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Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

Hey Everyone.  I am new to skincare.  I am a male in 40s who generally always took care of himself however my skincare was limited to the old spice body wash.  Through my job I got MRSA which developed sores.  This is what led me to skincare.  The MSRA is gone but I actually fell in LOVE with the routine of washing and treating my face.  Below is the routine I have developed.  I have normal skin and I would say average skin aging.  I only get the odd pimple.  I have a couple sun spots that showed up last summer.



Face Wash


Vitamin C Serum

Hylauronic Acid Serum

Vitamin C Eye Cream

Moisturizer with ginseng and tea

SPF Lotion (If I'm not sitting inside at work the entire day)



Face wash


The ordinary Buffet Serum

Retinol Serum

Retinol Eye Cream

Nightime moisturizer with niacinimide


Twice Weekly:

Face wash

Double edge razor shave


Turmeric facemask

Aftershave balm


I am curious if I am doing too much or if there is anything simple I could change.  I really enjoy the routine, assessing issues, the thought process involved in mixing appropriate ingredients, determining what is best for my face, the order that products are applied, and then even searching and shopping for them.  It has been tremendously cathartic.


On that note, are there any occasional skin care products that could be considered a treat which anyone could suggest.  They can be pricier if I use them more limited.  I should explain that a treat is a 'feel good' in the moment thing for me.  My skin is really actually not terrible, it is frankly just getting amazing now.  This is all about the actual act of taking care of my skin and the feel I get while I am doing it.  So if anyone can suggest some super lux product that makes my skin feel like a million bucks after I use it, then let me know!!!!


Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

Really I had gain knowledge from this post, awesome

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

45 M using skincare since my teens; ask yourself if it feels like too much. If it doesn’t, then you’re good. I’d add a lip balm daily.


You can always adjust and use different masks depending on season and skin needs.

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

I actually fell in LOVE with the routine of washing and treating my face.”


Something many of us can relate to, @madtonic 😂 Although I am sorry to hear of the circumstances that brought it about, it sounds like you have truly found a silver lining with some wonderful benefits. Your daily routine seems well-rounded, even adding in retinol to boot! I think mixing it up with a different mask every week would be a fun way to fend off any routine boredom. 


@WinglessOne offered some great suggestions (as always), which lead me to also recommend adding in a sheet mask here or there. Having one chilled in the fridge is a very refreshing way to calm your skin after being out in the sun. There are plenty of places to purchase them, but many over on the 💕😌 Mask of the Week Challenge 😌💖 like TJ Maxx/Marshall’s as you can find boxes of them for a very reasonable price. Important when you are testing the waters and still figuring out what shape/material/serum masks you like. Cica (as WinglessOne mentioned) is a great ingredient to look for). Which leads me to Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Calming Serum Mask 1 Mask - a place to start if you are looking for something here.


Good luck on your skincare journey!

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

Hey @madtonic , welcome to the world of skincare! Glad to hear you enjoy the process and the thought it requires. Your skincare routine looks good to me, without knowing exactly which products (brands + product names) you use. 


Exactly which toner do you use? I'm wondering if it's a hydrating toner, exfoliating toner, soothing/anti-inflammatory toner, astringent toner, etc.; different toners can have different effects on skin and shouldn't be used daily. For instance, something like The Ordinary's glycolic acid toner is an exfoliant that should be limited to 1-3 times a week. By contrast, COSRX Hydrium Watery Toner is a hydrating toner that can be used daily, while COSRX Pure Fit Cica Toner is a soothing + hydrating toner that's also safe for daily use. 


Thinking of lux treats for skin... hmm... 


That depends a lot on your particular skin's needs. I have mostly-dry combo skin that's quite reactive/inflammation-prone. My skin's favorite treat is my favorite sheet mask: Abib Mild Acidic pH Heartleaf Fit mask. It's loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients: houttuynia cordata (heartleaf), several components of centella asiatica (cica), green tea, licorice root, purslane, hu zhang, allantoin, and a couple others I'm forgetting right now. My skin would marry this mask if it could. I buy this sheet mask by the box, and I usually buy 4+ boxes at a time.


Now, for you that mask might not be as big a treat if your skin doesn't throw angry red tantrums like mine does. But in general, I find facial masks to be a great way to treat myself once in a while. You've already got a turmeric mask in your routine. (My skin also loves that ingredient.) There may be some other masks you'd love. Consider checking the 💕😌 Mask of the Week Challenge 😌💖 thread to see reviews by BIC maskers, including me if you dig back far enough in that thread. (I haven't posted there in a long time.) 


Once or twice a month, I use a Foreo Luna Mini 2 on my face (the current available version is FOREO LUNA™ Mini 3 ) with a water- or glycerin-based serum—anything that doesn't contain oil. Or I'll take it into the shower with me and use it with my PM cleanser (CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar). For me, the Foreo feels more like a light facial massage than a physical exfoliant, but it gently does both. It's a nice treat once in a while. 

Speaking of tactile treats: something as simple as a cold facial roller can feel wonderful on skin. I always keep one in the fridge. I especially like to run it across my forehead, along the sides of my face (on my temples), under my eyes, under my chin, and behind my ears. It's a good stress reliever for me. Doesn't have to be expensive; mine is the SEPHORA COLLECTION Rose Quartz Facial Roller I received as a gift from Sephora a couple years ago. 

The deeper you dig into skincare, the more you'll learn. One day, you'll find yourself awake at 3 AM with 20+ browser tabs open, each one focused on a specific ingredient, product, clinical study abstract (maybe the full study if you can access it and make heads & tails of it), a manufacturer's data sheet for a trademarked ingredient/complex, etc.—I mean, not that I'm that nerdy at all, noooo, not me... 😂 If you don't already have a board certified dermatologist, I highly recommend seeing one if you can. Derms are good sources of info and can confirm or correct what you've learned on your own, plus help you treat your skin—not just your face but also your scalp, body, and nails. 

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

I use Thayers Alcohol Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner.  It is probably more of a mens post-shave product for clearing shaving cream/debris from pores before using balm.  It is a very watery solution.  I should look into it, but I just assumed it would be good for daily use.


Thanks for the products suggestions.  We have one of those roller things in our bathroom.  Stupid me actually thought it was some gadget my wife used on her feet when she gives herself pedicures.  I will have to give it a try.


You joke about having 20 tabs open but that is a reality!!! One thing I will say is that the world of skincare can only be rivaled by the workout supplement industry, it is flooded with flashy and cool looking products but it can be very hard to determine what is actually quality.  I have no problem paying a ton for quality but to me quality isn't always what looks the best or has the best marketing campaigns.



Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

@madtonic  Oh, there are many overpriced skincare products on the market. As I'm sure you've noticed, high price tag =/= quality, no matter how pretty or "professional" the marketing. 


Granted, I'm not a cosmetic chemist so I don't know each product's formulation (an INCI list tells me what's in a product, but not how a product's formulated). And some pricey products really are worth the cost. Example: there's a reason various skincare brands try to imitate SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum without infringing the brand's formulation patent. It's why Drunk Elephant was sued by L'Oreal (SkinCeurticals parent company) a few years ago; both parties reached a settlement and, coincidentally, DE re-released C-Firma a year or 2 ago. In the vitamin A OTC family, retinaldehyde products are usually more expensive than comparable retinol products because the former ingredient's trickier than the latter for chemists to formulate with. Retinaldehyde's also more potent and faster-working than retinol, but not as much as tretinoin. 

But I've yet to be convinced that, for instance, Dr. Barbara Sturm's $70 USD aloe vera gel is worth more than a good drugstore option, or that her $300 hyaluronic acid serum outperforms The Ordinary's or any other good inexpensive option. 🙄 Nearly all Sunday Riley products seem overpriced compared to similar options on the market. Heck, Drunk Elephant's also in that overpriced category for me, even if I do think their Lala Retro cream's quite good. Paula's Choice makes a moisturizer that reminds me a lot of Lala and costs less. 


Workout supplement marketing is indeed frustrating. I don't use them, but I've shopped and researched a few to help some friends. Some of the marketing claims are as exaggerated as those for "health" supplements, and beauty supplements are quickly catching up. I worry that many folks buy and consume all these supplements without doing much (if any) research on them, let alone checking with a doctor first to find out what their bodies actually need more of. 

That Thayers witch hazel toner might be okay for daily use, for your skin. It's hard to know how astringent a witch hazel toner really is, because that depends on which part(s) of the witch hazel plant are used for extraction. My skin's finicky about that ingredient, so I try not to use products containing it on a regular basis. But I'm glad you're using an alcohol-free version. Toners containing lots of alcohol tend to be too stripping/drying, closer to what nearly all toners used to be—astringents—back in the day. (I'm 50.) The one you use contains glycerin and aloe vera, which should make it fairly hydrating. Note that toner's not a necessary skincare step: not everyone needs one. But if it's helping your particular skin, then there's no reason to stop using it. 🙂 

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

Hi @madtonic !

First, I want to say I am super impressed that you’re a male taking care of their skin!!! I know a lot of times men just slap some water on their face and walk out the door ready for the day, so I applaud you. Second, your routine is very good honestly. This doesn’t work for everyone so take this with a grain of salt but I have noticed a big difference when simplifying my morning routine. I used to use pretty much the exact same steps as you. I cut out washing my face in the morning (because all that good stuff I used at night I don’t wanna wash away). I will just wet my face with cold water and then from there use a hydrating serum, eye cream, moisturizer and spf. Again, this might not work for everyone but it definitely improved texture on my skin, assuming that I was overwhelming it with product before. I see you are using retinol in your night routine, are you using it every day? I made that mistake and dried my skin to oblivion. I would recommend using it 3 times a week max as i’ve learned the hard way. Definitely make sure you use barrier repair products in your routine because of how drying it is, with things such as ceramides, peptides etc in them. I love Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin ™ Moisturizing Cream at night because it soothes my barrier. I also recommend Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer 1.7 oz/ 50 mL both of which I have used plenty of times and can highly recommend. They leave my skin hydrated and smooth, with no acne resulting. They are on the thicker side so I tend to use them at night more with a lightweight moisturizer for the day. 


I also notice you use toner. I’m not sure if you are also using that every day, but I would stick to it either just in the morning or just at night every other day, your skin doesn’t need a deep clean that often.


What other concerns are you trying to address? I can definitely recommend more products but would need to know more such as if you are treating acne, looking to smooth texture, brighten etc. Feel free to reach out and ask, I am a skincare junkie but again what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for every one. You have a great and solid routine right now, again super impressed by it and will be happy to help further if needed 🙂 



Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

Thanks for the amazing answer and suggestions.  I will limit my retinol to 3 times a week.  I have been using it every night.  I think I also need to be a bit more conservative with the amount I use.  Like a typical guy, I always think more is better.  


In terms of toner, this is where I am not sure if we are even talking about the same thing.  My dad taught me how to shave just like his dad taught him how to shave.  Part of that routine involves splashing toner on your face after.  It ensures all of the shaving cream, bits of hair, and debris are cleared from your pours before you cover your face with aftershave balm.  I use a product from amazon called Thayers Alcohol Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner.  I believe it may have some aloe in it.  I splash it on my face and rinse with cold water.  I am in the habit of doing this after I wash my face too.  That's all.  If doing this daily is an issue, I could stop.  It actually seems like the most useless part of the routine.


In terms of additional issues, there aren't many.  I am actually lucky.  I have made fun of my wife for years saying the I know the secret to perfect skin - DO NOTHING.  That's all I did.  Well little did I know I could make my skin bloody fantastic with a little bit of help (not being arogant or anything!).  I do have a 1/2 inch sun spot on my right cheek that I would like to get rid of.  That would be the only additional thing.  Other than that I am just going to try your suggestions and keep on going.



Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

Hi @madtonic and welcome to BIC!! from the list of products that you just mentioned, I'm not seeing an exfoliator. If you will use one, your skin will be free from dead skin cells, and your skincare products will sink more deeply in your skin, and you will have better results overall!! Also, face masks. You can do peel masks, mud masks (for impurities)....sheet masks. A few times a week for an extra pamper 😊.

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

I really appreciated this suggestion. I do 2 masks a week now. I bought one for me and one that will be good for my 5 year old daughter and we have pamper time twice a week. To think I once thought they were the dumbest things you could use. Now I even bought an aloe based one for post shaving twice a week. Thanks again

Re: Male in 40s new to skincare. Confirming routine and looking for special products

@Skunk12puzzola Oooh yes, exfoliation! Great suggestion. And masks. Lots of masks😉

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