Is it just us, or is everything skincare-related always aimed at the ladies? The thing is, guys get acne too, and it’s actually more common in guys at certain points in our lives, especially during the teenage years and early 20s. But dealing with pimples is a whole different ball game for the guys. We tend to get zits all over the body, not just the face, and we’re dealing with a bunch of male-only triggers (testosterone, anyone?). That’s why we need a playbook of our own.
In this guide, we’re going over all the details you need to know about mastering clear skin on your face and body. Why do we get acne to begin with? If it’s persistent, how do we get it under control? What about acne on the back, chest and butt? We want to ensure that no questions go unanswered and no pores go unclogged here at Black Wolf, so bookmark this page and reference it as much as you need to.
TRIGGERED: WHY GUYS GET ACNE
A part of putting acne in its place is understanding where it comes from to begin with. Zits pop up due to a bunch of different triggers, but it pretty much all comes down to one thing, whether you’re a guy or a girl — clogged pores. But dudes get dirty pores for a whole bunch of different reasons than the ladies do, including:
- A Surge in Testosterone — Testosterone can be a good thing and a bad thing throughout life. It’s responsible for regulating our sex drive and helping us build muscle mass and strength. On the flipside, too much testosterone can cause excessive production of sebum (otherwise known as the skin oil that can clog your pores), which equals acne. Testosterone is at its peak from adolescence to early adulthood, so it could be to blame for your flare-up if you’re in that age range.
- Too Much Sweat — This one is pretty simple. Guys sweat more than girls, and sweat causes acne. That’s why we tend to get breakouts all over the body, not just the face, and why it often gets worse when it’s hot out. Excessive sweat in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but when you let it sit for too long, it can sink into the pores and bring dirt and bacteria along with it. That’s why it’s so important to shower soon after working out.
- A Lack of Products for Dudes — There are a ton of awesome clear skin products out there to help zap away zits. The problem? So many of them are made specifically for women. And we don’t know about you, but we’re not huge on caking our face with stuff that smells like cotton candy and roses (but hey, if that’s your thing, we support you). Luckily, there are products that are actually made for men that bring a subtle manly scent. Introducing these into your routine will help keep the blemishes at bay.
- A Subpar Skin Care Routine — Don’t deny it: You’ve used shampoo as face wash once or twice, haven’t you? We’ve all done it. Many of us just never learned about the importance of using the right products at the right time. We grab whatever we can find in the shower, even if it’s actually more likely to clog the pores and irritate skin than to get rid of zits. But knowing what to use can change the game, and we’re covering that part below.
- Eating and Drinking Junk — We hate to be the bearers of news, but the whole pizza-causes-acne thing is at least partly true. Oily foods like pizza, fried chicken, dairy and basically anything that tastes good can trigger oil production, causing breakouts. And while drinking alcohol doesn’t directly affect acne, it can cause the body to produce extra hormones, which may lead to a breakout or two. Everything in moderation, guys.
- Stress — Need an excuse to go on vacation? Blame it on your zits. Seriously, stress can be a massive zit-starter, so you want to try to keep it to a minimum. This happens because when you’re stressed out your body releases hormones that bind to receptors in the sebaceous glands, causing excess oil production that hangs out in your pores and causes pimples. So don’t feel guilty about that occasional extra beer or hour of video games because it might just help you relax away the breakouts.
PICK YOUR POISON: THE ESSENTIAL MEN’S SKIN PRODUCTS
Before you start following a skin care routine, you need to decide what products are best for your skin. We don’t think this should be that complicated, so stick to the tried, true and trusty, like salicylic acid, activated charcoal and cucumber fruit extract. There are three main elements you need to build a routine that ghosts zits for good: a face wash (or body wash for the body), an exfoliator and a moisturizer.
- Face Wash (Ex: Activated Charcoal Face Wash) — Grab yourself a face wash that deep cleans without drying out skin or leaving behind any suspicious residue, like our award-winning charcoal face wash. Charcoal is the unsung hero of your skin care routine because it removes unwanted toxins and impurities from deep within the pores. You also want to look for a face wash with salicylic acid, as this stuff is the gold standard for purging pores and it serves as an anti-inflammatory to chill out problem skin.
- Body Wash (Ex: Activated Charcoal Body Wash) — If you’ve got pimples on your back, shoulders, butt or anywhere else, make sure you’re using an acne body wash to help keep it in check. This stuff uses the same ingredients you’d use on your face, like activated charcoal and salicylic acid, but it richly lathers to get rid of all the sweat and dirt from the day. So what we’re saying is, you’re going to want to get rid of the bright blue stuff from the drug store.
- Exfoliator (Ex: Exfoliating Bamboo Face Scrub) — Hot tip: The occasional face scrub can seriously intimidate zits, but you need to be careful about not overdoing it. Grab an exfoliator that gently breaks down the top layer of your skin and purges pores, but only use it two or three times a week. Make sure to grab an exfoliator that features a natural exfoliating agent (ours has walnut shells and bamboo stem) because a lot of them contain plastic microbeads that are bad for the planet and that’s not cool.
- Moisturizer (Ex: Oil-Free Moisturizing Gel) — If you thought face cream was just for anti-aging, you’re missing out big time. It seems counterintuitive, but a good gel moisturizer for oily skin can actually decrease oil production, which can help get breakouts under control. Make sure you follow up any skin care effort with a good slather of face cream. Pick one that’s actually made for the face or you could risk worsening your breakout and sending skin into a tailspin.
ROUTINES ARE CLUTCH FOR CLEAR SKIN
If we could give a single tip to men who want clear skin, it would be to pick a routine and follow it like it’s your religion (and we’re not just talking about Sunday mornings). Below is the Black Wolf regimen, also known as the best clear skin regimen for guys. This is an easy to use option that’s safe for men with all skin types who are triggered by testosterone, sweat, pizza, stress or anything else.
- Daily: Morning and Night — You need to get into the habit of taking care of your skin on a daily basis, and you should actually be giving it some love in the morning and at night. Follow the below routine when you wake up and right before you go to bed to ensure that you don’t let dirt and oil linger long enough to cause zits.
- Wash your face and body. Apply a quarter-sized amount of face or body wash and gently massage it onto wet skin, paying special attention to problem areas. Rinse clean with warm water.
- Moisturize your face and body. Let your skin air dry or blot dry with a clean towel. Apply a nickel-sized amount of moisturizer to your face and apply liberally to skin on the body.
- A.M. Only: Throw on a little SPF. Heading outside? Make sure to throw on a layer of sunscreen. Not to scare you or anything, but guys are more likely to develop skin cancer, so don’t skip this one.
- Twice a Week — In addition to your twice-daily cleaning routine, you also need to introduce a little exfoliation on occasion. The thing is, you don’t want to overdo it with exfoliating because it can dry out your skin or cause sensitivity. We recommend swapping out your p.m. schedule with the one below two or three times a week.
- Wash your face and body. The general consensus is that washing before you exfoliate is the best move because it lets you start with a clean slate so you don’t risk rubbing any junk into your pores.
- Exfoliate your face and body. Using either a face scrub or a body scrub — depending on what you’re targeting — apply a small amount to the skin and gently work it in for about 10 seconds. Rinse thoroughly. Boom! Silky-smooth skin.
- Moisturize your face and body. Post-exfoliation hydration is clutch because the manual scrubbing leaves your pores open and ready to deeply absorb the nutrients and moisture from the lotion, so take advantage.
CLEAR SKIN TIPS FOR THE GUYS
You’ve got your products, you’ve got your routine and you’re good to go. But there are a couple of great tips you can toss in the mix to make sure you reach peak skin. Here are a few of our skin care secret weapons to keep in your back pocket when you’re aiming for a sexy complexion.
- Turn down the heat. Cold showers are good for more than you might think. Turn down the temp when you hop in the shower because hot water can irritate and dry out skin.
- Wear more breathable fabrics. We know you’ve got a lot to think about, but be conscious of what your clothes are made of, especially when you work out. Aim for breathable, natural fabrics that won’t trap sweat.
- Leave the cleansing for last. We always recommend leaving your anti-acne routine for last in the shower because your shaving cream, shampoo and conditioner could leave behind pore-clogging ingredients.
- Restore hydration post-shave. Make sure you hydrate after you shave your face and use our Soothing Razor Bump Cream if you tend to experience breakouts or discomfort post-shave.
- Skip the heavy fragrances. Anything too heavy on the fragrance should not go near your face or any problem areas, and that goes for cologne. Keep your cologne dabs to the neck and wrists to prevent them from clogging pores.
DON’T OVERTHINK IT
The biggest mistake you can make with skin care is to overthink it. Simple ingredients, easy-to-follow instructions and consistency are the keys to clear skin, as far as we’re concerned. Black Wolf is all about easiness, which is why we’ve developed skin care bundles to eliminate all confusion. Grab our Breakout and Blackhead Bundle to get everything you need to clear away zits.