Face wash product images on a soapy background

If You Don’t Want to Look Old, You Should Wash Your Face (With an Actual Cleanser)

It takes the same amount of time as splashing some water on there.

There’s nothing wrong with splashing a little water on your face in the morning and going about your day. But there are many reasons to adopt a legitimate skincare routine—some of which are pure vanity, and others good hygiene. We’d like to think you have the hygiene thing down, so let’s target appearance. If you’re noticing wrinkles setting into your forehead or outer eyes (those are crow’s feet), it could just be a matter of dehydration. When your skin’s hydrated, it’ll look plumper than not. If you’re a hydration powder guy, that’s probably not the case, and adopting a simple skincare routine can help.

The basis of every skincare regimen is a clean face. Washing your mug with a specific formula meant for this purpose does two things: it strips away grime and dead skin to allow anything you put on afterward (serum, moisturizer, etc.) to sink in easier; and it balances the skin’s pH, so it’s soothed and not irritated, whether that be from shaving or environmental factors like pollution.

If you find a woman’s skincare cabinet way too overwhelming, just know that a good routine’s hallmark is keeping it basic. If you’re still not sold, we asked Jan Marini, skincare expert and founder of Jan Marini Skin Research, to weigh in on what men should look for in a cleansing product.

“Men should use an effective shave/cleansing product that leaves their skin clear, moist, smooth, and glowing,” says Marini. But she also notes, “Men typically don’t have acne past the age of 23, as their beard reaches the terminal beard growth stage,” so you don’t need to go nuts looking for a clarifying cleanser meant for acne, unless you notice pimples cropping up. The brand happens to carry a two-in-one cleanser and shave gel in its men’s skincare system to kill two birds with one stone.

What Kind of Face Wash Is Best for Men?

If you need a little more guidance and don’t want to scan gibberish on ingredient labels, here’s a cheat sheet on what type of cleanser to go for based on your needs.

Gel cleanser

This is probably the formula you know best. A gel cleanser looks like clear hand soap (but doesn’t dry out your skin like it) and does a great job of removing impurities and making skin feel squeaky clean. It foams up and works especially well for anyone with oily skin.

Cream cleanser

A cream cleanser has the consistency of, well, a cream. It’s just as effective at removing impurities, but it does so in a gentler way. If you’re someone who has dry skin or often feels irritated after shaving, this is a good buy. Note that it doesn’t usually foam as aggressively as a gel cleanser, but it’s still working.

Oil cleanser

Yep, you can wash your face with oil. Although this method is a little more involved (you typically rub an oil cleanser over dry skin, then add water to emulsify it, rinse it off, and then cleanse with a gel or cream cleanser afterward). BUT, oil cleansers are especially effective for anyone who has oily skin (oil dissolves oil), those with super dry skin (it’s extremely hydrating), or anyone who works with cars or machinery and needs extra help stripping off grease and oil at the end of the day.

The Best Face Wash for Men