It’s okay for men to moisturize. Despite years of misconceptions that self-care is somehow antithetical to manliness, more and more men are learning that it’s okay to love yourself. But the market for skincare products is so massive that it can be hard to parse the different ingredients and promises various products to promise. Let’s start simple. A good moisturizer can help your skin smooth, healthy, and free of blemishes. A bad moisturizer can actually exacerbate issues like acne. The first thing to figure out is what ingredients you need to look for when picking out a moisturizer. We can help with that.
Seek Out: Aloe
You’ve probably used aloe to deal with a sunburn before. The smell is distinct, but it’s useful for more than just healing burns. Aloe is something known as a humectant. That means that it naturally attracts moisture in the atmosphere around it. When applied to the skin, that moisture is then absorbed on a cellular level. Humectants like aloe can’t fully moisturize your face by themselves, but they can provide nourishment even to the deeper layers of your skin. As an alternative to aloe, you can look for products that include honey, jojoba oil, or shea butter.
Avoid: Artificial Fragrances
Artificial fragrances can make a skin moisturizer smell good, but it’s rarely going to offer anything else. The problem is that these fragrances are one of the most frequent causes for breakouts, and there’s no way of knowing how your skin will react to it until you try. While you can look for products that simply keep fragrances low on their ingredients list, you’re better off going with something all-natural. Fragrances don’t have to come from artificial chemicals, and there are plenty of natural solutions that work great while also producing highly effective results.
Seek Out: Omega-3s
Omega-3 oils most commonly occur in seafood, but you’ll also find them in nuts and the oils from some plants. It’s generally recommended that you consume omega-3s as a way to maintain good heart health, but they can also have a positive impact on your skin’s health. These fats can also provide a layer of protection against damage from UV radiation as well as dryness from being in hot or arid environments. If humectants are there to replenish the skin, omega-3 fats serve as a barrier, holding in that moisture and letting the humectants do their job.
You’ll find a lot of silicones in over-the-counter moisturizers. That’s a clear sign that you should stay away from them. Silicones are cheap to produce and have a long shelf life, but they aren’t especially effective moisturizers. Or more precisely, they’re too effective. Silicones seal in moisture under your skin, but they seal in bacteria, dirt, and other toxins as well. Silicone-based skincare products may seem like they’re clearing up your skin at first only to ultimately dry it out even more. As a general rule of thumb, you should stay away from any product you see with a high concentration of silicones.
Seek Out: Antioxidants
Antioxidants fulfill a whole lot of jobs for the sake of your skin’s health. Not only can they help hydrate your skin, but they can also provide it with tone and color. Just as importantly, antioxidants help slow the development of free radicals that cause your skin to age rapidly and can even be a risk to your overall well-being. Antioxidants are generally easy to find. You’ll find them in many common vitamins as well as in a number of different fruit and vegetables.
Whatever brand you choose, finding a balance between different ingredients is important. The best face moisturizer for men is one that uses a formula intended to do more than just produce quick results.