Friday, November 17, 2006

Guest Column: Skin Advice For The Menfolk

My exquisite and darling people,I offer you a guest column authored by Plip Plop the Chevre from the great country of Canada. He writes to you, gentlemen, as a man who also has skin.

A Guest Column By Plip Plop The Chevre

Cleanse every morning and night. There are lots of products out there for men now. Check your local drug store. Creamy liquid cleansers work the best without drying your skin. I like L’Oreal Men Expert “anti-dullness face wash.” Soap is generally a bad idea, especially if you shower or wash with a deodorant or antibacterial soap. But even some of those “facial bars” will dry out your skin.

Tone every morning and night. This is not just for girls. You will need cotton balls or pads. I use Neutrogena alcohol-free toner. Anthony Logistics for Men also has an alcohol-free one. Only use the ones labelled “astringent” if you have acne or really oily skin. After washing, wipe your face down with this stuff and then moisturize. You may want to tone during the day especially if you have oily skin and begin to “shine” by mid-afternoon. If you wear a robe or vestments for worship, this may be especially true, and you’ll want to remove excess oil.

Moisturize twice a day. Try to find a moisturizer with SPF 15, sunscreen that will block out those harmful damaging rays. There are lots of good ones out there for men nowadays, so shop around. Some of my favourites are Biotherm Homme and L’Oreal Men Expert and The Body Shop (thankfully, none of the men’s products at the Body Shop smell like tropical fruit). Neutrogena and Nivea also have excellent men’s skin care products. What you need will depend on your skin type and age. If you have oily skin, you might want to moisturize only once a day, after showering. Figure out whether you have dry, normal, oily, or sensitive skin and look for skin care products accordingly.

I’m not convinced that those special eye-area ones are so special, but ask PeaceBang about that. They promise to reduce wrinkles and expression lines and puffiness, but do they really? I suggest one of those cool eye-masks you keep in your fridge and strap on to your face. Reduces puffiness and bloodshot eyes all at once.

Shave properly. Use a SHARP razor in the direction of your beard’s growth (NOT against the grain) after a warm shower. You want to avoid ingrown hairs and weird bumps. If you’re shaving without showering, dampen a washcloth with hot water and set that on your jowls for a few minutes. Shave after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing. If you are of African ancestry, you may be especially prone to bumps and ingrown hairs. Try to select products with an aloe vera base, which acts as a natural antibacterial.

Most shave gels and creams seem the same to me. The thick luscious ones do the same thing as the cheap ones from the drugstore, namely, lubricate your skin, though they are supposed to do that better. Again, lathering up with soap is a bad idea, so if you’re all environmental and use a bar and brush, try to use some of the creamier ones or The Body Shop’s excellent shaving cream you can use with a brush (L’Occitane has a creamier, more expensive one). These generally last longer than the canned ones you send to the landfill when you’re done, mostly because some of the product stays in the brush.

Don’t use alcohol-based aftershaves. They will dry out your face. I use Cade after shave balm from L’Occitane, especially during the winter months. This stuff is expensive, but worth it. They have a more scented one called, of all things, L’Occitan. These both have shea butter as a key ingredient. Another good one is L’Oreal Men Expert anti-dryness after shave balm.

If you insist on having facial hair, you must trim it AT LEAST once a week. Invest in a pair of clippers or a beard trimmer. Your moustaches must never grow over your upper lip. Your beard must never crawl up your face or down your neck like some grotesque David Cronenberg spider monster. This means using a razor above and below the beard. You must be vigilant about food never getting stuck in there.

Also, make sure your eyebrow hairs are tame and presentable. If you will not make friends with a pair of tweezers because you’re just too damn butch, then make sure that your barber trims your eyebrows as well as the hair around and in your ears. Don’t be embarrassed. Ask him to do it. It’s his job.

Exfoliate once a week. Exfoliation removes the layer of dead skin from the surface of your face. Some of those apricot-pit ones are like sandpaper and will leave your face raw. But most of the girly ones don’t even scrub enough to make a difference. I suggest L’Oreal Men Expert “power buff” (like “powder puff,” but masculine!) anti-roughness exfoliator. [Peacebang here: Be careful with exfoliants if you have ruddy skin! Yes, you should exfoliate, but scrubbing with a "butch" product is not necessarily the best idea for all male skins. Shop around carefully and keep receipts. You can return products if they're all wrong for you. Or visit a specialty store like the Body Shop and ask for advice].

For those blackheads embedded in the huge pores on the nose, PeaceBang suggested I use a clay mask and I must concur. I use Noxema Continuous Clean deep cleansing mask with bentonite clay. Look for any with a clay base. Anthony Logistics for Men has a “deep pore cleansing” one that’s pretty good.

Try to keep the sun off your face. If you are a white person and need to have that tanned look, get a tan that comes in a bottle. Neutrogena has some good ones for the face, in different shades. The Body Shop has one called “Fake It,” but make sure you get the one for the face, which is less oily than the body one.

Two final words of advice: make sure you are drinking enough water, eight to ten 12 oz glasses a day. This will help keep your skin clear. And if you are a smoker, quit smoking.

Labels: ,


Blogger boyinthebands said...

If he didn't have skin, I would be more worried.

10:59 AM  
Blogger BaptizedPagan said...

Just back from the AAR, where Peacebang's recommendation of the Origins No Puffery mask saved me a couple of times after nights that continued a little too long...

One other product for men with acne that has been a godsend, in addition to washing, toning, and moisturizing, has been applying a moisturizer with salicylic acid right in it. I use Kiehl's blue herbal moisturizer...expensive, but I haven't been able to find anything else. For those of you with dry or normal skin, it might be a little too much, but if you've been fighting off acne since the first days of puberty, it's a great product for daily use.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Peregrinato said...

I disagree with some of the shaving advice but I'm too tired to go into details right now :)

4:28 AM  
Blogger Rehabcourse said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home