Natural Skin Care Routine for Men (A Dermatologist’s Guide)

Natural Skin Care Routine for Men (A Dermatologist’s Guide)

Natural skin care for men is a popular topic in dermatology and skincare. Particularly as cosmeceuticals and skincare companies are paying more attention to men’s needs, including how they care for their own skin.

Men’s natural skincare has gained popularity in recent years as society has shifted more towards organic skincare and men’s grooming products.

Natural skincare products for men is a growing market, which reflects the continued and increasing interest of men and their desire to address anti-aging and maintain a healthy youthful appearance.

Due to differences in aging, skin structure, behavior, and lifestyle, skincare in men and addressing their dermatologic needs to accommodate their facial features represents a unique challenge that results in different strategies and priorities than skincare in women.

The challenges faced in men’s natural skincare

1. Men’s skincare concerns differ from women’s

The effectiveness of a product for men’s skincare needs to be investigated and developed with different priorities and strategies compared to female skin. These concerns span the common facial skin concerns for men, including shaving, photoaging, aging of the skin, and variations in skin quality.

For an ideal product, there is a goal to improve skin concerns such as fine wrinkles and lines, coarse wrinkles and lines, tactile roughness, and photodamage from sunlight, the environment, and natural aging.(1)

A men’s organic skincare line is best developed to address environmental concerns and how they may impact the ability to maintain a youthful and healthy appearance and addressing facial concerns surrounding aging.

Furthermore, sometimes skin in men tends to be on the sensitive side, leading to redness/erythema, dryness, and scaling.(1) The ideal natural skincare product needs to exemplify both efficacy in skincare as well as positive product attributes that would make it desirable to the consumer.

Natural and organic skincare products that aim to tackle specific male facial concerns regarding dermatology can help support and optimize the skin quality of healthy, glowing, and youthful appearing skin in men.

2. The importance of shaving

The importance of shaving

Skincare needs in men are often heavily influenced by a unique factor not present in women–the need to shave or remove unwanted facial hair quite regularly. Every day in some cases.

Some issues that men face, which are common and associated with poor hair removal approaches include irritation, contact dermatitis, contact allergies, and razor burns or nicks.(2) Shaving technology is constantly evolving.

Thus, careful ingredient selection is essential in contributing to men’s skincare health, a healthy-looking appearance, and the development of organic grooming products for men.

It is important to maintain the softness of the hair while shaving while simultaneously restoring hydration in the face after shaving, which can often be achieved by properly selected men’s organic grooming products.

3. Men place less importance on other aspects of skincare

Specifically, the natural and organic cosmeceutical market for men is still underdeveloped. Though it has undergone progress and improvements in recent years and becoming more mainstream.

Women often embrace skincare as part of their overall general and dermatologic health and daily routines. However, this concept has not become as widely accepted among men yet. Shaving is the most common grooming facial activity that men undertake for their benefit on a nearly daily basis.(3)

Thus, men’s organic skincare lines, anti-aging cosmeceuticals, and natural men’s skincare routines need to recognize this segment or incorporation of shaving to be able to gain traction in this arena.

4. Men’s skin is different from women’s

Furthermore, there are also fundamental differences in physiology between the female and male types of skin, with less of a need for hydration in men or protection from pigmentary abnormalities, which are less common, as melasma is notably less common in men.(3)

In women, for example, melasma or chloasma tends to have hormonal and sun-related risk factors that are sometimes unavoidable, necessitating their need for photoprotection to a greater degree than in men.(3)

There are some fundamental differences in male versus female skin that unique product attributes have learned to adapt to, to create a widely acceptable natural skin care routine for men to address these differences and meet these goals.

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Overcoming the challenges: The ideal natural skincare routine for men

The ideal natural skincare routine for men

Men are often considered the forgotten consumer when it comes to skincare, skincare routines, and organic skin care lines or cosmetics.(4)

Many cosmetic procedures are marketed towards men and have the potential to be more successful such as laser hair removal, liposuction, fillers, and botox to address aging, unwanted hair growth, and unwanted fat in certain areas.(4)

1. More “male-specific” natural and organic skincare products

Through appropriate marketing and efforts to address the most common skin concerns in men, the introduction, acceptance, and integration of men’s organic skin care lines and grooming products, or a general skincare routine oriented towards male needs can be effectively established and integrated among many men who are conscious or curious about how they may improve their appearance.

Depending on the concern and product type, problem-related information can be addressed or given to men interested in improving their natural skincare routine.

More men are beginning to take advantage and seek opportunities to improve their overall appearance and skin health. However, there are many variations to men’s natural skincare routines and regimens.

2. Products that complement shaving

The ideal natural skin care routine for men is both effective and well-tolerated, improving their skin’s overall appearance while also reducing issues and problems related to shaving.(5)

Moisturizers should ideally be geared towards helping to hydrate the skin after shaving with emollients, ceramides, and glycerin to create a favorable environment to improve the skincare barrier function that can be improved through the incorporation of specific ingredients such as niacinamide.(2)

A specific organic skincare routine for men involves the ZELEN Life Cleanser and the ZELEN Life Moisturizer, which can be used to cleanse and hydrate the skin post-shaving as part of a natural skin care routine.

The ideal skincare regimen should lead to significant improvements such as clarity, radiance, tactile or palpable smoothness, and deductions pore size several weeks after treatment. Improvements on photodamage, razor burns, and fine lines are also helpful at achieving significant improvements in appearance, as well as nicks/cuts and folliculitis of the neck and face.(5)

The epidermis and stratum corneum’s moisture content should also ideally improve with treatment, including the natural skincare products, which can be measured on histology and has done so in some investigations.(5)

A positive self-assessment and a continued interest in continuing their natural skincare and organic regimen are steps forward for many of the men seeking a natural skincare routine to follow.

3. Products that address men’s preferences

Cosmetic treatments, skincare, and cosmeceuticals have gained great popularity worldwide. However, there is much left to the imagination regarding attitudes, behaviors, and gaps or unmet needs regarding cosmetic treatments and skincare products or routines in men.(6)

Men have different attitudes and behaviors regarding treatments, skincare routines, and organic skincare products compared to women. Not every man has the time or the opportunity to participate in a cosmetic skin consultation to discuss ways they can appear more youthful or what to choose in a skincare line.

Though behaviors and attitudes have been assessed and studied in questionnaires, the most important sources in which men receive most of their information regarding skincare and cosmetic treatments include the internet and close family members.

Men generally prefer gel vehicles, white packaging, and containers originating from tubes regarding topical skincare products.(6) Usually, they are satisfied with about 3 items, while women sometimes have more products on their shelf, bathroom, or closet to use on their skin.(6)

According to studies performed on how men choose their ideal skincare routines, the most important factor in medical provider election is still the expertise and knowledge of a dermatologist to give input regarding what skincare routine should be used.(7)

4. Products that address men’s actual concerns

Thus the attitudes and behaviors in male patients towards cosmetics are different than those seen in women–it becomes essential to alter the approach to creating the ideal skincare routine with organic-based products to address cosmetic concerns for men.

There are scattered investigations that have examined the unique properties of skin in men. However, most of these studies did not have a thorough understanding of the properties of male skin.

There are unique gender differences in men’s subjective perception, including their skin and daily habits in skincare. The function of their skin barrier depends on the maturation of skin cells at the surface, or keratinocytes, as well as the amount and production of sebum on the skin surface.(7)

Regardless of the skin type, many male individuals perceive a “tacky feeling” vs. a “shiny feeling” of sebum, which differs by skin type in men.(7) There is a relationship between skincare habits and the function of skincare in men.

5. Products that address men’s skin characteristics

Products that address men's skin characteristics

It is known through studies that men who do not have a daily routine with skincare products, such as cleanser and moisturizers have greater transepidermal water loss and produce a greater amount of sebum than those who do have a routine skincare regimen.(7)

In general, skin in men has specific characteristics that need to be highlighted: impaired barrier function due to excess sebum and lack of an appropriate skin care regimen due to a tacky feeling attributable to excess sebum.(7)

Pro tip

An ideal natural skincare routine with proven, effective, and organic ingredients such as the ZELEN Life full product range is one that could address these concerns of shaving, sebum, and a tacky feeling and leave men with smoother skin and a healthier glow.


What are the ideal organic elements and goals you would like to see in a natural skincare routine for men?

Please comment and share. We would love to hear your thoughts!

For skincare tips and secrets to natural and flawless skin and more interesting dermatology and skincare topics, check out the ZELEN Life Blog.

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  1. Makino ET, Jiang LI, Tan P, Cheng T, Mehta RC. Addressing Male Facial Skin Concerns: Clinical Efficacy of a Topical Skincare Treatment Product for Men. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018 Mar 1;17(3):301-306. PMID: 29537448.
  2. Draelos ZD. Male skin and ingredients relevant to male skin care. Br J Dermatol. 2012 Mar;166 Suppl 1:13-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10784.x. PMID: 22385030.
  3. Draelos ZD. Cosmeceuticals for Male Skin. Dermatol Clin. 2018 Jan;36(1):17-20. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2017.09.003. PMID: 29108541.
  4. Schlessinger J. Skin care for men and its marketing. Dermatol Ther. 2007 Nov-Dec;20(6):452-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2007.00161.x. PMID: 18093019.
  5. Rodan K, Fields K, Falla TJ. Efficacy and Tolerability of a Twice-Daily, Three-Step Men’s Skincare Regimen in Improving Overall Skin Quality and Reducing Shave-Related Irritation. Skinmed. 2017 Oct 1;15(5):349-355. PMID: 29139362.
  6. Girdwichai N, Chanprapaph K, Vachiramon V. Behaviors and Attitudes Toward Cosmetic Treatments Among Men. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(3):42-48.
  7. Mizukoshi K, Akamatsu H. The investigation of males’ skin characteristics focusing on gender differences, skin perception, and skin care habits. Skin Res Technol. 2013 May;19(2):91-9. doi: 10.1111/srt.12012. Epub 2012 Dec 26. PMID: 23279047.

About The Author


Board-Certified Dermatologist

Dermatology (University of Southern California)

United States

Dr. Anna Chacon is a board-certified dermatologist from Miami, based in South Florida. She graduated from Brown University’s highly selective Program in Liberal Medical Education. She completed her dermatology residency at the University of Southern California, where she learned firsthand about skin disorders that others only read about. She loves to write, see patients, and practice all aspects of dermatology.

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