[B]A blokes’ approach to beauty[/B]
By Allison Browning (beauty expert)
Ok guys, it’s time to clean up your act! Grooming is not just for girls. I know that the traditional packaging of skin and body care products has been pretty scary, pink and apricot coloured containers certainly don’t look very manly in the bathroom cabinet.
Things have certainly changed since the days of pretty fragranced cosmetics in fancy bottles. Cosmetic companies have finally cottoned on to the fact that guys need bloke-friendly skin care. There are now ranges especially for men with shaving kits and ingrown hair solutions, plus skincare products like eye gels and moisturisers designed just for male skin.
But first, let’s address some of the grooming myths you might have grown up with!
[B]Myth 1:[/B] Aftershave (as in alcohol-based men’s fragrance) is good to close the pores after shaving.
I think the “no pain no gain” philosophy is the source of this one-“the stinging means it’s doing something!”. Unfortunately this is not the case. Alcohol-based aftershaves can dry out and irritate the skin and make the skin photosensitive - i.e. more prone to pigmentation (dark blotches). Use a toner and then moisturizer to balance the skin instead! There are also plenty of cream-based aftershave products that are much better equipped to soothe the sting of shaving.
[B]Myth 2:[/B] Moisturiser is for girls.
Not the case at all. Both male and female skin is composed of the same matter, and we all age; therefore we all need to treat our skin to moisturiser every day. Men’s skin actually gets some pretty harsh treatment with daily shaving (well perhaps the weekly shave for some of you blokes). A good toner and moisturizer can actually soothe the skin after shaving, leaving the pores and skin moist, less red and irritated and very kissable. To really impress, use a lip balm too!
[B]Myth 3:[/B] who needs exfoliants anyway?
Exfoliating is an essential for men’s skin. Firstly it means that your moisturizer is able to be absorbed deeper into your skin as it is not ‘sucked up’ by superficial dead skin cells. Exfoliation is also a key step in preventing ingrown hairs, it can assist in lifting the growth that is trapped beneath the skin’s surface; and because we are clearing away dead skin cells there is less surface build up on the skin to cause the ingrowns! You will also find that regular exfoliating will make your skin feel a lot smoother and give it a healthy glow.
[B]Myth 4: [/B]I only need to wear sunscreen at the beach.
No no no! I get so many emails from people who have neglected their sun protection and now have dark blotchy patches of pigmentation. The Australian sun is particularly harsh; but in any climate, the sun’s rays are not only cancerous but speed up the ageing process and cause pigmentation. Every skin routine should at least involve a daily cleanse, moisturize, eye cream and sunblock on top! If this seems like too many steps, you can get a moisturiser and sunscreen in one, such as Ultraceuticals Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF30+.
Myth 5:[/B] Cheap haircare, skincare and shaving products are just as good.
I am, for the most part, a believer that you get what you pay for and the proof is right there in the pudding - just read the ingredients listings and compare for yourself. Generally you will find that the cheap brands contain very basic synthetic ingredients. High quality skin care, shaving and hair care products will generally contain more active ingredients, botanical extracts and less irritating bases. You only get one body, so you may as well take good care of it!
Myth 6:[/B] If I can’t see results in a week, it’s not working.
Unfortunately skin is not like the backyard- you can’t just fix it all in a few days like they do in “Backyard Blitz”! Those wrinkles took years to get there, so they ain’t going anywhere in a week I’m afraid. I always recommend that clients stick with a product or skin program for an absolute minimum of three months to begin to see results. Cellular turnover takes 28 days for new skin cells to reach the skin’s surface, so we are certainly going to have to give our poor pressured skin some time to keep up with our demands. Good things come to those who wait, so be patient!
[B]Myth 7: [/B]Soap makes my skin feel squeaky-clean so it must be good.
Sorry boys - the facts will back me up on this one. The pH of our skin sits at 5.5 usually which means we have an acid pH. This “acid mantle” is essential for our skin’s ability to protect itself. Most major brands of soap researched had a pH of 9-10 making them very alkaline. This means that soap strips our skin’s protective barrier leaving it dry and exposed. A good cleanser will clean the skin just as well as soap does, without the drying effects - and generally with foaming and gel cleansers you get a two-in-one as you’ll find you’ll be able to shave with it too - Bargain!
For more on this article: http://www.adorebeauty.com.au/adorebeauty/askallison_blokes.asp