Beauty basics for boys on a budget
Male grooming can be a daunting thing. There’s a myriad of products and treatments thrown out into the public domain on a daily basis and it’s hard to navigate. Let alone if you’re new to male grooming and aren’t sure if that expensive big-brand moisturiser is right for you.
Here’s my guide to a basic skincare routine. These products all cost less than £10, so your beauty basics won’t break the bank.
Step 1: Cleanse
The first and most important step in your skincare routine, is to cleanse your face on a daily basis. Depending on your skin type, you may have to do this once or twice a day. Dry skin tends to need cleansing less than oily or combination skin and so it really does depend on how your skin reacts to the product. The basic rule to go by is if your skin is getting red, irritated or is feeling too tight after cleansing, then you are probably cleansing too often. See how your skin reacts and tailor this step around your skin’s needs.
We Recommend: Altr for Men: Whiskey Infused Face Wash (£9.99)
Not every product I’m going to recommend here is going to work for everyone, but a solid no-fuss cleanser I’ve been using recently is Altr for Men’s: Whiskey Infused Face Wash. I use twice daily to keep my skin fresh and to remove the excess grime of living in London. Like all of Altr for Men’s products, it’s made with sensitive skin in mind and the chamomile in this product definitely helps soothe any irritation.
Step 2: Exfoliate
The next step after we are all squeaky clean is to exfoliate. It’s important to do this step following cleansing, to avoid pushing any of that dirt and bacteria we’ve just removed into the skin. To put it simply, exfoliating is the removal of dead skin cells to reveal a brighter complexion.
There are many different types of exfoliators, but they mostly fall into two main categories – physical or chemical.
To keep this guide as simple as possible, we will be sticking to physical exfoliants for this skincare routine. As the name suggests, a physical exfoliant uses physical particles to remove the dead skin cells. On average, it’s advised you exfoliate only once or twice a week. If you over-do it, you can aggravate and irritate the skin.
We Recommend: Bulldog: Sensitive Face Scrub 125ml (£5.00)
When choosing an exfoliator, I always opt for the sensitive range – if there is one. I personally find physical exfoliants quite rough on my skin – I only use them once a week.
I’ve used Bulldog’s: Sensitive Face Scrub over a period of about two years – I’ve never had a bad reaction to it. When using it once a week, my pores are unclogged and my general complexion is visibly brighter. Definitely a solid product for most skin types.
Step 3: Mask
Masking is definitely not a step you would do every day but it is a step that will dramatically improve your skincare regime. Similarly to exfoliating, I’d recommend doing this step once or twice a week for best results.
There’s a huge range of face masks available, so I’m going to focus on sheet masks. A sheet mask is essentially a sheet of material that you put over your face for 15-20 mins. The mask is soaked in a concentrated serum and it will give you an instant effect, depending on the type of sheet mask you buy.
We Recommend: Garnier: Fresh-Mix tissue mask Hyaluronic (£2.66)
As a starting point, try the Garnier sheet mask range. My personal favourite is the Fresh-Mix tissue mask Hyaluronic.
What’s great about this mask is that you add the serum to the mask yourself. You literally squeeze the packaging and the serum directly infuses into the mask. This might be a bit gimmicky, but there is something quite satisfying about the DIY aspect of it.
The mask uses a Hyaluronic acid serum to dramatically moisturise your face and reveal a radiant complexion.
Step 4: Moisturise
After we’ve cleansed and exfoliated, the next step is to replenish and repair the skin’s barrier. We do this primarily through moisturisers.
There are moisturisers that cater to every skin type imaginable – it really is a case of trial and error until you find something that works for you.
The important thing to remember is that no matter our skin type, we need to moisturiser twice a day. Contrary to what you may think if you have oily skin, moisturisers actually help control the oil production and can leave you looking much less like an oil slick by the end of the day.
We Recommend: Altr for Men: Whiskey Infused Moisturiser (£9.99)
We’re not sponsored by Altr for Men, we just like their products. The entire range is developed with sensitive skin in mind, and their moisturiser is a good all-rounder.
It sinks nicely into the skin, doesn’t leave your face tacky, and leaves it feeling hydrated.
Step 5: Lip Balm
Okay, a final and somewhat a bit of an extra step, but I think it’s important. After I’ve moisturised my face, the next step I do – without fail morning and night – is to apply lip balm. Say what you will, but chapped lips are not cute. It is such a small step, but it’s one with so many benefits.
We’d Recommend: Kiehl’s: Lip Balm #1 (£10.00)
Sure, it’s just lip balm. Why would I spend £10.00 on a Kiehl’s lip balm when there are much less expensive options available?
The answer is simple – not all lip balms are created equal, and most of the cheaper ones actually have an ingredient in them that cracks your lips over time – visible instant benefits but long-term side effects.
Always avoid products that have a menthol sensation to them – it’s one of the main culprits.
Spend the extra money and invest in a good lip balm. I promise you won’t regret it.