When men think about skincare, it’s usually cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen that come to mind, if even that. Outside of those core three, most men don’t give treatment products a passing thought. At Kiehl’s, we’ve always believed there’s no reason why men should skip the treatment step. In fact, we’d argue that it’s an absolute crucial step for any man who cares about his complexion. One of our all-time favorites? The face mask for men.
Education around men’s skincare has always been lacking, which is why we’ve made it a part of our mission to teach men and women equally about their skin and how best to care for it. Part of that means demystifying products and rituals that are unfamiliar or intimidating. And a face mask can be both of those things for men.
While thicker than a woman’s skin, men’s skin is actually more susceptible to environmental damage from the sun and pollution. It’s also oilier, which means it’s very easy for men to develop clogged pores, blackheads, and breakouts. Face masks, with their concentrated formulas and unique delivery systems, target those concerns and works to minimize them. Be it blemishes, wrinkles, or sun damage, there’s a face mask that can help.
In that spirit of skincare knowledge sharing, we’ve put together this list of our top five face masks for men, plus tips on how to find the one that’s right for you and how to use it best in your usual routine (or lack thereof). Keep reading to discover which mask is right for your skin.
For The Beginner: Age Defender Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser
If the very thought of masking makes you feel anxious, then your best bet is to ease into it with a hybrid product, like this 2-in-1 clay mask and exfoliating cleanser. Formulated with a unique Black Lava Clay and exfoliating Phytic Acid, it deeply cleanses while exfoliating to remove excess dirt and oil for a younger-looking appearance.
Apply it as a face wash, or use it as a five-minute mask — smooth a visible layer on clean, damp skin and let dry. Rinse with warm water, moving your hands in a circular motion as you wash to exfoliate away dead skin. Use it three times a week and you’ll see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of fine lines and overall skin texture.
For The Blemish Prone: Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask
Because men’s skin produces more oil, they usually have larger pores than women and are more likely to deal with closed and open comedones (read: blackheads and whiteheads). The Amazonian White Clay in this mask is rich in minerals and helps eliminate surface toxins and debris that can lead to those annoying comedones. It helps to purify skin and minimize the appearance of large pores. It also contains Aloe Barbadensis, a soothing plant extract that keeps your complexion hydrated as it’s being purified.
Apply a thin layer to freshly washed skin, then leave on for 10 minutes or until mask is completely dry. Wash off with a warm washcloth and follow with a pore-minimizing moisturizer. Pro tip: If you have facial hair, avoid applying the mask to it. The hair covers the skin below it, so applying the mask won’t do much for you there.
For The Sensitive Types: Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask
You might not think of your skin as sensitive, but the truth of the matter is that even though men’s skin is thicker, it’s more susceptible to environmental damage from pollution and UV rays. If your skin is constantly red, itchy, or stinging, chances are good that it’s been sensitized in some way. Help soothe and protect your complexion post-damage with this naturally derived mask, which uses Calendula Petals and Aloe Vera. It instantly provides a surge of cooling hydration, refreshing and revitalizing sensitive skin.
Apply a visible layer to your skin and leave on for five minutes, then rinse with warm water. Use it three times a week or whenever skin needs a little extra love.
For The Perpetually Dry: Avocado Nourishing Hydrating Mask
Despite producing more oil, men’s skin is more likely to be drier. If you find yourself with skin that’s constantly flaky or feels rough and scaly, you’re dealing with dry skin. You masking match is this extra-nourishing fruit formula. It’s got all the omega essential fatty acids and lipids you need to moisturize and soften skin, as well as the ability to seal in that hydration once it absorbs into the skin.
Scoop up a thick layer of the mask and work the unique formula between your fingertips until rich and creamy. Smooth on to dry, freshly cleansed skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm (not hot!) water, massaging in a circular motion, then pat face dry with a soft towel. Follow with a hydrating cream like the classic Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.
No skincare routine is complete without some type of mask. Get into the habit of treating your skin with one and you’ll be rewarded with healthier-looking skin.