You’ve probably heard from the women in your life about the importance of skincare, but those assertions are not for nothing — skin damage and premature aging are very real consequences of not following a skincare regimen. However, if that still doesn’t convince you to start a skincare routine, Kristopher Armitage, manager at Kent of Inglewood, puts it this way: “It’s about the way you present yourself to the world,” he says. “People take pride in the clothes they wear and the car they drive, but you only get one face — you need to put a little more time and attention into it.
“It’s about giving yourself permission to take care of yourself,” he adds. “It’s just a part of looking after yourself. A lot of men either don’t know what they’re doing or don’t know what they should be doing, so they just don’t…It’s time we take care of ourselves.”
OK, you’re convinced — now what?
The biggest difference between facial skincare routines for women and men is that the men’s routine involves shaving or maintaining a beard. As such the steps will differ accordingly. Hyaluronic acid and squalane are also beneficial ingredients for men.
1) Shower before you shave. If you don’t have time to shower, then use a hot towel, says Armitage.
2) Using a hydrating facial cleanser will help add moisture to the skin during those cold winter months. Armitage recommends the Schaf Facial Cleanser ($35), as it’s formulated with ultra-hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe and coconut oil.
3) Once a week, Armitage uses the Schaf Purifying Scrub ($40) for a deep cleanse and scrub after playing hockey. The lava particles help polish away dead skin cells, dirt and debris, explains Armitage.
4) Prep your facial hair with a preshave product like the Castle Forbes Preshave ($75), which will hydrate and protect the skin for a smoother and closer shave.
5) Use a badger brush to apply your lather — the Midnight & Two Shaving Soap ($33.95) is Calgary-made with natural ingredients like kokum butter and illipe butter that will ensure a thick and luxurious lather, while the palm oil provides moisture to dry skin. The badger brush will help the hair stand up, while exfoliating the dead skin off your face.
6) Next, comes the shave. “Using one blade over multiple blades is better for your skin,” says Armitage. “You can tailor your shave by choosing a blade that is appropriate for your hair and skin type.” Kent of Inglewood carries both straight and safety razors.
7) After the shave, apply an aftershave, which will clean and soothe irritated skin after shaving. “You’ve just irritated your face by dragging a knife across it, essentially, so using an aftershave product with witch hazel or alcohol will close up your pores,” he says. A traditional alcohol-based splash like the D.R. Harris Windsor Aftershave ($65) will work, but it can be drying due to its alcohol content. Instead, opt for an aftershave that is alcohol-free for the winter such as the Castle Forbes Alcohol Free Aftershave Balm ($75).
8) Don’t forget the moisturizer. Apply the Schaf Moisturizer ($50) daily (morning and night) all over your face. This product, formulated with hyaluronic acid, peptides and shea butter, will help increase elasticity (good for fighting premature aging) and moisture in the skin.
This skincare system might look daunting with its eight steps, but Armitage promises it will only take a few extra minutes. “[Men] think the traditional wet shave is going to take so much longer, but what they don’t realize is spending those few extra minutes to do a proper routine — and it really is going to take a couple extra minutes — is going to prevent so much hassle down the line and make you feel better,” he says. “Instead of taking the three minutes to shave with your two-track and your can of whatever it is — that comes from the grocery store that you spray in your hand and is going to dry out your skin and it’s going to lead to breakouts — if you take the extra couple minutes to build a lather and have a nice shave and treat it after, then you will just get a better result in the end.”