So now that you know what to do, there is still the small matter of navigating the innumerable men’s skincare products in an increasingly saturated market. Thankfully, I recently had the pleasure of testing a suite of products from two of the biggest players in the Men’s Skin Care market; L’oreal (Men Expert) and Kiel’s (Facial Fuel). So, to help you on your way, here are my thoughts.
Kiehl’s ultra versatile multi gel uses a combination of Bamboo, Lemon, and Orange Peel extract to deeply cleanse the skin and remove excess oil and dirt. Vitamin C and caffeine also help to reduce visible lines and puffiness, while Vitamin E helps to moisturise the skin. The gel foams well, and is particularly purifying when activated with water.
The coarse texture of this scrub works well to remove dead skin with light pressure. I have found this scrub to be particularly effective in preventing ingrown hairs when used 2-3 times per week. Apricot Kernel Oil is used to deliver an high level of Vitamin E, which helps to moisturise freshly-exfoliated skin, and caffeine reduces puffiness and leaves the skin feeling firm and polished.
This gel generates an excellent amount of lather given a small amount of gel. The lather is smooth on application and can easily be spread consistently without the use of a brush. The gel has little or no fragrance, which is excellent for sensitive skin, and the addition of Barbadenis leaf juice gives a very soothing finish to the gel which is evident both before and after shaving.
When used for shaving (rather than for cleansing as discussed earlier), Kiehl’s multi-gel should be applied to damp, but not wet skin. This will promote a rich and even lather which can easily be applied by hand. The addition of Panax Ginseng works well to reduce irritation after shaving and imparts a subtly fresh finish. Vitamins C & E also help to minimise moisture loss.
A rich source of Vitamin B and Amino Acids, Blue Algae, is used in this gel, and helps to enrich the skin and reduce visible lines. Naturally occurring moisturisers, Vitamin E and Squalene, reduce dryness and irritation, both corollaries of shaving. The gel is dispensed sparingly, which reduces wastage, and has a light finish which is absorbed quickly into the skin. Despite the apparent delicacy of this gel, it is sufficiently protective to allow the immediate application of cologne without any discomfort.
The Vita Lift 5 daily moisturiser cream uses “Pro-Retinol” technology (i.e. Vitamin A) to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Ethylhexyl methoxycinammate and drometrizole are common sunscreens, and will accordingly protect against sun damage which can accelerate ageing. An heavier cream than the Kiehl’s Transformer Gel, it is highly effective during winter months when the skin looses moisture more rapidly. It is also dispensed quite abundantly, and so half a pump of product is sufficient for one application.
L’Oreal’s Eye Roll-On works in two ways to reduce puffiness and the appearance of ageing. Firstly, the roller ball application effectively disburses fluid which has built up under the eye, and assists in an even application of the cream. Secondly, ingredients such as Vitamin C and Caffeine combats the development of dark circles around the eye, while Peppermint Leaf extract provides a cooling tonic which works against puffiness. This cream should be applied sparingly, as excessive amounts will lead to an overpowering, menthol like finish.
Unlike the L’Oreal roll on, Kiehl’s Eye Alert is an emollient cream which is applied by hand. This is best achieved by dotting the cream sparingly around the eye with the ring finger, as this will help to disperse fluid which has built up under the eye (bags), and also will not irritate or pull at the skin. A combination of Vitamin E and Caffeine awakens the skin beneath the eye and reduces the appearance of dark circles and lines. Cucumber extract also reduces puffiness and fluid retention, while providing a cooling finish to the cream which lingers for up to 30 minutes.
Images courtesy of L’Oreal Paris and Kiehl’s