10 best men’s skincare products for smooth and clear skin


There was a phenomenon recently that dominated Instagram even more than the #hotgirlsummer hashtags being thrown around (thank you for that, Miley).

It was a Russian-developed age app, which took an image of you and put it through a filter to make you look younger.

For the mid-20’s lot, it only took off a few years but for the 50’s crowd, the filter worked wonders. Gone were the fine lines and wrinkles, removed were the greys hairs, tossed aside were the sagging jowls.

Everything was lifted, firm and beautifully toned, causing nostalgia even amongst friends and colleagues who aren’t all that vain.

While a real-life filter is (not yet) possible, there are a few wonders of the beauty world that serve a similar purpose.

Men’s skin can be up to 30 per cent more dense than women’s, which is why we deal with greater oil production, benefit from lighter textures in our routines but also require stronger formulas that can really get right into that thicker skin.

Interested in separating the poor from the powerful, we got to work testing many, many anti-ageing superheroes for men’s skin that promise to pack a punch. The ones that stood out and showed your skin who’s boss? All below, fellas.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Dr David Jack all day long: £89, Space NK

Sun damage is the leading cause of premature ageing, without exception. UVA & UVB rays penetrate the skin, destroying collagen, stimulating pigment and generally ruining the integrity of the epidermal barrier. That is why SPF is the crown in all anti-ageing skincare routines and Dr David Jack’s is the jewel in that crown. SPF50 is combined with vitamins, minerals and hyaluronic acid to calm, support and protect – all the while gently tinting for an envy-inducing, even tone.

The Ordinary matrixyl 10% + HA, £9.60: The Ordinary

Matrixyl is one of those words you recognise, but might not be able to place. For the last few years it has been the pinnacle of smart ageing skincare, with the first two generations – matrixes 3000 and matrixyl synthe ‘6 – combined in this formula at a concentration of 10%. Add some hyaluronic acid to that (which can draw up to 1000x its water weight into the skin) and you’ve got a seriously strong serum.

Drunk Elephant protini polypeptide cream: £57, Space NK

Peptides are the cornerstone of a good anti-ageing skincare routine, the miracle building blocks of proteins that supports the skin’s natural collagen and elasticity. Millennial favourite Drunk Elephant have a heavenly, nutrient-rich cream that is as light (thanks to waterlily stem cell extract) as it is efficacious (the cream has over nine signal peptides for complete rejuvenation). If you struggle with oiliness or your skin needs some TLC after a heavy treatment, this is the one for you.

111 Skin celestial black diamond lifting and firming treatment mask: £40, 111 Skin

A three-part (upper face, lower face and neck) mask that uses hydrogel technology and specialised blends, specific to the area they are meant for, to target lacklustre and lax skin. Having drawn a cult-following from celebrities and loved for its novelty as much as its (quite impressive) results, this is well worth adding to your routine if you’ve got a spare 20 minutes or want a great selfie.

Gallinée youthful serum: £45, Gallinée

Youthful skin is often healthy skin, one with a strong natural microbiome (which is basically a bunch of naturally existing good bacteria). Gallinée, leaders in the probiotic movement that has become very popular in recent years within skin, just brought out a dynamite new serum packed with probiotics, probiotics, lactic acid and fern extract all to gently cultivate your complexion. After all, a strong epidermal barrier will be less prone to sun damage, pollution and all manners of nasties that contribute to ageing.

Orveda sheer brew botanical gel: £270, Orveda

Light, refreshing and addictive to a fault, this intensive gel uses biotechnology to power-up its natural actives (featuring kombucha, probiotics, enzymes and glycoproteins) and saturate the skin in moisture. Purchase for the hydrating, lifting and contour effects; repurchase for the amazing way it tightens the appearance of your pores.

Sisley Paris firming concentrated serum: £350, Sisley Paris

Speaking of strong serums, Sisley’s latest innovation is pretty damn potent (and damn expensive, to boot). A mixture of the brands classic phyto-complex with a few unusual botanical extracts help to reactivate dormant enzymes in the skins structure to combat the loss of elastin production, all the while brightening, hydrating and nourishing to the nines. As luxurious multitaskers go, this is a great one.

CeraVe facial moisturising lotion: £11.99, Superdrug

A fascinating brand that combines ceramides (hence the Cera) and a clever delivery system called multivesicular emulsion technology that releases ingredients over a 24 hour period (hence the Ve), CeraVe have become to go-to in pharmacy skincare aisles worldwide. Ceramides basically make up all the fats composed in the upper layers of the skin, totally 50 per cent of the skins entire composition. When they are not working their best, that is when elasticity, collagen and proteins all decrease and ageing ensues. Slap on a bit of this and it will help hold back the clock, all while giving you a gorgeous glow.

Tata Harper elixir vitae eye serum: £257, Cult Beauty

Eyes are one of the first things to show your age, so it is fairly important you treat them with respect. We blink over 30,000 times a day; that kind of movement will damage anything, let alone the fragile skin around the periorbital region. Part of her “supernaturals 2.0” collection, this formula contains 63 high-performance ingredients that include a quadruple neuropeptide technology and enzymes for a complete bioactive experience. Expect brighter, smoother and totally enticing eyes.

Allies of Skin vitamin C 35% collagen rebuilding serum: £108, Face Gym

One of the few antioxidants that can create a protective shield against photoaging damage (a fancy way of saying UV exposure), vitamin C has had its time in the metaphorical sun for some time now. While most formulas sit around 5-15 per cent, Allies of Skin has literally doubled the norm by bringing it up to 35 per cent. At this level, the miracle ingredient can help repair the skin at an almost cellular level, all while boosting collagen production and upping brightness. If your skin doesn’t run on the sensitive side, give this a go for some seriously sensational results.

The verdict: Men’s skincare products

The reality is nothing will do for you what a good sunscreen can – after all, these products are meant to treat rather than prevent. A solid SPF, one loaded with vitamins and without that horrific tacky texture you see in so many, is key – so we’ve got to go for Dr David Jack’s all day long as the winner here. Following that (for those of us who can’t resist the lures of the sun) the luxury, efficacy and ethics of Orveda’s sheer brew botanical gel is nothing short of a youth-filter in a tub – a very chic tub, at that.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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