The Grooming Journal

Six Men's Skincare Trends To Know For 2023

Trends come and go, but these six skincare trends could be here to stay. 

serum dripping onto man's skin
Words by Ashley Ogawa Clarke
Jan 23, 2023 

About Ashley Clarke

Ashley Ogawa Clarke is an editor and writer, and a consultant for Humanery. Ashley is the former Deputy Editor of MR PORTER, the online menswear destination, and has previously written for US Vogue, GQ Style, the Telegraph, Wall Street Journal and the Observer among others. He has been writing about men’s skincare for ten years, and is currently based in Tokyo, Japan.

Unlike fashion, which reinvents itself every six months in order to keep us guessing and to sell as many clothes as possible, skincare moves at a more glacial pace. Instead, what we apply to our faces in order to look younger and sprightlier than we feel is governed largely by science (and is thus often simpler to get our heads around, for instance, than JW Anderson designing zoomorphic, frog-faced rubber mules for AW23).

Still, skincare is a growing market that’s increasingly packed with innovation; new ingredients, treatments and buzzwords rise and fall, and knowing what you should be using and why can feel like studying for a degree in dermatology.

So, to help you keep on top of the best stuff around at the moment, we spoke to a few experts to find out what the biggest trends in grooming are for 2023. Spoiler: it will not involve any frogs, but you can’t count out snails.

Super Vit C

Vitamin C has been big in skincare for decades. It’s the stuff that brightens up dull skin, and can improve the appearance of dark spots, acne and fine lines. All vitamin C is not made equal, however. “The original (and famous) serums of the early 2000s often contained fairly unstable forms of vitamin C such as L-ascorbic acid, which break down quickly as they sit on the surface of the skin and cause irritation,” explains Dr David Jack, who has his eponymous skincare brand and runs a clinic on London’s Harley Street.

In his Good Morning Serum, Dr Jack included a newer, esterised form of fat and water-soluble vitamin C, which penetrates much deeper into the skin and thus will leave skin looking its most beatific.

Bespoke Routines

“Gone are the days when many men just used a single bar of soap to cleanse,” says Sid Baveja, the Founder and CEO of Humanery. Since more education around skincare is out there – and, as it happens, right here! – it has opened up the door for men to figure out what exactly works for them.

“Our sales data shows that a growing number of men understand the need for a dedicated face cleanser/face wash, a toner and a moisturiser to build a skincare routine,” Baveja explains. “It is no longer a 'hard sell'; to convince men each unique product type serves a specific purpose in a skincare routine.”

The Grey
’s Gregor Jaspers agrees.

“In general, we see a broader acceptance and awareness in men’s skincare and cosmetics overall. This gives brands like us the opportunity to really educate the male client in how to use skincare and how to build a lasting routine.”

This, he says, equals “more elaborate routines complete with antioxidant serums, exfoliants and masks.” In other words, there’s never been a better time to fill your boots (and your bathroom cabinet) with stuff to make you feel good.

Vegan Snail Slime

Though it might sound like snake oil’s creepy cousin, (not to mention a little stomach-turning), snail slime in skincare – also known as snail mucin – has excellent barrier supporting properties that made it big in South Korea, explains Dr David Jack. Now, it’s trending elsewhere, but manufacturers have run into a problem. “Alas, harvesting slime from snails is not an easy job and also not particularly aligned to animal welfare principles, so a vegan equivalent has been developed,” says Dr Jack. He rates the vegan alternative so much that it features in each of his renowned “Daily Trio” products. Fortunately, the texture is less like mucus and more like gel.

If you can stomach the thought of it, glass skin awaits.

An Uptake In Injectables

Despite the inroads skincare is making in terms of innovation and technology, there’s only so much lotions and potions can do. It’s unsurprising, then, that more and more men are looking to slightly more intense options.

When Dr Jack opened his clinic 13 years ago, he only had a few male patients; now, they make up 40% of his clientele. This is partly driven, he says, by men looking for “results-driven treatments” such as injectables (such as Botox and filler) and high-tech treatments like Morpheus8 which work to tighten the skin.“Most men we have coming into clinic do not want to waste time or money on basic spa-type facials, but are happy to invest in facials that utilise new technology and more comprehensive and visible results,” he says.

This year will see Dr Jack open a new clinic that will include a skin-tech facial bar. “We are aiming to draw on the latest skin technology from South Korea so have imported a number of new devices from the leading skincare market. These include a new no-downtime erbium-YAG nano resurfacing laser that will be unique to my clinic in the U.K, and a multi-platform device that is used extensively in South Korea for the ‘glass skin’ facial that has become extremely popular in recent years,” he says.

Man with his back turned drifting into sleep

Small But Mighty Routine Tweaks

As well as the absolute basics that all men should be using (and you can read our guide on that here ), there's plenty of new ways we can “accelerate your skin health”, says Gregor Jaspers, the founder of buzzy men’s skincare brand The Grey, who says that he’s seeing a broader acceptance of men becoming more adventurous with skincare. “Next to the essential products like moisturiser, cleanser and SPF, I would recommend extending your basic routine with an exfoliant and a serum,” he says. For this, Jaspers points to exfoliating toner pads, which are much gentler on the skin than harsh scrubs and work to fizzle away dead skin cells, as well as an anti-ageing serum to boost hydration and stave off premature signs of ageing.

Crucially, any upgrades to your normal routine should be straightforward and easy to implement: “That way, you can add an important step to the skincare routine without making it so much work,” says Jaspers.

A Harder Line On Anti-Ageing

Getting older is a big reason a lot of men get into skincare, and for good reason.

Humanery’s Baveja describes ageing as “the biggest skincare concern” facing men right now. “While guys don't like talking about this problem, they are really keen to find solutions for wrinkles, signs of ageing, dullness and spots. We think there will be a sea-tide of education provided by brands and platforms like Humanery to help men better understand how to manage the natural process of ageing skin,” he said. As a result, we’ll likely see the market flooded with new and innovative products to help men slowdown Father Time – or, at the very least, persuade him to go easier on us.

Expect more products infused with wrinkle-busting retinol, skin renewing face masks, and top shelf moisturisers to help us age with a little more grace.

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