Almost a quarter of British men say their professional confidence would be knocked if they woke up to a ‘bad skin day’, according to new research which looks at skincare concerns and how they make us feel.

A survey of 1,000 British men by premium beauty brand Clarins reveals how, for 51%, a ‘bad skin day’ would have a negative impact on their self-confidence. Four in ten say their social confidence and levels of happiness would also be affected, with almost a quarter (23%)  agreeing it would even impact their day at work.

On the flip side, when asked about the impact of a  ‘good skin day’ – whatever that meant to them – 53% said they’d feel even more confident and happy. For 29% of men, clear skin would also improve their confidence at work.

In a bid to banish ‘bad skin’, more than half also admitted to secretly using their partner’s skincare products, with one in ten (14%) helping themselves on a daily basis!

For those that have a skincare routine and buy their own products, almost 50% said that the amount of time and money they spend on their skincare has increased over the past five years. Four in five men (82%) say they spend up to £50 a month on ‘lotions and potions’ to target their problem areas.

Psychotherapist Sarah Lee believes we will pay even more attention to our skincare concerns as we return to ‘normal’ and begin meeting up with more people face-to-face: “Skin concerns can have a massive impact on self-esteem, affecting dating, working (especially when using Zoom) and meeting up in daylight. Given the prevalent use of filters on social media, airbrushing in the media, cosmetic procedures and the ability to touch up your appearance on Zoom, it can be hard for people to turn up as themselves in real life fearing judgement from others, embarrassment and accusations of ‘catfishing’.”

The survey also reveals how nine out of ten of us have at least one skincare bugbear. 

The biggest skincare concerns were revealed to be: 

Dry skin – 41%
Dark circles under eyes – 35%
Acne/acne scars – 27%
Ageing/fine lines – 26%
Blackheads/enlarged pores – 26%
Oily skin – 25%
Uneven skin tone/redness – 16%
Pigmentation/dark spots – 16%
Razor bumps – 14%
Environmental pollution – 9%
UV damage – 9%
Dull skin – 7%
Blue light (emitted by screens i.e. laptops, phones) – 6%

The average person has at least two skincare woes, with those reporting dry skin to be of primary concern also more likely to be worried about dark under-eye circles and ageing/fine lines; for oily skin, the biggest bothers are blackheads and enlarged pores and looking tired due to dark circles.

Marie Schmid, head of training at Clarins, comments: “The pandemic certainly has a part to play when it comes to how we feel in our own skin. Over the last year, we’ve seen a rise in people buying skincare products – in particular moisturiser – in order to combat dry skin; a side effect of staying indoors more often. A combination of poor sleep, heightened levels of anxiety and wearing a mask on a regular basis has also contributed, for many, to worries of acne, acne scarring and premature ageing.

“We know from the research that ‘bad skin’ has a knock-on effect on almost every aspect of our life and can certainly impact how we feel about ourselves when interacting with others, whether in a social situation, or in a professional environment. 

“Alongside skincare, studies indicate that makeup is a huge self-esteem booster. In our study, almost half of men (47%) said they use makeup products on a regular basis, most likely one or more of the following: foundation, concealer, mascara, eyebrow pencil and/or primer. 

“If you find yourself getting stressed about your skin, and how it’s making you feel – and you don’t already have a skincare routine in place – then that’s a good place to start. Over time, and with regular use, it’s likely you’ll notice a drastic improvement in the quality of your skin, as the products target your problem areas.”

When asked about their day-to-day skincare routine, men say they spend an average of ten to 30 minutes applying products to help combat their skincare concerns. Aside from good old soap and water, the most commonly used products among men are moisturiser, cleanser, eye cream and spot treatment. 

For the full research see: https://www.clarins.co.uk/beauty-articles/biggest-mens-skincare-concerns.html 


Clarins’ top tips to creating a confidence-boosting skincare routine that takes less than five minutes

Here are the products you should consider when creating a skincare routine:

Exfoliating cleanser

Investing in an exfoliating cleanser will help to keep the skin looking fresh. Exfoliating gently removes dead skin cells, unclogs pores, minimises fine lines and tackles ingrown hairs. Start slow and scrub lightly in case of sensitivity and build up to incorporating this step into your routine three times a week.

Face wash

Sweat, pollution and changing temperatures throughout the year can leave skin looking and feeling dull, greasy and dehydrated. It’s recommended to cleanse twice a day with a gentle face wash to tackle daily grime. Ensure you don’t miss out on this step after exercising – it’ll help to prevent breakouts.

Eye cream 

Once cleansed and exfoliated, consider using an eye cream to help target puffiness, dark circles and early signs of fine lines. The skin around your eyes is delicate, which is why a dedicated eye cream is better than just using moisturiser alone. It’s recommended to use a grain-sized amount, morning and night; rub the product between your fingers and then press it, lightly, into the eye contour. 


When choosing a moisturiser, think about your skin type – is it oily, combination or dry? There are specific age control products on the market you may wish to try, often packed with natural ingredients that lift and firm the face in all the right places. If using a serum, for an added boost, put it on before the moisturiser; as a general rule face nourishes should be applied starting with the lightest formula.


Sun protection 

UV exposure may account for up to 80% of visible signs of ageing in the skin, which is why it’s recommended to use SPF protection every day – whether it’s sunny or not – to maintain youthful-looking skin. Check your moisturiser to see if it contains SPF; if not, apply a layer of product at the end of your skincare routine. The British Association of Dermatologists recommends half a teaspoon of sunscreen for your face and neck.