Let’s be clear about one thing: embracing one’s metro-sexuality certainly doesn’t mean spa get-aways with your mates and having your facialist’s number on speed-dial (unless you want it to, obviously). However men’s grooming has evolved to unashamed skincare: boldly buying products for yourself (and actually using them) rather than having the missus do it for you. Here’s our fuss-free guy’s guide to the basics:
1. Swap soap for cleanser (oh and you’ll need a separate cleanser for face and body)
Bottom line is that regular soap can irritate, strip and dry out your skin. And while you may think you need an industrial-strength soapy cleanser after your gym workout, think again. ‘Men don’t have more sweat glands than women,’ says skincare therapist and owner of Smoothe Beauty Bar, Cathy Gee. As Gee explains, it’s thanks to the male testosterone hormone that your skin will be oilier and may have the appearance of larger pores. So what to use instead of your soap bar?
Try: Nivea For Men Cool Kick Shower Gel 2 in 1 Body & Hair 250ml, R25 (use this for your body) and Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel 250ml, R370 (use this for your face and share it with your lady – it’s totally gender neutral).
2. Know the difference between gel and wax
Have you been rocking that wet-look gel hair-do since the late 90s? Well, it’s fine if you like a set hairstyle that won’t move all day, but hairstylist and co-owner of Tanaz Hair Body and Nails Shelene Shaer recommends wax if you want a drier, more pliable style to work with. ‘Dispense about a one rand coin’s worth of product, work it into your hair and only add more if you need to,’ recommends Shaer. And if your hair is thinning and you’re unsure about what styling aid will look best, Shaer suggests you chat to your stylist (she also recommends you keep your hair short so that it looks well groomed). And here’s Shaer’s best tip for guys who like a wet-look coiff but like the versatility of wax: mix them up! ‘Combine a small blob of each in your hands to create your own custom styling aid,’ she suggests.
Try: L’Oréal Paris Studio Control Mess it Up Putty, R65
3. Use your OWN moisturiser
Sure, men and women can share products, but there ain’t a shortage of good, basic skincare creams which have been specially formulated for guy’s skin. As Gee reports, here are two feel-good facts about your face: one, a man’s skin is governed by testosterone, is oilier and therefore ages better. And two, a man’s skin is more resilient as it’s not affected by oestrogen. The point we’re trying to make here is that men and women’s skin is essentially different. So it doesn’t make sense to use her daily moisturiser when there’s something better suited to you. Start with a basic moisturiser for hydration and protection and slather on a high-factor sunscreen (SPF30 if you’re dark skinned, SPF50 if you’re light skinned) afterwards – and do this year-round.
Try: Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion SPF20, R95 (at Clicks stores).