If your face often feels tight, flaky, and rough, chances are good you have dry skin. Whether it’s your natural skin type or a transient issue resulting from environmental or seasonal shifts, dry skin can have an impact on your skin’s health and appearance. Without adequate hydration, your skin’s natural moisture barrier—the first line of defense between your skin and the outside world—can become weaker. Ultimately, a poorly-functioning skin barrier can result in a host of skin concerns, from irritation to excessive dehydration.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution for dry skin: Curating a simple, yet effective, men’s skincare routine. We recommend men with dry skin look for formulas that hydrate, nurture, and moisturize. To help, we’ve compiled a seven-step men’s skincare routine featuring what you need to manage your dry skin effectively. Ahead, you’ll find the step-by-step routine, plus the Kiehl’s products best suited for your skin’s specific needs. Read on to discover our ultimate dry skin routine for men.
Step 1: Reach For a Gentle Cleanser
While cleansing is necessary to keep your skin soft and healthy-looking, it can take a toll on dry skin if not done correctly. Some cleansers, especially those formulated for oily or acne-prone skin, can strip essential lipids from your skin’s natural moisture barrier. If you’re prone to dryness, this can leave your skin feeling tight, dry, and uncomfortable. As such, it’s critical to choose a cleanser that will remove dirt and debris without over-drying your skin’s surface.
Ultra Facial Cleanser
We recommend Ultra Facial Cleanser, which is formulated with emollient avocado oil and olive-derived squalane. The gentle, lightly-foaming formula helps dissolve dirt, sweat, and other debris without over-drying. Additionally, this cleanser is pH-balanced and helps maintain skin’s hydration.
To use it, dampen your skin and dispense a pea-sized amount of the cleanser onto clean fingertips. Massage the formula over your face, taking care to avoid the delicate eye area. Rinse thoroughly, then pat your skin dry with a clean washcloth or towel.
Kiehl’s Tip: Instead of cleansing with hot water—which can exacerbate dryness—use lukewarm water to wash and rinse your face.
Step 2: Remove Residue With Toner
After cleansing, reach for a mild toner to remove any cleanser residue and help prepare your skin for the rest of your routine. For men, we recommend Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic For Men, which contains bamboo extract and caffeine. The energizing formula helps balance and refresh skin while reducing the visible signs of fatigue. Apply it after cleansing or shaving to leave skin feeling soothed, hydrated and comfortable.
To use it, soak a clean cotton pad in the toning liquid and swipe over your face, avoiding the eye area. Alternately, you can simply pour a small amount of the toner into your hands and pat it onto your face the way you would an aftershave.
Step 3: Smooth On a Serum
If serum isn’t already a staple in your skincare routine, it should be. These potent, concentrated formulas can help address the appearance of a variety of skin concerns, like dullness, fine lines, or wrinkles. Many formulas also provide lightweight hydration for fresh-looking skin.
We recommend Hydro-Plumping Hydrating Serum to help address dryness. This lightweight serum for all skin types is made with a unique epidermal hydration filler and helps encourage the production of hyaluronic acid (a key molecule involved in maintaining skin hydration). The moisturizing formula visibly improves the appearance of dull, dehydrated skin while simultaneously reducing the look of fine lines and unevenness. Dispense one pump of the unique serum onto clean fingertips, then massage it over your face, taking care to focus on areas that feel especially dry or tight.
To address the visible signs of aging while boosting hydration, try Age Defender Power Serum. This fast-absorbing anti-wrinkle serum contains cypress extract (known for its skin-strengthening benefits) and adenosine. It helps reduce the visible signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. The formula also helps visibly firm skin with regular use. Use the effective serum morning and night as part of your daily skincare routine.
Step 4: Address Eye-Area Concerns
Even if you’re not yet showing the signs of aging around your eyes, it’s a good idea to add an eye cream into your skincare routine. The thin, delicate area around your eyes is one of the first places to show visible signs of aging. Keeping your eye area hydrated may help keep the signs of aging at bay and can also help promote a more healthy appearance overall.
For men with dry skin, we recommend Powerful-Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum, which is formulated with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Apply the serum under your eyes, and it instantly smoothes and hydrates to refresh the appearance of tired-looking eyes. Beyond that, it visibly reduces dark circles and helps address puffiness and lines.
Eye Fuel is another Kiehl’s favorite you can try. This men’s eye cream is made with caffeine and vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide). The formula instantly smoothes the under-eye area with weightless hydration. It also helps to diminish the appearance of dark circles and puffiness over time.
Step 5: Hydrate With a Moisturizer
Studies show that men tend to produce more sebum and have oilier skin than their female counterparts. While this seems like it would make dryness a rarity among men, the opposite is true. Men are more likely to have dehydrated skin—that is, skin that lacks adequate water.I This can result in impaired skin barrier function and leave the skin vulnerable to damaging environmental stressors.
It’s important to note that moisturizer is critical for proper skin hydration, regardless of how much sebum your skin produces. In addition to following healthy skin habits like drinking enough water, we recommend incorporating a lightweight yet hydrating moisturizer into your dry skin routine for men. Our cult-classic Ultra Facial Cream (one of our best face moisturizers for dry skin) contains a blend of skin-friendly ingredients, including emollient squalane and glacial glycoprotein. The best-selling formula absorbs quickly and imparts skin with lasting, 24-hour hydration. It balances skin’s driest areas and helps improve skin texture for a smoother, healthier-looking appearance with consistent use.
Age Defender Cream Moisturizer
Men with mature skin can give Age Defender Cream Moisturizer a try. This rich moisturizer with linseed extract and capryloyl salicylic acid helps target the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while visibly firming the skin. It also gently exfoliates to help improve the feel of rough, dry skin and improve skin’s overall texture. We recommend using this men’s anti-aging moisturizer daily to target the visible signs of aging for smoother, healthier-looking skin.
Step 6: Protect Your Skin
While standard sunscreen formulas won’t directly improve dryness (at least, not much), it’s crucial in any skincare routine. Chronic sun exposure is responsible for around 80% of visible skin aging, of which dryness is a chief symptom. As such, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays can help keep your skin barrier strong and better able to defend itself against stressors that could otherwise lead to dryness and irritation.
As the final step in your daily skincare routine, we advise applying a generous amount of Super Fluid Daily UV Defense 50+. When used in combination with taking other sun protection measures, this broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays and helps prevent the damaging effects of other environmental aggressors, like pollution. It’s suitable for all skin types, non-comedogenic, and absorbs quickly, drying to a weightless, matte finish.
Kiehl’s Tip: Sunscreen alone isn’t enough to protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. Experts recommend limiting your exposure to direct sunlight whenever possible and wearing protective clothing, like hats, when you’re in the sun.
Step 7: Add a Mask
We know we said sunscreen is the last step in your daily skincare routine (and it is). But to round out your weekly skincare routine, we’re adding one more step—specifically, a mask. Though face masks may not (yet) be a part of your usual skincare routine, we recommend anyone with dry skin incorporate a moisturizing mask into their routine at least once a week.
Try Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask, a moisturizing, fuss-free sleep mask formulated with desert plant extract and glacial glycoprotein. The uniquely hydrating formula helps replenish your skin’s natural water reserves for lasting hydration. It also helps improve the appearance of dry skin while you sleep for smoother, healthier-looking skin by morning. To use it, apply a generous amount of the creamy formula to clean, dry skin and leave on for ten minutes. Then, tissue off the excess and head to bed. In the morning, follow your usual skincare regimen (ending, of course, with SPF) for fresh, hydrated skin.