Protect Your Skin Outdoors – Tips from an Expert

It is estimated that 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012.

We can help reduce our risk of this by taking care of our skin properly and wearing sunscreen.

As the warmer and longer, sunnier days are here we have to be extra mindful of taking care of our skin. Yes, that means everyone!  No matter your ethnicity or skin type, there is an option for effective sun protection available on the market.  And given the rates of skin cancer in this country, why not take the extra 10 seconds in your grooming routine to protect your largest organ…your skin!

Florida based dermatologist Dr. Richard Kirkpatrick believes that men involved in outdoor sports are at a particularly strong risk. While I’m not particularly sporty myself, research has found that men often don’t consider the need to wear protection from the sun, especially when being active and doing things like running, swimming, mountain climbing, etc.  This is a trend that desperately needs to change.

In recent research, scientists found that men who engage in outdoor sports are often motivated by hoping to improve overall health and wellness and are often pretty adept at avoiding injury. But, Dr. Kirkpatrick says that when it comes to skin men just don’t consider the risks. He states, “It’s ironic that as dedicated as male sports enthusiasts are to taking precautions to reduce sports risk, protecting exposed skin is overlooked by so many.”

He recommends that anyone spending time outdoors wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 for 80 minutes of outdoor activity and then reapply. If you’re an active guy Bullfrog presents some good options of sunscreens that will work for you.

Check out the infographic below for more information and stats on skin care and sun protection. And make a pledge to wear sunscreen daily starting on May 1st as it’s the start of Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

Click image to enlarge.

Product Review: Old Spice Hydro Wash

Disclosure: This content was sponsored by Old Spice, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know I have had a long love affair with Old Spice products. Old Spice is a brand, for me, that very much symbolizes my own journey from boyhood to manhood. I remember that my first experiences with Old Spice were when I first started wearing deodorant. I remember picking up a tube in the grocery store. I remember the fresh, masculine scent and it’s always something that will be a very strong memory for me.

With that, I’m happy to be sharing with you my latest review featuring some of Old Spice’s newest offerings: Hydro Wash!

Hydro Wash is the newest addition to the brand’s Hardest Working Collection, which is the highest performing anti-perspirant and body wash line-up.  If you’re a sweater, like me, this is probably right up your alley.

Here are some key points about Old Spice’s new Hydro Wash:

  • Hydro Wash offers superior hydration with over 20% hydro-moisturizing complex.
  • It features Old Spice’s proprietary “dual stream” formula, keeping moisturizers and cleansers separate so that the moisturizers don’t wash away with the lather before hydrating the skin.
  • Thicker and richer lather means less product down the drain, resulting in a better overall shower experience that leaves skin feeling hydrated and clean.
  • Debuts in NEW Steel Courage scent. Old Spice’s daring new scent is assertive yet laid-back, combining the energizing top notes of pineapple and warm rum with a mid-note of intoxicating clove, crisp pepper and sage. Hints of sandalwood and warm amber add a balanced finish.
  • Old Spice Hydro Wash is also available in popular Old Spice scents Pure Sport Plus and Live Wire.
  • Old Spice Hydro Wash is available nationwide at drugstores, food stores and mass merchandisers beginning February 2017 (The standard retail price is $4.99 but pricing is also at the sole discretion of stores)

Also, The Walking Dead fans probably recognize this mug (Steven Ogg who plays Simon, one of Negan’s henchmen)! 

So what do I think?

Overall, I think Hydro Wash does a pretty good job at living up to its name. I found that all varieties of the wash do a stand-up job at keeping my skin moisturized. They feel pretty smooth on the skin and not drying like other body washes feel. They also come in pretty big bottles which means you’re going to get to use it for a pretty long time. I’ve had the three bottles for over a month (maybe 2?!) and it looks like I’ve barely made a dent in all three. You definitely get your money’s worth.

What about scents? Here’s my breakdown…

Live Wire – This name always reminds me of the one certain app us old-heads used in the 90s to share music LOL  But, scent-wise it’s one of my favorites as it has this really fresh, citrusy kind of scent. It very much reminds me of Iime. There’s always an extra little pick-up in my step when I use this one. Very fresh & clean scent.

Pure Sport – This is probably my least favorite scent out of the bunch. That being said, I recognize it might be a favorite for a lot of gents. It has a very soapy, clean smell. I imagine that a lot athletes will find this one to be a familiar scent, especially if you also use the Old Spice deodorant of the same name.

Steel Courage – This scent reminds me of a cross between Zoolander’s blue steel model-pose and James Bond. There’s a smooth, warm sexiness to this one. It has touches of sandalwood and amber with close which makes it pretty intoxicating.  As far as favorites go, I find it hard to decide between Steel Courage and Live Wire, but thankfully I don’t have to choose! Which one I use just depends on my mood.

You can purchase Old Spice Hydro Wash at most major retailers and at OldSpice.com.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more from Old Spice here on MANE MAN very soon!

 

Product Review: Artis Brush

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Artis.

Have you ever tried using a shaving brush?

When I first discovered that you can create a barbershop-type experience at home with a shaving brush, I was surprised. I thought that brushes were too fancy for home use. Brushes were an unnecessary tool. It was only a few years ago that I learned different.

Now when I shave, I ALWAYS use a brush to help spread the shaving cream or butter. I’ve found that brushes do a far better job at distributing products, and I think that I tend to use less product when a brush can help build up a quick and rich lather. For a while now, I’ve been using only one brush faithfully. That is, until the folks over at Artis sent over their brush for me to try out.

Read on for my review…

The Good

The Artis Brush is beautiful. It’s well designed with a smoky color and it is compact, which means that it will probably fit well in most average-sized hands. Its design is interesting as it requires the use of your entire hand, instead of how you typically hold brushes with a couple of your fingers as you swipe and flick away. This, I think, is part of what makes the Artis brush so unique.

For those of you with sensitive skin, the bristles are light and smooth. So much so, that the term bristles seems like a bit of a misnomer here. It FEELS so good on your skin.

But is it right for use with shaving cream or shave butter? That’s another question altogether.

The Not So Good

In my trials with the products, I’ve found that it’s pretty difficult to work up a good lather with this brush.  It doesn’t matter what shaving product I used (I alternated between a gel-based product and a soap-based product), Artis just doesn’t ever get there. Similarly, it doesn’t readily absorb water which makes it very difficult to use.

The brush itself, I think, would be a prime candidate for makeup application, which I think is its primary purpose actually. But for shaving, unfortunately it’s a miss for me.

If you’re looking for a shaving brush to add to your daily routine, I can’t say that I’m convinced this offering from Artis is the right thing for you. However, if you are a make-up aficionado then it might be something that you can really appreciate.

 

To learn more about this brush, you can visit the Artis website at artisbrush.com.

Guide To Growing A Beard: Realities and Myths

Guest post submitted by Giv of malegroomings.com.

When dealing with beard health, there are a lot of things that most guys don’t know. This guide with help you get familiar with all the basics you need to know about growing a lush and hygienic beard.

If you’re a beginner looking to live the dream of owning a beard that makes other men envious, follow the guidelines below.

Growing and Styling

Many make growing and styling a beard look like it’s a very demanding and complicated process, which in reality, it isn’t. Therefore, I’ll cut right to the chase and simplify it for you.

Put away the razor

As simple as it may sound, you will just have to let your beard hair go wild. If you’re a beginner growing a beard, you may have thought that there’s a very specific process you will need to follow. However, what you may have heard are nothing but just myths – ones that we will get to later in this guide. So forget everything, and just know that the best thing you can do to grow a beard is to just put away the razor and be patient.

Patience is going to be the key here, which is also the reason many give up on their beard-growing journey quickly. You may come across some challenges and rough phases, but patience, determination, and a good deal of knowledge about the basics of growing a beard will easily help you move past those early hurdles.

Know your skin

Something that most men growing a beard end up overlooking is their skin type. Although you may think it’s all about your beard hair, the skin underneath also plays a crucial role.

It’s important to know your skin type – whether dry, oily or sensitive. Knowing your skin type may help you figure out the beard type and styling options you will have.

Maintain the moisture

The journey to a full beard that you can be proud of can quickly turn from fun and exciting to a real struggle if you fail to keep your skin moisturized. Moisturizing your skin also goes a long way in helping prevent a skin disaster in case you suddenly, and abruptly stop (or have to stop) growing your beard.

When it comes to daily moisturizing, using a good, natural beard oil and coconut oil is something your skin will love. Besides providing your skin with the right amount of moisture, these moisturizing products  also come with all the nutrients to grow a healthy beard. They are also natural and smell great!

Go for your preferred shape and type

When you finally manage to fight all the obstacles and keep growing your beard for a month or so, you will want to shape it up. Of course, this is more about styling and your personal preferences than anything else.

Some guys go for a sharp shape, while others like to go for a more natural look. Some go for a look with stubble, while other men go for a much longer beard. The choice is clearly yours, and if you’re not sure, take a look at a beard style chart to see which one resonates with you.

When you’ve reached that shaping point, you should be sure of what type of beard you want, and get to styling it as soon as you have the length and fullness.

You can maintain your beard by using a solid and reliable beard trimmer. Your beard will become accustomed to the way your trimmer shaves, so be sure to choose one that is well-made and lasts long. It will save you money and time in the future.

Overcoming the obstacles

Oh, the obstacles! They are the most annoying, yet the most beautiful part of the beard journey.  They are annoying when you encounter them for the first time, but beautiful when you overcome those obstacles and grow a beard you can’t stop looking at. The challenges make you realize the value of a healthy, well-groomed beard, which also prevents you from taking it for granted.

However, the bottom line is that there’s no gain without pain. You WILL face at least some of these issues.  You’ve been warned!

With that said, though, let us take a look at a few of the most common challenges and how to deal with them.

Itchiness

Itchiness is precisely what makes many men reach for their razor, even before they are a month into their dream beard journey. And make no mistake, the itchiness is indeed very real.

However, you can get rid of it to a great extent with the right amount of moisturizing and shampooing. Make sure you go for natural products (and not the ones loaded with chemicals that may make your itchiness worse – especially if you have sensitive skin) for daily moisturizing. Your facial skin will soon make peace with your otherwise dominating beard.

Untidiness

Yes, we did say you just need to let your beard grow, but you will need occasional trimming at some point.

You can simply trim your neckline, mustache lips and upper cheeks to regain your neat look. However, if you’re going for an all-natural beard, you won’t be able to do this and would have to live with a slightly wild beard for a little while.

Dryness

Dryness is not as common as the problems mentioned above, but is usually a result of bad choice of products. If you’re going with our suggestion and only sticking to natural products, you will likely not see any serious signs of dryness..

However, if you do experience dryness for some reason, you may want to stop using any products that contain chemicals and replace them with all-natural ones. If dryness persists, use natural oils in your beard hair about once a week. This should be enough to get rid of the dryness.

And Don’t Fall for These  Beard Myths!

As mentioned at the start of this article, there are many myths about growing a beard that are often presented as facts. If you’re a beginner, it may be hard to avoid them as society will render you foolish by making you believe these inaccurate statements.

Here are a few of these common myths. Let’s clear them up with reality instead.

Myth #1: Beards are itchy

Reality: Most men would only feel beard itch within the first month of growing a beard, UNLESS they are not taking good care of their beard. After that, even when you trim you should not feel any itchiness. With that said, you should be moisturizing your facial mane with a beard oil daily to achieve best results.

Myth #2: Shaving makes your beard grow faster

Reality: This is a very petty myth to be honest. Why would you shave when you’re actually trying to “grow” your beard. It just does not make any sense at all, right? Yet, this one is pretty popular.

If you shave your beard while growing it, you will only be setting yourself back. The actual outcome you will experience is a delay in achieving the results you want. If you want your beard to grow, just wait.

Myth #3: Your beard should get thick in 2 to 3 weeks

Reality: For most men, it’s going to take at least 1 to 3 months to have a complete beard that they are proud of. Every guy is different, so the timeline can shift according to your genetics.

What are some of your greatest beard challenges? Weigh in on the comment section below!

The Black Hair Alphabet with BlkWmnAnimator Deborah Anderson

Representation in all fields is important as we think about our future and how we inspire those who come after us. This is in part, what is so great about Deborah Anderson of BlkWmnAnimator.

Recently, I learned that Deborah was working on a special graphic project that featured natural hair. When I reached out to her about the impetus to start the project Deborah said:

The original premise came from the fact that a lot of people who play video games, namely guys, are aggravated by lack of representation in hairstyles when making avatars. It’s always dreads or an afro, maybe a low-cut. This is the beginning of my journey in figuring out black hair in a 3D space.

And with that, the natural hair alphabet came to life. Check it out below!
Click image to enlarge.

 

To see Deborah’s natural hair alphabet in all its glory, you can visit her website at blkwmnanimator.com. You can also follow all of Deborah’s professional pursuits in bringing animation to the masses on her Facebook page at @BlkWmnAnimator.

How to Quickly Grow Your Hair ft. Winstonee

As I mentioned in my previous post, my hair tends to grow VERY quickly but I realize that many folks have the opposite problem. Sometimes your hair won’t go quickly enough! Well, you’re in luck as I’ve some tips to share with you courtesy of YouTube personality Winstonee.

In the clip below you’ll gain the inside scoop from Winstonee on what techniques he uses to help grow his hair. And if you look at his other videos, you’ll see the proof in his mane.

Some of the tips you may be familiar with, while others may be new to you. The important thing to remember is that for most of us, it’s all about trial and error. Not everything is going to work for everyone. For instance, Winstonee talks about dry-detangling, which I personally find horrible. Give me a ton of conditioner on wet hair and finger detangling any day. But again, to each his own. Listen to your hair and learn what works for you. These steps, however, are a great starting point. And there’s some good hair education in there as well.

Enjoy and happy growing!

 

Fro Frustrations: Say That 5 Times Fast

MANE MAN is all about celebrating grooming and how grooming can be a great way for us to take of ourselves. Obviously, I spend a lot of time writing about all the products I get to try.  But today, I need to rant.

MY. HAIR. WON’T. STOP. GROWING.

And no, this isn’t a humble brag.  Seriously. I know that many of you are hoping and trying for growth. But, I’m annoyed (at the moment) that my hair grows so quickly.

Here’s what’s annoying about that…I got a haircut just a few weeks go. It was a sizable chop but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was a “big chop”. As always, I felt a bit uncomfortable the first few days after as I thought it was a little too short. Fast forward to a few weeks later and it feels too big/too long already. WHY!?

This is annoying because, for me, getting a haircut is annoying. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my stylist at all. She’s great. But, hair cuts take so much time. First, I have to be mindful enough to schedule the appointment. And with my schedule, things tend to be all over the place and varied. By the time I take a moment to sit down and think about life, I often find that I’ve forgotten to do something that is pretty essential. The haircut, by default, gets pushed back.

Then, there is the actual appointment itself. I can’t go in and be out in 20 minutes. I wish I could. It takes that long just to pick out my hair for the cut itself.  Then, I’m in the chair…usually feeling pretty warm (because I ALWAYS am) and thus, near to falling asleep in the chair. I feel a little rude because I don’t talk more, but then the silence also makes me comfortable and sleepy. I know, so many non-problem, problems.

I realize this is not a real problem to have. I’m fortunate to have thick hair that grows quickly. I realize that my hair is pretty healthy.

But, can’t it just slow down a little bit?

 

What are your fro frustrations or biggest hair annoyances? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section below.

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to our winner Anita J. on her win of the Old Spice Swagger Gel prize pack! Anita, please check your email for instructions on how to claim your prize 🙂

Thank you to everyone who shared the post and entered the latest giveaway on MANE MAN! There will be more opportunities in the VERY near future to win some more goodies.  Please subscribe to updates from MANE MAN ( just on the right sidebar there —–>) and feel free to follow me on Twitter (@manemanblog) and Instagram (@manemanblog) for more content and other opportunities to win.

How to Look as Cool as Your Favorite Movie Character for Less!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the folks at Sunglass Warehouse.

Many of us spend a good amount of time watching movies. Sometimes the humor is what keeps us entertained, like in The Hangover. Sometimes its the genuine badassness that hooks us like in Scarface.  From Bradley Cooper to Al Pacino to Zach Galifinakis and the Blues Brothers, classic movie characters often come with classic style.

While we can’t typically afford the threads that our favorite actors wear on the silver screen, we can get their look for less.

For those of us on a budget (like me) trying to look like these iconic characters can be tough. That’s where Sunglass Warehouse helps us out! You can find a variety of styles inspired from some of the styles in these classic guy movies.

Personally, aviator sunglasses have long been a favorite Spring and Summer style staple for me but I like to switch it up every now and then. After all, style is all about personal expression and how often do we always feel the same?  Right?!

Take a look below to see how you can have your favorite sunglass looks for less.

Click on the image to buy the recommended alternative from Sunglass Warehouse.

 

 

Old Spice Giveaway!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored Old Spice.

Last week you may have read my review of Old Spice’s Swagger Gel, well this time around the folks at Old Spice are giving away a TON of grooming goodies and you have a chance to win!

Swagger Gel is an easy to use hair gel (and so accessible and affordable too). It has a great #smellegendary scent and offers high hold and moderate shine, which is good for a variety of hair types.

By entering the giveaway below you have a chance to win a prize pack that includes:

  • Swagger Gel, Pomade, Steel Courage Shampoo, an Old Spice Beanie AND a $25 gift card for popular online hat store Lids!
Old Spice Swagger Gel Giveaway Bundle. Winner we be announced on March 30, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for those of you who struggle with hat hair, check out these tips from Old Spice and Celebrity Groomer, Benjaming Thigpen.

How to Combat “Hat Hair”

Start with Old Spice Swagger Gel

Simply apply a small amount (no more than nickel size) to your fingertips and rub together before applying to the hat line.

Keep it Dry

Make sure your hair is completely dry and styled before wearing the hat. Otherwise, your hair will flatten and take the hat’s shape when wet.

Hat Indentation Quick Fix

Use your fingertips to press and start rubbing the hat line out. Think of your fingertips as an eraser!

Water Works

In a pinch and without product? Wet your hands with water and flick excess off. Start with a small amount because you can’t unwet your hair. Remember, it’s just a quick touch up!

Hats Off to Hats

Many guys wear hats on a daily basis, and hats can also be cleverly used as a styling tool. They work great to bring down hair volume, or to help keep Swagger-styled hair in place from home to your destination.

Benjamin’s clients include: Marc Jacobs, Bruce Willis, Nate Berkus, Francisco Costa, Nick Swisher, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale, Jimmi Simpson, Boyd Holbrook, and many more.

You can find Old Spice Hair products nationwide in retailer hair care aisles (usually ranging between $6.99 – $7.99). To learn more about Old Spice you may visit the brand’s site at oldspice.com, on Facebook, Twitter (@OldSpice), Instagram (oldspice). You can also catch more Old Spice videos on the Manmercials channel on YouTube.

A modern man's lifestyle guide to hair, health and everything in between.