Skin Care Basics: 6 Things You Should Know

by Barron Cuadro  |  in Lifestyle

Why is it so important to get your skin care basics down? Well, you only have the skin you’re in, that’s one reason.

It always seems more complicated than it is, but it’s actually really simple to take care of and maintain great skin.

A good skin care regimen at its core is two, maybe three steps.

So knowing those 2-3 steps, plus having an idea of what’s in your skin care products—no Ph.D. required!—will go a long way when it comes to taking care of your face and looking as good as possible for as long as possible 🙂

In this post I’m laying out the skin care basics I believe you should know, plus giving you a simple 3-step men’s skin care routine to follow, which is the same one I’m currently doing.


Skin care product I’ve been using the past 5 weeks: Geologie

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Thanks to Geologie for partnering with me on this article covering the skin care basics all guys should know.

I’ve been using Geologie exclusively for over a month now and I actually find myself looking forward to the quick morning and night routines.

geologie four skincare products

Geologie Skincare

Exclusive offer for Effortless Gent readers: Save an additional 30% on your trial set from Geologie (under $1 a day to get started)!

Use code EFFORTLESS at checkout


So Geologie has an easy-to-follow skin care system with just four simple products (all formulated for your specific skin type and the results you want to see) that make your daily regimen super simple. 

You don’t have to use Geologie specifically to benefit from this article on skin care basics, but if you want to actually apply this stuff, Geologie makes it really easy.

After answering a few questions about:

  • My skin and how it reacts to environmental differences (cold wind, sun, spicy food, etc.)
  • My specific skin tone and
  • The type of results I’m looking for (smoother skin, sun protection, eliminating dark circles around the eyes, reducing wrinkles)…

Geologie is able to formulate its products specifically for my skin and the things I want to improve. Pretty cool!

I’ll show you my results in a bit so you can see how it works. Plus we’ll go through the skin care basics you should memorize.

But before that, let’s talk about a few skin care ingredients. It’s important to have a base level understanding of what’s in the stuff you put on your skin to clean it, moisturize it, and protect it.

Skin Care Ingredients: A Quick Primer

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So let’s chat about some of the active ingredients in these products. You don’t have to be an expert to benefit from them, but it’s good to have an idea about what they do.

Peptides — Keep you looking young

Peptides are amino acids, and having them in your moisturizer can stimulate your skin to produce collagen. When you have more collagen, you have younger and firmer looking skin.

Other benefits: improved barrier between your skin and the environment (think damage from sun exposure, pollution, etc.), more skin elasticity, fewer wrinkles, less inflammation, and helps prevent and fight acne.

Niacinamide — Builds proteins and locks in moisture

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3. You want at least 2% niacinamide in your moisturizing products. This helps create a protective barrier for your skin, keeping in moisture and protecting your skin from damage.

It also helps shrink your pores, minimize fine lines, wrinkles, and redness, and can even treat acne. Lots of benefits to having this vitamin in your moisturizer.

Hyaluronic acid — The moisture super retainer

Hyaluronic acid is also naturally produced by the body and is responsible for maintaining plump and hydrated skin (vs skin that’s saggy, wrinkled, and dry).

HA can help reduce wrinkles, keep dry skin moisturized, and even cut down the time it takes wounds to heal.

Retinol — new skin cells

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, and its main job is to promote the production of new skin cells. Moisturizers with Retinol help to smooth out wrinkles, minimize acne marks and other blemishes, as well as keep skin moisturized.

Skin Care Basics: Know These Things Before Starting A Skincare Routine

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1. The best routine is one you stick to

A skincare routine doesn’t have to be complicated for it to be effective.

For us guys, we can keep it simple and still reap huge benefits (especially if you have no current skin care regimen at all).

skin care basics - geologie bottles
Geologie Face wash, moisturizers, and eye creams

At its core, a good routine is a.) cleansing, and b.) moisturizing.

Here’s the quick nighttime skincare routine I follow:

  1. At night, I wash my face and pat dry
  2. I apply the Repairing Night Cream
  3. Bonus points: I apply Nourishing Eye Cream

That’s it. The eye cream might not even be necessary for you; I use it because I have dark circles and the eye cream keeps them from looking worse 🥱

This is my morning routine:

  1. Splash my face with water to wake up (no cleansing necessary) and pat dry
  2. Apply Vital Morning Face Cream
  3. Apply Nourishing Eye Cream

Easy peasy.

Again, you might only want to apply the eye cream in the evenings, or not at all. That’s fine.

I do it both morning and night, mostly out of habit at this point. But also in the mornings it provides a fresh, tingly sensation that wakes me up.

2. The best face wash depends on your skin type

Face washes can have different formulations that are meant for specific skin types. 

For example, it’s not a good idea to use a face wash meant to combat oily skin if you have balanced or dry skin. So consider your skin type (sensitive, oil-prone, dry) before committing to a face wash.

skin care basics geologie everyday face wash

Geologie’s face wash is nicely balanced and gentle, making it perfect for most, if not all, skin types.

Its active ingredient, salicylic acid, strips off any dirt and oil buildup on your skin, and also helps to clear blackheads and fight acne.

Geologie Skincare

Exclusive offer for Effortless Gent readers: Save an additional 30% on your trial set from Geologie (under $1 a day to get started)!

Use code EFFORTLESS at checkout


Too much salicylic acid can irritate and dry out skin. Geologie’s face wash has 2% salicylic acid. In comparison to the concentrations in most over-the-counter acne treatments of 0.05% to 5% (results from study), this seems to be right in the middle.

I personally didn’t notice any irritation or excessive dry skin over the past 5 weeks from using this face wash. I’d also consider my skin “normal”, meaning not oily, not dry. 

3. Find a moisturizer with the right active ingredients

Similar to your face wash, moisturizers are specially formulated for your skin. Is it naturally oily, dry, balanced? There’s one out there for your specific skin type.

geologie vital morning face cream
geologie night cream

facial moisturizer squeezed out of bottle

My skin care set from Geologie has two moisturizers: Vital Morning Face Cream and Repairing Night Cream. Both keep skin supple and hydrated.

The Morning Face Cream has SPF 10 to protect you from harmful sun rays, and the Night Cream has retinol, which promotes the production of new skin cells and reduces wrinkles.

4. The right skin care can depend on your ethnicity

That’s because our skin has different needs.

For example, black men tend to get ingrown hairs because of the hair’s natural curl. So when shaving, you may want to seek alternatives or better prep the skin to reduce the chance of ingrowns or razor bumps.

Asian and latin guys are more susceptible to varying skin pigmentation (light and dark spots) which can become even more obvious with excessive sun exposure.

So if you’ve noticed irregular coloring before, you might want to limit that or try skin-brightening products to even those tones out. And for ongoing preventative treatment, sunscreen is your friend!

5. Treat the skin around your eyes with extra care

The skin around your eyes is much thinner than on other parts of your body.

Because of this, it’s susceptible to premature aging, wrinkling, swelling, and puffiness, all of which can cause you to look older and more tired than you are.

applying eye cream to both eyes

Regular facial moisturizer may be too harsh for that area of the face, so this is where a good eye cream comes in handy.

Eye cream is formulated to be gentler on the skin and less irritating to the eyes, while at the same time, reducing bags and puffiness, filling in fine lines, and smoothing wrinkles.

geologie eye cream

eye cream on finger ready to be applied

If you check out Geologie’s Nourishing Eye Cream, you’ll notice their formula also incorporates peptides, antioxidants, caffeine, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, all of which we discussed previously (and all good stuff for your skin).

This is the one product I recommend using both in the morning and evening, especially if you have dark circles.

6. Always apply sunscreen on your face

Here’s the deal. ANY SPF (a rating system that stands for “sun protection factor”) in your moisturizer is better than none.

Broad spectrum protection means the lotion filters out both UVA (contributes to skin cancer and aging) and UVB (causes sunburn and also contributes to skin cancer) rays.

Yes, the higher the SPF rating, the better, but only marginally. For example, SPF 15 filters out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks out 97%. SPF 50? 98%.

So all this to say, SPF 15 is good enough, SPF 30 is ideal.

My Personalized Results from Geologie

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As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been using Geologie over the past month, and in my experience, caring for your skin couldn’t be more simple.

Yes, technically you could create your own skincare regimen by spending hours doing your own research, going to different stores (or browsing online), and buying one by one the products you can find for your particular skin type.

But who has the time (and money) for that kind of experimentation? And who’s to say you’ll get the results you’re actually aiming for?

When you go with Geologie though, you can skip the trial and error, get the exact products with the perfect formulation for your skin, and have it sent directly to your house.

Here’s how it works.

Answer a few questions, get a personalized regimen

Take a super quick 30-second quiz, and Geologie will customize your skincare products so they play nicely with your skin. Your products will formulated based on the results you want to see.

So if you’re dealing with adult acne, dark under-eye circles, sensitive skin, wrinkles… you name it, and Geologie will take care of it.

If you’re curious, these were my results:

Visual representation of your results, plus how similar your results are compared with the average

Start with a Trial Kit (one month supply)

Your $37 trial package will come with a 30-day supply filled with everything you need:

  • 2 bottles of Everyday Face Wash (one for the shower, one for the sink!)
  • Vital Morning Face Cream
  • Repairing Night Cream
  • and Nourishing Eye Cream

Literally everything you need for a solid and simple skincare regimen that covers all the skin care basics we discuss in this article.

Geologie Skincare

Exclusive offer for Effortless Gent readers: Save an additional 30% on your trial set from Geologie (under $1 a day to get started)!

Use code EFFORTLESS at checkout


From there, subscribe and save or go a la carte

After using your trial package, Geologie gives you two options for restocking:

  1. Subscribe and have 90-day supplies of the products you love sent to you regularly (you save this way), or
  2. Using one thing more than the others? Purchase only the products you need, a la carte

Totally up to you. Pretty easy, right?

I personally love the Repairing Night Cream and the Nourishing Eye Cream.

After the Everyday Face Wash strips off all the oil and dirt that’s accumulated on my face from a long day, the two creams replenish all the moisture and leave my skin feeling super soft and smooth.

Keep In Mind These Skin Care Basics

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You don’t need a complicated routine to benefit your skin. Like I said, the best routine is one you stick to, and keeping it simple is a good bet.

As long as you’re aware of the skin care basics I mentioned, it’s easy to clean, protect, and moisturize your skin so you stay healthy and look youthful as long as possible.

Definitely give Geologie a try if you want a simple skin care routine that you don’t have to think about.

Was that helpful?

If you have any questions or comments, DM me on Instagram! I’m also on Twitter and Effortless Gent’s Facebook page.