sun, in this case.
But we wanted to put it all together in one place: The best skin care for men. A regimen you can build from the ground up for better skin for the rest of your life — or maybe just a new product or brand to help perfect a routine you already love. Here are some of our newest favorites — all of which are practically guaranteed to make you a little more handsome.
Best moisturizer with SPF
If you’re going to give your water a daily—and you want—it probably has SPF too, right? Make it one with SPF30+, as recommended by a dermatologist.
Best moisturizer without SPF
If you don’t have SPF in your moisturizer, that’s fine too. Then make sure to combine it with a facial SPF. And, that can also make it an oil-free option, especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
Best face sunscreen
Facial sunscreens are formulated for the more delicate skin on your face — and without pore-clogging ingredients like heavy oils. Keep it separate from your full body SPF.
The best restorative night cream
A concentrated night cream that accelerates healing and cell renewal while you sleep. Maybe it’s too hard to wear during the day, and that’s the point: use it before bed, when the skin is also prone to dryness (especially in winter or in an air-conditioned room).
Best Retinol Night Cream
Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A, and are revered for their skin-smoothing, acne-fighting, and pore-reducing abilities. Retinol is the OTC version available in many night creams and serums. It is neutralized by the sun, so always wear it at night and remember to use some SPF during the day as retinoids can also make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. (If you want a premium retinoid, see your board-certified match and ask about tretinoin.)
Best eye cream
This is the thinnest skin on the face, so it is prone to wrinkles, sagging, darkening and blistering. Eye creams have specific ingredients, from circulation-stimulating caffeine to skin-fortifying peptides.
You want to keep this lighter. Some days, you can wash the cup 3 or 4 times, if it’s hot or if you exercise. Even twice a day (basic, morning and evening), you don’t want abrasive cleansers to dry out your skin.
The best chemical exfoliator
Chemical exfoliants use alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) or poly hydroxy acids (PHA) to dissolve surface dead cells and keep skin smooth, and/or beta hydroxy acids (BHA) to assist at the same time dissolve dead cells and dirt stuck in the pores. The result is fewer breakouts and brighter, clearer skin. Use them two or three times weekly, or as directed.
The best physical exfoliator
Some people prefer physical exfoliation because of their means of exfoliation, using a bit of grit to remove dead cells and keep skin healthy, bright, and clear. Like chemical exfoliants, use them two to three times per week or as directed. Either way, commit to chemistry or physics; no need to double. (You’ll damage perfectly healthy, vibrant skin cells if you do.)
Best moisturizing serum
Applying a serum underneath your moisturizer is the most effective way to get results. Also, since moisturizer is primarily defensive (where it draws moisture inside the skin and blocks toxins and UV rays out), you can add a hydrating serum to keep the layer in place. Your dermis is nourished and nourished.
The best correction serum
Some serums use exfoliating ingredients (like in chemical exfoliants) to dissolve dead cells and prevent signs of aging. However, alternative or regenerative treatments work well overnight to help skin heal faster and reverse these signs of aging. We prefer ones with retinol for this reason.
Best Brightening Serum
You’ll often see Vitamin C tied to the word “brightening,” as this super ingredient helps fight skin-aging toxins, while reversing discoloration and hyperpigmentation in the skin. So your friends will notice a visibly “brighter” complexion.
Best Shaving Brand
Shaving is such a big skincare tool, and we’ve got entire compilations and tutorials dedicated to this. But this shaving cream is a great place to start.
Toners balance your pH and help control overactive sebum production. Use it on oily skin after cleansing, or if your regimen is making your skin worse.
Best spot treatment
A topical treatment can be multifaceted: It can target budding or active breakouts, as well as the dark spots they leave behind. Or, it could be that some type of hyperpigmentation (like sun damage) doesn’t want to go away. These types of products address different needs, so find one that helps achieve your ultimate goal (more or less crystal clear skin). It usually starts with a key ingredient, like tea tree oil or salicylic acid (for acne), or niacinamide or mandelic acid (for hyperpigmentation).
The best cleansing mask
The once-a-week deep-cleansing mask is like a vacuum for your pores. Use it to detoxify the skin and prevent breakouts.
The best moisturizing mask
Likewise, a hydrating mask once a week can help regenerate rough skin – like after traveling or winter peaks. It can be a topical mask, a wash-off mask or a sheet mask.
https://www.gq.com/story/the-absolute-best-skin-care-products-for-men Best Skin Care for Men: The 17 Top Products for Men