Grooming has become a big part of every modern man’s life and in an industry that is getting saturated with more products and brands than ever before, it’s important to invest some time in discovering all the dos and don’ts, so you’re able to keep your skin looking good. Sticking to natural and organic choices is a must when it comes to grooming, especially if you want to keep your skin and beard healthy and appealing.
However, not all products suit every man, nor are they necessarily the absolute best options out there – everyone’s skin is different and you can never know what works for you until you try it. Tread carefully and get informed before using a certain line of products: consult a pharmacist, talk to your doctor and do some research from reliable sources. If you’re looking for new skincare products right now, here are a few considerations to keep in mind, that should help you make the best grooming choices.
What to use?
When it comes to skincare, the biggest question is what you should and shouldn’t use. In theory, people think that men generally don’t really care about what they’re using as long as it’s working, but things are never that simple in real life. You need to know what’s good for you and what needs to be avoided, and that’s the only way to learn how to pick proper skincare and continue using it in the years to come.
Speaking of beneficial ingredients, all experts seem to accentuate the qualities of aloe, kiwi fruit, acai berry, jojoba and castor oils – these are all compounds found in nature and are sure to make a huge change in the quality of your skin. They’re nurturing, moisturising, comforting and, above all, give you that pleasant masculine smell your partner will adore! And that’s ultimately the point of great skincare: it needs to nurture your skin, make you look and smell good every day of the week, so be sure to look for products containing these ingredients next time you’re down the shops.
As a rule of thumb it’s also worth thinking about what’s in your kitchen of all places. Fresh lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are excellent options for a quick and easy cleanser, while coconut oil is a wonderful moisturiser – particularly in the colder winter months. If you’re happy to put it in your mouth, then it’s often likely a suitable product for your skin.
For a quick and effective cleanser mix the following in a glass jar:
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
The juice of half a lemon
4 drops of tee tree oil
2/3 drops of vitamin E/argan oil
Apply with a cotton wool pad.
What to avoid?
Unfortunately, although many skincare products are promoted as natural and helpful that’s not always the case. Yes, some of them may be tested and proven to be slightly better than the others, but they’re generally something you don’t want on your skin day in day out. The problem with products based on these ingredients is that they’re often advertised as the best ones on the market, with an aggressive campaign behind them, which can be a red flag in itself.
Some of the most dangerous products out there are aluminum, toluene and plastics, as well as phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde and triethanolamine. Luckily, all of these ingredients are listed on the label of your products, so read the fine print before purchasing them. The chances are you have some of these in your bathroom at the moment, so check the labels and if your products include these they might be better off in the bin that on your face.
What to know?
The only way to stop making mistakes when purchasing skincare products is to learn what’s good for you and what’s not. Although it can be a bit of a chore, start investigating the ingredients found in most products and what they do to your skin in the long run. Some of them can considerably enhance that mug of yours, while the others should not only be expelled from your bathroom, but from the face of the Earth!
Fortunately, there are lots of products available that are actually beneficial to your skin and make a major difference in the way you look and feel. What the experts most often suggest is using organic, natural or cosmeceutical products that help your skin on several levels, and all you need to do is learn the difference between these three categories. In short, the first group of products are made from carefully selected ingredients that contain no pesticides or fertilisers and that’s obviously considered to be a great solution.
Natural skincare products, on the other hand, contain ingredients found in nature, but these can be enhanced or improved with preservatives, so you need to be careful when buying products labeled “100% natural.” Finally, cosmeceutical products are generally used by professionals in certified clinics and private practices, and you can rarely find them even in the best stores, so if you see these on sale be sure to snap them up.
What to do when in doubt?
Another problem with skincare is that we don’t know what to do when we’re in doubt and who we can ask for advice – lots of general practitioners have no experience in this matter, while your dermatologist is often reluctant to speak about certain products and recommend one brand over another. That’s why most guys rely on what they see in the media, and while this may be a way to get some info, it’s not the best.
Trusting advertisements and skincare companies makes no sense in this day and age since there’s literally no control over what’s inside our skincare products. Ultimately, even though that may sound a bit harsh, the only thing you can do when you need some answers is to trust yourself – try a few products, monitor the results and, if you’re not satisfied, move onto something else. The trial and error process can be long, hard and costly road to travel, but it’s the only way to really know what works for your skin.
Peter is a men’s lifestyle writer at Gentleman Zone & High Street Gent magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.