A Guy's Guide to Summer Skin Care
Here at Savvy, all featured products are thoughtfully handpicked by our section editors. When you purchase something from our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. One last note — any items listed below are in-stock with accurate pricing as of time of publication.
Skin care is an important, though sometimes overlooked, aspect of every guy’s routine. Summer invites us to spend more time outdoors, soaking up the sun and partaking in our favorite seasonal activities. This means more exposure to the possible damaging and drying effects from the sun, which is why having an effective skin care plan is essential.
If you’re new to this skin care thing, don’t worry. Landing on a proper regimen is as easy as practicing a few simple habits. Plus, you can always find great discounts on skin care products for your specific skin type.
Find the right cleanser
In general, the skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on other parts of your body. That’s why it’s important to consider using a specific face cleanser that can remove dirt and oils without irritating and stripping your skin of its necessary moisture.
Price: $19 at Dermstore
This daily facial cleanser contains witch hazel and sage extracts to relieve inflammation and minimize your pores. These ingredients also help limit breakouts. The aloe vera, meanwhile, works to soothe and reduce redness. Use this cleanser after a workout or before bed to give your face that brand-new feeling with every wash.
Price: $24 at Kiehl’s
This face wash from Kiehl’s is made with caffeine to stimulate your skin and reduce inflammation, while the menthol gives you a refreshing, tingly spark to jump-start your morning. It also contains vitamin E, which acts as a protective antioxidant. We recommend using it before you shave, as it gently opens your pores to allow for a closer trim and limits razor bumps (ingrown hairs).
Price: $24.67 at Amazon
What about soap for the rest of your body? This 6-pack from Dr. Bronner’s is made with organic oils and contains no synthetic fragrances, preservatives, or foaming agents. If you happen to find yourself without a facial cleanser, this soap is gentle enough to fill in. It’s also environmentally friendly — each bar is fully biodegradable and made with all-vegan ingredients and packaged using 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
So, you’ve found the right cleanser to rid your skin of excess dirt and oil buildup. Congratulations, you’re clean! But that’s only half the equation. Enter the moisturizers, which help nourish and hydrate your skin while creating a protective barrier against the environment.
Price: $32 at Kiehl’s
Ideal for all skin types, this facial cream from Kiehl’s is paraben and fragrance-free. It's also packed with ingredients, like glycerin and glacial glycoprotein, that keep your skin feeling hydrated for the entire day. Another critical ingredient is squalane, an olive-derived oil that’s actually similar to our skin’s natural lipids. This similarity allows it to absorb easily into the skin while simultaneously sealing in moisture.
Price: $10.99 $9.99 at Amazon
Everyone’s skin is different. Sometimes the same product can work wonders on your best friend’s face while leaving yours looking oily or lifeless. If you’re looking for something a bit simpler, consider this 100% organic jojoba oil from Cliganic. It’s fast-absorbing and contains natural vitamin E, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Another benefit of jojoba oil is that it’s antibacterial, meaning it can help treat or limit acne caused by bacteria.
The sun doesn’t have to be your enemy. In fact, sun exposure actually helps your skin synthesize vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to proper immune system function and promotes muscle and bone health. Good thing, right? Unfortunately, too much sun can lead to burns, wrinkles, and sometimes irreversible and life-threatening damage, like skin cancer.
How do you find the happy medium? Wear sunscreen! Just make sure you choose one that provides both UVA and UVB protection (usually labeled as “broad spectrum.") General wisdom states that you should apply sunscreen at least once every two hours when you are outside. If none of the below recommendations work for you, take a look at our guide for the Best Face & Body Sunscreens for Every Skin Type.
Price: $15.99 at Amazon
Sun Bum’s SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray is non-comedogenic — meaning it won’t clog your pores — and it protects against UVA and UVB rays. It also contains vitamin E for added protection against sun damage. We also love this sunscreen because it’s free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, two common ingredients that have been shown to harm coral reefs. Save your skin. Save the reefs.
Price: $12.99 at Amazon
As much as we like the simplicity and versatility of sunscreen sprays, we don’t recommend using them on your face, since you can accidentally inhale its ingredients or get it in your eyes. That’s seriously no fun. Instead, use a sunscreen lotion, like this one from Sun Bum. Just like the spray, this lotion is non-comedogenic and contains vitamin E. It’s also free of oxybenzone and octinoxate.
If you do get burned, use an after-sun moisturizer
Despite best intentions, sometimes the sun proves to be too powerful. That’s where after-sun moisturizers come into play. These lotions are packed with ingredients like aloe vera that soothe your skin after sun exposure, and coconut oil, which hydrates your skin.
Price: $11.40 $7.69 at Amazon
This after-sun lotion from Burt’s Bees contains the aforementioned aloe vera and coconut oil to heal and hydrate your skin after a day outside. Its fast-absorbing and non-greasy formula works quickly to provide soothing and healing comfort to sun burns. And thankfully it’s all paraben-free.
Exfoliate — but listen to your skin!
While most believe exfoliating is necessary to remove excess dirt, oil, and dead skin, many disagree on how often you should exfoliate. On the one hand, it’s true that your skin has its own natural exfoliation cycle and typically sheds dead skin about once a month. But for some, a buildup of dead skin cells and oil can clog pores and lead to other issues, like acne or generally duller appearing skin. Exfoliating can also help prepare your skin for a closer and more comfortable shave.
Ultimately, it’s important to pay attention to your own skin to determine what exfoliating schedule works best for you. You’ll already be naturally exfoliating every time you use a facial cleanser, so factor this into your equation.
Price: $22 at Amazon
Brickell is known for men’s grooming products that prioritize natural and organic ingredients in their formulas, and this exfoliating scrub is no exception. Jojoba beads and pumice work to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and other buildup, while the coffee extract and green tea leave you feeling invigorated. It’s also loaded with aloe vera, avocado butter, and vitamin E to moisturize and hydrate your skin. As with all Brickell products, this scrub is free of sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.