Real Men Moisturise
Guys, as a gender, we are hopeless when it comes to taking care of our largest organ. No, get your mind out of your pants; I'm talking about your skin.
I see guys come into my body waxing clinics every day, and in the colder months, I see your bodies changing.
So with winter approaching, here in Australia at least, I'm trying to get the message out there once again.
If you're overseas, keep reading anyway. Your winters are a lot worse than ours, and yours is not too far away. Forget all that summery stuff. It's time to freeze. Winter – right now – is the time of year that your skin needs your attention the most.
In one word, here's the big scoop – Moisturise.
→ Your clothes won't feel as itchy, especially thick or woolly jumpers.
→ Moisturising makes you warmer. It provides a barrier between you and the cold.
→ Regular moisturising will prevent wrinkles forming until later in life.
→ Regular moisturising will prevent uneven pigment marks until later in life.
→ If you get waxed, moisturising makes it far, far, far less painful.
→ With healthy skin, you'll look younger and you'll get laid more.
Am I trying to sell you a product? No. I run hair removal clinics, not beauty salons. I don't sell any skin care products at all. In fact, 90% of the stuff you read in beauty magazines is complete rubbish, which is why I have no time for the industry that I work in.
The truth, from an insider with nothing to gain, is that you don't need fancy products or this or that 'magic' lotion. You just need to get down to your local pharmacy or supermarket.
Personally, I get all my skin care stuff from Chemist Warehouse. It's generic stuff – You can buy it anywhere, and you can cover the basics for about $40 to get you right though winter.
One final thing that I'll say before we launch forth, is don't ask your wife or girlfriend's advice on the subject. They don't know what they're talking about.
Women's skin is made of silk and honey and soft fluffy kittens. Men's skin is made of second-hand conveyor belt rubber and old bits of wire. Also, for women, skin care is an emotional thing.
They either stick to certain brands because their grandmother used them, or they jump on every new bandwagon in the vain hope of retaining their beauty forever.
Skin care really is a mug's game, and it's why beauty salons can get away with charging such tragically high prices to their victims.
So no, don't listen to your partner – Listen to me. I'm a guy, you're a guy – We're on the same wavelength.
What sort of moisturisers should I buy?
To cover the basics, you will need a body moisturiser and a face moisturiser. The skin and face are two different types of skin. You can't use a body moisturiser on your face because it will clog up your pores and you'll get acne. Your face needs a specific type of moisturiser with smaller molecules to be properly absorbed.
There are a few others, depending how far you want to go, and I'll cover those a bit later.
I'm getting on in years, so I've tried a lot. The perennial favourite for many people is Vaseline Intensive Care.
It feels nice and it's cheap, but personally … no, I don't recommend it. I used it for a year or so, but an hour after applying it, you need to do it again.
Getting guys to moisturise once a day is a feat, so getting us to re-apply is just too high maintenance. It's also false economy and we've got better things to spend our money on like pizza and new car seat covers.
Instead, grab a product called Dermaveen Body Lotion. A little amount goes a very long way. It's about $25 for a 1 litre pump pack and it will last you all winter.
After your shower it takes all of two minutes to moisturise your whole body, and your skin will still feel great twelve hours later.
While I'm jabbering on about the Dermaveen brand – admittedly I'm a fan - If you want to do your skin an extra big favour, you can also buy the Dermaveen Shower & Bath Oil.
It's around the same price and you use it instead of soap. Being pH neutral, it won't strip your skin dry like soap does. You will get out of the shower with your skin already feeling moisturised instead of rough and scaly.
Is it a substitute for the Body Lotion? No. It's an add-on. Think of it as a booster – a big booster, like strapping on a turbo.
Right, this is where I'll fail you a bit, because I own a Hyperbaric Oxygen machine that keeps my face looking glamorous, and you don't. And if you're a guy, it's unlikely you're going to pop into my salon and pay $150 for the privilege. Your girlfriend might, but you won't.
Instead, when it comes to facial moisturiser, just get a brand that is light and leaves your face feeling fresh. Some of the generic after shave moisturisers are really quite good.
What to avoid: Don't touch any moisturiser product that promises to 'get deep into the skin' or has 'anti-aging' properties. These statements are COMPLETE BOLLOCKS.
Yes, it warranted capital letters. They might as well just stick a label on the package that says 'Hello Sucker.'
First, there are only three ways to get nutrients deep into the skin – via the nutrients in the food that you eat, or by injection, or by infusion with hyperbaric oxygen.
There is no way that you can push nutrients deep into your skin by just rubbing on a lotion with your hand. Our bodies are waterproof, thus lotion-proof. If it were really that simple, this magical flow of nutrients would travel both ways, meaning our bodies would also leak nutrients when we rub them. They don't leak, so these claims are total rubbish.
Second, the truth about off-the-shelf products that claim to contain supposedly wonderful ingredients like Retinol and so forth, is that the dosage is way too low to actually have any great impact. And wow, they are so expensive!
Legally, off-the-shelf products are limited to how strong they can be. The ingredient, Retinol, for example, can have huge health implications in higher doses, so manufacturers are limited by law to extremely low dosage in their over-the-counter creams. The ONLY way that you can get a high-dosage product that will actually have a true long-lasting anti-aging effect is to get it prescribed by a dermatologist.
So yes guys, just stick with your everyday aftershave moisturiser. Ten bucks from Woolworths.
A final note about Face Moisturisers, is don't apply it around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is even finer than the face, and requires a different moisturiser altogether.
When shopping for an Eye Moisturiser, just grab a mid-priced one. T en to fifteen bucks. You should only need to apply a very small amount, about the size of two match heads.
Again, avoid all the anti-aging hype mentioned above. The packaging of eye moisturisers is where you will really see all that nonsense in full swing.
Hand & Feet Moisturiser
Really, you can use body moisturiser for hands and feet. Yes they are slightly different skin to that of the general body, and hand moisturisers do feel nice – even just a $2 cheapie – but it's not essential.
The main thing I want to mention in this section is a product that is, well … absolutely bloody amazing for people who get cracked or dry feet. Eulactol Heel Balm.
It's about ten bucks a tube and is a thick cream that feels like coating your feet in car body filler, but damn – a few days and you'll have feet as smooth as a baby's bum.
Its active ingredient is urea – plain old urea – and for the life of me, I don't understand why every skin care product on the market doesn't contain it. Maybe it's just too easy to obtain and no one can make a zillion dollars from it.
So that's it. Don't use anything else on your feet. Eulactol Heel Balm. End of story.
Other tips to keep your looking younger
→ Drink water, lots of it.
→ Exfoliate in the shower once a week. Just a cheap pair of $2 mitts from Big W. They last for months.
→ Eat green leafy vegetables; broccoli, cabbage, spinach leaves.
→ Take a good men's vitamin supplement. Personally, I use Swisse.
→ Take a good fibre supplement like Metamucil, or you can also buy psyllium husk from most health food shops. Unless your diet is perfect, you need fibre supplements. Fibre keeps everything moving through your body and stops toxins building up that can cause premature skin aging, as well as putting unnecessary strain on other organs. Fibre, guys - It's not just for old people.
→ Take fish oil tablets. They contain omega oils, the effectiveness of which is enhanced by healthy skin. A cheap one is fine. They're all much the same.
→ Drink water. Not a misprint. It's worth listing twice.
→ Do some exercise.
So that's it guys. My skin survival tips for winter. Follow them and you'll come into summer looking a lot better than you do right now.
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to call or use the handy online form on the contacts page.
In the Knowledge Base, you can find more articles that delve into the human condition.
Have a brilliant day.