Your day begins with a close shave but afterwards it looks like you’ve shaved an inch off your life.

By Edward Chamberlain-Bell

A boy can get confused between all the cleansing, toning, moisturising he has to get through before finding time to exfoliate, shave and hydrate. If you have the time to get into a professional salon that’s great; if not, that’s still no excuse to make the most of your self. Here’s how to get it all done within a microwave minute with enough time to find the right guy.

It’s best not to go overboard before a big event as your skin needs time to absorb the benefits of any procedure- and the best results are usually only visible the following day. So, set time aside to get it done in advance, like the night before.

Begin with cleansing to remove the daily grime from your skin. Sweat and sebum coupled with environmental pollution are responsible for breakouts and premature aging. Massage can be incorporated into your cleansing routine because it stimulates circulation while distributing product more efficiently. Rinse with clean water.

Scrub away dead skin with a gentle exfoliator(some cleansers double as cleansers & exfoliators). Nothing brightens a dull complexion faster than an exfoliator and it allows subsequent products to penetrate deeper beneath the skin’s surface. Go gently with exfoliators- you only want to polish away dead skin, not draw blood. Rinse with cold water and tone.

Masks (or Masques) can be individualised according to your skin type. Dry and dehydrated skins will benefit most from a hydrating mask to top up moisture levels while oily skins will prefer a deep-cleansing mud mask that absorbs excess oil. Sensitive skins need gentler ingredients to soothe and prevent redness but if you have combination skin you could apply two separate masks that treat the specific areas. If you feel like going all the way you could apply a cleansing mask first, then follow with a hydrating or moisturizing mask.

Most importantly, it’s not always what you put on your skin that matters but rather how you put it on. Instead of rushing through all the steps, take your time to massage all products gently and thoroughly. A tip from salons- it’s not necessarily their products that enhance a facial but the time they spend massaging their products into your skin. You may even use the time to read a book, watch television or do the dishes!

Some masks may be left on overnight, while others need to be rinsed off. Consult your therapist, sales consultant or read the instructions first. Always apply a moisturiser after removing a mask to seal the benefits into your skin.

Your day begins with a close shave but afterwards it looks like you’ve shaved an inch off your life.

Cosmetic houses market their skin care ranges for men around his shaving routine. Their products are convenient, masculine and are becoming the ultimate anti-aging weapon that all men should incorporate into their grooming routine.

Shaving after a shower is ideal, as the warmth & moisture from the steam will help soften your stubble for a comfortable shave, but hot water can also strip away the skin’s protective oils, which exacerbates dryness, tightness, redness & irritation and consequently kick-starts excessive sebum production so keep the temperature comfortably warm rather than scalding.

Cleansing needs to remove the gunk that causes breakouts without stripping the skin of its essential oils and should leave your skin feeling refreshed rather than ravaged. It might seem quicker & cheaper to get the job done with soap and compensate with a decent moisturiser afterwards but it is better to strike a balance by investing in a decent cleanser that gets the job done without disrupting ‘oil-control’. Invest in the right one because decent cleansers aren’t as cheap but they don’t have to be expensive either. Choose one that suits your skin and your budget.

Lubrication and a sharp blade go a long way towards a smooth shave. It should feel as though your blade is gliding through your stubble rather than ripping each follicle from its shaft. It also helps if you can see where you’re going, so a translucent shaving product that lubricates without obscuring your view is ideal. Shaving oils or silicone lubricants are also helpful, either on their own or in conjunction with another cream or gel. Single blades are best for sensitive skin while multiple blades offer the closest shave.

Shaving debris is both nutritious and delicious, for bacteria, so a post shave cleanse is essential

Toners are optional nowadays, especially if you’re using a cleansing gel or facial wash, but still worth using as they bridge the gap between cleansing and moisturizing. They offer pH balancing, anti-bacterial and firming benefits, but if you’re skeptical you could begin using an inexpensive version to assess both the physiological and psychological benefits. Alcohol free toners are the best way regardless of your skin type.

Moisturizing is not the important aspect of skin care- it’s actually just one of the steps. You shouldn’t feel as though you have moisturise but rather that you want to apply moisturise. Your moisturiser is simply going to seal those benefits together with a protective layer that hydrates, soothes and protects. It shouldn’t feel like an excessive layer smothering post-shave stress- which is just nasty!

Sun block is vital but its application depends upon your circumstances. Applied over your moisturiser is ideal but if you look glossier than a cover girl then switch to a moisturiser with a built in SPF. If your business is mostly outdoors you will want to bump that SPF proportionately higher.

The appearance and condition of your skin can change on a daily basis according to the weather, your lifestyle and even your frame of mind.

Think of what your skin looks like after a relaxing weekend, late night or three hours in bumper to bumper traffic: what looked good in the morning can look slightly worse for wear by the end of the day. It makes sense to have a collection of low maintenance, high performance products that can keep up with your lifestyle. Here’s a selection of tried and tested all time favourite skin care ranges for your consideration:

Aramis Lab Series for Men: probably the first skin care range to make male grooming both socially acceptable and pleasurable. The products are updated for the 21st century, centred on shaving and are targeted to address the specific problems men encounter with their skin. You will also like Clinique Skin Supplies for Men

ClarinsMen: the relative newcomer to the market that incorporated the best of everything botanical into contemporary packaging, backed it up with sound research and consumer friendly education. You’ll love it if you prefer plant-based products or looking to butch up your existing Clarins range.

Environ: the local miracle that not only dispels the myth that price equals performance but has attracted international applause too. It’s packed with massive doses if vitamin A and other powerful antioxidants to remove all signs of damage & neglect. It’s your first consideration before seeking medical intervention.

Estee Lauder: lavish and indulgent but worth every cent when you expect results from a skin care regime that becomes an all encompassing experience that includes sight, touch and fragrance. Beautifully packaged and textured- and most importantly delivers results. Don’t be shy about Chanel, Dior, Dior and all those names, names, names!

Kanebo: luxurious minimalism for anyone who believes that meditation can be bottled. The double cleansing routine is followed by double moisturisation that defies belief. This product deserves the luxury of time to be appreciated but the results are immediate.

MAC: the no nonsense, performance orientated range that’s both progressive and innovative without being fussy: unless you want it to be. It looks good in your bathroom cabinet and makes you look good too. If you’re a boy that needs a little discreet maquillage they can help too.

The Body Shop: environmentally inclined, relatively affordable and delivers results as promised. Who knew that buying a simple facial scrub could empower third world communities and make you look good while doing good deeds!

QMS Medicosmetics: an innovative skincare range that delivers on its name- and even more importantly on its promises to reverse the signs of aging, but if it is not within your budget, consider treating yourself to their collagen facials at a reputable spa to literally reverse the effects of gravity!

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