Ask a Dermatologist: Are Men’s Moisturizers a Must?

Ask a Dermatologist: Are Men’s Moisturizers a Must?

Annet King Breaks Down the Basics of Moisturizing
dermatologist, moisturizer, men's skincare

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Jun 26 2022 | 4 min read

dermatologist, moisturizer, men's skincareBy now, you know how incredibly important SPF is no matter what season we’re in – but, we’ve been getting asked if men’s moisturizers are A) even different from lotions and B) if they’re needed year round. Since we’re in the business of doing the research so you guys don’t have to, we’ve reached out to an experienced dermatologist to find out just how much moisturizing matters.

dermalogica, dermatologistAnnet King, Director of Global Education for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica

With over 20 years of experience in skin care and teaching, Annet knows the ins-and-outs of all things skincare – from business to skin and body care specifics. As a master educator at IDI, we’re excited to get her advice on men’s skincare.

Make the most of men’s moisturizers:

How do you choose the best moisturizer for your skin?

AK: Men, just like women, deal with issues like overactive oil glands, dryness, aging, pigmentation, sensitivity, and acne. Skin health is not only shaped by genes, but also lifestyle choices. Selecting a specific moisturizer for your needs is the best way to choose a moisturizer for your skin.

If you’re spending time outdoors, a multi-tasking moisturizer with SPF and antioxidants offers a protective sun barrier while vitamins like C & E defend against skin-aging free radicals.

If oil and breakouts are a concern, go for an oil-absorbing moisturizer to slow down sebum production. Some products will also mattify skin (so you don’t look greasy) and new formulas even have built-in SPF.

Hyperpigmentation (brown spots, discoloration, and uneven skin tone) can be controlled and treated with the correct moisturizer as well. Look for ingredients like Red and Brown Algae to help balance uneven skin tone, and it is important to continue use an SPF to prevent further UV-induced photo aging.

Shop moisturizers with SPF:

Can body lotion be used as a face moisturizer? Is there really a difference? 

Yes there is. The skin on the face is different to the skin on the body so you need a more specialized product.  On the face, there are more sebaceous glands, the skin is far more exposed to the elements on a daily basis, it’s more reactive across the cheeks, and it’s two-thirds thinner around the eyes.

Also taking into account the mechanical stressors like shaving, washing, rubbing and touching and you can appreciate why a body lotion, which mainly hydrates and protects the skin, may not be substantial enough for the face.

When it comes to the formula, facial skin moisturizers are more skin-specific to address concerns and will contain a higher percentage of active or skin correcting cosmeceutical-type ingredients like peptides, vitamins, botanicals and hydroxy acids. Body lotions will contain lower percentages. Some body lotions are also perfumed and contain artificial color – this is a no-no for the face .

Stealing wife’s or girlfriend’s moisturizer: totally fine or specifically men’s moisturizers only?

Totally fine – it’s the ingredients that matter! Depending on your skin concerns, look for ingredients like Salicylic Acid to clear congested follicles, Hyaluronic Acid to fortify the skin’s natural moisture barrier, or Peptides to stimulate collagen production and smooth away the signs of aging. It is also important to select products that gain their fragrance and skin benefits from real plant botanicals and pure essential oils.  This is sometimes more costly but is much better for the skin.

Shop restorative & protective moisturizers:

Do all guys need to use a daily moisturizer, even in the heat of summer?

While guys do have higher oil production and 25% thicker skin, collagen breaks down at the same rate as women after age 30. Men tend to wrinkle more as they leave their skin unprotected and cause more daily trauma due to shaving. So yes, although you may consider switching to a lightweight or oil-free moisturizer in the hot and humid summer months. SPF is also a key element, so if your moisturizer doesn’t have built-in sun protection, mix in equal parts of an SPF booster for critical defense against skin-aging UV light.

Shop oil-free moisturizers:



Have more questions about skincare and grooming? Let us know and we’ll do the research for you guys! 

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