One question that I get asked almost on a daily basis is about the ingredients in cosmetics. What should I look out for in a product that is going to be detrimental to my skin? Most of the time, people’s biggest concern is Alcohol and Skin Care Products, and maintaining healthy skin.
Alcohol – How To Interpret It:
However, it isn’t so easy to give a straightforward answer, simply because everyone’s skin type is different, and anyone who has ‘sensitive’ or ‘very sensitive’ skin need to be particularly careful with the cosmetics they apply to their skin, as alcohol is the number one irritant for sensitive skin.
That said, one thing I do advise everyone, is to look for and avoid anything that has ‘Alcohol’ high on the list of ingredients.
With so much misleading or incomplete information online, you can easily believe that not all alcohol-based cosmetics are harmful to your skin. Products loaded with alcohol (SD alcohol, denatured, ethanol, methanol or ethyl alcohol) are absorbed quickly into the skin and have a light, delicate feel to them, it’s easy to see why they appeal to manufacturers and the reason why they like to keep adding them to their products.
Despite this widely available information being misinterpreted, research is conclusive: No matter what skin care problems you have, alcohol as the main ingredient in a skin care product is a going to aggravate it.
Can Alcohol Ever Be Good For Your Skin?
So, it’s perfectly understandable that you may be thinking their has to be a good reason why so many skin care companies include alcohol in their products. Of course, a few reasons will appear, but their are only two explanations that hold any weight. As previously mentioned, alcohol can make a skin-care product feel almost weightless, creating a deceptively pleasing aesthetic.
The second reason being that your skin is their to protect your body from ‘foreign bodies’ entering it, and naturally, this will include any cosmetics we try to apply to our skin, these include the ‘good’ ingredients we like to ‘feed’ it.
Skin-protective substances (lipids, enzymes, and antioxidants) are keeping the beneficial ingredients in your cosmetics from getting into your body. Alcohol helps to get these ‘good’ ingredients like retinol, and vitamin C to be absorbed into the skin more effectively, but in doing so it damages the skin’s barrier, destroying the very substances that keep your skin healthy.
There are undoubtedly other, less harmful ways to get the right ingredients into the skin, and without damaging the surface.
If Alcohol Evaporates – How Damaging Can It Be?
Most people will know that alcohol evaporates quickly, so it seems logical to think that if it is not on the skin surface for very long, the damage will not be so severe. Unfortunately, that is only wishful thinking, alcohol immediately harms the skin and will continue to cause damage long after it has evaporated.
Once the alcohol has done damage to the skin’s barrier, your skin has been weakened, and it will never be as good at protecting itself from further damage.
The Good & Bad Types Of Alcohol:
There is a group of ‘fatty alcohols’ which are not harmful in any way to the skin. Unfortunately, these often get confused with the bad alcohols, such as Denatured alcohol, the fatty alcohols (the right type) include, among others, Cetyl, Stearyl, and Cetearyl Alcohol.
These fatty alcohols are used as emollients and thickeners in skin-care products. Fatty alcohols do not irritate your skin and can be beneficial to help relieve dry skin, they give a pleasant texture to creams/lotions and help keep components stable in products, in small amounts these won’t create problems to any skin type.
When we talk about the presence of ‘bad’ alcohol in cosmetics, we are referring to a drying type of alcohol, the names to look out for on the ingredient label are, SD Alcohol, Denatured Alcohol, Ethanol, Methanol or Ethyl Alcohol and less frequently used Isopropyl Alcohol. These are the volatile alcohols that give products a quick-drying finish and help creams to feel weightless on the skin surface, and they also help to de-grease skin. It is understandable they have some appeal to consumers, especially for those with oily skin.
When you see any of these types of alcohol listed in the first six ingredients on the packaging of any cosmetic product, without question they will aggravate and are bad for all skin types. The consequences of using any cosmetics with high alcohol contents are dryness to your skin, erosion of the surface of the skin; this affects how the skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. These bad types of Alcohol weaken everything about skin.
Alcohol’s Connection To Acne & Oily Skin:
Alcohol has two benefits that will undoubtedly appeal to people who suffer from acne and oily skin. Alcohol can kill acne-causing bacteria, and help reduce their breakouts, which is why people with acne favor alcohol-based anti-acne products. Alcohol also de-greases skin, and that instant relief from shiny skin is appealing to those with oily complexions.
However, research has shown that alcohol-based anti-acne products increase both irritation and dryness, thus making it difficult for those with acne to stick to their skincare routine. Research indicates that anti-acne products that contain milder alternatives to alcohol are better for the skin. The downside of using alcohol-based treatments is that the damage they cause leads to an increase of acne-causing bacteria, and makes inflammation of the affected area worse.
For those treating oily skin, alcohol can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, so the de-greasing effect is counteracted by oily skin producing more oil, it is a no win situation! You have to avoid products that have high Alcohol content.
Alcohol & Skin Cells:
While researching this subject, I was reading about an experiment where small amounts of alcohol were applied to skin cells in laboratory settings (about 3% alcohol, keep in mind skin-care products contain values ranging from 5% to 60% or more) over the course of two days it increased severe skin-cell damage by 26%. The alcohol also destroyed the substances in skin cells that help to reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals.
So, it leads back to the question, why are products that are alcohol-based still being produced? We know these cause damage to our skin, whether you see the damage straight away or 10 years from now. There is no reason to use alcohol in cosmetics given that their are more advanced alternatives currently available.
Isn’t it a good reason for cosmetic companies to now stop developing SD alcohol/ethanol-based products when it’s such an out-dated way to be making cosmetics.
So, what is the conclusion regards Alcohol and Skin Care Products? The research is clear: Alcohol harms your skin’s protective barrier, aggravates sensitive skin, triggers free-radical damage, makes oily skin and redness worse, and the most damning thing of all, it will rapidly age your skin.
It’s quite simple people, given the damaging effects of alcohol-based products, avoid them altogether when their are hundreds of skin-friendly alternatives available.
What are your concerns regarding Alcohol in Cosmetics? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.
Lab Series for Men is owned by the Estee Lauder Corporation, Lab Series Skincare for Men was previously known as Aramis Lab Series for Men. Estee Lauder has other brands that offer male-specific products, including Clinique Skin Supplies for Men and Aveda Men, but the Lab Series products are better by far. Generally perceived that men’s products fall far behind those of women’s products regarding good skin care, a few good products in a men’s line is most welcomed!
With regard to the ingredients in the Lab Series range, there isn’t anything in these formulas that you don’t find in products specifically for women. Regardless of gender, skin is skin; although hormonal elements do play an important part, for instance, male hormones make a man’s skin thicker and more oily than woman’s, whereas female hormones make a woman’s skin smoother and softer, and often with smaller pores than a man.
However, in regard to what either gender needs to maintain healthy, protected skin, there is little or no fundamental difference. When it comes to the numerous skin problems the human body can develop and need help with, such as acne, sun damage, free-radical damage, growing older, rosacea, psoriasis, and so on, there is little research to show that men require products that are markedly different to those that women need.
Lab Series Skincare for Men want to encourage guys to become more interested in keeping up their appearance using a sensible skin-care routine, with its masculine, no-nonsense packaging and plenty of products to give the Best Skin Care for Men – Maintaining Healthy Skin.
The Lab Series range offers good cleansers; some excellent moisturizers, including some with sunscreen; a good selection for the morning shaving ritual, such as an excellent shave cream and shave gel, and well-formulated post-shave lotion.
Good absorbent face masks and lip balm; many products are fragrance-free; with packaging that keeps light and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
LAB SERIES RAZOR BURN RELIEF ULTRA
Formulated for all skin types.
What It Does:
Lightweight soothing lotion that offers fast relief from razor burn, irritation, and redness. Immediately distributes moisture to affected areas, calming the skin and re-building the moisture barrier damaged by shaving.
Use post shave, apply a small amount with fingertips in circular motions around shaved areas.
Although most post-shave products contain at least one irritating ingredient, Razor Burn Relief Ultra gets it right! It is a lightweight lotion that contains several soothing, skin healing and cell-communicating ingredients that are perfect for shaved skin, all without fragrance. This product is capable of making just-shaved skin feel calm and comfortable and helps tremendously with post-shave irritation and redness, I would highly recommend.
LAB SERIES INVIGORATING FACE SCRUB
Formulated for normal or oily skin types.
What It Does:
This Thin-textured energizing gel scrub will give you smoother, clearer skin and helps provide a closer shave. Actively exfoliates to smooth skin’s texture unclogs pores of debris and sebum, preps the skin for a smoother shave. Energizing gel scrub removes dead skin cells, and stimulates blood flow to create a younger, healthier look.
Apply to wet face and neck 2 or 3 times per week with fingertips using a circular motion, then rinse.
I use it every few days for that deep down cleaning, especially when I have been doing something that has left me feeling sweaty or dirty.
Exfoliating is an important way to keep your skin smooth and radiant. It’s like giving your face or body a helping hand to clear away its dead skin, and this makes way for new cells to come through and provide the skin surface a fresh, radiant appearance.
Take care when exfoliating your face, mainly so if you decide to use a ‘scrub’ type exfoliator. Make sure you don’t scrub your face too often, and when you do, only ‘scrub’ your face very lightly. Rubbing too hard on your face and too frequently will cause more harm than good to your skin.
The scrub itself has a mild abrasiveness to it, but enough to remove any dead skin cells, making the skin smooth and making it easier to shave, you get a closer cut shave without any friction of the blade going across the surface, and avoiding any nicks or cuts. It is good to use if you haven’t shaved for a few days or have rough skin, it helps to soften the facial hairs. It does a wonderful job of exfoliating facial skin and is one of the best scrubs I’ve used.
If you use soaps and other lotions on your face, you probably aren’t aware of what gets left behind on your skin. You can’t expect moisturizers and creams to help your skin if it’s clogged up when you apply them. Get rid of the dead skin cells using exfoliators, and when you use Lab Series face creams you will be delighted with the results! I would recommend this product.
DAY RESCUE DEFENSE LOTION SPF-35
Formulated for all skin types.
What It Does:
Lightweight, invisible daily moisturizer with SPF-35 helps defend against high-impact elements of the environment – sun, climate, and pollution, that can lead to dehydrated skin and the look of stress and premature aging. It is Fast-absorbing, Non-acnegenic.
This Non-greasy formula absorbs quickly into your skin.
The Broad Spectrum SPF 35 filters UVA/UVB rays to prevent damage and protect skin from early signs of aging brought on by the sun.
HYDRA-ENDURE Technology joins barrier reinforcers and a blend of extracts from plants that are capable of enduring extreme weather conditions. Together, they help skin to absorb & retain hydration and defend against the damaging effects of infrared rays, pollutants, and other external aggressors.
Apply to clean face and neck daily – before going into the sun.
This is an excellent all-day moisturizer and sunscreen for normal to oily skin. The lightweight texture offers excellent skin protection for a fresher, healthier-looking complexion. The easily absorbed lotion will appeal to men who don’t like to feel a layer of product on their skin, but who need a moisturizer for dry areas and to rebuild moisture barrier to keep skin comfortable and balanced.
The SPF35 protects from harmful UVA/UVB rays and pollution, while antioxidants help to guard against the signs of aging.
This moisturizer and sunscreen is one of the best products from Lab Series and is far better than many other sunscreens available in men’s skin-care lines. One more positive, although this contains fragrance, the amount is low, and this doesn’t have a strong scent to it.
The one slight problem for me is the size of the tube. To use this as a moisturizer and sunscreen protector you have to be reasonably generous with the amount you apply for maximum protection, this means a 50ml tube won’t last very long, it needs to be a minimum 100ml size, and a little more cost effective would be appreciated! That said, this is an excellent product that I would highly recommend.
Have you tried Lab Series For Men? How did you find their products? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.
In general, men spend a lot less time and money on looking after their skin than women do.
Fellas, it is time to listen up; It is just as important for men to use good quality products and to follow a daily skin care routine.
When it comes to skin care, men like to keep it simple. However, men are now becoming more conscious of their appearance and want healthier, younger-looking skin, so guys it really is time to step up your skin care game.
Best Skin Care for Men:
To help men develop a suitable skin care routine, we will guide you through the steps you need to take and advise you how to get the best skin care for men, and maintaining healthy skin. At first, this may feel like it is going to take forever when incorporated into your daily routine, but after a few days and a little practice it will add very little time to your mornings and evenings, but the results will be more than worth the extra effort.
Although there are differences between men and women’s skin – for example, men’s skin is thicker than women’s.
Men also have a higher concentration of collagen in their body; a lack of collagen is a sign of aging, as women have lower collagen levels than men, women’s skin appearance is 15 years older than a man of the same age – even so, the essential elements to using an effective skin care plan remain the same.
Know Your Skin Type:
Firstly, it’s crucial that everyone and these include men, determines and understand their skin type fully. Once you have managed to figure out what skin type you have, then the rest of the process will be a little easier for you to find the products that suit your skin type best.
SENSITIVE SKIN – This means your skin may be irritated or red. Sensitive skin can sting or burn after products with specific ingredients are used, and you may feel that your skin feels worse instead of better after using skin care products.
NORMAL SKIN – The least problematic and you usually won’t have too many issues with products, the pores appear small, and your skin is clear and has a healthy glow to it, and not sensitive to products.
DRY SKIN – If you have dry skin it can feel itchy, flaky and has a rough, irregular texture to it, and it may feel tight. Dry skin can also look red, mainly if you use products that have ingredients that dehydrate skin and irritate it. Your pores are generally small, and you wouldn’t typically have problems with spots or blackheads.
OILY SKIN – Your skin will always appear shiny and greasy, you may have problems with blackheads and white pimples, and generally have spots and enlarged blocked pores. Your skin feels oily and looks greasy during the day, even if you are not sweating.
COMBINATION SKIN – This is the most common skin type. Your skin may have both oily and dry areas. The area that is known as the ‘T’ zone, this is across the forehead, down along the nose and the chin can be very oily. Your cheeks generally feel normal or may be slightly or very dry. The skin around your eyes is usually more dehydrated than the rest of your face.
Read product labels and ingredients!
When buying cosmetics, it is worth looking at the product labels and ingredients, this will help you to decide if there are any ingredients that are going to cause your skin to react when you apply them.
The skin care products you choose for your daily skincare routine will depend on your skin type. So, If you have Acne-prone skin, look for cleansers and moisturizers that say ‘oil-free’ or ‘non-comedogenic,’ as these won’t clog your pores.
If you have overly sensitive skin, use mild ‘fragrance-free’ and ‘alcohol’ free products, also avoid if they have Citrus in them, if you put anything on your face containing these ingredients they will leave your skin feeling irritated and dry.
Unfortunately, it is a fact when buying cosmetics you cannot always expect to find a suitable product for your skin straight away, what may sound perfect on the packaging, once applied may feel unsuitable on your skin. You will have to expect a little ‘trial and error’ until you find the most suitable cream or lotion for your skin type.
Wash Your Face:
Wash your face with a good cleanser.
So this is a no-brainer, but it seems that some guys are doing it all wrong or more realistically, just not doing it at all! Men will all to often take super hot showers and use harsh soaps or face scrubs, doing this will make your skin dry and irritated, and when your skin is dry it will appear wrinkly and much older, not what you’re looking for, right guys?
It is essential to use a gentle cleanser for daily use, one that will cleanse the skin, removing dirt and pollution that can accumulate throughout your busy working day, and will hydrate while it cleanses. Remember to wash your face both morning and evening, and after exercise.
Shaving and Razors:
Most men shave on average five times a week.
When you are buying a razor cartidge that has up to five blades – the obvious thought is, if the razor has more blades the better my shave will be. That may be so, but something you should consider with these types of blade heads is that if they shave too close, you are more likely to get razor burn and ingrown hairs, this is due to the extra blades pulling the hairs below the skin a little too deep.
Buy the blade head with one or two blades, and the shave you get is more than sufficient, and you are less likely to get that nasty looking rash on your neck. By choosing a razor that fits your skin and how sensitive it is, your face will thank you!
Your facial hair will be softer directly after showering or washing your face than at other times, and this will give you a much smoother shave and less skin irritation. It is advised not to use water that is very hot, as this can lead to facial redness and inflammation.
Using a mild moisturizing gel or foam is key to providing a barrier of protection while shaving, so don’t scrimp with it, put plenty on for that smooth shave you are seeking! Always shave with a clean, sharp razor blade. If you continue to use a blade more than five times, you can expect to have irritated skin and ‘razor burn’ which can be very painful and look nasty on your skin!
Don’t be in a rush when you shave, give it a little extra time and you will see the benefits afterward. Shave in short strokes, do not stretch your skin taut while shaving, follow the direction of the hair growth, remember to rinse your razor blade regularly during shaving to stop the blades getting clogged up, and thus giving the less than perfect shave that you are seeking.
After your shave, rinse with cool fresh water to soothe your skin, this will also help to prevent ingrown hairs.
Rinsing your face with cold water causes the blood vessels on the skin to contract, this helps to reduce swelling and any bleeding you may have from the small skin tears.
You should ‘pat’ dry your face with a clean towel, do not rub dry as your skin will be quite sensitive at this point.
So, after your shave those hair follicles are open – you should now apply a product that both hydrates and soothes the skin and helps to prevent irritation and red blotches, this will also help to calm the skin post-shave.
There are four main types of Aftershave:
Lotion – These tend to have a bit of an extra kick them. The scent can be strong enough to take the place of a cologne. Lotions/Creams work as a skin toner and help tighten up the pores when applied after shaving. These also work well for people who have oily skin.
Gels – There isn’t much difference between gels and creams, but gels do wonders for cooling down your skin and reduce the potential ‘burning’ feeling that shaving can cause. Skin absorbs the gel rather quickly, the downside to the skin absorbing gel so rapidly is your skin has less moisture in it and may have a tight, dry feeling after being applied.
Splash – Often alcohol-based, this type of aftershave can act as an antiseptic and works well for those who are prone to cuts and nicks when shaving, but it does tighten and dry out the skin.
Balm – A hydrating lotion with a mild scent that fades quickly after applying to your face. Most balms do not have any alcohol in the ingredients so are suitable for those with sensitive skin, and are great at reducing the effects of razor burn.
The routine, once I have finished shaving, is to apply ‘Soothe and Smooth by Paula’s Choice’ all over my face using a cotton pad. Once the ‘Soothe and Smooth’ is completely absorbed, I apply a generous amount of ‘Lab Series Razor Burn Relief Ultra’ all over the shaved area of my face. My face feels moisturized, calmed and soothed afterward, and this has also helped tremendously with post-shave irritation and redness. I do feel that ‘Paula’s Choice Soothe and Smooth’ is the foundation of my post shave routine and an excellent compliment with ‘Lab Series Razor Burn Relief Ultra,’ I highly recommended both products.
One of these options will be suitable for you depending on your skin type. For those who have sensitive skin, look for aftershaves that are free of parabens, and don’t contain any alcohol, fragrances or irritants like menthol and lemon oil, which could potentially cause breakouts and redness.
Face Moisturizer with SPF:
Men pay very little attention to moisturizing their facial skin, in fact, of all the things that men view as a ‘girly’ thing, it is probably moisturizing that comes out on top!
However, what turns the girls on more than anything is when faces touch, and it doesn’t feel like sandpaper rubbing against their face but nice, smooth soft skin, take note guys!
So, moisturizing your face morning and evening will help you achieve that soft, kissable skin.
Moisturizer works by retaining water in your skin, which can help reduce fine lines and give your skin a brighter, younger appearance. For the best results, you should apply moisturizer to your face and body immediately after bathing, showering or shaving.
When you apply your Daily Face Moisturiser in the morning, it must have SPF – Sun Protection Factor in it, preferably with SPF30+ (never leave home without applying sunscreen) this will give you both a daily sunscreen and an advanced facial treatment. With SPF you will get UVA and UVB, and a good quality product will provide protection plus the added bonus of antioxidants to help shield skin from premature aging due to the sun.
Men who don’t use sunscreen not only increase the risk of getting sun damage, your face will develop a red, almost ‘angry’ appearance, skin irritation, additional blood vessels may appear, all of this could increase the risk of skin cancer. We all want to stay forever young, or as close to it as possible, so apply sunscreen every single day.
With the advance in cosmetic products, you will hardly feel that you have anything on your skin when moisturizer is applied, and it won’t be visible, so don’t worry about your ‘manly’ appearance. Look for something that is a lightweight moisturizer as this is ideal for daily use, and it will visibly improve the appearance of your skin and provides lasting hydration, you can also look for a moisturizer that won’t make your skin appear too oily.
As you will be looking for Fragrance-free products not to irritate your skin, there is no feminine smell to worry about, so applying moisturizer won’t be considered ‘girly.’
After you evening shower and shave the last step of your daily skin care routine is to apply a ‘night moisturizer.’ The moisturizer you apply is different from the one you use in the morning as it doesn’t have the SPF in it.
Again you are looking for a fragrant free and non-greasy cream that provides fast, lasting hydration for your skin, it calms sensitive skin and helps reduce redness and irritation.
The benefits of a night moisturizer are that it will help to repair and replenish the skin’s natural protective barrier that is needed after all the exertions of a busy day; it should be applied to a clean face and neck about 20 minutes before going to bed to allow it to be absorbed.
Guys, another thing to do after your evening shower is to check your skin regularly. You need to be aware of any new spots or moles that start to itch, bleed or change color, as these are often early warning signs of skin cancer. Do not ignore early warning signs, If you notice anything suspicious, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Men over the age of 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, when caught in the early stages, skin cancer is highly treatable.
Exfoliate is a word that many guys would not have heard of, and it is entirely possible it is something they have never carried out as part of their skincare routine.
Exfoliating is an important way to keep your skin smooth and radiant. It’s like giving your face or body a helping hand to clear away its dead skin, and this makes way for younger cells to come through and give the skin surface a fresh, radiant appearance.
Exfoliating isn’t something that needs to be done daily, for most people 2 or 3 times a week is sufficient.
If at all possible try to Exfoliate in the morning: Your skin renews itself overnight, so exfoliate your skin in the morning to clear away any dead skin.
There are two ways to Exfoliate your face, one is to use a ‘chemical’ exfoliator, and the other is to use a ‘Scrub’ exfoliator.
This is a lightweight leave-on exfoliant, you use it post-shaving. Formulated with 2% BHA (salicylic acid), it is suitable for all skin types, and it quickly calms redness, helps to unclog pores and reduces raised bumps and ingrown hairs. It also removes dead skin cells, and this gives the skin a smoother and younger appearance. It is applied using a cotton pad and left to dry. Leave to dry before you apply your night moisturizer.
Take care when exfoliating your face, mainly so if you decide to use a ‘scrub’ type exfoliator, this differs from the ‘leave on’ chemical exfoliators. With the ‘Scrub’ type, you apply the lotion onto a wet face and ‘work’ it into the face in a circular motion. Make sure you don’t scrub your face too often, and when you do, only ‘scrub’ your face very lightly. Rubbing too hard on your face and too frequently will cause more harm than good to your skin. The exfoliating beads in your product are sufficient enough to get the job done without needing to get too vigorous! Pat dry your face and apply your night moisturizer.
So guys remember, be gentle and use a light touch to massage any skin products into your facial skin.
Maintaining Healthy Skin:
So, I hope we have guided you towards the Best Skin Care for Men.
The critical thing to remember is that it’s all about consistency. Every man’s skin will deteriorate with age, but you can help to slow down the process provided you get into a skincare routine.
If you start while you are in your mid twenties, and have a good skincare routine in place, you will notice the benefits later in life, and your skin will look much younger.
Regardless of your age, there isn’t a better time to start looking after your skin than right now.
So, there you have it guys, this is your essential guide to maintaining healthy skin. Follow this routine each day, and you and your partner will notice a significant improvement in your skin’s appearance.
Also, keep a lookout in our Products/Reviews, we will be having a look at some of the best products for men’s skincare.
So, guys, what Men Products do you use? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.