If your reflection is looking a bit, er, unflattering lately, you’re in good company. After a few months of lockdown and questionable hygiene habits, we’re all wondering what the f*** has happened to our skin. Turns out lifestyle, climate, indoor environment, and stress can do a number on the face.

It’s time to take care of that. With winter fast approaching, you’re going to need some support to restore and protect your skin.

The best skincare products for men will restore some lustre, moisture and even your skin tone and texture. Before doing anything else, set a strong foundation with a simple regimen — here’s what’s in it for you and your skin as you level up your routine.

Level 1: Clean and Saturate

This is the simplest skin care routine for anyone to adopt: wash away dirt and restore moisture. The result? Clean pores, plump and hydrated skin. With the right products, this will make you look younger and fresher in minutes.

Start: Cleanse to Finish: Moisturize

Start: Clean > Finish: Moisturize

Cleaning your face involves removing dirt and oil, gently. Not with hand soap, not shampoo — we’re talking about face wash, which is made for the delicate skin on your face and neck.

Harsh cleansers cause dry skin on face, period. Full stop. You certainly don’t want  to feel like you’ve had a fresh botox injection after a simple face wash, so steer clear of generic soap and body wash. Instead, use a gentle and pH balanced face wash that will reset your skin so it’s ready to absorb what comes next.

In the morning, you’ll want to apply an SPF lotion after cleaning your face, even if it’s an overcast day. UVA and UVB rays are intent on destroying your skin. A broad-spectrum SPF of at least 15 will help prevent that sun damage if you work indoors most days. If you have to be outdoors for longer than an hour, bump up that SPF to 30+.

At night, you’ll want to add a hydrating moisturizer. Since you won’t be drinking water for about eight hours, your skin needs help with hydration, and the most direct way is through your moisturizer when you’re fast asleep.

Total time for this routine: The Beatles - Why Don't We Do It In The Road (1:41)

Level 2: Scrub It Up

If you want to up your skincare game, a great scrub is the way to go. You can easily exfoliate and remove dead cells for a really deep clean with a good scrub. You’ll be left with smoother, healthier, glowing skin.

Start: Cleanse > Power up: Scrub > Finish: Moisturize

Start: Clean > Power up: Exfoliate > Finish: Moisturize

Weekly exfoliation is what you need for a healthy glow, smoother texture, and the perfect canvas for moisturizers and serums to absorb deeply into the skin. It’s a game-changer for your skin care regimen (and it won’t add much time at all). 

What scrub is right for your skin? First, you’ll want to determine where your skin falls on the sensitivity scale: any harsh rubbing or scraping can do a number on your face, especially if your skin doesn’t deal well with interference.

Scrubs come in different forms, from natural fine grains like sugar and salt to walnut powder. The more sensitive your skin, the less abrasive your scrub should be (think coconut sugar over ground nut shells). In any case, you should use a gentle circular motion to work it into your face and neck before rinsing off.

Total time for this routine: Queen - Don’t stop me now (3:34)

Level 3: Wakey wakey

Looking to kick your game into high gear? Eye cream is what you need to brighten your tired face: The right formula can help reduce the look of puffiness, fine lines, and dark circles.

Start: Cleanse > Power Up: Scrub > Expert Mode: Eye Cream > Finish: Moisturize

Start: Clean > Power up: Exfoliate > Expert mode: Eye treatment > Finish: Moisturize

The skin underneath your eyes is the thinnest on your face, aside from your lips, which means you need to be particularly gentle. The best technique is using your ring finger to gently tap the eye cream underneath your eyes around the orbital bones — don’t drag your fingers, and don’t get the product too close to the eyes.

Pro tip: Store your eye cream in the fridge. The cooling effect will help reduce puffiness, soothe tired eyes, and minimize those fine lines.

Total time for this routine: Aerosmith - Sweet Emotion (4:30)

Here’s What You Can Expect 

If you’re just starting your skincare game, working through these levels will bring you huge gains super quickly. In no time at all, you’ll notice more bounce and uniformity in the surface of your skin, and within weeks you may see a smoother surface with fewer lines. Not convinced? Give it a shot — it’s a small investment with a potentially big return, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Ready to move onward and upward? Earn extra lives with a face mask and post-shave elixir.