The Grooming Manual

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6 Easy Ways for Guys to Fight Acne

Man applying acne spot treatment

It’s not a controversial statement: acne sucks. It was terrible when you were struggling with it in high school. It didn’t do you any favors in college. And if it’s still haunting your skin long into adulthood, it’s still horrible.

For some guys, acne sticks around. That’s especially true for men who are naturally prone to acne - like if you have oily skin, for instance. While you can’t change your skin type, there are many easy ways to fight acne. Use these 6 acne tips for men to get better skin and experience fewer breakouts.


1 - Don’t Touch Your Face

Your grubby little mitts are covered in bacteria and other junk that can clog your pores. Assuming you follow a morning skincare routine for men that includes face wash for men and face moisturizer for men, your skin will stay clean and clear through most conditions. But your hands - not so much.

As you go through your normal routine, your hands come in contact with all kinds of contaminants. Then you itch your cheek. Or rub your eye. Or wipe your forehead. Or pick at something on your chin. And that bacteria gets access to your skin. Trouble.

If you’re a habitual face toucher, work at fighting the urge. You’ll help keep your skin healthy and can reduce the frequency of breakouts. And regardless, get in the habit of washing your hands often. It will keep your skin healthy - and the rest of you healthy too.


2 - Clean Your Sheets and Pillowcases

Your face spends several hours each night on your pillow. If it’s covered in germs, your chances of developing acne skyrocket. So do yourself a favor (in many ways) and keep your bedsheets and pillowcases clean.

Sadly, young single guys have earned a bad reputation for never changing their sheets. If you got into the unfortunate habit of going several weeks (or longer) without changing bed linens, it’s time to grow up. Switch them out about once a week to prevent acne-causing bacteria from growing like weeds all over your sheets.

To truly prevent acne breakouts, you need to keep your face clean at night too. So before you lie down on those fresh sheets, use face wash for men and face moisturizer for men. Starting to notice wrinkles and crows’ feet? An anti-aging routine for men applied each evening before bed can help. 


3 - Shave Smarter

Constantly struggling with breakouts caused by your shaving routine? You need to shave smarter. Use these tips to get a smooth, clean shave that doesn’t leave behind any breakouts or irritation.

Change Blades Often. Too many guys overuse their razors. Whichever you’re using - disposable, safety razor, multi-blade - you’ve got to replace the blade often. The warm, damp space between blades is especially fertile for acne-causing bacteria. Reuse the same one too many times and you’re inviting bacteria into your skin.

  • Wash and Scrub First. Using a face wash for men before you shave will remove any bacteria or other junk that may be resting on your skin. Then use a face scrub for men to clean deeper. Scrubbing out the pores of dead skin cells, bacteria, and oily buildup prevents these from irritating your skin or causing a post-shave breakout.
  • Use Shave Oil, Shave Cream, or Both. Don’t let your morning shave ruin the rest of your day. You need to find a complete approach to shaving that leaves your skin comfortable and blemish free. For some guys, a pre-shave oil for men is best. Others prefer a non-lathering shave cream for men. And guys with extra sensitive skin may opt to use them together. The point is finding the right products for your situation.
  • Finish with Aftershave. Don’t just shave, rinse, and go. That leaves your skin at risk for significant irritation. The trouble is that aftershaves that contain alcohol are even worse. Alcohol dries out the skin, causing irritation and redness. Ditch that for an alcohol-free aftershave that soothes and hydrates your recently shaved skin.


4 - Beware Caffeine, Sugar, and Alcohol

Your skin needs to stay hydrated in order to look its best. Good hydration also helps your skin fight off acne. So drinking plenty of water is great for your skin. But caffeine and alcohol both act to dehydrate your body. And sugar can cause inflammation.

Some men can correlate their skin breakouts to drinking sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. If that’s true for you, cut back on these dehydrating beverages. Switch to a caffeine-free tea when you want to sip a warm drink. Limit your alcohol consumption. Replace sugary sodas with healthier options - like water, seltzer, and natural juice.


5 - Wear Sweat Wicking Fabrics

Getting all sweaty during a workout is great for your health and figure. But it could also lead to acne if you have oily skin or are susceptible to breakouts. What can you do?

Make sure you’re wearing sweat wicking fabrics while you workout. These pull sweat away from your skin and limit the time you spend exposed to that mix of sweat, dirt, and bacteria.

What else can help? Shower immediately after you workout. The sooner you get out of those dirty clothes and wash the junk off your skin with a natural body wash for men, the better.


6 - Follow a Daily Skincare Routine

Consistently following a daily skincare routine for men will help you prevent acne breakouts. Try this simple, three step routine each morning if you have oily skin:

  • Cleanse. Use a face wash for men designed for men with oily skin. It should have a gentle lather and leave your skin clean - not dry or taut.
  • Tone. Choose a mild skin toner for men that will get at impurities below the skin’s surface. Avoid products with alcohol. A better option is witch hazel - which you’ll find in our Balancing Toner. Don’t over apply; toner is great at controlling oil production but too much can cause dryness.
  • Hydrate. Finish up with face moisturizer for men. This protects your skin from dryness and forms a cushion that keeps bacteria out. Guys with oily skin should use a lightweight, oil-free, fast-fast-absorbing moisturizer for the best results.
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