Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

Winter-ready skin: grooming advice by men for men

Hydration is ever more important for men with facial hair

Beard oil helps keep facial hair hydrated and healthy. Courtesy The Beard Gear Company
Beard oil helps keep facial hair hydrated and healthy. Courtesy The Beard Gear Company

If you told men a decade ago that they should supplement their skincare regimen with an essential oil, many would scoff at the fancy-sounding names and pretty little bottles most serums and oils are packaged in. The rise of Facebook, YouTube and Instagram initially saw a flurry of female beauty editors and Instagram models posting their go-to mud masks and sheet-mask-covered faces. Men, in comparison, steered clear – not just of social media, but also of products that went beyond their trusty, tried-and-tested basics. Come the cooler months, when skin often becomes dry and flaky, and women’s vanities would end up getting depleted. But another winter has come, and the beauty breeze that has been sweeping through the male grooming industry for some time now seems to have become a bona fide wind of cosmetic change.

A study released last month by Reportsvalue.com, titled Global Men’s Skincare Product Market Research Report 2019-2025, estimates that the industry will grow by at least $1.2 billion (Dh4.4bn) from now until 2023. Tellingly, most major skincare brands now offer specific products for men, which is necessary, says Jack Maclean, manager for Australian skincare brand Sukin, since men’s dermalogical concerns contrast greatly with women’s. With a thicker epidermis, larger pores and more active sebaceous glands, men have their own grooming and cosmetic needs. Higher levels of testosterone not only result in increased hair growth, but can also cause acne, while regular shaving makes the skin sensitive and prone to breakouts.

“[There was] a lack of awareness around the benefits of using skincare; however, there is a growing cultural shift, and more men are interacting with the category. Men have different morning routines compared to women – a focus needs to be applied to shaving as a part of a skincare regime,” says Maclean. His top tip is for men to apply rosehip before moisturising to boost hydration during the cooler months.

“Cooler weather generally means tighter pores and drier skin,” adds Ryan Saddik, regional manager of Foreo, a Swedish company that creates skincare devices. “So naturally, making sure you sleep with clean skin is essential to not waking up with a new focal point somewhere on your face, which will undoubtedly distract whoever you speak to in the day to come. Fortunately, more and more men are taking charge of their skin.”

Foreo’s Luna 2 for men has a silicone facial brush that removes dirt from pores
Foreo’s Luna 2 for men has a silicone facial brush that removes dirt from pores

Moisturising is key for men during these months to overcome dryness, while facial cleaners can help avoid blocked pores. Gadget-savvy dudes can invest in Foreo’s Luna 2 which, with its silicone facial brush, removes dirt from pores, preps skin for a comfortable shave and prevents razor burn in a bid to target “the challenges many men face, such as excess oil, shaving rashes and ingrown hair”, says Saddik, adding that face masks offer additional support and should be used two or three times a week.

Hydration is evermore important for men with facial hair, emphasises Thierry Bosnoyan, co-founder of Dubai brand The Beard Gear ­Company. “Both the skin and the hair must be moisturised, as the sebaceous glands of facial skin simply do not produce enough sebum oils to support a beard,” he explains. “Beard oil replaces that sebum oil functionality. So if you have a beard, you will need to keep it healthy, and beard oil is the way to do that.”

Just as there’s been an ­emphasis on natural ingredients, chemical-free formulas and animal-friendly products in women’s cosmetics, similar cases are being made in the realm of men’s skincare. Sukin, which launched its range three years ago, offers products infused with ingredients such as native Australian Tasmanian pepper, baobab extract, sesame and cinnamon. Natural oils are also the key ingredients for The Beard Gear Company’s products, which are formulated with 100 per cent natural sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and grapeseed oil.

Beard oil replaces that sebum oil functionality. So if you have a beard, you will need to keep it healthy, and beard oil is the way to do that.

Thierry Bosnoyan

Men also need to be made aware of their skin type, which may be dry, oily or combination. “Your skin is as unique as you are, and what works for some doesn’t work for others,” says Saddik, adding that effective and genuine product recommendations can only be made dependant on an individual’s skin type and concerns.

For men in the Middle East, facial hair is often a cultural factor, and the most common grooming concern among men in the region, claims Saddik, is maintaining clear skin after shaving, as well as a non-greasy and non-oily complexion.

“Middle Eastern men are ­meticulously well put together, and the missing ingredient before was better skincare,” he says. “Now many are moving away from their grooming salons and empowering themselves regularly at home, at the gym and even when travelling. Ultimately, taking charge of your skin is nothing to be shy about. It is a part of confidence which is at the core of Middle Eastern culture itself.”

Updated: December 21, 2019 04:16 PM

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