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Caldera + Lab's Easy-to-Follow Skincare Regimen for Men, Tested

For $150, you get three effective, all-natural products to use twice daily.

caldera lab
Evan Malachosky

Biologically, men and women have different skin. Men have thicker, oily skin that's less capable of retaining its tightness; this is why, while they're passable, unisex products never excel at hydrating, healing or toning men's faces. Men need specialized formulations for the conditions men are most prone to developing.

"Sebum content is higher in men because sebum is highly influenced by sex hormones," a report about men's skin versus women's done by the Center for Research and Training in Skin Disease and Leprosy at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences revealed. "Skin pigmentation and thickness are significantly higher, facial wrinkles are deeper, and facial sagging is more prominent in the lower eyelids of men."

The above paragraph explains the birth of "men's" skincare — not men's grooming, mind you, which has been around since, well, soap was invented. It's about more than making packaging — or ideating brand names and slogans — that resonate with men. Men need their own unique products that address oiliness, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and sagging. And there are loads now, thanks a boom that's spanned the better part of the last decade. But most men struggle with this newfound freedom to choose, especially when it comes to forming a skincare routine. They often aren't all that hard to set — just difficult to stick to.

Caldera + Lab, however, a skincare brand dedicated to men, offers an easy-to-follow regimen they aptly call The Regimen: a three-part system comprising a cleanser (The Clean Slate), moisturizer (The Base Layer) and an oil (The Good). Beyond being tidy and easy-to-remember, the products are effective, and formulated in a clean (both for your skin and the environment) way that emphasizes botanical ingredients over lab-made.

Caldera + Lab The Regimen Review


Caldera + Lab The Regimen


  • Matching packaging helps you stay organized
  • This three-step routines covers your basic needs
  • The all-natural formulas are clean for the environment and your skin

  • Twice daily use means you run out cleanser before moisturizer or oil

What's Good About Caldera + Lab's The Regimen

It's easy to remember.

Routines are good — they can even alleviate anxiety. In the case of a skincare routine, knowing you're putting your best foot face forward will surely ease the mind a bit, but it's really more about the long-term — that you're doing what you can now to protect yourself down the road.

Sticking to your twice-daily routine, as Caldera + Lab recommends, means washing your face twice and moisturizing it immediately afterwards, either with The Base Layer (the lotion moisturizer) or The Good (the ultra-hydrating nighttime oil). That's it. (That being said, though, you'll need to apply an SPF sunscreen for your face — none of Caldera + Lab's products have SPF properties.)

The Morning Routine

  1. Apply The Clean Slate
  2. Apply The Base Layer
  3. Apply sunscreen

        The Nighttime Routine

        1. Apply The Clean Slate
        2. Apply The Good

          It's ultra-effective.

          Caldera + Lab was founded five years ago in Wyoming, where high-altitude botanicals grow both resiliently and in abundance. The brand's founders, Stacy Keibler and Jared Pobre, split their time between there and L.A., but found that their skin had a hard time adjusting between the two climates.

          The issues they experienced in LA were exasperated in Wyoming, where Pobre was literally left high and dry. So, with the help of a botanist, they set out testing thousands of ingredients' compatibility with more than 200 native botanicals, which have been used by Native populations for hundreds of years.

          Plants like fireweed, calendula, red bergamot, yarrow and alfalfa help fight inflammation. Jojoba and prickly pear help the skin strike the perfect balance between oily and matte. Repeat tests showed these ingredients' potential, but research and development made them palatable as skincare products. The oil isn't too, well, oily, and the moisturizer soaks in with ease, while creating a natural barrier to protect against both blue-light rays and air pollution.

          It's a clean product.

          Neither retinol nor hyaluronic acid are bad ingredients — in fact, they're very, very helpful. But Caldera + Lab believes it can replace these oft lab-derived ingredients with natural, botanical ones (like the listed actives above). They're often hand-harvested and always inspected by third parties for transparency's sake.

          But beyond just "being" clean, a title any brand can claim, the brand strives to seek authentication from outside sources, too. Caldera + Lab is a B Corp and certified by a number of animal welfare and environmental outlook agencies.

          There are add-ons for specialized concerns.

          The Regimen covers a man's basics — a cleanser and a moisturizer. No more, even if there are two of the latter (one for the morning and for at nighttime). But Caldera + Lab offers two new products you can add as extra steps, whether because these areas are of particular concern or you've been happy with your core routine and want to expand it.

          There's The Eyecon, a rejuvenating eye serum, and The Deep, a 20-minute reviving clay mask. Both products are "add-ons," sure, but they further Caldera + Lab's efforts to address the issue men face (pun intended) most. Men are more likely to get "bags," the aforementioned skin study revealed. The Eyecon strives to de-puff and eliminate dark circles. The Deep unclogs pores and reduces your overall oil level.

          What's Not Ideal About Caldera + Lab's The Regimen

          You run out fast — and have to pay up to refill.

          I rarely recommend subscribing to products unless you genuinely use them every single day. If you slow down, you'll end up with extra, and the product pile up creates clutter in an often already cramped part of your living space: the bathroom. But in the case of Caldera + Lab, it might be smart to sign up from the onset. Here's why.

          If you buy The Regimen as a one-time purchase, it's $189. That's a lot, especially for someone who's "new" to skincare (or at least a regimented routine), but that's how much it'd cost to buy each item separately anyway. There's no discount for bundling them... unless you subscribe.

          But in my experience, you should. I went through this stuff quicker than other products. Do I naturally tend to use more than the recommended amount (i.e. a dime-sized dollop)? For sure. Am I essentially slugging? No, but I still burned through The Good and The Base Layer damn quickly. Honestly, my skin reacted well to both, which is why this isn't really a bad thing. I wanted to use more, so I did, and I ran out — this is far from revelatory, but it's a warning nonetheless.

          You will spend a pretty penny on Caldera + Lab products if you stick to The Regimen. You're talking $150 (if you subscribe) every 45 or 60 days, depending on how quickly you move through the products. That's $900–$1,200 a year, which is no small amount to spend at any brand — let alone a skincare one.

          Caldera + Lab The Regimen: The Verdict

          If you've been looking for men's skincare products that actually work, look no further than Caldera + Lab. But ready your wallet, because this stuff doesn't come cheap. And it shouldn't.

          These all-natural creams, cleansers and oils are designed to address the issues men are most at-risk of developing, long before they ever do. But it's a preventative system that can also undo damage being done in real-time, meaning the trio can help alleviate dryness and dullness, reduce inflammation and even eliminate patches of hyper-pigmentation.

          That being said, $100 a month for skincare products is no small amount of money. Men who are "meh" on maintaining a routine will likely turn elsewhere (or use their spouse's products). But I'd argue that everyone would benefit from adding at least one Caldera + Lab product to their lineup, even if the ultra-clean botanical formula is at odds with the other products in your routine.

          If you were just getting one, I'd recommend The Good, the nighttime oil. It's meant to replace every step of your nighttime routine except for cleansing, which should always come first. It's the best bang for your buck, and it's my favorite of the three. I love how it feels when it first goes on, but it's how my skin feels the next morning that made me hooked; I wake up hydrated and even-toned with this stuff.


          Caldera + Lab The Regimen


          • Matching packaging helps you stay organized
          • This three-step routines covers your basic needs
          • The all-natural formulas are clean for the environment and your skin

          • Twice daily use means you run out cleanser before moisturizer or oil
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