Skin Care to Share … With Your Man

ivan lam youtube male skin care

Ivan Lam masters the Asian double cleanse on his YouTube channel.


In my latest story for Glow Recipe, and in honor of Valentine’s Day, I share some tips on how to get your man to start taking care of his skin. After all, you want him to be your best accessory, don’t you? 

It began about five years ago. My husband, whose definition of skin care had been to quickly wash his face with soap in the shower (the soap he used on his body, naturally), one day suddenly asked me if I had any moisturizers he could use.

After picking up my jaw off the ground, I began the interrogation. What are you using now? What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin concerns? Are you sensitive to any ingredients?

Of course, he had no clue. But as any beauty obsessive knew, you couldn’t just give someone any moisturizer. There are so many varieties out there, each addressing a myriad of skin concerns, from fine lines to dehydration to breakouts.

Fortunately for my husband, I had an arsenal of beauty products to ply him with. First, I got him a gentle cleanser — it took a bit of arguing to get him to understand that squeaky clean, tight-feeling skin is not the goal of cleansing one’s face. Then I had him use a light gel moisturizer, something non-sticky and quickly absorbed so he didn’t feel like he had “something on his face.” He quickly ran off, though, when I started going into the importance of sunscreen.


Actor Park Hae-jin for Korean oriental medicine-based line Sooryehan

In Korea, men not only embrace skin care, they are often spokespeople for skin care brands, like actor Park Hae-jin for Korean oriental medicine-based line Sooryehan.


Fast forward to today. My husband not only uses sunscreen every day, he’s incorporated a serum and a hydrating toner into his regimen. He even started using a retinol treatment on his nasolabial lines (though he couldn’t stick to it and gave up after a few months —“It’s not working!” he complained after a week). So when I asked him for his expertise in writing this story about sharing skin care with your man, he spewed out a list of do’s and don’ts without hesitation:

  1. Essentially, guys want to do two things: Wash their face and slap on a moisturizer.
  2. Scent is a big no-no. If it’s too flowery or “girly,” he won’t use it.
  3. Uncomplicated is key. A product has to be easy to use, without too many steps or a special method of application. A multi-tasker, like a moisturizer with sunscreen, is a big plus.

And as someone who got her husband to at least a three- to five-step skincare regimen, some tips I’ve learned about sharing skin care with your man:

  1. Introduce skin care in steps. Don’t bombard him with a 10-step regimen that will make his eyes glaze over the same way yours does when he tries to explain what a designated hitter is. A cleanser and moisturizer is a good start. Slowly move on to sunscreen and a hydrating toner.
  2. Take the opportunity to swap out existing skin care. When my husband began blade shaving, he needed an aftershave. I convinced him to forgo the drying astringent and opt instead for a hydrating toner with witch hazel.
  3. If your man is a newbie to skin care, have him use light or gel textured products. As he becomes accustomed to having things on his face, he’ll be OK with heavier textures.
  4. If you’re in the dating or honeymoon phase with your man, he’ll likely go along with a couple sheet masking session as you binge-watch a Korean drama on Netflix. (My husband once did, as well. No longer. Ah, you can’t win ’em all.)
  5. Compliment him on his skin. If he thinks it’s working, he’ll likely stick to it.

Ready to get your man toned and plumped and hydrated? You can start with these man-friendly skin care products. (Even better? All these products will work wonders on your skin, too.)


sharing skin care with your man from glow recipe


If you have to, trick your man into taking better care of his skin. He’ll appreciate the nice “whipped” foam lather of the acne-fighting LJH Tea Tree 30 Cleanser. You’ll appreciate that it doesn’t contain any skin-stripping sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates.

Hydrating Toner

Swap out your man’s aftershave with Blithe Vital Treatment Essence-Five Energy Roots, flush with nourishing root extracts. He’ll never be the wiser with its unobtrusive, minimalist look, and since guys are used to slapping on an astringent after a shave, he’ll even get some patting action into his regimen. If your man is really lazy, get him a hydrating mist, like LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist Toner, good for irritated skin, or Soyedodam Organic Ginseng Mist, an organic face mist formulated with red ginseng, manuka honey and aloe vera with a natural herbal scent.

Multi-tasking Moisturizer

The serum and moisturizer-in-one that is Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum is the perfect introduction for the skin care-phobe. Its light gel texture cools and calms skin without oiliness or tackiness, and yet it’s packed with 63% ice plant extract, which deeply hydrates while minimizing pores. It’s got a light, herbal scent that’s definitely unisex.

Another multi-tasker, J. One Jelly Pack is a “jelly” textured morning mask, treatment and primer that hydrates, lifts and firms skin. Even better, it comes in a pump, which I know is a huge plus for a lot of guys. It’s a bit viscous straight out of the pump, but it immediately liquefies on the skin, providing that cooling effect guys look for after a shave.

Sheet Mask

Call it a “date night in,” and get your guy to do a sheet masking session with you. Try Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Facial Sheet Mask, made with real fermented sea kelp. He may actually go for the “ick” factor, the scent of the ocean and the cool green shade. (Tell him Shark Tank’s resident athlete and sport fanatic Robert Herjavec really dug it.)

Because guys like to care for their skin, too. They just don’t want to admit it.


Written by me, originally published on


3 thoughts on “Skin Care to Share … With Your Man

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