Do Men Really Need a Skin Cleanser?

Facial cleansers are considered a must-have for women, but men often wonder if they genuinely need a skin cleanser.

Men need skin cleansers to treat skin issues like acne, redness, fine lines, dry skin, etc. Additionally, using the right skin cleanser can help prevent those issues as well. The key to getting the most out of your skin cleanser is to find the perfect one for your skin.

Why Men Need Skin Cleansers

Men need facial cleaners, especially as they age. Most men in their 20s have oilier skin, even if they had normal skin in their teens. Using a facial cleanser can keep the oiliness at bay and keep them looking young.

Facial cleansers can be beneficial for treating issues like acne, signs of aging, scars, etc. It can also help prevent those issues before they get worse. 

There are many men out there who are prone to acne and other skin conditions. Using a facial cleanser can quickly treat those problems and help improve their appearance. 

Despite the many benefits that skin cleansers can offer men, many men do not use them. A 2009 study revealed that only 28.7% of men use skincare products (Thota et al., 2014). 

While the number may be higher now, many surveys and polls still show that many men do not use facial cleansers. It may come from the stigma that skincare products are “feminine,” even though many skincare brands cater to men. 

Some men state that they wash their faces daily. However, they usually use plain old water or the same soap to wash their bodies.

Unfortunately, your regular bar soap will not cut it. Most bar soaps are made of ingredients that are suitable for your body, not your face. The ingredients are much harsher on your face, and it can lead to clogged pores, pimples, drier skin, irritation, etc.

Therefore, you need to get a separate cleanser specifically made for your face. There are different kinds of facial cleansers with various ingredients to suit a specific skin type.

How Often Should Men Use Skin Cleansers?

Ideally, it would be best if you used a skin cleanser at least twice a day. You can wash your face in the morning and at night. 

Try to avoid washing your face more than twice a day as it can do more harm than good. Overwashing can strip your face of its natural oils, making it either drier or oilier than it was. 

You may have a drier, more sensitive skin type. If that is the case, you can use cold water to rinse your face in the morning. You can use a cleanser at night to get rid of any dirt and oil accumulated throughout the day. 

If your face feels a bit dirty between washes, you can use water to rinse your face and gently pat it dry. Ensure you have a clean towel that you only use for your face and replace it every 2-3 days. Facial tissue can be a convenient alternative as well.

How to Choose a Skin Cleanser

Know Your Skin Type

First, you need to assess what skin type you have. That will make it easy for you to choose a good skin cleanser. The five skin types are:

  • Normal
  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Sensitive
  • Combination Skin 

Combination skin means you have a mixture of oily and dry skin. People with combination skin often have an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) with drier skin around it. 

Sensitive skin types are pretty self-explanatory. The skin can get easily irritated by harsh or new ingredients. Sensitive skin usually gets red, itchy, inflamed, etc., quickly. 

Look at Your Options

Once you know what your skin type is, it is easier to narrow down your options. You can look for the best facial cleansers for men based on your skin type. 

A safe bet for most men is Cetaphil. Their regular facial cleanser is excellent for any skin type, especially sensitive skin. For men who have very oily skin, we like Noxzema daily deep pore cleanser. It leaves the skin with a clean matte finish.

A common mistake that people with oily skin make is buying facial cleansers that dry out their skin. If the facial cleanser makes your skin too dry, your skin will create even more oil. You want a cleanser that will cleanse dirt and oil without ruining your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Even if the facial cleanser is right for your skin type, it may not agree with you. It would be safer to buy small samples of each product to see how your skin reacts. That way, you will not have to spend a lot of money to find the right facial cleanser. 

Read the Ingredients Carefully

Even if a facial cleanser is popular or is suitable for your skin type, that does not mean it is good. There are lots of facial cleansers with harmful ingredients that could do more harm to your skin. Some ingredients to watch out for include:

  • Fragrance
  • Parabens (methyl parabens, butyl parabens, propyl parabens, and ethyl parabens)
  • Alcohol (alcohol denat, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol)
  • Lead
  • Aluminum/Alum
  • Bisphenol-A (BPA), BPS

Not all alcohols are bad. It would be best to avoid simple alcohols, like alcohol denat and ethanol, at all costs. However, there are “good” alcohols like Cetearyl alcohol that can be beneficial to the skin.

A good rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients there are, the better. Some natural facial cleansers with fewer ingredients can be great for your skin. 

Here is a quick look at some ingredients that are good for specific skin types:

Dry and/or Sensitive Skin

  • Aloe Vera
  • Olive oil
  • Charcoal

Oily Skin

  • Aloe Vera (adds moisture without making your skin oily)
  • Coconut-based cleansers
  • Geranium 

Acne-Prone Skin

  • Coconut based cleansers
  • Essential oils
  • Aloe Vera
  • Geranium

Combination Skin

  • Olive oil
  • Charcoal
  • Aloe Vera

Normal skin types can use almost any kind of facial cleanser. However, it may be best to stick to mild cleansers for sensitive skin types to avoid ruining your skin’s balance.

Create a “Skin Journal”

As stated earlier, knowing your skin type can help you narrow down your facial cleanser choices. However, there are definitely still tons of cleansers to choose from, and it can quickly make you feel overwhelmed.

Plus, it is hard to rely on other people’s reviews solely. People have different skin types, allergies, preferences, etc. It would be best if you tried experimenting a bit to see which cleanser is the best for you. 

Luckily, keeping a skin journal can help you keep track of how each product affects your skin. You can use a product sample for a week and use the journal to keep track of how your skin reacts throughout the week.

That way, you will have a frame of reference to look back on when you finally decide to buy a full bottle of facial cleanser. 

Speak to a Dermatologist

If you feel really confused by all the ingredients, skin types, and options out there, speaking to a professional might make your life a lot easier. A dermatologist can assess your skin type and needs and suggest the best facial skin cleanser. 

A dermatologist can help you skip the more tedious parts of the trial-and-error process. Keep in mind that a dermatologist will change your facial cleanser until they find the right kind since their first suggestion may not work for you.

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