Acne Treatment Skin Care Tips for Men

4 Acne-Fighting Skin Care Tips Just for Men

If you get pimples, you'll benefit from a good acne skin care routine. But there are special considerations that must be taken into account when caring for men's skin.

Don't worry, guys—these skin care tips are super simple, don't take much time, and can help you get healthier skin.

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Cleanse your face twice daily.

Young man washing face in bathroom sink
Photo: Daniel Ingold / Cultura / Getty Images

A thorough twice-daily cleansing is the cornerstone of your breakout-busting skin care routine.

More isn't better here, so you don't have to overdo it. Rather, stick to washing your face every morning and at night before going to bed. You can add an extra cleansing after working up a sweat, if needed.

Use a foaming cleanser rather than a cleansing lotion to really power away excess oil. But don't cleanse too often and don't scrub too hard. Both of these can irritate the skin and neither will clear pimples.

Problems with body acne? Get a body wash containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and use it daily, especially after activities that make you sweat.

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Shave carefully around pimples.

Man shaving his face.
Photo: John Slater / Getty Images

Shave lightly over acne-affected areas, and try not to drag your razor or nick pimples. An electric or safety razor may be less irritating than a traditional blade.

Whatever type you use, make sure it's sharp. Always shave in the direction of hair growth and after you shower, when hair is softened.

It's best to avoid shaving when your skin is super inflamed. And if your skin is dry and irritated, you'll want to skip the aftershave as well.

Most acne medications will sting like crazy if you use them immediately after shaving. If you shave in the morning, apply your treatments at night (and vice versa). Let your dermatologist know if acne medications are really irritating your skin, though. 

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Use a moisturizer if acne treatments are leaving you dry.

Moisturizer isn't just for women! There are plenty of moisturizers on the market today made with a man's skin in mind.

Because most acne treatment medications cause dryness, a moisturizer is a must. Gently smooth it into the skin after cleansing or shaving.

Avoid triggering blackheads and breakouts by choosing an oil-free moisturizer labeled noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic. If your skin is red and irritated, you'll also want a moisturizer that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Dyes and fragrance can be irritating to already inflamed skin.

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Not sure it's acne? See your doctor to rule out other skin problems.

There are other skin problems that cause pimples on the skin. 

Many people mistakenly think they've developed adult acne, when in fact they have rosacea. Rosacea causes acne-like bumps on the face that can look strikingly similar to common acne pimples. But rosacea also causes redness or flushing of the face, which can wax and wane.

While rosacea is more common in women, men tend to get more severe forms of this skin disorder. Acne can occur anywhere on the face and on the body, but rosacea tends to appear only on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.

Rosacea is treated differently than common acne. If you're unsure of what you have, it's best to see your doctor, especially if you're over the age of 30.

Another common skin problem for men—psuedofolliculitis barbae. This is just a fancy name for ingrown hairs. These cause red bumps and whiteheads that look just like acne pimples, and it can be hard to tell the difference.

But ingrown hairs are obviously treated differently than acne vulgaris. Your doctor can determine exactly what is going on with your skin, and will also help you treat it.