These days, guys just don’t let other guys with hairy backs go unnoticed. “There used to be a stigma attached to male skin care where if you were polishing or grooming, other guys would laugh at you,” says Douglas Janczyn, skin therapist at
Manscape Spa—one of Canada’s only skin care institutes just for guys—in Victoria, B.C. “Now it’s going in the opposite way.”
Whether it’s the sudden self-awareness of unkempt facial hair or the not-so-subtle hints from their girlfriends, guys are finally stepping it up. “Men want to become more informed but there’s also a changing tide in the fashion community where
male grooming is becoming a lot more prominent.” We chatted with Janczyn to glean the top skin care tips and practices that every guy must know.
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There are so many reasons why your girlfriend’s jar of Crème de la Mer is positively off limits. “She’s going to be very cranky because she spent a lot of money on that, so she’s not going to want you to use it,” Janczyn offers. “Secondly, its not suited for [the boyfriend’s] skin.” And while there’s no difference in the genetic make up of male and female skin, guys’ skin is thicker and equally susceptible to the same issues caused by hormonal shifts (say, acne) as women. So guys require their own targeted homecare products.
“We pride ourselves more on education than anything else,” he says. “If the guy’s informed, then he’s more inclined to use the homecare products that we recommend, as well as come back for further treatment.” He recommends that guys
receive a facial every two-to-three months as the seasons change, unless there’s an underlying skin condition.
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For more expert ELLE Man skin care tips, read on to the next page…
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To do: invest in a pH-balanced face cleanser. “I’m personally a big fan of cleansing milks, although it’s hard to try to get guys on to them,” Janczyn says. “They are very gentle, and male skin is brutalized on a daily basis.” He also suggests trying a foam cleanser, whatever the guy is most comfortable using.
As for exfoliating, this one may be best left to the pros. “Guys tend to have the mentality of ‘It’s not working that’s why I’m scrubbing my face off,’ so they are way too aggressive on the skin,” he says. He prefers that guys use enzymatic masks twice weekly at home, as they can apply and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash off without risking further damage to the skin.
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Since proper skin care demands a year-round commitment, you’ll need products tailored to both winter and summer climates. “Where we live here [in British Columbia], it’s humid in the winter so it’s not too much of a challenge, but if you’re living in Toronto or Calgary, it will be totally different.” And with the exposure to sun and wind during summer months, skin is sapped of all moisture.
“We want to see guys use more skin care creams in the evening before going to bed to rehydrate the skin, and drink lots of water,” he says. “That will really help to prevent any fine lines or wrinkles around the eyes. That’s where guys see signs of aging first.” As always, sunscreen is an absolute must. “I personally recommend anything with an SPF 30 or higher.” For an invisible look, opt for a tinted moisturizer.
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ELLE Man skin care guide: Rethink your shave
Most common skin care mistake among dudes? “Shaving!” says Janczyn, only half-kidding. “Guys learn how to shave from their dads—and they don’t shave properly in most cases— and so they just aggressively damage skin.” The first thing he counsels guys on in his treatment room is how to select the proper shaving cream—or gel, lotion, or oil— for their skin type, and to use it properly. “Seeing a professional like myself is the first step to correcting the problem because we’ll be able to recommend the exact solution that’s going to work best for his skin.” This goes for a man beard as well.
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