One of the things about being a male lifestyle blogger is that you get sent quite a lot of skin care products and a load of men end up wondering why you’re bothering. Growing up as I did in the 1970s when using deodorant was a bit girly you can start to see why the idea of skin care ranges seem a bit odd to the male of the species – we’re used to looking and feeling a bit rough.
This view always surprises me a bit, though. By all means we’re used to it but we’re also used to dragging naked razors over our skin on a daily basis. So I’m quite pleased with two of the products I’ve been sent; Seacret after-shave balm is soothing and odour-free and yes I think I look a bit less spotty for using it. ProActiv Solutions’ day treatment has a similar effect; Seacret seems to work better on my skin and you can make what you want of that.
Seacret also sent me some shampoo (which works well enough, pictured) ands mineral-rich peeling gel (it says here) to get rid of dead skin buildup on your face, which would also give you a shaving rash. It’s a brand I’ll be watching with interest – women still tend to be more interested in this stuff than men, which is odd as they tend not to shave their faces.
If you do have difficulty with your skin after shaving here are some basic tips:
1. Face should be clean – this doesn’t mean a quick rinse, it means a wash, preferably with a non-soap cleanser as soap can gunge up your pores. A scrub with bits in (or ‘scruffing lotion’ or whatever your supplier calls it) once a week will get some extra gunge out.
2. Hair should be softened – water is very good at this, I find a dab of shaving oil or my favourite Proraso shaving preparation helps too – this isn’t obligatory.
3. Decent shaving cream – ask a good barber. I use Coates and sometimes The Bluebeards. Apply with a brush as this will raise your facial hair and make it more accessible to the razor.
4. Decent razor with a sharp blade, washed frequently. OK, I’m fussy so I’ve gone for the Merkur Futur which isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste let alone budget (although replacement blades cost pennies so over a couple of years you do save money). Very gently, aim to reduce rather than eradicate hair – then repeat from step 3. Change the blade frequently.
5. Rinse excess soap off in cold water, this closes the pores up
6. Moisturiser or after shave balm like the Seacret stuff above or the many other products I’ve reviewed here from time to time. This helps your skin recover from the razor being dragged across it.
7. Scent if you like but top of the neck/chest (unless it’s very sunny, you can burn yourself) and maybe back of the neck. So many people put a scent on newly-shaved skin, it stings like hell and they wonder why they go red afterwards. Your face needs about five hours to recover completely before you start splashing smellies onto it.