Beauty & Health, First Blush

Introduce Your Pop to Some Product

By Kim Putens

Father’s Day is around the corner.  Instead of the same tired “ole tie”, why not treat him to some products he’ll use every day.  While many of us associate “products” with beauty and women, it’s a fact that many men use “products” too.  Let’s face it, they need to wash their hair, shave, and take care of their skin, just like women.  So, what do you get a man?  Here are some tips on products men like to use and what to look for.

To start, let’s consider the face.  Most men need to shave every day, unless they are choosing to grow out their beard.  When choosing shaving products, there are a few things to consider.  Most shaving products come in 3 different forms – shave oil, shaving cream or shaving gel.  Shave oils are great for smoothing out a rough beard to give a very close shave.  Shaving creams are great for all skin types, except those with the oiliest of skin who aren’t keen about putting a cream on their face.  The upside to a shave cream is that it’s easy to see where you are shaving.  The downside is it can clog the razor.  Shave gels offer the closest shave, don’t dry out the skin, and are great for sensitive skin types. Mint or menthol added to shaving products helps to ensure a close shave and help prevent ingrown hairs.

Like women, men need to care for their skin if they want to prolong or limit the signs of aging.  Many wonder why men’s products are created separately from women’s products.  First, and most obvious, is that men like products without fragrance and that don’t appear to be fluffy.  A main reason for male specific products is that most men have oily skin.  This is further complicated by the hair follicles on their face that make for a unique situation.  When choosing skin care products for men, it’s best to look for products formulated specifically for them.  There has been an explosion of men’s skincare lines in recent years that make for an abundant of choices.

In caring for the skin, the first place to start is with a good cleanser.  It’s best to look for cleansers with salicylic acid to keep pores clean (because men tend to have more active pores that are ripe for bacteria to develop in) or ones that are non-oily, like foaming cleansers.   For a moisturizer, try oil-free moisturizers with sunscreen.  Sunscreen is very important because of how damaging the sun is to the skin.  And, the oil-free formula is non-greasy and won’t further clog pores.  An eye cream is very important too.  Even my husband, who looks 10 years younger than his true age, is showing signs of crowfeet.   The eyes are always the first place to show signs of aging – even on men!  Keep in mind that not every man fits into the oily skin category.  Products have been created for drier skin types too.

As for the hair – unless your man is “follicly challenged” – he needs something to clean his hair.   For many men, the feeling of very clean hair is of utmost importance.   Simple, everyday shampoos are perfect.  Since most men don’t ‘color’ their hair like women, gentle, color safe shampoos are not a concern or necessary.  If you have a guy that likes to use a lot of styling gels or waxes in their hair, it might be best to look for a clarifying shampoo to help break down the buildup that hair gels and waxes tend to leave behind.  Conditioners are not usually a concern for men, but there are the rare occasions that they do need them.  Again, conditioners created for men tend to be on the lighter side and simply act as a light conditioner to easily detangle the hair.

I’ve only touched on the bare bones of good products for men.  Even if you think your man would NEVER touch a skin care product or consider a different shaving product, don’t underestimate the power of suggestion.  My husband was the least likely candidate for any of these products.  But, as soon as I exposed him to some good and simple skin care products and different shaving products, he was hooked.  Now, he has become the epitome of a product junkie.

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