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Why Men Should Use a Facial Cleanser

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Many men, including the ones in my family, have resorted to washing their face with the old bar of body soap. Sure a bar of soap may remove the unwanted dirt and oil from your face but it can also cause your skin more harm than good. Using a bar of soap on your face can strip away your natural oils and throw off your skins pH balance, which can result in dryness, irritation and sometimes even premature aging. Let’s just say a bar of soap in the skincare world is the equivalent to a can of Barbasol in the world of traditional wet shaving; just don’t use it! Instead, choose a mild cleanser and treat your mug with the respect it deserves with just three simple steps.

Choosing a Cleanser

Before you can begin a proper cleansing you have to choose the right cleanser for you. Everyone’s skin is different which means that a facial cleanser that works wonders on one person may be drying or irritating on another. Similarly with shaving software like soaps, shave creams and aftershaves, when searching for a face wash, you will find that there will be a variety of fragrances and formulas to choose from. So how do you decide which one is best for you?

Product samples can be a great way to expose yourself to different products and they can also help you decide which ones you like before you commit to buying a full size product.  If samples aren’t your thing, you can also choose your cleanser by simply reading the label. Many facial cleansers are tailored to specific skin types and will say so on the label: dry, sensitive, normal to dry, oily, or acne prone skin. There are also other words you can look for like “non-comedogenic” which means it won’t clog your pores and “hypoallergenic” which signifies it is a non-irritant.

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

Once you’ve chosen your cleanser, it’s time to prepare your skin. Just like prepping before your shave, you want to rinse your face with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot, otherwise it may harm your skin and dry it out. While applying warm water on your face before a shave will soften the hairs, warm water before you wash your face will help to loosen up the dirt and grime.

I’m sure you have heard from multiple sources that rinsing with warm water will help to “open the pores”, however this is completely false because pores do not open or close! Instead, the warm water will simply help to clear your pores of the sebum and dirt which may make them appear smaller. Pores do not have muscles and do not change size, so if you are looking for that “closed-pore” look, the answer is to simply keep them clean!

Step 2: Cleanse

If you’re a traditional wet shaver, think of your cleanser as your lather. Don’t just carelessly apply it to your face, but rather take the time to apply it with care and finesse; your skin will thank you for it later. Once your skin has been soaked with warm water and the debris has loosened up in your pores, pour a nickel or quarter size amount of cleanser into your hand and massage it in a circular motion on all parts of your face for about fifteen to thirty seconds. As you distribute the formula, focus on the areas that tend to collect the most oil. Together, these areas are known as the “T-Zone”. The T-Zone consists of the middle of your forehead, nose and chin, and usually collects excess sebum which can lead to breakouts.

Step 3: Post Cleanse

Once you have finished thoroughly applying the cleanser onto all the areas on your face, rinse your face with water as you would post shave.  After all of the cleanser is fully rinsed, take a clean towel and pat your face dry. To top off your skincare routine you can either choose to apply a moisturizer or move on to your shave.

Closing Thoughts

Using a facial cleanser can have many benefits including correcting acne, reducing signs of aging, while also leaving your skin looking fresh and feeling refreshed.  Just because men have a thicker epidermis than women does not mean it should be deprived of a proper cleanse. If guys did not have sensitive skin, they wouldn’t struggle with acne, razor burn or irritation. So if you have been cleansing with a bar of soap, leave it for your body and instead enhance your daily skincare routine with a mild facial cleanser and overtime you will notice an improvement in the quality of your skin.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts


7 thoughts on “Why Men Should Use a Facial Cleanser”

  1. Most of the people face the problem of dry skin due to many reason. I recently read a review of Dermpura a innovative skin care treatment. It delivers dramatic results without harsh medicinal ingredients that can irritate or over dry skin, and can be used every day as part of a beautifying and anti-aging skincare regimen. You may try this.

    1. Good question! Oily skin can get tricky when looking for a facial cleanser. Usually people with oily skin believe that using products with semi-drying ingredients (mint, menthol, eucalyptus) will balance out the oil in their skin, however the opposite is true. Using drying ingredients on the skin will actually encourage more oily production. I would suggest staying away from cleansers with a creamy consistency and instead look for a sulfate-free and fragrance-free cleanser that is of a liquid or gel consistency.

  2. Thank you for the informative article and for relating it to wet shaving. It made it easier for me to understand and appreciate its importance.

  3. Thank you for correctly pointing out that pores don’t open and close. I cringe when people say they do, and especially when commercial products suggest that they do.

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