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Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best skin care gifts for men, according to BestReviews beauty expert

Expertly reviewed by Oscar Molinar

During the holidays, many skin care and beauty brands release sets with full-size or trial-size products that make wonderful gifts. If you're shopping for the men on your list, choosing the right option can be a bit intimidating.

Fortunately, Oscar Molinar, professional stylist and BestReviews beauty and skin care expert, has some tips for choosing skin care gifts for men as well as some recommendations for the best products and sets to give the men in your life this holiday season.

In this article: Elemis Men's The Grooming Duo, Every Man Jack Marvel Collector's Box Body Wash Gift Set and Isner Mile Beard Kit.

How is men's skin different than women's?

When shopping for men's skin care gifts, it's essential to understand how men's skin is different than women's, though you'll want to look for men's skin care products with similar goals. "Most men care about having healthy-looking skin as much as women do," Molinar said. "They may not have elaborate skin care regimens, but they are interested in their skin's appearance."

The differences in men's skin you'll want to be aware of when shopping include:

  • Thicker skin: According to Molinar, men's skin can be up to 25% thicker than women's. That's why they're not as prone to fine lines, but they can develop deep wrinkles from facial expressions they use regularly.
  • Facial hair: Most men have thick, coarse facial hair that requires daily shaving. This frequent shaving can irritate the skin and lead to nicks and razor bumps.
  • Oil production: Men's oil production is twice that of women. They also have larger pores, making congested and acne-prone skin more likely.
  • Aging: Men's skin contains more collagen than women's, and their collagen reduces at a constant rate over the years, as compared to women, who see a sharp reduction in collagen later in life. That means men's skin tends to age more slowly than women's. However, this difference isn't always obvious because men generally aren't as focused on sun protection as women and often don't wear sunscreen. "This UV damage can age a man's skin significantly, so they don't see the benefits of that slower aging," Molinar explained.

What to look for in men's skin care gifts

If you're looking for skin care gifts for the men on your holiday shopping list, Molinar recommends going with sets. Even those that contain trial-size products typically contain a 30-day supply, which is the recommended amount of time to use a product to determine if it works for your skin. 

It's also a smart idea to look for brands or products that use ingredients suitable for all skin types. For example, according to Molinar, ceramides are an ingredient that everyone can benefit from. They help boost cellular function, lock moisture into the skin, prevent irritation and protect against environmental damage. 

In addition to ceramides, Molinar likes vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help brighten and repair the skin, and niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that treats acne, dark spots, dryness, irritation and more. 

If you're shopping for a guy who isn't that into skin care, Molinar suggests sticking to body care, fragrance or shaving kits. 

Best men's skin care gifts

Elemis Men's The Grooming Duo

This set includes a pre-shave daily cleanser and a daily moisturizer that can soothe skin after shaving. The cleanser has a refreshing gel texture that helps invigorate the skin, while the moisturizer is rich in vitamins, minerals, lipids and proteins to help restore elasticity. 

Sold by Amazon

Every Man Jack Marvel Collector's Box Body Wash Gift Set

This body wash set includes four scents inspired by Marvel characters: Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and Black Panther. They all contain naturally derived ingredients and offer cruelty-free formulas.

Sold by Amazon

Isner Mile Beard Kit

This impressive nine-piece beard grooming kit contains everything needed to keep a beard neat and healthy. In addition to products like beard shampoo and conditioner oil, it also comes with a stainless steel straight razor, beard brush, beard comb, mustache scissors and a travel bag to keep everything secure. 

Sold by Amazon

Jack Black Shave Essentials Set

This set is designed to prepare skin for pain-free shaving. It includes a glycolic cleanser to cleanse and exfoliate, a luxurious shave cream and a face moisturizer with SPF 20. The products come in a travel bag, so it's handy for taking on the go.

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

TheraFace PRO 

This handheld facial massager comes with six attachments that can help massage the face, brighten skin, address signs of aging and deep-clean pores. It features a pro-grade LED light attachment to help treat fine lines and wrinkles, while the massage head can help relieve headaches and jaw pain.

Sold by Amazon and Therabody

Clinique For Men Starter Kit Daily Intense Hydration

This starter set is gentle enough for men with dry skin. It contains a gentle facial cleanser that won't strip moisture, a cream shave product to protect the skin from nicks and cuts and an ultralight gel moisturizer that plumps and hydrates. All the products are paraben-, phthalate- and fragrance-free.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

L'Occitane Almond Collection Nourishing Set

This body care set includes a shower oil, body moisturizer and hand cream to keep skin smooth and hydrated in cold, dry weather. The products contain sweet almond oil to help nourish and soften as well as squalene and vitamin E to lock in moisture and improve skin elasticity.

Sold by Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Jack Black Skin Saviors Set

This set includes everything needed to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and protect the skin. The formulas are suitable for all skin types and are dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free. The moisturizer and lip balm contain SPF. All the products are in TSA-approved sizes for travel.

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Kiehl's Cleanse & Soothe Calendula Skincare Holiday Gift Set

This set includes a full-size cleanser and toner that's appropriate for oily and acne-prone skin. Both products are infused with calendula to soothe irritation and help skin feel balanced without stripping it of moisture. They can also help reduce redness and oiliness as well as improve skin texture. 

Sold by Sephora 

Brickell Men's Advanced Anti-Aging Skin Care Set

This kit is a good bet for any man who wants to treat and diminish fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. It includes a trial-size anti-aging serum, anti-aging moisturizer and eye cream, which contain potent, natural ingredients, such as caffeine, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. They're all vegan and cruelty-free.

Sold by Amazon

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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