A grooming routine that doesn’t include moisturiser is basically no grooming routine at all. You can get by without a specific eye cream, comfortably skip the face scrub and scrimp on the shampoo, but no moisturiser? That’s crazy talk.
Even putting aside the damage caused by extreme weather and thick pollution, chances are you drag a sharp razor across your face several times a week and pump it full of booze on the weekend.
The easiest way to steady the effects all of this can have on your mug is by using a man-friendly moisturiser that’s tailored to your skin type. From the solutions that smooth out lines to the hydrators that help conceal a hangover, we’re here to pick out the best.
Why Every Man Needs To Moisturise
These days – what with having to pay bills, keep up a social life and remembering to put on underwear every day – we need less stuff to worry about. Not more. But unless you want to look like a pair of old boots, you need to moisturise.
“Hydrated skin will perform better and look younger and healthier: it’s that simple,” explains Laura Gamboa, director of corporate education at Spanish skincare brand Natura Bissé.
These days, moisturising creams do much more than just the basic act of hydrating the skin, too: they act as invisible shields protecting your face from the damaging effects of daily life.
“Supercharged ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin A (also known as retinol), and powerful combinations can give better results for that,” says Gamboa, who adds that, like the gym, consistency is key. “Using a moisturiser over time can help us to prevent and combat the earliest signs of ageing. Plus it reduces the chance of developing extremes of dryness or oiliness.”
It doesn’t make you more handsome, but it’s not far off.
How To Pick The Right Moisturiser For Your Face
The skin around your skull has to put up with a lot, so it deserves the right grooming products.
As a minimum, the moisturiser you use should be tailored to your skin type. It’s not rocket science. If you don’t know what camp you fall into, use a face wash and wait an hour. If it feels tight, you’ve got dry and possibly sensitive skin; if it’s greasy, you’re oily; if it’s a mix of the two, you’re combination.
From there, you can look at formulas that target more specific needs. Razor burn, wrinkles, breakouts and even hangovers can all be made better (at least to look at) with daily application of the right cream.
It’s also worth remembering that the needs and demands of our skin change throughout the year. Each season brings its own challenges – dryness in winter, potential sun damage in summer, and trying to stay balanced (and spot-free) throughout – so consider switching to a thicker or more lightweight formula when your current salve no longer cuts the mustard.
The Best Moisturisers For Men
Lab Series Skincare Pro LS All-In-One Face Treatment
Lab Series’ All-In-One Face Treatment takes care of shaving irritation and redness, replenishes the skin’s barrier and softens the look of fine lines – all with a matte finish (winner). It has a good consistency and feels quite rich without being heavy. It also has a neutral smell for those who want their fragrance to do the, err, smelling.
Bulldog Original Moisturiser
The mutt’s nuts of the bathroom shelf, Bulldog’s best-selling Original Moisturiser is packed with natural ingredients and essential oils like vitamin E. Add to that the tight leash the British brand keeps on its prices, and it’s easy to why we’ve been loyal to this one since 2007.
Dermalogica Super Rich Repair
Suffer from skin drier than a popcorn fart? Dermalogica’s Super Rich Repair formula can smooth over the craggiest of cracks. It’s particularly useful during the winter and gives long-lasting hydration to flaky, chapped and tight skin (pack it for your ski trip). It contains shea butter, evening primrose oil and colloidal oats to help repair the lipid barrier that keeps skin healthy and supple.
No7 Men Sensitive Care Moisturiser
The path to flawless skin can be a long and bumpy one. Combat redness and irritation head-on with No7 Men’s Sensitive Care Moisturiser. The lightweight formula helps provide 24-hour moisturisation while also pulling on pro-vitamin B5 to leave skin looking clear and healthy.
Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème
Who wouldn’t trust a man who preps the likes of Justin Timberlake for the red carpet? Celebrity skincare guru Ole Henriksen has his own skincare line, so now us mere mortals can try out his Vitamin C-packed anti-ageing cream that works to combat fatigue, stress and pollution while making skin appear brighter and smoother. All without the A-list pay packet.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Sunscreen SPF15
Who needs to wear sunscreen in the winter? You do, that’s who. UV rays don’t stop when it’s cold or when it’s cloudy – why else would you get goggle marks on the mountain? The same applies in the office. Computer screens emit blue that has been found to induce oxidative stress, and therefore ageing, so you need to protect your skin. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel has a low SPF for year-round protection.
The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturising Factors + HA
Phospholipids, triglycerides, molecular weight hyaluronic acid. No this isn’t science class, but the ingredients list of The Ordinary’s hero moisturiser. All you need to know is that it’s loaded with the kind of stuff needed to quench dryness and improve overall skin appearance.
Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator
Suitable for all skin types, Aesop’s cult Parsley Seed Hydrator is packed with antioxidants, absorbs rapidly into the skin, and you only need one pump per dose (handy, going off the price). Stick the 60ml version in your carry-on to fend off the drying effects of plane cabin air.
L’Oréal Hydra Energetic Recharging Moisturiser
L’Oréal’s classic energising moisturiser has got your hungover, sleep deprived back – sorry, face. The boosting, tingly effect helps invigorate the skin and give it more of a refreshed look for when you’ve been burning the midnight oil. Keep one in your work drawer for emergencies.
Sisley Sisleyüm Anti-Age Global Revitalizer
Value your face more than paying your rent? Bathroom investment brand Sisley knows a thing or two about making excellent skincare products. Its dedicated Anti-Age Revitalizer cream for men’s skin takes on environmental factors like pollution, cold weather and stress while soothing razor burn and fighting wrinkles. There’s a chance you might get addicted to it, so don’t blame us.
Nivea Men Originals Rehydrating Moisturiser
Nivea has a reputation for producing high-quality, affordable men’s grooming products – and for good reason. The brand’s Originals Rehydrating option is one of the best salves on shelves today, owing to an easily formula enriched with soothing aloe vera and face-saving vitamin E.
Clinique Maximum Hydrator Water-Gel Concentrate
Need the drench without the grease? Clinique’s Water-Gel Concentrate promises to top up moisture levels for 24 hours with its super lightweight formula. It doesn’t block pores or add extra shine for those prone to an oily T-zone (that’s your forehead, nose, chin FYI). When the weather gets hot, stick it in the fridge for extra refreshment.
Bluebeards Revenge Cooling Moisturiser
Grooming brand Bluebeard’s Revenge is better known for its shaving products – we’re particularly fond of its weighted double edge razor – but this cooling moisturiser is just as good. It features jojoba, which is lauded for its ability to simultaneously prevent irritation after shaving as well as oil build up, making it ideal for those prone to greasy skin.
Natura Bissé The Cure Cream
The Spanish can’t rely on vitamin D alone to look good. Super luxe skincare brand Natura Bissé is the answer. Its Cure Cream is made to protect skin from pollution, with a high-tech peptide formula that fights off free radicals (which cause cell damage) and detoxifies the skin, leaving it feeling firmer, softer and smoother.
Clarins UV Plus SPF 50
Clarins doesn’t mess around when it comes to its grooming products. This one offers SPF 50 sun protection, is oil free, and easily absorbed into the skin as well as being water-resistant. It was also the recipient of the FashionBeans Grooming Awards’ ‘Best Moisturiser’ category, so you know it’s good.