Masks might protect you from floating nasties, but it takes more than a fabric wrap to keep your skin sweet and soft.
Want a face smoother than a baby’s bum? A soapy scrub is the right place to start. Follow it up with one of these protective creams for peachy cheeks worth pinching.
From sun-proof serums to post-shave potions, every serum in this list will keep your mug moisturised, vitamin-enriched and fit for public viewing. Need a new grooming tool? Check out our separate round-up of the best wet-shave razors.
Know your nose
The basic skin types for men are oily, dry and sensitive – though some can be a mix of all three. Most brand concessions in department stores can do a test to help you determine yours.
Widen your wallet
Even on a tight budget, you can find high-quality skincare. But step things up a little if you can: more expensive products are often packed with better, stronger ingredients.
Save your skin
When you're shopping for serums, be sure to study the ingredients. There are some you'll want to avoid. Generally, anything with sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or unspecified 'fragrances' listed on the label risks doing more harm than good.
Protect your planet
Most new brands care about sustainability, but not all. Check out EWG’s Skin Deep website: this rates brands and products based on their environmental policies, so you know which creams are green.
The hippy healer: Doers of London Shave Cream (£14)
All-natural, vegan-friendly and shipped in suitably trendy packaging, this non-foaming shave cream contains organic birch extract to relieve redness.
It’s also packed with organic grapeseed oil which is rich in antioxidants, nourishing shea butter for a moist mug, plus vetiver and myrrh oil to heal your skin after you’ve dragged an eco-friendly razor across it.
The nutty nick-stopper: Kiehl’s Smooth Glider Shave Lotion (£17)
This long-lasting yet lightweight gel contains some pretty wacky essential oils – plus the juice of crushed kukui nuts.
A distant cousin of the conker, kukui nut not only gives off a lovely woody aroma, but it also conditions your chin for shaving – softening facial fur in readiness for the razor’s edge. The result? A frictionless shave and skin so smooth you’ll put toddlers to shame.
The eco-friendly frother: Gruum når Aloe Vera Shave Bar (£8)
Keen to cut down on shaving waste? Earn yourself an eco-warrior badge with this plastic-free alternative to a tube of gel.
Handmade in England using zero palm oil, the 100% natural bar is best applied directly to the face like a classic block of soap. Simply lather up and grab your blade for greener grooming.
The seaweed soother: Harry's Post-Shave Mist (£11)
The equivalent of having a personal anti-bacterial air-conditioning system, Harry’s Mist is a post-shave summer skin cooler that’s jam-packed with natural ingredients like seaweed, aloe and Thai basil, plus mint, eucalyptus and tea-tree essential oils.
The soothing spray is part of a wider skincare range which includes a face wash, toner, night lotion (sung in the style of Night Fever), day lotion, eye cream and blemish treatment for spotty oiks.
The witch hazel healer: Origins Firefighter Post-Shave Balm (£16)
If shaving leaves you feeling like you’ve had your head wedged inside a wasps’ nest, check out this soothing balm.
Its loaded with healing winterbloom, a type of witch-hazel – the same stuff you put on nasty nettle stings. The magic salve helps to calm razor-scraped skin and reduce irritation. Plus there’s eucalyptus and peppermint to give your chin added zing.
The botanical benefactor: AESOP Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion (£37)
It’s not only snakes you’ll be charming with this Moroccan-inspired hydrator from Aesop. A scented fable for the nostrils, it contains a cocktail of botanical oils, including sandalwood and neroli blossom.
The fragrant lotion lightly hydrates your face while pacifying post-shave irritation. What’s more, it’s great for all skin types.
The hybrid hydrator: Jaxon Lane Rain or Shine (£26)
Unlike a hybrid laptop, Jaxon Lane’s SPF50+ sunscreen won’t convert into a tablet. But like a hybrid laptop, it is a two-in-one.
The Wash & Go of skin lotions, it delivers that all-important UVA and UVB protection, while doubling up as a super-light daily moisturiser with vitamin E. And it doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve coated yourself with lard.
The sea life shield: Clinique for Men Super Energizer SPF40 Anti-Fatigue Hydrating Concentrate (£42)
Clinique’s sweat-resistant moisturising gel has a very lengthy name. Luckily, it does more than enough to justify the word count: there’s caffeine and sea whip coral extract inside to wake up tired skin – ideal after a big night out.
It also has an SPF40 rating to fend off the merciless sun, should you wish to brave a trip to the shops for coffee and paracetamol.
The papaya protector: LUMIN UV Defense Moisturizing Balm (£23)
Lumin’s all-in-one formula shields your skin from sun damage with its SPF30 protection, while anti-ageing ingredients work to give your grill that fresh-from-the-botox-clinic feeling – without any of the needles.
Papaya extract does the hard work, fighting early signs of wrinkles and creases by tightening the skin’s appearance. For a cheaper alternative, try rubbing a papaya slice on your face: sticky, sure, but the fruity solution is still less unpleasant than being jabbed by a dermatologist.