Some guys have mentioned to me that it is not cool for a man to groom himself-- spending too much time in the bathroom was just not the “man thing” to do.
But what's interesting to me is that lately, I am approached by an increasing number of men who are more concerned than women about how they look. They try to cover it up by joking with me, saying things like, “What can you do for this face?” Clearly I know they are indirectly hinting to me that they desperately need help. And that's okay. In fact, I like that.
The beauty and skincare industry primarily markets towards the female consumer. However, over the last decade or so, companies are realizing men are growing just as concerned about skin and hygiene. And, more importantly, they will spend just as much money.
The only red flag I see is the lack of direction given to the male consumer. There is little education about what he should do to avoid razor bumps, the benefits of exfoliating or how to administer basic cleansing.
But taking an extra five or ten minutes to explain to men how to use skin products can change his life forever. Luckily, I'm here to make that happen.
Is there a difference between African-American/ethnic and Caucasian skin? Absolutely. First and foremost, the skin's texture varies, as well as sensitivity. Some people are able to withstand the sun rays while others have to run for the shade. For men, African-American facial hair is more coarse than that of a Caucasian. So the shaving and hair removal process has to be different.
Razor bumps can become a big issue for African-American men, and they have to do with several things: shaving too closely, shaving against the grain, and thick curly hair. Shaving too closely irritates the skin and using an aftershave with alcohol makes it even worse.
Something like a calendula toner is a great replacement for an aftershave. There is no alcohol content and it calms the skin. I'm not a huge fan of razors, so I always suggest to my male clients an electric shaver as an alternative. It's less irritating and there are fewer razor bumps. Exfoliating can ease this as well because you are sloughing away the thin layer of skin that grows over the hair follicle, which causes the hair to grow underneath. A basic cleanser and facial moisturizer wouldn't be a bad idea. And just like I tell my female clients, drink plenty of water.
The fellas got it really easy. Men don't age as fast as women do, and their skincare routine isn't as complicated. Skincare for men is very affordable and lasts longer because it isn't used as often. I am happy to see more guys take pride in their appearance and have a genuine interest as to what is available to them.
Sure, we women like brawny guys with five o'clock shadows. But at the same time, we like a man who takes time to keep his skin in order. If this trend continues to gain popularity, I may have to write a book on it.