Long gone are the days when a man's skincare regime consisted of a cheap razor and a bar of equally cheap soap. The modern man is far more skincare-conscious, willing to invest in keeping his skin looking clear and youthful, without running the risk of bearing the metrosexual tag. In fact, such is the demand among men that all the leading brands including Clarins, Clinique, Tom Ford and Kiehl's have brought out skincare ranges designed specifically for men.
According to Kristina Luykx, Senior Kiehl's Customer Representative Ireland, "men's lives today are filled with various challenges and time constraints, which can take a toll on a man's skin. In addition to these external stressors, a man's skin is faced with its own inherent challenges."
While stealing your girlfriend or mother's skincare products won't cause any harm, it often won't have the desired effect, because men and women's skin are so different and thus have different needs. To be more specific, Kristina says that men's skin is thicker, with 25pc more collagen, so a moisturiser that can penetrate their skin effectively is needed. This thickness also impacts the way a man's skin ages -more slowly at first, but displaying deeper and more pronounced wrinkles later. Also, men's skin can be oilier and tends to sweat more, which tends to require a more powerful cleanser. Furthermore, men's skin can be subject to more damage - both from daily shaving and from exposure to UV and environmental pollutants.
The eye area is another concern, and an often overlooked aspect of skincare among both sexes. Men need help as much as women do in combatting puffiness and darkness around the area. If you've run out, this is one product that you can steal from the lady in your life and still reap the benefits. David Beckham (pictured), who has never made any secret of the fact that he invests the time in good skincare, is said to love La Prairie's eye cream, which you won't be surprised to hear, doesn't come cheap.
We've asked Kristina from Kiehl's to give us her top skincare tips for busy men.
To keep skin clear and smooth, avoid products containing known irritants such as alcohol or ones that are overly fragranced.
● Don't use cheap razors.
● Wear an SPF, or at least a moisturiser that contains sun protection.
● Don't be afraid to ask a skincare expert to advise what your skincare type is, only then will you be able to ascertain the products you really should be using.
● Drink plenty of water.
● In order to ensure that you will commit fully to a skincare regime, don't fill the cabinet full of products. Keep it small and keep it simple.
1. Wash your face in the morning and evening with a cleanser specific to men, and one specific to your type of skin. Make sure the water isn't too hot, as this can leave the skin looking red and inflamed.
2. The best time to shave is after your shower or after you've cleansed your face as the hairs tend to be softer. Shave using a good quality razor and shaving cream in the direction of the hair growth.
3. Exfoliate once a week to remove dead skin cells and to allow your moisturiser to penetrate properly. Make sure the exfoliant isn't too rough or harsh on the skin.
4. If you suffer with sensitive skin, apply a good post-shaving balm, otherwise go straight to your chosen moisturiser. Again, opt for one that is specific to your skin concerns, and preferably one with a good broad spectrum SPF in it.
5. Gently pat a good-quality eye cream around the eye area to avoid dark circles and puffiness. You need to commit to this every day in order to see results.
6. At night, after you've cleansed, apply a product like Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate or a good night cream to rejuvenate, hydrate the skin and ensure age prevention.
7. Apply a lip balm once a day to ensure lips are properly conditioned.
Shaving Gel, €18.50, L'Occitane, available in their boutiques nationwide
Allows for a clean, precise shave whilst leaving the skin feeling soft. Also, the powerful ingredient of organic cedrat extract leaves skin looking and feeling energised.
Facial Fuel Energising Moisturiser SPF15, €35, Kiehl's, available in their stores on Wicklow St; Dundrum Town Centre and Arnotts department store
The biggest seller in their men's range, this has everything a man needs for hydration and protection.
Facial Fuel Eye Alert, €26, Kiehl's, available in their stores on Wicklow St, Dundrum Town Centre and Arnotts department store
Has an instantly cooling and hydrating effect that will mask the signs of fatigue. With regular use, it will strengthen the skin around the eye.
Sensitive Cooling Post-Shave Balm, €6.09, Nivea, available in grocery stores and pharmacies nationwide
A great product for men who suffer from sensitive skin, and who find that after shaving their face is left raw and irritated. Fear not, this will soothe and calm.
Scruffing Lotion 3.5, €23, Clinique, available in selected department stores nationwide
A gentle exfoliating lotion for men who suffer with very oily skin, and skin prone to breakouts. With repeated use, this will significantly clear up the problem.