"You want me to use this on my face?" he asked. The truth is, ladies, the age of the metrosexual is irrelevant. Even real men use moisturiser.
The beauty spy: Even real men wear moisturiser
The fact that we have to live with the AC on 24 hours a day is clearly taking its toll on everyone's skin. Last week, for the first time in all the years I have known him, my husband asked me if I had some moisturiser he could use. "Of course," I replied calmly, but inside I was panicking. No, I wasn't worried he was about to morph into David Beckham, but I just didn't want to part with any of my expensive creams. Finally, I found an old jar of some supermarket stuff I had abandoned.
"You want me to use this on my face?" he asked. The truth is, ladies, the age of the metrosexual is irrelevant. Even real men use moisturiser - men who spent their formative years on a rugby pitch and whose idea of a beauty treatment is a haircut. And there is a whole industry out there, ready, willing and able to cater for them.
I am relieved to see that our men have not yet gone high maintenance. The best-selling male brands are Nivea, Gillette and L'Oréal.
Clarins has come up with a whole range, and I bet it's only a matter of time before my husband discovers it. As he shops for me at duty-free Clarins counters around the world, it will be a case of "one for her, two for me". Clarins Men Active Hand Care is extremely popular. It is especially formulated for men "who don't like the feeling of cream on their hands after applying it". Er, call me old-fashioned, but the point of applying something is to feel it, surely?
So what other products do these modern, enlightened men use? Well, they love a good face wash, such as the Nivea For Men Deep Cleaning Face Wash or the L'Oréal Men Expert Pure & Matte Deep Exfoliating Gel Wash. Both are affordable enough to nip out and buy for Father's Day. Men are also, like us, discovering products with a built-in SPF such as the Gillette Series Moisturiser SPF 15.I have put my husband on to one of my all-time favourite beauty products, the Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25. I remember when I first suggested he use it about five years ago (to protect his skin from ageing naturally; who wants a prematurely old hubbie?) he looked at me as if I had told him to support Liverpool (hideous thought). Now, of course, he can't keep his hands off it, and I have to buy it in bulk.
And if I can add one beauty product I wish men would buy? A nose and ear hair trimmer. Random, sprouting hair is not a good look on anyone, least of all a fully moisturised man.
3 of the best
KIEHL'S FACIAL FUEL ENERGIZING SCRUB, DH90 Slough way dead skin cells with this creamy formula packed with apricot particles, zesty lemon and orange peels plus caffeine for an extra boost. A refreshed and energised appearance guaranteed.
MOLTEN BROWN POWER-BOOST ZINC ANTI-FATIGUE HYDRATOR DH192 Japanese sake extract and zinc are the vital ingredients in this moisturiser, which restores cell vigour and boosts vitality. Your skin is immediately softer to the touch, and with its quick sink-in formula, there's no waiting before getting dressed.
NEAL'S YARD REMEDIES MEN CLOSE SHAVE CREAM DH99 This shaving cream combines red clay for cleansing, apple for pore tightening and olive oil for moisturising. Great for a smooth complexion.
ORIENTAL LOUNGE FRAGRANCE
Breathe deeply and fall in love, as we have, with this new unisex fragrance by The Different Company. Your man will like its fresh notes of spice, bergamot, soft pepper and tonka bean. And you'll enjoy the lingering base notes of caloupile, red rose and amber. True to its name, it's a unique fragrance that will make a great Father's Day gift or a much-loved purchase for your own dressing table.
Dh715, Bloomingdale's, Dubai Mall, 04 350 5333; Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates, 04 409 8888