With no reason to leave the house, skincare has probably taken a second, even third, place priority. Turns out it’s not just our hairdressers we’re missing under lockdowns. It’s also our other regular grooming rituals including the odd visit to the facialist for an hour or two of mug repair.
If you’re not treating yourself to an occasional (read: regular) visit to an esthetician, you’re doing your skin a serious disservice. A shave and a visit to the barber is only part of the package. An important one, but only part.
Read on for part two in our series of How To Come Out of Lockdown Looking Better Than When You Went In.
Brands have finally cottoned on that men are just as concerned about their skin and appearance as women are. No matter how hard they try and pretend they’re not. The cat’s out of the bag lads, just go with it.
Chanel is one such major brand leading the charge here. Earlier this year they released two of the best skincare products for men on the market as part of their Boy de Chanel line – an anti-shine toner and a gel moisturiser.
Distinct from say the more familiar Bleu de Chanel grooming range for shaving, the Boy de Chanel line is specific to skincare, designed to be used in tandem with their concealer and foundation for men. We particularly love the anti-shine toning lotion for its multi-purpose benefits. Regular use – a simple splash into your palms and then pressing them gently into your face and beard area – will keep your oily zones under control but most importantly helps repair and heal the skin from regular shaving.
“Back in 2019, 69 per cent of all Australian men use at last one male grooming product in the bathroom and we only expect that to continue to grow,” says men’s shaving and grooming giant Gillette.
When even stalwart man-brands like Gillette are releasing skincare products that happily sit in the same price bracket as luxury department store ones. They’ve also tapped into hunger for Korean skincare, incorporating breakthrough technology and ingredients into the new men’s range.
“The new SKIN by Gillette range aims to make skincare accessible and affordable for men, distilling the skincare process into three key steps: cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising,” adds Gillette.
But the paint, they say, is only as good as the artist. You can invest in all the creams you like, but actually taking care of your skin as a routine rather than afterthought will make all the difference. Especially when it comes to shaving.
“Preparing skin before shaving is such an important thing,” says Yuki Kano, Master Barber at The Barberhood.
Kano recommends investing time both pre- and post-shave to ensure your skin bounces back healthier. You’re literally scraping off layers with a knife, after all.
For starters, use a gentle face wash that doesn’t strip your natural oils. The term squeaky clean is actually a red flag – if your skin is squeaking, it’s not healthy. Biossance
Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser from Sephora does the job while hydrating and softening your whiskers at the same time.
“Massage your skin with pre-shaving cream such as Proraso’s Eucalyptus Pre Shave Cream. After your shaving, use an Alum block. It will prevent the irritation from shaving and also it is a coagulant to take care of razor related injuries.”
For an all-in-one treatment, Santa Maria Novella’s Before and After Shave Cream is a triple threat – put it on several minutes prior to shaving to soften your stubble and make it easier to shave, then use it as your shaving cream. You can then use a little more as an extra potent moisturiser.
After shaving, use a SKIN by Gillete facemask to soothe any potential shaving rash. The top half also doubles as oil control and will help balance the skin prior to moisturising.
Follow this up immediately with a moisturiser – like the aforementioned Boy de Chanel gel moisturiser, an ideal lightweight texture so it won’t feel too heavy during summer.
If you have a beard, Kano recommends the odd shampoo and conditioner will help it keep its shine and prevent your skin underneath from drying out or too much oil build up. “But use a special beard shampoo and conditioner. As beard shampoo is very gentle on skin so it will prevent dry skin or irritation.”
Like we said however, shaving is just part of the package.
In 2021 no man’s bathroom cabinet should consist of only a few disposable razors, a tube of toothpaste that’s squeezed in the middle and a can of deodorant. And if you’re reading this, that’s probably not you. But do you have any decent peptides? Retinols? Black diamond? Then read on.
Stress, poor diet, lack of fresh air and sun, alcohol, lack of sleep and lack of exercise – basically your life in lockdown – all contribute to the state of your skin. Some of these are easily addressed – you can swap out that martini every night for one every third night or cut the UberEats down to twice a week and go vegetarian more often. But the rest are a bit harder.
To help get through the next however long it will be until we have our lives back on track, we’ve selected a few treatments that will give you the same benefits.
The long game treatment
Sisley’s new Sisleÿ L’Intégral Anti- âge La Cure is a breakthrough in at-home treatments. A four week, four step process that re energises the skin before detoxifying, optimising and finally fortifying. It’s a genie in four bottles. Price: $1450. Available from Sisley Paris and David Jones.
The daily up-keeper
Aesop’s new Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Intense Serum is the daily antidote to stressed skin. It’s incredibly lightweight so sits underneath your daily moisturiser easily and is full of antioxidants that help soothe and protect the skin. Price: $100 from Aesop.
The deep clean
The luck of the Irish to ye with this Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask by Peter Thomas Roth. Made with a blend of 9000 year-old Moor mud harvested by hand in the Irish countryside, seaweed, volcanic ash and activated charcoal, it’s full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Slap it on once a week to gently draws out impurities without leaving skin feeling stripped or dry. Price: $85 from MR PORTER.
La Prairie is known for its revolutionary skincare and their new
will turn your evening routine into a self-care ritual. Designed as a month-long intensive treatment to be used intermittently four times a year, the Protocol works by literally reanimating skin cells. The premium way to pamper at home. Price: $2915, available from La Prairie.
The DIY peel
Shed unwanted layers in luxury with 111Skin’s Celestial Black Diamond Multi-Acid Accelerated Peel. Rose quartz helps exfoliate, while AHA fruit acids, proteins and B5 resurface and smooth the skin while diamond powder aids deeper penetration into the skin. If you’re feeling truly indulgent, complete the process with 111Skin’s Celestial Black Diamond Creme to help stimulate collagen and elastin. $497 and $1192 respectively, from Mecca.