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Men only

Men only

Men looking after their skin is no longer a secret.

Johnny Depp does it and so does Leonardo D’Caprio. Rod Stewart once admitted to being devoted to Olay’s Classic Moisturizing Lotion.

Time it was when products geared towards men were mostly functional at best.

But times have changed.

Men always looked after their skin but only in the last two decades has grooming products specifically geared at men really taken off.

Not that exclusivity matters. The needs of a man’s skin may be different to woman’s but the fundamental facets of good skin care are the same.

Clinique was one of the first companies to launched a line geared specifically at men. They pre-empted the trend and launched Skin Supplies For Men in 1976. It remains one of the most popular lines geared at men. Interestingly, the facial soaps and yellow moisturising lotion (formerly called M Lotion) in the men’s line is identical to facial soaps and the original Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion . Only the name and packaging are different.

Since the launch of Skin Supplies For Men, the market for male grooming has exploded. From Nivea After Shave Balm to Shisedio Men Total Revitalizer – there has never been so much choice. And the marketing of men’s grooming products have closely followed the trend in marketing trends of female products. Lancome created a high-tech line for men with actor Clive Owen as its model while L’Oreal marketed it’s Men Expert line with the actor Hugh Laurie.

Today, men are not afraid to experiment or choose products that fit with their lifestyle. For the more green minded male there is Decleor, Aveda and the Greek company Korres. The widely available and affordable line Bulldog uses essential oils and is SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) free. Green People have products suited to both men and women as with Barefoot Botanicals.

Skin is skin.

And it was never unacceptable for men to care for their skin. Most beauty lines have always had devoted male clients long before the surge in male targeted products. Most cosmetic houses appreciate this and that is why they see these products as an opening for men to try other lines in the range. Hence the reason why there are companies who have opted not to create a male centred line. If it’s good enough for women it will be good enough for men. And once a man is initiated, there is no reason not to try products in the line geared at women. Men who use the products geared at men in the Paris based company Nuxe, frequently purchase the sweet smelling award winning Huile Prodigieuse. Elizabeth Arden’s classic 8 Hour Cream is loved by women and men the world over. And is now available in a fragrance free version.

Today men are not deterred from experimenting with skin care products.The Philosophy line is perfectly suited to both men and women as is Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference line and the Origins line which caters for both women and men.

The basics of good grooming apply to men. The watch word is “gentle”. A good cleanser used morning and night is essential in clearing away skin debris and assisting in closer shaves. Toning is good at refining and closing pores but a splash of cool water also does the trick.

Choosing a moisturiser can be just as daunting for men as it is for women as skin is as individual we are. But generally speaking, if you have combination or oilier skin always aim to look for oil-free products. If your skin is on the drier side then look at richer formulations but always try before you buy. Skin can change with seasons or hormones so adapt your skin regime accordingly. Consider boosting your skin with a serum and don’t forget the sun protection whether in your day product or as a separate product. Skin cancer is higher in men than women – particularly in Britain – so think “protection” in everything you do. A night cream with regenerating ingredients is also a good idea as the skin is most receptive at night and there are excellent ones in all price brackets. Take a look at Estee Lauder and Vichy.

An indispensable product for men is a good facial scrub. Exfoliation is your friend! Once or twice a week take time out to slough off those accumulated dead skin cells to reveal that baby soft skin beneath. Not only do scrubs help to lift up the beard hairs ready for shaving, they brighten up the complexion beautifully.

A deep cleansing face mask is also a great product to add to your grooming ritual-particularly the night before an important event. Make sure you apply it when you are at home so you don’t scare the horses. Take a look at Mudd, Spa Pharma and The Body Shop.

You can use your regular cream or lotion around the eye area or you can invest in an eye cream – depending on your needs.

A good facial oil can be used day or night either beneath your cream or lotion or alone. Don’t be put off if you have oilier skin – facial oils are great at normalising oily skin.

A good shaving product should always be a priority whether you wet or dry shave. This will always be your most important investment. All the men’s lines have good products to look at and there are products in all the price brackets. Invest in products that will afford you a good, close and fuss-free shave. If you like wet shaving, don’t be afraid to consider a good shaving soap such as the ones by Taylor of Old Bond Street, Van Der Hagen and Crabtree and Evelyn. They are a barbers most prized item. Well made soaps offer close shaves.

A shave oil can assist your shave cream or gel so can even be used alone so consider trying one. Take a look at King of Shaves, Somerset’s and Clarins. Gilette and Wilkinsons sword make the most popular razors but the discerning male will always opt for a well made safety razor. Not only do they look great and give unbeatable close shaves but the razor blades are much more affordable in the long run. Take time to find one you like.

If you prefer to dry shave, do your research and make an educated choice. There are many electric shavers on the market and new ones arriving all the time so take a look at so get a trusted opinion of what really works.

Enjoy your skin.

There is nothing like a well groomed male. Nothing is ever more attractive then a man who takes pride in his appearance and shows he cares.

And don’t forget the finishing touch – a big smile.

There is nothing more lovely.

Or sexy.

Clinique is sold in more than 130 countries and territories, and over 16,000 sales locations.

Origins Checks And Balances Frothy Face Wash 150 ml £8.50 – £18.50 (www.origins.com)

Gentle frothy face wash with Konjac powder and wheat protein.

Nip + Man Turbo Face Wash 150ml £5.95 (www.boots.com)

Black Quinoa nourishes and deeply moisturises whilst caffeine helps to revive

Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Polish 100g £15.50 (www.nealsyard.com)

A facial polish which exfoliates and enriches normal to dehydrated skin with anti-oxidant milk thistle, aloe vera and wild rose seed powder.

Clarins Men Moisture Gel 50ml £29.00

Helps calm razor burn, and provides the skin with balanced moisture. (www.clarins.co.uk)

Bulldog Original Moisturiser 100ml £3.17 (www.boots.com)

Developed specifically for male skin

Decléor Aromessence Homme 15ml £41.50 (www.decleor.com)

Triple action shaving serum with the clove oil ingredient to help to tackle damage caused by shaving and rejuvenates skin post-shave.

King of Shaves Alpha Oil Shave Oil Cooling Menthol 15ml £2.29 (nationwide)

With cooling menthol. Up to 100 shaves from one bottle. Use on its own instead of gel or foam, underneath a gel / foam or pre-electric.

Williams Lectric Shave Electric Razor Pre-Shave Original 207 ml $6.79 (www.walgreens.com)

Helps shaver glide for less irritation. Lubricates skin to minimize friction for a smoother shave and leaves skin feeling smooth and comfortable. With soothing green tea complex

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