Face of Change: Why Men are Switching to Natural Skin Care
Jul 01, 2008 03:00AM
● By Anna Soref
Traditionally, we think of a man’s toiletry products as a bar of soap, shaving cream and shampoo. But that’s changing.
Today, more men, especially younger men, are receiving skin care treatments at spas and physician offices. Yet, spa visits aside, what should the average man’s skin care routine consist of?
“Men should cleanse their faces twice daily, use toner after washing, and then apply moisturizer,” says a clinical esthetician with Kaiser Permanente. “Using a toner after washing closes the pores and prevents pimples.” A weekly facial mask is always a plus.
Of course, men need to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays, which can damage the epidermis and cause premature aging. “Men’s facial skin includes hair follicles that absorb more ultraviolet rays, adding to the importance of sunblock,” advises David Tippie, president of the Anti-Aging Clinic in Florida. So, men should look for a daily moisturizer with sunscreen or apply a sunscreen after moisturizing.
“Men will find the best results when they use a system of men’s products designed to complement one another,” counsels Karyn Trumbach, of Aubrey Organics. For example, Aubrey’s Men’s Stock three-step shave system begins with a scrub to lift beard hair and remove dead skin, which helps provide a closer shave and prevents ingrown hairs. This is followed by a shave cream that contains avocado and wheat germ oils to prevent nicks. Then, an aftershave balm with flaxseed lignan extract, to balance oil production and reduce bumps and pimples.
“It’s also important that the scent be something both men and women like,” says Tara Estabrook of Natural Europe Enterprises, which represents several lines of men’s personal care products at NaturalEurope.com. Most natural products contain essential oils and botanicals for scent, and, “Men usually like spicy,” notes Estabrook.
For those who prefer traditional barbershop-style products but want fewer chemicals, Lucky Tiger now offers a line of organic, all-natural products sporting an old-fashioned barbershop-style label at LuckyTiger.net. Company officials note that their body scrub for men contains higher amounts of exfoliants loofah and apricot seed, because men have thicker skin than women and can handle more abrasion.
While many companies add anti-aging ingredients, such as antioxidants and fatty acids, they’re careful not to make the moisturizers too heavy. “Men tend to have oilier skin than women, so they like light-bodied lotions and aftershaves; they don’t want to feel something on their skin,” says Estabrook.
With conventional shaving products, which often contain harsh ingredients such as laurel sulfates, alcohol and artificial fragrances, many men find that their skin feels uncomfortable after shaving. “Most men get burned with all the alcohol in mass market products, which can really irritate skin,” comments Stacey Stilts, an educational director with Jason Natural Cosmetics (see Jason-Natural.com). She suggests looking for products that soothe skin.
Given the array of effective and healthy men’s skin care products now on the market, there’s no reason for a male not to treat himself to a complete skin care regimen. Remarks Stilts, “Men, just like women, like to have glowing faces.”