Don’t let your toxic masculinity get in your way of clear skin!

Skincare is important for everyone, including guys. But many skincare blogs and websites, while claiming to be gender-neutral, are aimed at a mostly female audience. Fear not! Bwogger Lucy Danger is here to explain some basic and essential skincare tips in a relatable way.

When you go to Dodge, no matter why you’re there, you have to follow a routine of different exercises. This can include different activities like stretching, warmups, weight training, or cardio. Skincare is just like that! It can include different products and routines that are all meant to do different things. A proper skincare regimen can change depending on what you want to focus on, like when you have a big game and don’t want to let down the team (even though everyone always said Columbia sports suck), so you want to prepare by doing extra cardio. Here I’ll outline some of the best skincare exercises no matter what sport you’re playing.

Nice cars are awesome, even though nobody drives anywhere at this school. But all the oil and dirt from cars being driven around all the time can make a Maserati look like your mom’s station wagon. It’s the same with your face. Just like taking care of a car, the first step to any skincare routine is always cleansing. You can’t put sick flames on the side of a sports car until it’s nice and clean, and you can’t use targeted products or makeup on a dirty face. A good cleanser to start out with should be gentle but all-purpose. Like with a car, you don’t want a cleanser that will strip the paint, but make sure it’s strong enough to actually remove the excess oil and stuff that doesn’t belong on your face. You should wash your face twice a day, morning and night. And make sure you have a separate towel for your face than the one you use for your body, just like you and a NASCAR driver wouldn’t share the same tires.

The grind never stops! Including on your face. Exfoliating means getting rid of the extra layer of dead skin on your face to keep it healthy, like when you stop lifting the lighter weights at the gym because they’re just wasting your time. You can exfoliate mechanically or chemically: mechanical exfoliators have small scrubby beads that rub away dead skin, and chemical exfoliators use acids like glycolic or salicylic to break down oil bonds between skin cells. Start with a gentle exfoliator, and don’t do it more than twice a week or it could damage your skin, like when you did the 200 pushups a day challenge for a bet and almost tore your lats.

Toners are good for after you wash your face to control your pores and moisture levels. Some of them have alcohol, but not like the kind in beer or jungle juice at frat parties. You can spray them right from the bottle, or use cotton pads to apply them. They help your other skincare products do their job, like the waterboy in games who helps the players stay hydrated and score.

Serums are the Butler Library of skincare products. When you really need to get work done for a specific class, here’s where you turn. Serums usually have a targeted use, like hydration or correcting dark spots. Use them morning or evening, after toners and before moisturizers. Experiment with different options depending on how you want your skin to feel. Just remember, never mix a vitamin C serum with any retinoid product – it’s like mixing dark and light alcohols.

Just like Sig Ep throws the best parties, masks are the best bros of skincare. They’re the strongest guy at the gym, lifting the biggest weights, with the most #GAINS. There are sheet masks, which are basically just single-use face-shaped sheets soaked in serums, and tub masks, which are usually clays or moisturizers that come in tubs and you put on your face and wash off. You usually keep masks on for about 20 minutes (enough time to text that girl you met at 1020 “u up?”), and they’re great to do once or twice a week to relax from Columbia stress culture. Different masks have different purposes, so make sure you get the ones that serve your needs.

Moisturizers are essential, no matter what skin type you have. Moisturizers can come in the forms of creams, gels, and oils, and different types provide different levels of moisture. This should usually be the last step of your skincare routine at night, and the second-to-last step before sunscreen in the morning. Just like you need to drink lots of water to hydrate and stay on your #grind 24/7, moisturizers are essential for every skincare routine.

Ingredients to know
There are some ride-or-die ingredients, like the bros you’ve had since before you even joined a frat, that serve important purposes regardless of what product they’re included in:

  • Tea tree: This is a great antibacterial to help acne and oily skin. It works especially well in toners and cleansers. If you have sensitive skin, this can make your skin tingle or burn a little bit, but it’s okay. Feel the #burn, it will only help.
  • Oils: Most oils, except essential oils, are great moisturizers, especially for dry skin. There are lots of different kinds of oils, like how there are lots of different colors of Vineyard Vines pastel shorts to choose from, and they all look good with different shirts. Some of the best are marula oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil! Do some experimenting and find out which one works best with your skin, like when you see a hot girl on campus and download every dating app to try and find her.
  • Hyaluronic acid: This ingredient is a super-hydrator. It holds 1000 times its weight in water, which is way stronger even than you were when you threw the winning touchdown at the last game of the season.
  • Rose: Rose extracts and waters are super calming for redness, like how taking a break from studying for your Econ final is important, even at 3 am during reading week.
  • Vitamin C: This is good to ingest because it makes you #stronger, and it’s good to put on your skin to help with dark spots and discoloration. Just make sure to use SPF when you use vitamin C, because it can make your skin more sensitive to light, like how your eyes take a minute to adjust to the light after you leave your 3 hour Lit Hum midterm.
  • Sunscreen: SPF is absolutely the most important part of any skincare routine, like the core to your Columbia education. It’s necessary to help everything else work. Every single morning, as the last step, at least SPF 35. Spring break in Miami isn’t nearly as fun when your face is sunburned.