Oak Edit

A Simplified Guide to Men's Self-Care with David Samuel Ko

April 03, 2024
Photos by: Bliss Braoudakis

Self-care is for everyone, and—believe it or not, men—that means you too. From morning skincare to full ritual shifts, we believe everyone can benefit from a bit of self-focused wellness, and today Maison Ko's own David Samuel Ko is sharing his tips for making it that much simpler. Read on, take note, and feel free to share with a skincare-curious man in your life.

What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is living a healthy lifestyle, which is more than just what you eat. Although what you put into your body is very important, the people you surround yourself with, your boundaries, the type of content you are consuming, and whether you are active or not all contribute to your mental health and perspective on the world. I try to be very mindful of the things I do and the decisions I make—even down to what I’m eating and the supplements I take. It is all connected.
Can you walk us through a typical morning routine?
If I’m being honest, and something I need to be better about, I'll usually start my morning by checking my phone right when I wake up. I know I know…it’s bad. But I can’t help myself! Once I’m up, I’ll always start with a glass of water. I’ll do my morning skincare, make coffee, then check emails and ensure I’m aware of my schedule for the day.
And evening?
I’ve been implementing more of a solid routine in the evenings since I've realized what I do the night before affects my productivity the next day. I try to work out every day after work, or at least move my body. When I get home, I’ll make a smoothie, eat dinner, do my Duolingo and NYT Games, night time skincare, (sometimes) journal, then scroll on social before I call it a night, usually by 10:30 or 11 pm at the latest.
If you could encourage other men to incorporate one product or practice into their routines, which would it be and why?
Definitely sunscreen. It’s one of the easiest products to apply but something people forget to use. Our skin won’t always be wrinkle-free. The sooner you can implement sun-safe practices, the better. It will reduce your risk of health problems down the road. Don’t forget your ears, neck, and hands!
What has your self-care journey looked like?
In order to stay sharp and focused on my goals, I try to be mindful of everything that surrounds me since I’ve realized that my overall wellness and mental health directly impact my day-to-day life. I am passionate about skincare and general body health. I take supplements every day and try to do things like steam, sauna, facials, LED therapy as much as I can. I also work out 5-6 times a week. I feel like it helps keep my anxiety at bay and find inner peace. It helps me mentally push through any issues I may be dealing with. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the importance of self-care and checking in with yourself as burnout is so easy nowadays. Saying ‘no’ and putting myself first when I can, is something that has taken getting older to realize and implement.
What advice would you give to men who may be hesitant to dive into skincare?
First off I would ask them, “Why?” Like anything in life, you need to upkeep, not just for vanity reasons. The second you start, you’ll begin reversing the clock.
Beyond skincare itself, what’s something you do to elevate the art of your everyday routine?
Gua sha and LED therapy! I love gua sha to help release any toxins and increase circulation. The more I use it the more I see a change in my facial structure. I use LED therapy, red and blue light, every night before applying my evening skincare. I’ve noticed a huge change in my skin texture and elasticity as well as way less hormonal acne!
Can you share a few of your favorite ways to recenter? And to unwind?
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to recenter. Not only when I’m writing, but also when I reflect on past entries. Time moves so fast that it’s nice to have these time markers to reflect and see how much things have changed, for better or worse. As far as unwinding goes, I love to binge watch a show and eat my favorite sour gummy candies.
What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?
Heated room pilates at Silver Springs.

First beauty memory: My mom’s collection of Clinique products.

Three desert island skincare staples: Obviously sunscreen, tretinoin, and Aquaphor.

Best beauty lesson: Less is more.

Most underrated beauty tip or tool: The tiniest bit of blush on your cheeks and contour under your cheekbones for that enhanced natural beauty look. 

You feel your most beautiful when: I’m tan, my skin is dewy, and I’m wearing an outfit I feel really confident in. 

Recipe you can’t stop cooking: Recreating Zinque’s Le Bowl at home. 

Current song you’re playing on repeat: Deeper Well by Kacey Musgraves.