Making your face look good involves very few things: A cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and 2 minutes of your time.
Cleansers are your basic face wash. Its job is to remove excess oil and dirt from your pores. Some people just use water if their skin is able to naturally achieve that perfect pH balance. The ones specifically for acne will contain 1-2% salicylic acid, but in most cases you will just want a gentle cleanser as salicylic acid has a tendency to dry out your skin. You should consult your dermatologist if you have moderate-to-severe acne as most products will not treat an underlying cause.
A lot of guys don’t wash their face effectively. It’s pretty simple. Wet your face with warm water to help loosen up dead skin then lather and scrub your face gently with the cleanser. Rinse with warm water to flush the crap out of your pores then rinse again with cold water to minimize the appearance of your pores (important).
Picking a cleanser is a personal preference since everyone’s skin is different. I’m using this one right now:
Every time you wash your face you should be applying toner afterwards. Glycerol is the active ingredient in toner. It basically minimizes the appearance of pores and brings the natural moisture of your skin to the surface. Just wet a cotton square with it and rub it over your face. It’s also a mild cleanser so you will notice all the shit that your cleanser missed after using this.
This one is pretty important as it acts as a protective barrier against the outside world. Skin cancer runs in my family so sunscreen makes me feel better. I use one with a slight tint to even out my skin tone and cover up any red spots. It’s like wearing make-up but without the social stigma.
Moisturizing at night is optional, but nice to have. Only really necessary if you have dry skin or if you want to improve the health of your skin over a long period of time. Dry skin means your face has to compensate and produce extra oils. This increases the chances of one getting clogged or infected which leads to acne.
Another nice to have. Your eyes are the most expressive part of your face. If you have puffy or dark circles under your eyes, a moisturizer + cold metal ball will help brighten them up. The effect is almost immediate. I use this a lot if I’m hungover, slept too long, or stay up too late.
Deep Cleaning Pores
If you want to get super OCD, there are a wide variety of products to remove shit from your pores.
- Tools like this loop whitehead extractor will help you manually extract shit from your skin. Simply apply pressure and drag it over a pore and it will squeeze the junk out. This causes less redness than popping a zit with your fingers since there is less contamination.
- Pore Strips are also really effective. I use them maybe 1-2 times a month. I take pretty good care of my face and a lot of shit
still comes out of it.
- Masks essentially work the same as pore strips but for your entire face. You apply it, it hardens, then you peel/wash off everything it sticks to. I do it once a month at most. It’s fun
- I have no affiliation with the products I listed. You are welcome to substitute your own or recommend products in the comments. The Proactiv system is essentially the same thing (cleanser, toner, and moisturizer). I’ve found that it’s not so much the products, but having a routine. Even if you wash your face twice a day with water you will see some results.
- Drink lots of water. Naturally, whatever liquids you put into your body will be secreted out in one way or another. This can affect your skin.
- If you break out a lot overnight, you should wash your pillow case weekly or sleep with your face on a fresh towel every night.
- I am not a licensed skin professional so please consult a dermatologist if you have skin questions beyond the scope of this guide.