I Helped My Boyfriend Start Following a Grown-Up Skincare Regimen—Here's How

For the first five years of my relationship, it didn't seem strange to me at all that my boyfriend didn't have a skincare routine. While our bathroom countertops were covered with cleansers, moisturizers, and serums—all for me—his singular shelf of the medicine cabinet contained a bottle of cologne and some unopened aftershave. It's not as if the guy had perfect skin, either: His Irish genetics have plagued him with eczema, rosacea, and a complexion that begs for sunscreen, but for years, his nonexistent skincare routine never struck either of us as a problem.

In the United States, there exists "a general perception that taking care of your skin is something that only women do," explains Eric Verdeyen, co-founder of men's skincare company Tread. Combine this with the average guy's lack of education about skincare, plus an aversion to spending time and money on something he wasn't taught to value, and you wind up with a dude like mine, who's missing out on the chance for healthier skin.

If you think about it, there's nothing innately feminine about cleansing and moisturizing, and in different cultures around the world, men and women are equally concerned with their skin health. Consider South Korea, where a man taking care of his skin is as expected and commonplace as brushing his teeth. It's a matter of hygiene, not gender.

As America's societal norms evolve, and as skincare marketing becomes more gender-inclusive, dudes are warming up to the idea of caring for their complexions. "Many of the old ideas we have about manliness and masculinity are just that—old and outdated," says Spencer Campbell, content strategist at men's skincare line Jack Black. "Simply think of developing a good skincare regimen as a continuation of what you're doing at the gym." It's another way of taking care of yourself.

These arguments make perfect sense, but sometimes, our male partners, friends, and family members need a little extra push to hop on board the skincare train. This year, I finally convinced my dude (and my dad!) to adopt regimens that work for them, and with a few smart tips, so can you. Keep scrolling to learn how to help the dudes in your life take care of their skin once and for all.