Attractive at Any Age: A Guy’s Guide to Skincare in His 20s

young man face wash sink bathroom
nd3000/Getty Images
nd3000/Getty Images

When it comes to good skincare, it’s never too early to start. Yep, we’re looking at you, kid.

Men have a habit of trying to fix a problem rather than prevent one. If you start taking good care of your skin by the time you’re in your twenties, you’re ahead of the game. With your budget likely prioritizing booze and rent, good skincare may be towards the bottom of the list. So, we remind you that drinking gets you through the night, but your face sticks with you for good.

If you want to look 21 forever, or at least get compliments on how good you look for years to come, these five basic steps (and corresponding products) will help you get on the right track.

Wash Your Face

Guys, you need to be washing your face everyday. You can wash once (at night) or preferably twice (morning and night), but ridding your skin of grit, grime, and gross stuff on a daily basis is a must since it allows for your skin to perform at it’s peak. Using a glycolic acid face wash like the one from Jack Black is a great way to get started. In the right doses, glycolic acid is a great for ridding skin of dead skin cells without stripping oils that keep the skin balanced. This face wash is loaded with antioxidant-rich volcanic ash, which helps to repair skin while maintaining your moisture balance. If that wasn’t enough (that’s more than some products that cost twice as much), it can double as a mask when you want to give your face a little extra attention.

Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser – $22

Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser

See It

Sometimes You Gotta Scrub

Having a great cleanser is the first step in any skincare routine, but sometimes you need something with a little more oomph. Add this Exfoliating Scrub from Mario Badescu for a little texture in your routine. Earth-friendly ground seeds of the Ecuadorian ivory palm (never opt for micro-beads) polishes skin while aloe vera, coconut, ginger, ginkgo, and green tea hydrate and invigorate. (If this doesn’t appeal to you, check out our roundup of the best exfoliators.) Don’t forget: Scrubbing before a shave is a great way to help prevent ingrowns.

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub – $26

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub

See It

Take Care of the Eyes

Eyes show age. The skin around your eyes is some of the thinnest you have, and if you are going to be living your best life all night, then you need a strong, kick-ass eye cream to help hide the evidence. Recipe For Men is a luxury brand from Sweden that is known all over the world, but they also have a collection that is made for the every man (it’s a lot less expensive). The core values of the company mean you’re getting a great product, no matter what. The price means you can afford it. Pro tip: Keep this in the refrigerator for a cooling sensation that will snap your eyes into shape in record time. For other eye cream options, head here.

Recipe For Men myEyes Anti Dark Circles Eye Gel – $20

Recipe For Men myEyes Anti Dark Circles Eye Gel

See It

Use SPF Every Day — No Exceptions

If you invest in one thing to ensure good skin as you age — and only one thing — it should be a facial moisturizer with SPF. This is nonnegotiable. You can put all the lotions and potions you want on that mug, but if you are getting too much sun, you’re just throwing money away. Yes, other products will do wonders in helping you fend off Father Time, but using sunscreen isn’t just for vanity — it’s for your health. Plus, a lot of those anti-aging products can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Kiehls Facial Fuel is one of our favorites, but we also have a full list of suggestions.

Kiehls Facial Fuel SPF 15 – $35

Kiehls Facial Fuel SPF 15

See It

Zap Those Zits

For most of us, zits don’t ever go away. Those people that say they go away after your teenage years are liars. Zits will settle down a bit and only show up for important occasions, making them all the more frustrating. It’s likely you don’t need all that crazy acne stuff anymore (unless you have cystic acne, in which case, listen to your dermatologist, not me). This Overnight Spot Treatment from (Malin + Goetz) works on the targeted area and works fast. By the time you wake up in the morning, chances are you’ll be zit-free, or at least well on your way. No need to use another medication during the day either — too much attention to a zit can dry out your skin, causing it to go into oil overdrive, which is what helps cause zits in the first place. If you need something for the daytime, try one of our other fave zit zappers.

(Malin + Goetz) Acne Treatment Nighttime – $22

Malin Goetz Acne Treatment Nighttime

See It

This piece is part of a series. Are you in your 30s? Head here. 40s? We got you covered.

Fashion & Style

Which Workwear is Right For You? Comparing Carhartt, Patagonia, and Filson

Find out which brand is best for you and your job.
Living

6 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Bedroom for Cold Weather

Here are a few tricks to transform your boudoir into a winter sanctuary.
Podcast

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Fantasy Formula One Episode

If fantasy sports are your thing, or you just really like to go fast, then this episode is for you
Grooming

Wise Men’s Grooming Is Doing Things Differently, and Better

The brand is also making a low environmental impact.
Grooming

The Best Shaving Creams for the Closest Shave Possible

The best shaving cream will leave your skin feeling smooth, hydrated, and (dare we say) pampered.
Grooming

Lose the Liquid with the Best-Smelling Solid Colognes

Rub a finger into the pot, dab some of the cologne on pulse points (like the wrist and neck), and enjoy
Grooming

The Best Aftershave Balms to Soothe Your Irritated Skin

Finding your personal aftershave balm is definitely a worthwhile process.
Grooming

The Best Natural Deodorants for Men That Actually Work

That long list of chemicals on the back of your deodorant freaking you out a little bit? Try one of these and sweat a little easier.
Grooming

The Best Beard Oils Reviewed for the Modern Man

Dry and itchy beard? Get yourself one of the best beard oils. Your whiskers will welcome it.
Grooming

The Best Beard Trimmers to Tame Your Wild Whiskers

To help you find the right tool for your facial hair, we put together this list of the best beard trimmers.
Grooming

Aesop’s New Mouthcare Duo Keeps Your Teeth Healthy with Effective and Tasty Formulas

By combining effective essential oils with mouthwatering taste, this duo has everything to keep your grill clean and pristine No B.S. — just pure oral hygiene.
Grooming

The Ultimate Guide on How to Shape a Beard

Whip your whiskers into shape with these at-home tips.
Grooming

The Best Body Lotions for Men to Soften Your Rough Exterior

We have some good news for all you dry guys: We've found some body lotions that actually hydrate our skin and don't leave us feeling like we're coated in butter.