Bloggers Boyfriend asked beauty and skincare guru and blogger Nilushi the most common men’s skin issues ever ever asked in the history, and here’s her answers and the real “new year new you” bullshit-proof solutions.
“If you should invest on anything, it should be on your skin first.” – Nilushi W
1 Does Charcoal really take off all the dirt and clogged pores?
Nilushi: Yes, it certainly does! Firstly, it’s important to understand the purpose of using charcoal to your skin. Activated charcoal (meaning it has oxygen added) has become a popular ingredient in face masks, extracting bacteria, toxins, chemicals and dirt to absorb its weight in impurities to the surface of the skin which are normally trapped inside your pores. This helps you to achieve a flawless complexion with brighter, purified and uncongested skin.
After using a product like Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque just remember after a deep cleanse that you will still need to restore and balance the PH and oils in your skin, regardless if it’s with charcoal or not. Aesop B & Tea Balancing Toner, Aesop Oil-Free Hydration Serum is perfect for restoring & rebalancing an oily / complicated skin type, and use this for a matt finish after all. Have tried the Biore charcoal cleanser, but we believe it is not suitable for a sensitive skin.
2 I feel my skin is so deeply cleaned just by using a $2 soap bar, so why do I need to spend $20-50 for a men’s cleanser?
Nilushi: It really comes down to finding the right product than going for what’s cheaper because if you should invest on anything, it should be on your skin. So while facial cleansers may generally be more expensive than soap bars, using a facial cleanser is healthier for your skin and provides better results.
Soap bars have higher Ph levels which will cause dryness to your skin, strip away all the necessary nutrient natural oils that your skin actually need for recovering and growing and you might also notice tightness to your skin. Experts have also questioned the harm and damage caused by the ingredients in face soaps. Facial cleansers on the other hand, are designed to accommodate different skin types, conditions and needs. Solutions: I’ve been using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, which by the way is for unisex use, is good for sensitive skin as this is a mild cleanser which gently cleanses my face without over-drying or stripping my skin’s natural oils. It’s always a good idea to use essential oils or repairing serums in the evening before moisturisers and bed, the repairing agents and essential oils can help to give your skin a signal: “hey we are taking care of this ( the health of your skin), you can stop releasing more oil here to help.” We recommend Kiehl’s signature product Midnight Recovery Concentrate 30ml. Always remember to use hydrating moisturisers after serum or concentrate if you have dry skin, as most of the serums don’t help stoping skin from dehydration during sleeping.
3 So I definitely should use everything “oil-free” as I got oily skin.
Nilushi: No, not exactly as your body naturally produces oil for your skin to stay in good condition, so it’s more about reducing your use of oil contained products as opposed to completely eliminating oil to get in contact with your skin. However, men do have more oils produced in the glands of their pores which are known as ‘sebaceous glands.’ After cleansing your face and before moisturising, simply use essential oils to rebalance and calm your skin before you head to bed. One of the best to use for oily skin is Neroli essential oil (produced from a bitter orange tree) to balance the oil produced and reduce the appearance of pores without drying your skin out. Solutions: The best way to ultimately reduce oily skin is to actually figure out what is causing you to have oily skin in the first place. Causes include but not limited to genetics, stress, medications, weather, hormones and tanning or it might just even be caused by the products you are currently using on your skin. Make sure you try this Aesop oil-free Hydration serum for restoring your facial oil balance without putting extra oil to your face, it is perfect for summer days, not recommended for dry skin .
4 Sometimes my work requires me to wear makeup. Am I just able to clean it off with a men’s facial cleanser?
Nilushi: Unfortunately, just using only a facial cleanser will not completely remove the makeup from your skin. You will need to use a makeup remover, oil or wipe to first get rid of that top layer of makeup but if you have run out of your makeup remover products, then use coconut oil with a cotton pad as an alternative.
If you are not using a wipe, then a cotton pad will allow you to remove makeup which won’t be picked up from washing with your cleanser and will also allow you to remove the make-up around sensitive areas like your eyes. All you have to do is to press the wipe or pad against your eye gently (make you don’t scrub it against your eye). After trying to remove as much makeup as possible, then you can use your cleanser to get rid of the rest of your makeup and carry on with the rest of your skincare routine with a toner and moisturiser.
5 If I just pick the cheapest razor and shaving cream from the supermarket will it do the same trick as other razors as it feels the same on my skin?
Nilushi: Different types of razors, product and shaving techniques do vary so, it really depends on what you want to get out of your shaving experience and the results you want to achieve. The cheap razors you find in the supermarkets are disposable, meaning as you continue to use the razor, the blade becomes blunter which could eventually cause skin irritation but the good news is that you can shave a lot closer to the skin as opposed to electric shavers which do, however, have a less chance of cutting and are timesavers. If you want to get the best shave, I suggest straight shaving which is getting more popular amongst men and something you can try with a trip to the barber. What you also really need to pay attention to is the type of blade you use.
However, if you don’t want to spend the cash to get a barber to shave your face then it’s important to know how to shave properly. Firstly, wash you face with warm water to clean and wet the face to soften the skin and to reduce cutting whilst shaving. Press a warm wetted cloth gently on your face to soften the hairs and open the pores. Using a shaving brush, lather a small amount of shaving cream with a little bit of water in a bowl to form the foam. Then apply an even amount the foam onto your face in a circular motion to lift up the hairs off your skin. Moisten the razor with warm water before you start and shave with the grain in the direction that your hair grows and after each stroke, clean the blade with water. Use an aftershave product like the Cade from L’Occitane after shave balm and Aesop shaving serum to soothe and hydrate your skin.
6 I am not yet in my 30s, but I am worried about skin aging, so do I need to just use the most expensive anti-aging product instead of normal skincare products?
Nilushi: You should look after your skin no matter how old you are as it will definitely affect the way your skin ages. If you are using the right skin products, it will eventually reduce anti-aging anyway.
Whether you use the most expensive anti-aging products or not, you need to consider these three main factors:, diet, exercise and lifestyle. It’s not a secret and in fact, it’s really the same thing you have heard a million times about how to ‘age gracefully’ but for some reason, people want to hear a magical solution in order to avoid wrinkle and fine lines. While some anti-aging products may create a better appearance to the skin, they don’t provide a long-term solution to anti-ageing.
7 Today I will just escape the sunscreen for one-day only, so I can get extra tanned on my interview tomorrow. Will it affect my skin if I don’t protect my skin for one day?
Nilushi: There are two main reasons why you must wear sunscreen every day- to avoid skin cancer and to reduce aging skin (which is what we just talked about previously) and even though it is just one day, you will still get sunburned! So apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you head outside and reply after 1-2 hours especially if you have gone swimming or exercised. Make sure you apply it everywhere- your face, neck, back, ears arms, legs and chest (FYI you can still get UV damage even when you’re wear clothing). If you do get sunburned I don’t recommend to do any type of deep cleaning! Instead, just gently wash and finish off with an alcohol-free toner with cucumber and a good amount of of aloe-vera. Why cucumber? Did you know that cucumber have lots of vitamins and minerals that you can’t find from most other vegetables and fruits?
In regards to getting a tan, you don’t have to head out into the sun nor do have to apply tanning spray as there are more creative ways to get a sun-kissed tan without damaging or risking the condition of your skin. If you want to achieve a tanned look then I would suggest using a bronzer on your T-zone, your jawline and down the neck for a natural tan to your face. (Especially if you want the tan for an interview- you want to look your best self, not like someone else!)
8 What should I do if I have important meetings and dates coming up and I don’t want to use makeup because my current skin condition is really bad?
Nilushi: If you are deciding how to look your best last minute, my one go-to answer is simple- water! Firstly apply cold water to your face to wake yourself up and avoid looking drowsy and tired. Second thing is to drink at least a bottle of water to hydrate your body and improve the appearance of your face.
Ultimately, a good skin appearance is like a healthy and fit body, it doesn’t just appear from an overnight workout. For healthy looking skin you need to have an everyday skincare routine- the key is consistency. There are make-up-alike products for men, such as tinted moisturisers and dramatic overnight mask you can try like Estee Lauder’s Idealist Even Skintone illuminator for a naturally glowing skin appearance and the illusion of smooth and soft textured skin.
9 How do I have an everyday skincare routine if I am always rushing in the morning and busy during the day?
Nilushi: Don’t worry, you are not alone. Many people feel like they don’t have the time to look after their skin or have an everyday routine but when you can, find those few minutes and make the most of it! For instance, if you get the chance to have a toilet break, I would suggest to head to a sink and wash away that stress and tiredness and to also give yourself a fresh and clean face. Keeping your moisturiser and facial wipes in your bag or in the car will help to keep your skin clean from dirt, sweat, and bacteria during the day. Even doing the small things matter!
There are also new technologies on the market which can also help you when you are on the go like an electronic-cleansing-brushes. I might even say that it can even be better than many cleansers themselves and can dramatically change your skin’s condition as quickly as within a week! For a gentle cleanse, using charcoal grey bristles to remove dirt and oil and helps the skin to look energized and perfect for sensitive or sun-damaged skin.
10I am staying over at my mates’ place tonight which means I can’t do anything about my face so can I press skip tonight?
Nilushi: I am glad you asked this question because there are actually everyday ingredients you can use to get the job done and can even be a more natural and cheaper alternative when you don’t have the time or money to invest into skincare products. If you want to cleanse your face you can use warm water which will open your pores and remove some of the impurities on your skin. Find simple kitchen ingredients like lime, aloe vera or baking soda to use as a cleanser and but you will obviously need to wash it off after applying it to your skin (for about 5-10 minutes) and to add moisture you can apply honey or coconut oil.
We hope this blog post will be useful to you and if you have any questions regarding men’s skincare routines, comment below.
Art Direction: Bloggers Boyfriend
Words: Nilushi Warusevitane