Wednesday 26 November 2014

Time to man up - cream of the crop for Father's Day

If he can't resist your expensive unguents, says Sarah Caden, here's the cream of the male crop, especially for Father's Day

Sarah Caden

Published 16/06/2014 | 02:30

Pictured, from left: Sisleyum for Men Global Revitalizer; SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel; Tom Ford For Men Skin Revitalising Concentrate; Kiehl's Ultimate Man Razor Bump Relief; Giorgio Armani Travel With Style gift set
Pictured, from left: Sisleyum for Men Global Revitalizer; SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel; Tom Ford For Men Skin Revitalising Concentrate; Kiehl's Ultimate Man Razor Bump Relief; Giorgio Armani Travel With Style gift set

In case anyone was in any doubt, men can be just as vain as women any day, and today, of all days, we should remember that. A big difference between female and male physical vanity, however, is that men are better at hiding it. In the context of what this page is about, by hiding, we mean using your face creams and cleansers without asking you.

And we mean surreptitiously using your very best creams and cleansers, and using great big, man-size fistfuls of them, to boot. So, this Father's Day, give the man in your life his own products – ones he will be proud to call his own, ones that are of a high enough standard to keep him away from yours.

A straw poll tells us that, on the whole, men aren't in love with moisturiser. The rich creaminess that most women regard as a touch of luxury, they regard as sticky and slightly unclean-feeling, which is why we're pointing you in the direction of three different serums today. Men like serums. They like that they feel light, they like that they sink in fast and they like the idea that they do the job fast. They're vain, you see, but they don't like to dwell on it.

BEST OVERALL

Sisleyum for Men Global Revitalizer, €132, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

This is also a post-shave healer. That makes it two products in one, which might help you with the price. Boasting 18 active ingredients, which include those that lightly exfoliate and soothe areas with ingrown hairs, this is a gel that sinks in fast to a matt texture, which promises to repair, protect and revitalise. "This is the best thing I've ever used," one male panellist enthused. "And other people have noticed."

BEST ASCORBIC ALLY

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel, €180, see www.skinceuticals.co.uk

You need to tell him that a teeny bit of this goes a long way. You need to tell him that, especially if he is in the habit of hoovering up your posh products. This is a once-a-year splash-out, and, anyway, they say it will take six months of use to see real results. The phloretin is an apple-tree derivative that provides UVA and UVB protection, while the other ingredients, including vitamin C, work on texture and radiance. "It smells like it means business," said one male panellist, "and, while my skin reacted to it at first, it then seemed smoother."

BEST POSH PAL

Tom Ford For Men Skin Revitalising Concentrate, €132, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

Men love Tom Ford and, though they might not want to achieve quite his level of polished perfection, they know that a hint of it wouldn't hurt. Packed with essential oils, female customers will recognise the essentially TF whiff of vanilla that underlies this serum, but there's also manly patchouli in there. "Even though it's oily, it sinks in straight away and feels very luxurious. I love the smell, too, unexpectedly," a male panellist said.

BEST SOOTHING SOULMATE

Kiehl's Ultimate Man Razor Bump Relief, €31, Kiehl's, 35 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts

It's the willow herb, apparently, that makes this light cream so soothing on areas aggravated by shaving. It also gently moisturises, but not so much that it feels greasy, as its key function is to calm and combat redness. "I like the apothecary vibe of the packaging and the plain, unscented product," a male panellist said. "It might just replace my Clinique Post-Shave Healer."

BEST TRAVELLING COMPANION

Giorgio Armani Travel With Style gift set, €69.50, exclusive to Debenhams stores nationwide

This kit is a way of giving your man a new scent – or, even better, one he likes already – with those bonuses that give him a boost. It's a full-size bottle of Armani Code, at full price, with a manly travel washbag and a handy 20ml bottle of the same scent. "I like travel sizes that go beyond the basics, but they're harder to come by for men than for women," a male panellist said.

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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