Male Grooming is Total Nonsense




The difference between skincare products aimed at men and those aimed at women is, by and large, nothing more than marketing. Shaving lightly exfoliates skin and can cause irritation, so men who use a razor to de-beard might do well to stick with gentle products designed for sensitive skin, and a majority of men (for obvious reasons) won't need products designed to remove make-up. Additionally, men are slightly more likely to have oily skin (which ages more slowly than dry skin) and generally produce more collagen so might not reach for anti-ageing products as much as women, but that's highly variable.

Beyond those things, our skin doesn't differ much. 
Skin types and skin needs, whether you're a man or a woman, are individual things. It's frustrating that we can't just call a face cream a face cream without having to assign them to different genders, partly because it's so bloody tiring that we're still doing this with everything but also because it's rubbish that without venturing into higher end brands, men end up with a crap offering.

Male skincare often focuses on giving a "fresh" or squeaky-clean feeling, which really isn't good for your skin. Products that promise those things often contain horrible surfactants like sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate or a high concentration of alcohol. As a rule, if it burns, scrubs or leaves your face with no slip to it, then it's probably doing more harm than good. Skin is delicate and should be treated as such; attacking it with harsh products will cause flaking in those with dry skin, and will cause it to overcompensate by producing more oil in those with oily skin.



I've been trying out some budget men's moisturisers to find out which ones are worth buying and to prove to myself (and to the Internet, I guess) that the beneficial ingredients in them work just as well on feeble girl skin as they will on tough man skin.

Obviously these, just like any other skincare products, work equally well on skin no matter what's going on between your legs and I'd happily recommend them to women, but if you're a man (or buying for a man) who thinks his penis will fall off or whatever should he use a product without words like MAN and ENERGY and FUEL plastered all over the packaging in MANLY colours and MANLY fonts, these are good ones to try:



No7 Men Energising Moisturiser - £8.95
This one is energising because men must have energy on their faces, and it's for men with a "busy lifestyle". It's obviously not actually energising and there isn't enough vitamin C in there to do very much but it's a very nice moisturiser and it's under a tenner. It doesn't contain loads of alcohol, it has shea butter and glycerin to moisturise and hydrate and, crucially, it has a broad-spectrum SPF of 15. It's important to protect your skin from the sun all year round (this photo proves this), and I suppose men with a busy lifestyle don't have time to put on a separate sunscreen and moisturiser. It absorbs easily, it doesn't leave the slight white cast some SPF creams do, and it does a good job of keeping skin feeling comfortable all day. The packaging is black and orange, to signify energy and masculinity.






L'oreal Men Expert Vita Lift Daily Moisturiser - £13.59
This contains Active Defence System which hilariously promises to protect against "daily aggressions". From what I can gather, ADS™ is just a combination of well known, well researched, commonly used skincare ingredients (predictably, they're a bit cagey about specifically what this combination is, but the ingredients list all looks pretty good). Ridiculous marketing aside, though, this is a lovely day moisturiser. It leaves skin feeling properly hydrated without any greasiness and it actually seemed to slightly reduce the appearance of my pores. It contains a tiny amount of retinol, which helps speed up cell renewal and is the only anti-ageing ingredient known to genuinely work, but not enough of it to make much impact. It has lots of orange on the packaging because men's skincare must have orange, because energy.




Bulldog Sensitive Moisturiser - £6.35
The back of the tube bizarrely laments the fact that we still don't all have hover boards but offers solace in the form of a moisturiser. Bulldog is quite a nice brand once you get past them inferring that "natural" products are inherently better than anything else, and their emphasis on their man products being designed for men is a bit tiring. Ignoring the fact there were hundreds of organic moisturisers out there with very similar ingredients to this one before they decided there weren't enough natural skincare products for men, this is a really nice moisturiser. It's light, it doesn't contain any ingredients that are likely to irritate, and it smells pleasantly herbal. This one doesn't have orange on the packaging so I guess there's no energy in it.





Botanics Men's Face Wash -£3.99
and Botanics Men's Clay Mask - £6.99

Honourable mention to Botanics, because they're one of the only budget brands that don't try cringingly hard to use clichéd ideas of masculinity to sell their products. I couldn't find a single non-foaming, non-abrasive face wash in the men's section but having pored over the ingredients in what was available, this is probably the least aggressive cleanser you can find without going to the main skincare aisle. It's still a little harsher than anything I'd normally put on my face but it's a good happy-medium between gentle cleansers and soaps (and it smells lovely). 

The clay mask is, well, a clay mask. There aren't any special ingredients in there, but I consider that a good thing - I love a basic mask, and this is great if you have a spare five minutes and want a deep clean. Normal Botanics packaging is white, but Men's Botanics is black, because men have too much testosterone in their eyes to recognise light colours.
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18 comments:

  1. Isn't it crazy how if a product is marketed to a guy the prices seem to plummet??? Crazy and irritating. I just picked up Nivea Post Shave Balm after hearing Nikki from nikkitutorials swears by it... it's amazing. And like five bucks. xo

    Kelsey | www.abalancingpeach.com

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    1. I know, right? I feel like I could (and might well :p) write a whole other post on the "pink tax".
      I'll definitely look into that post shave balm too, thanks for the recommendation!
      xx

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  2. I love this post, I laughed so many times over 'orange energy'! However I am tempted to buy the vita lift now! haha xx

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    1. Thanks! And yeah, the Vita Lift is pretty good, especially for the price :) xx

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  3. This was such an easy read - I loved your humor about the MANLY colors and everything! I kind of want to try that No7 moisturizer as I have dry skin, and it has SPF which is so important for me! Nice post :) xx

    http://mybeautycloud.com/

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    1. Thank you!

      And yeah, it's worth a try, a nice basic SPF moisturiser :)

      xx

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  4. I think it's nonsense - it's all about branding to be honest, just like how Coke Zero and Diet Coke are essentially the same thing presented differently! xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty | High-End Palette Giveaway

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    1. Haha, yes exactly! Oh man, I remember when the Coke Zero adverts first came out, all that 'Lad' marketing... because god forbid a man says the word 'diet', right?!
      X

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  5. Interesting post, I enjoyed this! Xxx
    www.madeapromisetobehonest.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed :) xx

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  6. Brilliant post, you've hit the nail on the head here!! It's amazing what a bit of marketing can do. I'll have to remember to buy more orange products so that my face can have lots of manly energy!!

    Jess xo
    http://just-jesss.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Haha, yes - probably if us women didn't buy so many products with pink on them our faces would be super energised and then we could just skip concealer, take ten seconds to get ready in the morning and then go do a physically intense job, just like all the men do according to product packaging!

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  7. My boyfriend bought a toothpaste for men. A TOOTHPASTE. So they're a really easy target as far as those things go. As long as it says for men, it's good. Luckily, it was not more expensive than the regular one, so I just laughed it off :D

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    1. Hahaha! Oh, wow that's pushing it. Special toothpaste for MAN TEETH. I wonder what they tried to say was different? :'D xx

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  8. I think it just shows you how fragile masculinity actually is that men need to use men products because using something a woman uses means feminine and then it might mean they people will think they are gay.....its so fucking stupid to be honest why cant we as you said just call a face cream a face cream and be away with these stupid play on words like "Guyliner" or "Broliage"

    www.beautyandtheboy.com

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    1. Haha, oh god "guyliner"... *vom*
      This is actually what I like so much about your blog - none of that gendered nonsense :) x

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  9. Great post. I do think that started aiming at 'manly' products so as to get Men into using skincare..cos some still live in their 'caves' lol. Mind you, many guys like 'good' skincare products and in last several years they are more in on the act. My hubby uses my 'hand-him-downs' and is also partial to Elemis Pro-Collagen marine cream..he has good skin too ;)
    Heidi x

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  10. Well, I'll try to propose those products. I think that they might be better then those which he uses for now.

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