I can talk for days about my favorite lipsticks and mascaras. But I recently realized that I’ve neglected our brothers when it comes to content that helps them care for their skin. That’s why I was so excited for the chance to talk to model, actor, and founder of Buttah Skin products, Dorion Renaud, to get his advice on a simple, effective skincare routine for men.
“We, as Black men, are supposed to be strong and tough. But I think what makes us the strongest is taking care of ourselves,” he says. “And if you’re with someone, you want them to see you with moist skin. Nobody wants an ashy brother laying up next to them,” he laughs.
These days, Renaud is used to showing his face to the world. But growing up, the Texas native says he dealt with skin issues like hyperpigmentation as a teen. He struggled to find products made for the unique challenges people of color face. The problem continued through his career as a model, and while a cast member on BET’s College Hill “They would put makeup on my skin and then after they took it off, I would still see all of those dark spots,” he says.
After studying with chemists and researching ingredients, Renaud launched Buttah Skin products in 2018. His all-natural line is made specifically for melanated people. “What I love about Buttah and what we’ve created is that everything is interchangeable. We have a customizable kit for your skin type (oily, dry, combo, normal),” he says.
When it comes to a skincare routine, Renaud’s advice is to keep it easy and efficient. “I don’t like to pound too much on the brothas because they don’t have the time and the space to do a five-step process,” he says.
Renaud says cleansing is the important first step. He recommends his Tea Tree & Aloe Exfoliating Scrub as a product that works overtime and can be used as a cleanser, a mask and a scrub. “A lot of people say don’t use a scrub on your face every day. But I made one that gives you a good cleanse. But is also gentle and has tea tree to help with breakouts and in-grown hairs,” he says.
After cleansing, Renaud suggests a toner like his award-winning Rosewater Toner to balance the skin and help with in-grown hairs and breakouts.
Once you’ve cleansed and toned, Renaud suggests finishing with a moisturizer like Buttah’s Facial Shea Butter. He adds that this step is important to help fight the signs of aging. “Moisturizing will help fight discoloration and keep you looking young,” he says.
And if you’ve got a little extra time, before heading out, Renaud says the Aloe Rose Refreshing Face Mist is a refreshing treat that is great for dry skin. ”A lot of brothas like to use after the gym. It really makes them feel good because it adds to that self-care,” he says.
Renaud says once guys get a taste of what it feels like to have smooth, clear skin, there will be no going back. But he hopes more people will encourage young men of color to start taking care of their skin at a young age. ”Let them know that it is good to take care of yourself, so they don’t grow up with the stigma that self-care isn’t masculine,” he says.
Everything about Buttah, from the packaging to the product ingredients is purposeful and meant to make everyone feel comfortable enough to use it. “I wanted to make a nice, simple, affordable option for the brothers. We even have a travel bag that’s inspired by the Crown Royal bag so guys don’t have to feel like they’re carrying their wife’s stuff,” he says.
While Renaud stresses the importance of taking care of your skin, he says it’s also important to give yourself a little grace if you miss a day (or two). “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself with the routine,” he says. “I think if you find yourself some good products like Buttah, you don’t have to use them every day.” But he adds, “When you find something that makes you look good, you may find that you want to use it every day.”