Best Skin Care for Men: The 17 Top Products for Men in 2023

We collected the best skin care products for men in 18 categories, because at GQ, we cover every skin care topic under the sun. We’ve done deep dives on ingredients, from hydrating hyaluronic acid to complexion-smoothing niacinamide to pore-clearing salicylic acid. We’ve talked about specific categories (like the best serums) and taught you how to solve specific problems (like best cleansers for sensitive skin, and best aftershaves). We’ve even got an SPF explainer and picks for the best sunscreens for your face. Literally everything under the sun, as it were.

But sometimes you don’t have the time (or money, skin care adds up) to sift through an extensive roundup in order to settle on the absolute, very best face wash worth your hard-earned cash right now. When finding the right cleanser, serum, moisturizer is imperative, more often than not there’s a clear winner.

So we’ve condensed the mania of building an effective skin care routine into one place: The best skin care for men. A list of top products for every category you could fathom, laid out right here so you can build from the ground up for better skin for the rest of your life—or maybe just grab a new product to help round out a routine you already love. Below, you’ll find new favorites and longtime standbys—all practically guaranteed to make you just a little more handsome.

The Best Skin Care Shopping Guide

  • The Best Moisturizer With SPF: CeraVe Oil-Free Moisturizer With SPF 30, $30
  • The Best Moisturizer Without SPF: Augustinus Bader The Light Cream Moisturizer, $180
  • The Best Face Sunscreen: Dr. Loretta “Universal Glow” daily defense mineral sunscreen fluid SPF 40, $60
  • The Best Recovery Night Cream: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Night Cream, $60
  • The Best Face Oil: Saint Jane superflower detox serum, $88
  • The Best Eye Cream: Jack Black Depuffing Eye Gel, $25
  • The Best Cleanser: iS Clinical cleansing complex, $45
  • The Best Oil Cleanser: Caudelie vinoclean cleansing oil, $30
  • The Best Chemical Exfoliator: Dr. Jart+ Pore Remedy PHA Exfoliating Serum, $45
  • The Best Physical Exfoliant: Sisley Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, $140
  • The Best Hydrating Serum: Jaxon Lane Super Serum, $41
  • The Best Corrective Serum: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, $80
  • The Best Brightening Serum: Chantecaille bio lifting serum+, $298
  • The Best Shaving Cream: Claus Porto “Musgo” real shaving cream, $24
  • The Best Toner: Beekman 1802 “Milk Shake” facial toner mist, $34
  • The Best Spot Treatment: The INKEY List Blemish And Blackhead Serum, $12
  • The Best Cleansing Mask: Aztec Secret Indian healing clay, $15
  • The Best Hydrating Mask: Blue Lagoon mineral face mask, $45

The Best Moisturizer With SPF

CeraVe oil-free moisturizer with SPF 30

If you’re gonna moisturize daily—and you want to—it may as well have SPF, no? Make it one with SPF30+, per the universal dermatologist recommendation. We like this drugstore GOAT because its lightweight formula won’t clog your pores, though it will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and well protected against blistering rays.

The Best Moisturizer Without SPF

Augustinus Bader The Light Cream Moisturizer

If you don’t have SPF in your moisturizer, that’s fine—make sure to pair it with a facial SPF, then. And may as well make it an oil-free pick, too, especially if you’ve got oily or acne-prone skin. Augustinus Bader’s is something like a skin care celebrity in that its shiny blue bottle is touted across any magazine worth its salt. The Light Cream is a, well, lighter (and mattifying) version of the OG formula, still incredibly hydrating thanks to rice bran oils and aloe vera extract, but better suited for hot summer days.

The Best Face Sunscreen


Universal Glow daily defense mineral sunscreen fluid SPF 40

A face sunscreen is formulated for the more delicate skin on your face—and without pore-clogging ingredients like heavy oils. Keep it separate from your full-body SPF. This mineral sunscreen from Dr. Loretta is packed with hydrating peptides and blue light-blocking ashwagandha to keep your skin extra protected, plus it’s tinted so you don’t have to worry about looking like a ghoul post-application.

The Best Recovery Night Cream

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Night Cream

A dense night cream like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery helps accelerate healing and cellular turnover while you sleep. It’s too hefty to wear during the day, and that’s the point: Use it at bedtime, when skin is also prone to drying out (particularly in the winter or in an air-conditioned room).

The Best Face Oil

If a night cream feels to heavy on your skin, especially during months of peak heat, sealing your evening skincare with a face oil is a great alternative. Saint Jane’s detox serum is a lightweight oil, packed with hydrating and antioxidant-rich rose, neroli, and chamomile, that will leave you glow-y—not greasy.

The Best Eye Cream

Jack Black depuffing eye gel

The skin under your eyes is the thinnest on the face, which means it wrinkles, sags, darkens, and puffs easily. Eye creams pack specific ingredients to combat all that, ranging from circulation-stimulating caffeine to skin-reinforcing peptides. Jack Black’s depuffing gel comes in a handy tube for easy application and transport, meaning there’s no excuse to skimp out on this step when you’re away from home.

The Best Oil Cleanser

Sorry to break it to you—a water-based cleanser alone will not remove your SPF and the grime you’ve accumulated throughout the day. Oil traps oil, so a cleansing oil will break down your sturdy UV-proof sunscreen along with excess sebum and dirt. This one by Caudalie is a favorite because its formula quickly emulsifies with water and rinses off easily, leaving your skin soft and clean without any tacky, oily residue.

The Best Cleanser

Given you might wash your mug three or four times a day—maybe you’ve worked out or it’s just hot AF—you want to keep this one gentler but still effective. iS Clinical’s cleansing complex is a water-based cleanser packed with acne-busting willow bark and soothing chamomile that’ll leave your skin feeling clean, calm, and incredibly fresh post-rinse. A couple squirts is all you need to get some nice suds going, so one bottle will last you several months.

The Best Chemical Exfoliator

Dr. Jart+ Pore Remedy PHA Exfoliating Serum

Chemical exfoliants use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or poly hydroxy acids (PHAs) to dissolve dead surface cells and keep skin smooth, and/or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) to assist while also dissolving dead cells and grime trapped within the pores. The result is fewer breakouts and brighter, clearer complexion. We like Dr. Jart’s Pore Remedy serum because its extra gentle water-based formula has panthanol to sooth the skin with each application. That said, any active can take a while to get used to so we advise using once, twice, or three times weekly, or as directed.

The Best Physical Exfoliant

Sisley Exfoliating Enzyme Mask

Some people prefer physical scrubs for their exfoliation means, which use a little grit to buff away the dead cells and keep skin healthy, bright, and clear. Like chemical exfoliants, use them two to three times weekly, or as directed. Sisley’s exfoliating mask is a nice in-between in that its finely ground papain, an enzyme derived from papaya, quickly dissolves into a milky paste that purges your pores to reveal smoother, brighter skin in just 60 seconds.

The Best Hydrating Serum

Applying serums beneath your moisturizer is the most impactful way to get results. Plus, since a moisturizer is primarily defensive (in that it traps moisture inside the skin and blocks toxins and UV rays out), you can add a hydrating serum to keep your dermis nourished and nurtured. We like Jaxon Lane’s quick-drying Super Serum because it’s rich in soothing niacinamide, brightening Vitamin C ,and hydrating squalane.

The Best Corrective Serum

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

Some serums use exfoliating ingredients (like in chemical exfoliants) to dissolve dead cells and prevent signs of aging. However, a reparative or regenerative one works well overnight to help skin heal faster, and to reverse these signs of aging. We like the Advanced Night Repair Serum, which is infused with retinol, for this reason. (Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A, and are revered for their skin-smoothing, acne-thwarting, pore-shrinking powers. Retinol is the readily available OTC version found in many night creams and serums.)

The Best Brightening Serum

You’ll often see Vitamin C attached to the word “brightening,” since the super ingredient helps battle skin-aging toxins, while also reversing discoloration and hyperpigmentation in the skin. For that, your friends will notice a visibly “brighter” complexion. We get that adding an additional layer to your skin care routine when it’s pushing 100 degrees outside sounds counterintuitive but a lightweight serum like this one from Chantecaille feels like a second skin—one that’s smoother, firmer, and more even toned—so much so you’ll forget it’s even on.

The Best Shaving Brand

Shaving is a big umbrella of skin care, and we’ve got entire roundups and tutorials dedicated to it. But this shaving cream is a great place to start. The Musgo Real shave cream smells like sandalwood, patchouli, and vanilla, and using it feels like a treat, not a chore. The quick lather coupled with a smooth glide leaves you feeling like you just got a leisurely clean-up at an old-school barber shop—even if you’re rushing out the door to get to work.

The Best Toner

Beekman 1802 “Milk Shake” facial toner mist

A bad toner will strip your skin of every last drop of hydration it’s managed to hold on to, while a good one balances your pH levels and helps control overactive sebum production. This alcohol-free toner from Beekman 1802 is one of the good ones. Use it on oily skin after cleansing, or if your regimen is throwing your skin out of whack.

The Best Spot Treatment

The INKEY List blemish and blackhead serum

A spot treatment can be many things: It can target budding or active pimples, as well as the dark spots they leave behind. Or, it can attack some type of hyperpigmentation (like from the sun) that just doesn’t want to disappear. This category of products addresses those various needs, so find one that helps achieve your end goal (which is, more or less, crystal clear skin). It usually starts with a key ingredient, like tea tree oil or salicylic acid (for acne), or niacinamide or mandelic acid (for hyperpigmentation). This beta hydroxy acid is the salve for acne-prone skin, knocking out blackheads and excess that’s overstayed its welcome.

The Best Cleansing Mask

A once-weekly deep-cleansing mask is like a vacuum for your pores. Many can cost you a pretty penny, but not all—this Indian healing clay is a grooming favorite due to a low cost but highly effective formula. Mix it with water to create a silky paste that’ll detoxify skin and prevent breakouts.

The Best Hydrating Mask

Similarly, a once-weekly hydrating mask can supercharge dry, distressed skin—like after travel, or during peak winter. It can be a leave-on topical mask, a wash-away one, or a sheet mask. This mineral-rich overnight mask by Blue Lagoon has a gel-like consistency that’s heavy on electrolyte-rich seawater (known to bring an instant rush of hydration and vitality to the skin).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *