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A man's guide to skincare made easy

Having an effective skincare routine doesn't have to be man-size. So we've pulled together a step-by-step guide for how to build your own quick and easy regime, focused on potent ingredients and efficacious products, customisable to your skin type and concerns.

1. Cleansing

Cleansing your face twice daily is an excellent habit to get rid of sweat, oil, dirt and pollutants. For oily skin or acne prone blokes, opt for a clarifying cleanser with ingredients like charcoal and niacinamide which help control oil or tea tree for its antibacterial properties. For normal to dry skin, a gentle cleanser works well (look for ingredients like glycerin and squalane for hydration) to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils.

2. Exfoliating

Think of this as a cut and polish for your car. Exfoliating your skin sweeps away dead skin cells for a fresh complexion, and can be done chemically or physically. You'll only want to do this 2 to 3 times per week, or less if your skin is sensitive or if your cleanser already includes exfoliants. Exfoliators are also great if you're battling body acne and can be found in some body washers.

Chemical exfoliators: include AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic and lactic acid best for normal to combination skin) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid best for oily skin), which breakdown the bonds that hold dead skin cells together.

Physical exfoliators: involve using a mildly abrasive ingredient like almond meal and pumice to manually slough away the topmost layer of the epidermis. If you opt for a physical exfoliant, be gentle to avoid damaging the skin barrier.

3. Treating (optional)

An optional step if you'd like to target a specific skin concern. Many of these ingredients can be combined in the other steps if you're keen to keep your routine simple or as a separate product, usually a serum, for a more potent treatment.

Wrinkles (including fine lines): Retinols, to be used at night, are the gold standard for reducing premature aging as they increase cell turnover whilst promoting collagen production. During the day, use products containing antioxidants like vitamin c, e or green tea to fight damage from UVA & B rays as well as other environmental pollutants.

Hyperpimentation (including uneven skintone, freckles or acne scars): Ensure you're using a chemical exfoliator (like the ones above) but vitamin c, azalaic acid, liquorice root and niacinamide may also help.

4. Hydrating

Hydration is key to healthy skin, particularly during the colder months. Even if you have oily skin, keeping your skin hydrated will help regulate sebum production. Look for a lightweight gel moisturiser with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that doesn't feel greasy. If you're spotting dry or irritated skin, look for a cream or face oil to lock in moisture. Products containing centella asiatica, vitamin B5 (panthenol) and colloidal oatmeal will also help combat itchy or sensitive skin by repairing the skin barrier.

4. Spf

Perhaps the most important step of any daily daytime skincare routine is applying a generous layer of sunscreen. This will slow down premature aging and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Choose a moisturising suncreen if you want to combine two steps in one, and if you're active and like spending time outdoors, aim for spf 30+ or higher as well as a sweat or water-resistant product.

Shaving & trimming (optional)

Shaving can cause further inflammation, especially if your skin is already irritated from the dry, cold air. Replacing your razor head regularly (if you use a manual razor) will reduce bacteria build up but a sharp blade will cause less pull and make for a smoother glide. The right post shave care can also reduce irritation. Go for a hydrating aftershave balm or lotion. For those suffering from ingrown hairs, a chemical exfoliant will work well.

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