For at least the last several decades, skincare was all about looking younger. Perhaps that’s why the products were predominantly marketed toward women, whose perceived value had everything to do with their age. But time slowly erodes the patriarchal infrastructure as surely as it does the epidermis. Today, skincare is far from being the exclusive provenance of women, and “anti-aging” products aren’t intended to be a substitute for a facelift. Instead, today’s anti-aging products are all about celebrating your older, wiser countenance by encouraging its youthful glow.
Cultural progress notwithstanding, it’s still more widely acceptable for men to sport the weathered skin and crow’s feet that come with mature years. However, few men actually welcome these signs of aging when they show up in the mirror. If you’re not exactly thrilled by the prospect of a “Marlboro Man” look, now’s the time to find an anti-aging cream or skincare product and make it part of your everyday routine.
“A skincare regimen can be less steps than men are led to believe.”
Don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be complicated. According to Jared Pobre, founder of skincare brand Caldera + Lab in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, “A skincare regimen can be less steps than men are led to believe.” Along with his expert insights on what men should look for in skincare products, we tried a slew of them and put together a shortlist of our favorites for you to try.
The Manual: It’s commonly assumed that aging skin looks good on men. What’s changing?
Jared Pobre: Everyone ages differently, and some guys just seem to “age better” than others. But we’re definitely moving into a time in which men are more invested in their skin and becoming more comfortable with the idea of dermal enhancement.
TM: How does men’s skin change with age?
JP: Men know of the common concerns of wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines, sagging, etc., but what they may not know is that their skin is 25% thicker than women’s skin and has more pore concentration, oiliness, and sweat production. It’s for this reason men need different moisture concentration and potency than your average women’s product. Also, shaving over-exposes the skin to external influences by clearing off microscopic pieces of dead skin, thereby weakening the skin barrier function.
TM: What about men who don’t shave?
TM: What should guys be looking for in an anti-aging skincare product?
JP: Men look for quick, overall, one-step improvement to hydrate their skin and look rested. Men should look for multi-correctional products that have hydrating and skin-building ingredients with a high concentration of antioxidants to keep their regimen as simple and effective as possible.
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Because of men’s dermal composition, it’s important to steer clear from super harsh ingredients like retinol. Typically, men’s skin is much more sensitive than women’s skin, so harsh ingredients can cause flakiness, redness, and irritation. We designed our serum with a low-molecule weight to more effectively absorb into men’s thicker skin with an ultra-high concentration of antioxidants (3.4 million per drop).
TM: What’s missing in men’s skincare today?
JP: Apart from the lack of men’s skincare education that has existed, the regimens that have been around for years (cleansing, toning, moisturizing) haven’t evolved with what men now want: to age well. There have been a lot of products on the market but none that give exceptional results in an easy-to-use format. The sheer volume of product options meant the concept of skincare was and is confusing, which is why we set out to create a solution — a clean, easy, and effective product for every man out there who requires a simple but exceptional regimen.
TM: For the reader who isn’t trying to look “manscaped” or overly groomed, what does a “manly” man’s well-cared-for face look like?
JP: We’re definitely in a kind of “glow up” era in which more and more men are on a quest for radiant, flawless complexions — a trend that celebrities like Nick Jonas, David Beckham, and Kit Harrington have already been the face of. They may not specifically search for “glow,” but they want to brighten their skin and look rested. They want to maintain their vital and youthful appearance and are a lot more comfortable with the notion of dermal enhancement and skin regeneration than in years past. When they find something they like, they stick to it.
Caldera + Lab The Good
This Jackson Hole-based company undertook meticulous research to create a serum that delivers nutrients directly to the deeper layers of the skin and majorly improves skin quality. With its lightweight and silky texture, The Good is a skincare treatment that restores, nourishes, and protects. We also love that it’s the first men’s skincare in the United States to be certified by both Ecocert and Made Safe
Tame the Beast Anti-Aging Face Serum for Men
The name says it all. This ultra-natural serum contains powerhouse ingredients like Vitamin A (Retinol), C and E, anti-inflammatory essential oils like sea buckthorn, neroli, and sandalwood, omega-3 and omega-6 from clary sage and flax, and even a light scent of citrus musk. We liked how it absorbed quickly into the skin and didn’t leave behind a greasy residue, making it great for anti-aging action during the day.
Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
This ubiquitous dark spot treatment is formulated with 2% hydroquinone, the pigment lightener most often prescribed by doctors. Murad’s serum contains the highest level available without a prescription and claims to fade dark spots and uneven skin tone in as little as one week.
Youth to the People Superfood Firm + Brighten Serum
This light gel serum contains a potent complex of fine-line-reducing peptides, age-defying antioxidants, illuminating vitamin C for free-radical fighting, and cross-linked hyaluronic acid that helps the skin retain moisture.
La Mer The Regenerating Serum
Worn by the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, La Mer is the A-lister’s age-defying elixir of choice. If you’ve got the cash, the patented “miracle broth” and marine peptide ferment in this serum promise not only reduced fine lines and more luminous skin, but a healthy-looking, vibrant future infused with youth-boosting energies.
We recently got the chance to try out this brand-new men’s skincare line before its official launch. We’re loving the daily moisturizer, which offers the antioxidant protection of seaweed extract, the skin-evening power of green tea, and the rich hydration of kukui nut oil, leaving the skin dewy and soft. We also admire the strong environmental conscience of this new brand, with its recycled packaging and percentage donations to ocean cleanup.
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