Guys, please just don’t use 2-in-1 body and face wash.
(A screenshot of a video uploaded by @fentyskin of Fenty Skin ambassador @seangarrette)
American culture may be the forefront of a lot of industries: movies, music, military funding. But we’re definitely so behind when it comes to skincare. Korea takes the cake by a landslide on this one.
Many people look to Korea to see what is new or innovative in the industry. Generally speaking, it’s usually at least a good five years ahead of us in this field.
The most interesting thing about skincare and the culture that surrounds it in Korea is the fact that men consider it to be simply hygiene, much like brushing their teeth or putting on deodorant. However, in the United States, when most people look at a guy putting on some moisturizer, or even WORSE a serum, all of a sudden he becomes “too high-maintenance”.
We have many reasons to thank for this. We can sit here and blame toxic masculinity, societal expectations (or lack of an expectation to care), or the fact that most skincare products are thrown into the “beauty” category and marketed mainly towards women. I could go on.
However, it is simpler to just state the obvious: we all have skin, regardless of gender. Hence, it is important to take care of your skin, as it is the largest organ in our body and our first line of defense. I don’t think I even have to say it at this point, but SKINCARE IS FOR EVERYBODY.
The key to a good and effective skincare routine is focusing on quality and purpose over quantity. You really don’t need more than four to five products in your skincare routine. As long as you’re doing these three to four basic steps with good products.
If you don’t know where to start, here is a no BS skincare routine that will work for anyone:
1) You Need A Bomb Cleanser
This step is definitely one of the most important ones (after SPF, of course) in order to get off the nasty stuff (bacteria from your fingers, air pollution, etc) that builds up in your pores throughout the day. Even though we’re not really going out and about during quarantine, this step is especially important for people who exercise or play sports. I find it easiest to keep my cleanser in the shower since my face is already wet when I am in there and it keeps me from forgetting.
For those with normal to dry skin:
I’d recommend the La Roche Posay Toleraine Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser.
Because of my dry skin, this is one of my personal go-to face washes. It leaves my skin feeling super soft without giving me that tight or overly-dry feeling that other cleansers have given me. It’s formulated with glycerin (helps hydrate the skin) and niacinamide (regulates sebum to ensure you are not too oily or dry), which both help hydrate the skin and reduce sensitivity.
Lastly, the price is AMAZING for the amount of product you get and it is available, along with the rest of the La Roche line, at most drugstores.
For those with normal to oily skin:
I would recommend the La Roche Posay Toleraine Purifying Foaming Face Wash.
This is basically like the previous product’s sister, but for those on the oilier side of the skin spectrum. It’s formulated with glycerin and niacinamide, and has the same drugstore accessibility and affordable price point. These two are both good no BS options that will assure you get your bang for your buck.
Price for both: $14.99
2) Use a treatment to tackle a specific issue in your skin
This step is probably the most optional part of the routine. It targets dark spots, large pores and just does a little extra to nourish your skin. This can be done with a hydrating toner, a brightening serum, or an acne-fighting treatment just to name some. You’ll want to do this right after you cleanse your skin
To reduce breakouts or the look of pores:
I would recommend the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. The main ingredient — salicylic acid — is a chemical exfoliant used to remove dead skin cells, as well as unclogging and shrinking pores. I’ve personally noticed my pores getting smaller because of this product, it’s actually kinda crazy. It also comes in a mini travel size if you want to give it a try without having to commit to the full size.
Price: Usually sold at $29.50 / 4 oz. but is now on sale for $23.60
To add some extra hydration:
I’d The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. The main ingredient sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid), is draws in moisture from the environment to keep your skin hydrated. It’s also formulated with B5 to help further soothe and nourish your skin.
Price: $6.80 / 1 o.z. at Ulta Beauty
3) I don’t care which type of skin you have. YOU HAVE TO MOISTURIZE.
If you don’t think you have to moisturize because you have oily skin, you are WRONG. Those of you who have oily skin most likely use a harsher cleanser, which means you should definitely make sure you’re not overly stripping your skin of its moisture. If your skin isn’t moisturized enough, it will actually produce even more oil to compensate for this, which is why moisturizing is equally important for all skin types. Keeping your skin moisturized prevents your skin from looking dull, dry, and rapidly aging.
If you have normal to dry skin:
I would recommend the ELF Happy Hydration cream. It has a very high concentration of cannabis sativa seed oil, which is amazing for hydration and is rare to find in a product at this price point. This cream also includes other ingredients with similar benefits like sodium hyaluronate and glycerin.
If you have normal to oily skin:
I would recommend a more gel-like texture like that of the Purito Deep Sea Pure Water Cream. This lightweight formula literally feels like nothing on my face, but leaves my skin feeling super soft and refreshed. I can apply layers of it on my face without feeling oily or greasy. It’s formulated with 60% deep seawater which mimics our skin’s moisture levels to absorb and hydrate quickly, as well as niacinamide which helps reduce redness and sensitivity.
Price: $20 / 1.7 fl. oz
4) SPF is mandatory
This is arguably the most important steps of the skincare routine. Whenever you are feeling lazy, it is probably the one step I recommend you do. The sun plays a huge role in our skin’s susceptibility to disease and aging. It is super important to make sure you are protected from it when you know you will be exposed to it.
Even if you have a darker complexion and have been told you don’t need to wear sunscreen, you have been lied to. Although you are less likely to get a sunburn, it is still possible to suffer from damage or disease from the sun.
For those looking to kill two steps in one:
Rihanna’s got you covered. She recently launched her new Fenty Skin line, which includes the Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen. Yup, you read that right.
This puppy is a two-in-one moisturizer and sunscreen. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (two ingredients I already said why I loved so much). Its packaging is super innovative and sustainable allowing buyers to purchase a refillable canister of the product instead of buying an entirely new bottle and wasting more plastic. This is something that not too many skincare brands have done yet, but should take note of.
It is a chemical sunscreen, which means it can be used by all skin tones with zero white cast or flashback. Rihanna has long known to be inclusive since she released an extensive shade range of foundations for Fenty Beauty which left almost all of the other beauty brands desperately trying to replicate her success. However, the only thing I will caution about this product is that it is formulated with fragrance, so those with very sensitive skin might want to stay away from it.
For those looking for some extra antioxidants:
Another good chemical sunscreen that’s makeup friendly and doesn’t have a white cast is the Krave Beauty Beet Shield. This one is fragrance-free and packed full of antioxidants such as beetroot extract, vitamin c and resveratrol. The best part: it leaves a beautiful glowy finish on your face. For more information about this product, check out one of Rowdy's previous reviews here.
Price: $20 / 50 ml
Now, you have pretty much all you need for a basic, yet effective, skincare routine. Forget about toners, masks and eye creams. You don’t need them when you have a handle on these basics
Enrique Tefel is a Fashion Manager and Contributing Writer at Rowdy Magazine. He spends his time trying new restaurants, keeping up with the latest fashion and beauty trends and daydreaming about moving to Europe. You can find him on Instagram @enriquetefel.