Need some skin care advice fellas

So I have really bad breakouts.. I could use some tips on a skincare routine. 

I usually wash my face in the morning with Cetaphil facewash, and moisturize afterwards with cetaphil moisturizer. I eat extremely healthy and workout 4-5 days a week minimum. (boutique work-life balance is amazing) I do all of this and my face continues to break out... bad. I'm 22 so I'm still relatively young I suppose.

Online it recommends guys "exfoliate" their face twice a week. Just ordered some stuff to try when it gets here tomorrow. Does anyone have any tips on how to get a clear face? This is driving me crazy. 

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Comments (41)

Aug 25, 2020 - 5:39pm

In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial masque which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

Also: please do not reuse razor blades too often.

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Aug 25, 2020 - 5:50pm

Wow thank you. I'm not going to lie I haven't heard any about any of these things. If you have the time, could you potentially drop the links of the products? OR just name drop which products you use? 

I reuse razor blades WAY too much since covid hit. I used to use the razors provided at my gym and oddly enough my face was so much cleaner. (they stopped this service due to covid)

+1 SB thank you

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Aug 25, 2020 - 5:49pm

I came here specifically to beg everyone not to repost that god damn American Psycho reference.

I can see I was too late.

...also, second the idea of switching out razor blades. I buy disposable razors in bulk and use a fresh one every week. Did wonders for my skin and saves me a boatload over other shaving routines.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
Aug 25, 2020 - 5:51pm

All jokes aside, I follow the Bateman routine almost exactly, with updated products and different fragrances. My skin is very clear and people even comment on that.

I even put on the green Body Shop ice mask every other day.

The one thing Patrick didn't have or use is Active Charcoal Face Mask - it is very good. Twice a week.

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Aug 25, 2020 - 9:07pm

Do you do it everyday?

I'm not gonna lie, I have a similar routine. Pore cleansing face wash in the shower then a moisturizer. Eye balm next. Finally followed by protective sunscreen. I use scrubs and  facial masks once or twice a week. 

Funny thing is I've been slacking off on the mask and scrub for some time but my skin is still intact. Maybe I'm not old enough yet.

Most Helpful
  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Aug 25, 2020 - 6:07pm

Do you consume alot or caffeine and/or nicotine? Stimulants heavily restrict bloodflow which is a big no for your skin. Since you eat very healthy, and excercise alot, it's hormonal fluctuations. All acne really is, is signalling something going on in your body that it doesn't like. I would try to dig in deeper into your lifestyle and evaluate, but yeah the exofoliants will help a ton. 

Aug 25, 2020 - 6:21pm

Not much nicotine actually. I usually have 10oz of black coffee mid-day, then sometimes 8oz of black coffee right before I get off work for the gym. No sweetener, no creamer, no milk. I don't consume much dairy at all. 

It's funny you say this because my PSN name is "MrStimulant" lmao. Used to do way too many stimulants in college so it was my dumbass nickname. 

Aug 25, 2020 - 7:15pm

I don't have much on the acne piece because I got lucky there and just don't really have breakouts. However, I like Kiehl's line of products. They have some dedicated items for men that I try to rock daily, including a face wash, hydrating face lotion, anti-aging eye cream and a midnight recovery serum. Check out their website and the specific content for men; they make it pretty simple (which was important for me since I don't know anything about this stuff). They also have some items specifically for acne that might be helpful. Other than that, i'd suggest visiting a dermatologist and asking them for some professional advice on the subject.

  • Analyst 1 in 
Aug 25, 2020 - 7:22pm

Honestly I'd recommend going to a derm if you keep having persistent breakouts. The advice you received with regard to exfoliating is spot-on. Actives/Exfoliants can keep your acne at bay and make your skin smoother. For acne-prone skin, the best actives are BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) and Benzoyl Peroxide (BP). BHA unclogs you pores and actually prevents the acne, while BP helps with the treatment - shrinking fresh and irritated acne. I personally use a BHA based product twice a week and rarely see fresh breakouts, but when I do, I just put the BP directly on the fresh acne. Also, if your breakouts leave scars, look into AHAs (Alpha hydroxy Acids) for fading. My only caveats are that some people say you shouldn't use actives in the same routine and they can be drying so don't overdo it.

Besides BHA & BP products, green tea skin products, and clay masks are good for irritated skin. Products I've actually used are Paula's Choice 2% BHA and Paula's Choice 8% AHA - they are a bit pricey but they are probably the most popular and well-regarded BHA & AHA products. Aztec Secret Indian Clay mask is a good & affordable mask product but it is drying. BPs I have used are neutrogena rapid clear stubborn acne spot gel and urban skin rx clear complexion acne. The actives I mentioned (BHA, BP, AHA) all come in the form of cleansers, gels/serums, or creams, so you have to decide what you prefer.

Routine with gel/serum-based actives would be: wash face ---> Active ---> moisturizer ---> Sunscreen (actually helps with fading scars too & slows aging)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 25, 2020 - 7:49pm

Dermatologist. I used to have the same thing and I went and I've been using a prescription cream for like 4 years. It's so much better, still get some occasional pimples but nothing like it was before.

If it's really bad, might be worth considering biting the bullet and going on accutane for a few months. Covid seems like the best time, since nobody will see you as close up and you probably won't be drinking much anyway.

Aug 25, 2020 - 8:42pm

I am a big fan of Innisfree, it's one of the biggest South Korean skincare companies and most of their products are green tea based. They have several locations in Manhattan and in a couple other big American cities.

Aug 26, 2020 - 9:30am

I recommend checking out Tiege Hanley. It is a self-contained and complete skin-care routine with various levels (you should add-on the acne cream.) 

In addition, make sure that you shower immediately after working out/sweating, wash your pillowcase every week, and you can try removing dairy (for some it causes bad acne). 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 26, 2020 - 10:02am

Seconded, this helped me a lot. You can order like 30 plain white pillowcases for $40 on Amazon, then change it once every two or three days.

Aug 26, 2020 - 11:40am

Couple things I have noticed over my years outside of the things you and others have mentioned.

1) Shampoo/conditioner/body wash. Not to ride the Equinox D too hard, but I started using Kiehls products there and they made a huge difference vs. the normal 7in1 dude-go-to old spice/axe type of stuff. I know Kiehl's barely scratches the surface of the true "higher end natural products" but it is accessible and better than the usuals.

2) Water quality. I have moved every 2 years for the last decade of my life and water quality/composition can be wildly different (nothing u can really do here) but if u strike it right it could help.

3) Extra mention for the dude who said rotate pillow cases. Do it.

Aug 26, 2020 - 4:23pm

I would go see a dermatologist. In the meantime, I can share what worked for many people with breakouts: you can try applying Paula's Choice 2% BHA (gel or lotion version ) on a clean face at night and if your face is oily, I recommend trying Paula's Choice Shine Stopper - apply on a clean face in the morning. This can make all the difference. If it does not, it is time for a dermatologist to step in. 

  • Prospect in CB
Aug 26, 2020 - 9:00pm

Look at The Ordinary niacinamide and AHA/BHA peeling solution. Face scrubs/physical exfoliants can be too harsh, especially if used more than 1-2 times a week. Chemical peels are able to clean deeper than scrubs. The Ordinary's products are a little hard to understand at first, but do some research and you'll figure it out. They're also super cheap ($5-7).

Aug 26, 2020 - 9:16pm

Nutrition + Hydration = Healthy Face

Your face is like your feathers. If you take care of yourself, you'll have pretty feathers / complexion. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Aug 27, 2020 - 9:07am

Accutane (or other modern derivative based on isotretinoin) will clear you up *permanently*. Don't waste your time on anything else. I haven't had a pimple since I was 13 after taking Accutane. Same for my brother. My brother took Accutane in 1998(?) and hasn't had a pimple since then. We both had atrocious acne. 


Apr 23, 2021 - 8:13am

I do not have much experience with acne (unless you consider rosacea - acne) but I have always had dry skin.   When I was a teen, it was pretty bad.  I had always assumed that dry skin was a problem that would never go away in that it is probably genetic.  For me, it probably will never completely go away but I try to manage it.  Over the past year or so, I have changed my routine to address the issue in multiple ways but I am not sure which part of the routine is helping.  I use the following

1. An oil based body wash for the face

2. Two different moisturizers.  One of them has retin a in it

3. Biotin

4. A higher protein diet

What I really like about the results is that it makes my mustache line and beard on chin pop
May 8, 2021 - 8:40am

The routines described here are great! I will follow some of them myself as I really want to have my own skincare routine, but I am too lazy and incompetent to make it up myself :D But really, how do you guys find the perfect skincare routine for you? The top of my abilities is to wash my face before going to bed and when I wake up... Though, I do yoga for my face, if that is considered a part of my skincare routine at all :) I like doing it because I really feel my face muscles relax and tighten. I have been using this for a while now and can see the results already.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 8, 2021 - 10:11am

To make it easier, pick one brand, and run from there for any product outside of your skincare essentials. Cetaphil is great, and maybe fill in with other products from Kiehls. They normally are super helpful in stores, too, but their avocado eye cream, midnight recovery oil, and in general mens skincare line are all A1 (especially if you want your products to seem more "masculine"). Also for another discussion...what is your skin type. Oily? Dry? Normal? Sensitive? Combination? Lmk. Make sure you are washing your face well right after the gym-I think a lot of people get build up from there. And yes, exfoliate. Do not use a physical exfoliant (I.e. a grainy scrub) use the product I linked below (it is the absolute best) and use it every night on a cotton round. Bring it down to your neck and back as well. Also, use sun screen. You want to be a silver Fox in 30 years, not a wrinkly troll, so put in the time now-it really makes the difference just to slap this on your face every morning after you moisturize. I linked a stellar one recommended by dermatologists below as well. It is all about consistency IMO. Wash your face well, eat well, and consistently use your products, and good shit will come.

Daily exfoliant (this shit is the holy grail btw): Paulas Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant--Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle…

Sunscreen (won't leave you looking like a ghost): EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 for Sensitive or Acne-Prone Skin, Oil-free, Dermatologist-Recommended Mineral-Based Zinc Oxide Formula…

May 9, 2021 - 7:05am

1) Exfoliate in the shower either first thing in the morning or before you go to bed - don't exfoliate twice a day, it will dry your skin out. Try and find a product that uses natural exfoliants rather than plastic microballs - natural exfoliants will dissolve during the process, preventing you from over-exfoliating, and are also better for the environment.

2) Overnight, I'd suggest applying hydrogen peroxide face wipes to the affected area - this will kill any bacteria that may be contributing to your acne and reduce redness (keep it away from your hair, though - it will bleach). 

3) Overnight, on the non-affected areas, apply a natural oil, like rosehip oil or santal oil - this will help keep your skin moisturised.

4) During the day, use a light moisturiser for your face and make sure it has SPF protection - this will help prevent against sun-related aging. I'd suggest finding a specific eye cream or something similar for the eye area to reduce puffiness, bags, and dark circles. 

5) When you shave, make sure to do it after you've showered or had the chance to lie a hot towel over your face - this will open your pores and help minimise friction from your razor blade. Invest in a good razor and replace the blade regularly. Make sure you're using a proper shaving cream / gel rather than soap to ensure your minimise irritation - I'd suggest a cream / gel with aloe vera.

6) Rinse your face with cold water after shaving. I cannot emphasise this enough. Cold water will reduce a lot of the irritation and help calm your skin after shaving. Make sure to moisturise after shaving. 

7) Avoid moisturisers that contain alcohol - they will dry your skin out and make you look older.

8) Be warned, skincare products are not cheap.

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
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