When choosing a face cream for men (male skin), it’s important to take into consideration that the average male skin differs from the average female skin in various ways due to the impact of hormones.
Generally speaking, men tend to have tougher skin with bigger pores. Many men also have coarse facial hair, which affect the skin regardless of whether you grown a full beard, get completely clean-shaven every day, or something in between.
Compared to a woman of fertile age, men as a group tend to be less cyclic when it comes to hormone levels – at least if you look over a month-long period. If we test a man over 24 hours, we can usually see notable fluctuations in testosterone levels. So, in a way, he has a cycle – but it’s very rapid compared to a typical menstrual cycle. This, of course, needs to be taken into account when creating day creams and night creams for men.
During the 20th century, facial creams were heavily marketed towards women, and men who needed day creams and night creams were often forced to buy locally available products formulated for female skin and hope for the best. Or, opt for some allegedly neutral unisex cream that wasn’t ideal for neither women nor men. In some cases, there was one skin care product designed for men available, and if that wasn’t ideal for your particular skin type than tough luck. (Also, in many cases, that one skin cream marketed for males was simply a unisex cream with some sandalwood perfume in it, packaged in a grey plastic bottle to look all rough and maaaanly.)
Fortunately, this has changed in the 21st century, as more skin products specifically formulated for the male face – and for many different types of male skin – has been developed. The advent of online stores has also helped to make these products available for a much larger group of men than ever before. You no longer have to shop in a big city with well-assorted skin care stores to access a wide range of facial creams for men.
Sometimes two products can both be great on their own, but when the face is exposed to both of them – either simultaneously or one after the other – disaster ensues. That’s why its important to take a look at your whole skin care routine and chose products that work well with each other. The cleaning product must be a good match for the facial cream, and so on.
If you shave, partially or completely, it’s important that the facial creams you use work well together with any shaving products that you are using, such as shaving creams and aftershave. For those with a beard or a mustache, it’s important to coordinate the facial cream with any facial hair products that are being applied, e.g. beard oils and conditioners.
Just because men don’t go through menopause, that doesn’t mean that their hormone levels won’t change with age. Also, the skin of both women and men change as we age; both due to genetics and because the skin is exposed to inner and outer environmental factors; everything from diet and smoking to pollution and sunshine. Because of this, the skin care routine that worked great when you were younger might not be ideal for you today. Always be ready to re-examine your skin care choices, including your choice of facial creams, and re-adjust as required. It’s a good idea to be pro-active and change before the bad effects of improper skin care become overly noticeable.
Why bother with using both a day cream and a night cream? Because they fulfill different roles and most face creams marketed as 24-hour-cream are simply bad compromises that won’t be ideal for days nor nights.
During the day, you need a face cream that protects your skin from the environment, such as air pollution and sunshine. The weather might be cold or windy, or you might be working in a room where the air is very dry and you can’t do anything to change that.
Sun protection is extremely important in a day cream, even if you spend most of the day indoors. People who spend a large chunk of their day outdoors – e.g. construction workers, farmers, forestry personnel, rescue workers, and surveyors – should opt for SPF (sun protection factor) in the higher range. This is also true if you have a hobby that takes you outdoors a lot, such as running, skiing, hiking, biking, etc. Even if the sun isn’t strong enough to make you red and sunburned, it can still be strong enough to cause long-term damage that won’t be noticeable until much later. One of the worst consequences is, of course, skin cancer.
During the night, when you sleep, your body does a lot of maintenance work that is put on hold as long as you are awake and active. Some of these processes do not require sleep; they will start as soon as we relax deeply, so it can be a good idea to clean your face and apply a night cream long before bedtime if you plan on relaxing at home.
A good night cream will take this important maintenance work into account and do everything it can do aid it. In your dark bedroom, sun protection and air pollution are not the main issues, and if the air is dry you can fix it yourself by letting a bucket of water evaporate. So, what you want is a night cream that focuses on giving the body exactly what it needs to restore and revigorate your skin after everything its been through during the day. Also, you don’t need to worry if the night cream is sticky, if it absorbs slowly or if its green or purple – all those things would suck when applying day cream in the morning but doesn’t really matter when applying a night cream in the evening. Just go for the most nourishing night cream, not the most convenient one.
Please note: If you are a shift worker and sleep during the day, you should use a night cream then, since this is when your body will repair itself. Also, if you go to work after sunset and get home before sunrise, SPF will not be important (but protection from pollution, dry air, etc will still be).