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Do straight men actually hate moisturiser? We investigate

A deep dive into men’s skincare routines (or lack thereof).

AS URBAN MYTHS on the Internet go, none scares me quite as much as the one that claims straight men don’t moisturise.

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However, some would argue that this is far from myth – rather, that men would rather stick pins into their eyes than actually adopt any kind of skincare routine.

First, it was that piece in Mel Magazine in which several men went through their “skincare routines”. One man admitted to washing his face using washing up liquid.

Then, there’s the ongoing narrative on Twitter – that men simply do not moisturise, possibly out of fear.


Why is it important to moisturise, even if you have oily skin?

As The Skin Nerd always says: ”The skin is an organ.” Consider what happens when you don’t drink water for ages, or you go on a mad one at the weekend. You inevitably wake up thirsty AF. If you stopped taking in any liquids, your organs would eventually shut down. Your skin can react similarly, by either overproducing sebum to counteract the lack of moisture (resulting in spots), or else by becoming flakey and dry.

So, what gives? Why aren’t men clamouring at the shelves for pots of La Mer? I decided to undertake an extremely thorough investigation* into whether straight men are anti-moisturiser.

(*I messaged every straight man I am comfortable enough to have a conversation with to ask them if they use the stuff. I have also guaranteed their anonymity in an effort to actually elicit some honesty out of them).

I decided to look to my family first, hoping that my brother would redeem the male population of the world (27).


So far, so good.

He even had an explanation as to why he used that particularly brand.



There’s a free joke for you.

I then turned to the only all-male WhatsApp group I’ve found myself in, ahead of a holiday I’m going on with a group of friends from college (all aged between 22 – 24).

The results here were … Mixed.



face wash

The general consensus here – these guys love face wash. Moisturiser? Not so much. Out of the six guys in the chat, one of them regularly moisturises.

However, one of the lads later admitted to moisturising more regularly in the past, before stopping out of laziness.


‘LOL’ indeed.

I moved on to an older peer of mine (30 something), who put these young ones to shame.


In fact, he was kind of horrified at the thought of all the dry dry men roaming the streets unsupervised.


Unfortunately, they are. My friend raised some good points as to why some men don’t feel comfortable with adopting a skincare routine:


I slid into another friend’s DMs (27) on Instagram to suss his skin sitch.


Another convert to the supple skin movement. I had to ask – why though? His answer MAY shock you …


By all accounts, our skin does produce its own moisture. However, due to environmental and personal factors, sometimes we need a lil’ extra boost.

He had his own theories as to why some men don’t partake in the practice:


The conclusion I was reaching at this point was that my younger friends:

  • Are aware of what moisturiser is.
  • Have used it at least once before, but have not continued to use it.
  • Prioritise face wash over moisturiser.

This was further solidified by another conversation with a friend who is the same age as me (22).



However, there are exceptions to the rule, as proved by this gentleman (25).



I did not include my boyfriend in the research, as I believe he was subliminally made to start through watching Jonathan Van Ness on Queer Eye.

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It’s fair to say that the sample size surveyed was small and skewed. It did, however, disapprove the theory that straight men do not moisturise or are afraid of moisturiser.

The main thing that came up across the conversations was the idea that moisturising is associated among their peer group with femininity and insecurity. The latter is simply not true, and it has to be asked, is the former a bad thing? However you identify gender-wise, femininity should not be a dirty word. It doesn’t help that brands feed into this, by housing their products in colours that are generally perceived as being masculine, and giving them stupid names like ‘skin supplies’, (because they won’t get it if it doesn’t sound like something from a toolbox, obvs).

Overall though, it seems to come down to a lack of commitment to the cause. Understandable – how many times have you read articles on 300-step Korean skincare routines and immediately felt tired? It can be daunting for a lot of men to even start, and most wouldn’t be inclined to ask because they don’t view it as an important part of their daily lives.

We’ve already outlined why it’s important, but in the event you know someone (or you are someone, no shame), who has no idea where to go from here, take these recommendations:

  • Keep using your facewash, if that’s your buzz. Rinse with cool water after to shrink those pores. Pat your skin dry to prevent wrinkles.
  • Moisture with a €1 coin size amount of moisturiser (again, whichever one you like preferably one with SPF though).

That’s it. Literally. There’s obviously tonnes of other things you can do if you please, but at the rate these lads are forgetting, let’s keep it simple.

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