Thursday, April 19, 2012

Men and Skin Care Products--Do Men REALLY Need Their Own Stuff?

I don't think my husband minds me saying that he doesn't care much about skin care products and regimens.  He rinses his face with water during his shower and shaves every now and then, and he is good to go.  And he has clear and basically flawless skin.  I am a bit jealous of this fact. I wonder why I have to struggle to keep my face clear of blemishes and shine-free, while he doesn't have a routine and his skin is great.  I am the esthectician in the family, and still I struggle. Yes, it has alot to do with genes/ hormones.  On my mother's side of the family, most have clear and youthful looking skin.  On my dad's it's a mixed bag, but I think I inherited the oily, acne prone skin from him.

Not all men are as lucky as my man is, but whether they have stellar skin or less-than-perfect skin, many men prefer their own products to place on their side of the bathroom sink.  They prefer the more woodsy fragrance which permeates many skin  and hair care products marketed to men.  And of course, there is the shaving lubricant.  Back in the day, my dad and grandfather used Barbisol or Colgate shaving cream out of the can.  I liked to watch the foamy "clouds" puff up as they were released from the can, and wished that I could eat them.  Nowadays, however, there are so many options available to help ease the shaving process, be they creams, gels, lotions, or foams.

Some men prefer their own body wash.  Instead of the entire family using the same bottle of Dove, they prefer using their own products with a distinct "manly" scent.  And now, there are shampoos and conditioners marketed for men.  I guess to help them feel more like a "stud" when they are in the check out line at Wal Mart.  A friend I know even resorted to "re-labeling" her bottle of Pantene to "Mantene" with a sharpie, just so her hubby would tolerate it.

Let's look at one of the most popular higher end facial care lines devoted to men--Clinique Skin Supplies For Men.  Clinique Skin Supplies for Men goes WAY beyond the garden variety men's cleanser and after shave, including products such as Age Defense Eye Cream.  All of the products are usually highly rated on skin care sites, yet Clinque's main line (women's) scores much lower.  Why is this?  Does Clinique add better ingredients to the men's line?  No, that's not it.  In fact, many of the ingredients are the same in both the main line and the men's line. The reason is because in general, male skin is thicker and slightly oiler than females', due to hormonal differences.  So most men can handle a stronger astringent with some SD-alcohol in it, and it usually benefits from the drying, mattifying ingredients that Clinique is famous for.  IMHO, the main Clinique skin care line is just too drying for anybody (male or female) who doesn't have oily or combination-oily skin types. ESPECIALLY the toners!  But since many men are thicker skinned and oily, these products work fairly well for them.  And the Skin Supplies for Men bottles are a dark steel grey, and the products smell way less girlie.

As far as I am concerned, men and women can use the same basic skin care.  It is more about the marketing, the packaging, and the scent.  If a women is using Olay Regenerist (which I like as a drug store line), her man might balk at the notion of having to share.  It's a pride thing.  But really men and women have the same basic skin care needs (with the exception of major makeup wearers like the Diva):

Cleansing/Removal of Dirt and Environmental Toxins (yes, this can be done with a clean washcloth and plain water on normal skin.)

Moisturizing-  For a lot of men, using a lubricating lotion shave aid like Alba Botanica, serves to prep the hair for a closer shave as well as leave a moisture barrier on the skin after a light rinse.

Sun Protection- Yes, men of color should be using this too.  The sun's rays age skin rapidly and can lead to skin cancer.   Neutrogena has some very nice products that everyone in the family should use.

So, basically, men do not have to use products specifically "made" for men.  Just as women don't need to use products called "Bliss" or  "Jurlique".  As long as the basic needs are being met, it doesn't really matter what color of the jar is or which font or writing style is on the label!

So what about problems with razor bumps and burn?  Well, next time we will look at products and tips that will help men deal with shaving and how to deal with folliculitis, ect.  Hope you'll stay tuned!!!

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