The Grooming Basics For Your Skin Type
From Clinique For Men to Malin + Goetz, here are the products you need to look after your skin.
As with most things in life, a good grooming regime isn’t worth much unless you’ve got the basics right. Yes, your bathroom cupboard will look very impressive stocked with all sorts of beautifully packaged and esoteric-sounding things such as Dr Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum and M.E. Skin Lab’s Bio Energizing Cell Repair Balm, but without the correct foundations, you won’t be getting the most out of these more advanced products. So, first thing’s first, you need to exfoliate, cleanse and moisturise. And what’s more, you need to get the right product for your skin type – picking things just because you like the bottle is likely to land you with a less-than-glowing complexion. This is why, to mark this year’s Grooming Day (happy Grooming Day by the way, we suppose?), we’ve put together the following guide. Scroll down to find out which skin type you have, and how to treat it right, every day.
THE SKIN TYPES
OilyYour skin is typically shiny-looking and prone to greasiness and breakouts.
Normal/combination“Normal” is such a loaded word – what this actually means is that you generally have an even skin tone and don’t veer too much towards oily or dry. Combination skin, meanwhile is oily and dry in different places, and can change with the seasons. Both types require balanced products, though those with combination skin may want to apply products for oily or dry skin topically, too.
DryYour skin generally tends to feel tight and matte, and is prone to rashes and irritation, especially when shaving.
“Exfoliating” sounds like a rather pretentious thing to do, but it’s a particularly crucial first step for men because we have hair growing on our faces. Whether you prefer a close-shaven look, maintain stubble or favour a long beard, exfoliating (as in, gently removing a very fine layer of skin from your face) every few days, or before each time you shave will help to soften hair follicles and lift them away from your skin, so preventing ingrown hairs – the prime antagonist of men’s grooming, in our opinion. The risk here is, of course, using an exfoliant that is too coarse for your skin, or just getting overexcited and rubbing it all in too hard, which causes redness and irritation. So apply the following with a little bit of tact, please:
Made from a bundle of natural ingredients including cornmeal and walnut shell powder, Baxter’s face scrub is rugged and rather bracing. Though it can also be used on normal skin, it’s particularly good as a heavy-duty option for clearing out the blocked pores that cause breakouts, and also contains witch hazel, a natural anti-inflammatory that is well-known for its pimple-soothing properties.
Normal/combination skin: Malin + Goetz Jojoba Face Scrub
A lot of scrubs on the market can feel a little bit like sandpaper on the face. As we want to look like human beings, not beautiful handmade furniture, this is probably to be avoided. Hence, if you have normal skin that needs only gentle exfoliation, try this scrub from Malin + Goetz. It’s packed with jojoba, which does some of the exfoliating work for you, while its polyethylene microbeads need only light pressure on the skin to do their job.
Dry/sensitive skin: Foreo Luna™ Mini Cleansing System
If you have really dry skin, it’s probably best not to use a scratchy scrub at all. But that doesn’t mean you can’t exfoliate. Foreo’s Luna range of handheld devices uses T-Sonic pulsations to clear your face of dead skin and nicely prep it for shaving, and can be used in conjunction with your normal (non-grainy) cleanser. Plus, the brand has now come out with a new version that’s particularly compact and perfect for travel.
We don’t need to tell you you need to wash your face. At least, we hope not. But there are risks to using the wrong cleanser, particularly if you have skin that tends towards dryness. Washing with lukewarm water (as opposed to hot) helps to prevent the skin from drying out during washing, but so does, quite simply, picking the right tube of stuff. Here’s three we heartily recommend:
Oily skin: Dr Sebagh Breakout Foaming Cleanser
Small but potent, Dr Sebagh’s foaming cleanser is a great fix for oily skin when it becomes particularly problematic. Turn to it for a few days at a time during a breakout, and then go back to an oil-free product such as Dr Barbara Sturm’s Cleanser (also below).
Normal/combination skin: Perricone MD Citrus Facial Wash
As well as cleaning the skin, Dr Perricone’s citrus cleanser has startlingly good tightening and anti-ageing effects. Using this regularly will help to even out and smooth your (already rather enviable) skin tone, though you should try something else if it all starts to feel a bit too tight.
Dry/sensitive skin: Dr Barbara Sturm Cleanser
Dr Sturm’s fantastic cleanser is pricy, but worth it. An incredibly light foam, dispensed by a satisfyingly large pump, it feels only slightly heavier than washing with water, and is free from parabens, synthetic fragrance and mineral oil – all of which are abundant in many other products and can cause irritation. It leaves even sensitive skin feeling fresh and smooth (and crucially, not too dry), and because of its foaming dispense mechanism, one bottle will last for months.
A moisturiser sometimes feels like an afterthought for men (or worse, a little bit feminine), but, even for oily skin, moisturising properly is absolutely essential. Not only does a good moisturiser keep you looking fresher and younger, it acts as a barrier on top of your cleansed skin, to stop it getting clogged and irritated by all the horrible particles you tend to waft through in the course of a working day. Try these, and we’re pretty certain you’ll be convinced too:
Moisturising oily skin can create an unpleasant, shiny effect, which makes you look either like a weird android or like you’re in a constant state of sweaty panic. Thankfully, Clinique For Men has produced a moisturiser that is 100 per cent non-greasy and is designed to have a mattifying effect on the skin.
Normal/combination skin: Ren Skincare Youth Vitality Day Cream
Ren Skincare’s range of skincare products are a particularly thoughtful bunch that take into account the atmospheric concerns of the contemporary working human being. Which means that this moisturiser not only has both hydrating and anti-ageing properties, but incorporates ingredients that protect against pollution and UV damage.
Dry skin: Dr Jackson’s 01 Skin Day Cream
There’s something wonderfully substantial feeling about all the Dr Jackson’s products, and this potent day cream is no exception, which makes it perfect for skin that can handle a lot of extra moisture. Made entirely in the UK with natural plant extracts, it will both moisturise deeply and reduce irritation, thanks to key ingredient Kigelia. It also has an SPF factor of 20, so will substantially reduce irritation from sun damage.