Tag Archives: men’s skin care

Product Review: ArtNaturals Men’s Body Wash

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of ArtNaturals.

Let’s face it, there are a LOT of options out there when it comes to men’s body washes.  Does anyone else remember the days when it was less “manly” to use body wash and you had to use bar soap to be a real guy? I do. And Im glad those days are long gone.

ArtNaturals, as the name suggests, is a personal grooming brand focused on bring its customers high quality, natural products. They craft everything from body washes to essential oils (and diffusers!), lotion, shaving cream, etc. They basically have anything that you might need for your grooming needs.

The folks over at ArtNaturals shared some of their goodies with me and I’ll look forward to sharing all my thoughts with you. Today, I’ll talk about my experience with Men’s Body Wash.

You may have noticed by now, but I’m a sucker for a natural ( or mostly natural) product. I figure, why not use mostly natural products as much as possible, right? They can often be more expensive than products with a lot of synthetic, or man-made chemicals, and that’s often something to consider. But, I think it’s worth to cut back in other places when you can have more knowledge about putting better ingredients on or in your body.

It is exactly this reason that I really enjoy what I’ve tried from ArtNaturals so far. You can smell and FEEL the natural quality of their creations. They are effective, but not harsh. Fragrant, but not overwhelming in any way. In short, they hit my natural product sweet-spot.

The Men’s Body Wash is a great example of this. Formulated with aloe, cocoa butter and shea butter, it’s evident from the second this stuff touches your skin that you’re not only being cleansed but also being nourished. It has hints of that nutty shea butter smell and has that smoothness that cocoa butter and aloe provide so well.

For those use to super soapy and sudsy washes, this isn’t going to seem to be a great cleanser for you, but I think it is. It cleanses well without completely stripping my skin. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s  perfect for summer. Imagine that you’ve been at the beach all day reading a book, playing in the sand or diving in and out of the ocean. It’s hot and you get home about 3 shades darker than when you left (I’ve been there!). You KNOW your skins is parched even though you used sunblock and tried to say hydrated. This Men’s Body Wash is what you need afterwards. The combination of ingredients offers your skin the nourishment that it needs, without the stripping element of your average body wash.  It’s a winner, in my eyes, and I think that if you try it, it will be one for you too.

For more on ArtNaturals Men’s Body Wash and their line up of products you can visit their website and shop.


Product Review: 7th Heaven Face Masks for Men

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of 7th Heaven.

Men’s skin has special needs. Larger pores allow for more sweating and buildup than women’s skin. But how many of us actually take the time to care enough to counteract that?

Over the past several years, I’ve been much more diligent about skin care. Part of the reason is vanity but another part of this is about promoting an overall sense of wellness.  Skin care is self care, I say.

In an effort to use whatever skin care products I can get my hands on, I recently had the opportunity to try 7th Heaven’s skin masks for men. Here’s that I thought!

7th heaven men dead sea peel off mask review

Deep Pore Cleansing Peel Off Mask

Enriched with sea salt, this mask is designed to deeply cleanse the skin and help deliver a clean and smooth complexion. The first step to any mask, ironically is to start with a clean face. I’ve been using an oil free cleanser for my routine which I find keeps my skin pretty clear.  After cleansing, I then applied the mask and let it set for 15-20 minutes per package instructions. After applying I immediately felt some stinging/burning sensation that dissipated after a few minutes. It wasn’t painful but definitely noticeable. In the spirit of discovery, I forged ahead and had no negative effects otherwise. I think the reaction was a combination of the powerful spearmint, my already very sensitive skin, and a lot of recent (and significant sun exposure). Since then, I haven’t experienced any negative effects.

After a few minutes of a much nicer (and calmer) cooling sensation, I peeled off the mask like some horror movie monster, as opposed to the traditional method of washing it off. This is actually one of the best things about this mask…easy clean up!  After 20 minutes you just peel off the mask and you’re good to go. It left my skin feeling refreshed and cool.  The smoothness and moisture was on point.

Deep Sea Rescue Mud Masque

I also had the opportunity to try out the Deep Sea Rescue Mud Masque, which as you might imagine, is a bit messier than it’s peel off counterpart.  This is a more traditional product as far as masks are concerned. The rest time for this product is shorter, at 10-15 minutes, which makes it slightly less time intensive. I didn’t mind either way, as I tried it at the end of a day while catching up on some much needed Netflix.

The mud sea masque doesn’t have the same medicated/tingly feeling that the spearmint mask offers, but those familiar with face masks will recognize the feeling of your skin firming underneath the mask’s surface.  My skin felt equally as smooth nourished after this mask, even though the mess of it is a little annoying as it relates to clean up.

If I HAD to pick one over the other that I prefer, I’m not sure which I feel like is a better option. Truth is, they both work well and come housed in individual use packets, which I think is convenient and allows you to purchase just the amount that you need. At around $2 a pop, I think these masks are a GREAT investment for a once weekly part of your skin care routine. I think they’re a great way to balance otherwise unruly or unnourished skin.

To learn more about these masks, and other offerings, you can visit the 7th Heaven website.


My *New Winter Skin Care Regimen

Winter is in full force and the air is dry as hell. I figured that it was about time that I started to take my skin care a little bit more seriously so I decided to drop by one of my favorite spots, Kiehl’s, for a much-needed consultation.

First, I feel that I should let you know that if you sign up for Kiehl’s newsletter/rewards system you are going to routinely get emails with discounts and all kinds of special offers. One of the things that Kiehl’s offers periodically is free skin consultations/in store facials, usually when they’re about to launch a new product.  So there you have it, a free facial!

Anywho, so I stopped into my local Kiehl’s and met with a skin care expert (they REALLY know what they’re talking about) and had an assessment. My new friend Dayanara gave me the rundown on my combination skin (DAMN YOU T-ZONE!) and gave me a trial use of the products during my skin care consultation. I left the store with shallower pockets, and a bag full of Kiehl’s goodies that are supposed to keep my skin looking its best. I made a promise to myself that I was going to actually keep up with the multi-step routine where as most days I hadn’t even made it a point to actually wash my face before bed. I know…I’ve really been slacking.

Here’s the rundown of products I bought & the new regimen:

  1. Cleanse with Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
  2. Tone with Calendula Herbal Extract Toner (alcohol free)
  3. Reduce puffiness & periodic dark eye circles with Eye Alert
  4. Give my mug a little extra tlc with Midnight Recovery Concentrate (or Daily Reviving Concentrate in the mornings-smells so good!)
  5. Moisturize with Ultra Facial Moisturizer

I know this sounds like a lot…and it is. But to be honest, it’s only added 5-10 minutes to my night-time routine and having done it for a few days so far it’s not that bad. It definitely feels like I’m doing something good to take care of myself which is always nice. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes and if I keep up the regimen.  It’s definitely a far cry away from just washing and moisturizing in the mornings.

Until next time!

How Do You Winterize Your Skin?

Skin drier than the Sahara (PS this is not the Sahara)
Skin drier than the Sahara (PS this is not the Sahara)

Let’s face it, we’ve only barely crept into fall and I’m already having difficulty keeping my skin moisturized. Five seconds after washing my hands (which I tend to do pretty regularly) and it looks like I’m covered in flour trying to make some apple pie dough or something. What’s up with that?

I realize that part of the problem is the significant drop in humidity over the past few weeks. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with high humidity because it makes my fro huge and fluffy, but it also makes me feel like I’m sweating 24/7.  Does anyone actually like that feeling?

The other part of my problem, I’m now realizing as I write this, is that when I re-upped on body lotion I opted for some thin Suave lotion instead of some thick shea or cocoa butter based lotion. So my skin isn’t getting all those super fatty oils that it’s used to when the atmosphere dries up like crocodile skin.

Thankfully, it’s only October but with my hands already suffering, I’m nervous as to how bitter this cold season is going to be.  Do you all have any tips to share about how you winterize your skin?  If so, share them in the comments section below!


Product Review: Eraclea Skincare

eraclea skin care

Years ago I barely washed my face on a daily basis. Fast forward to 2014 and I’ve had the opportunity to try out many different products. Today, I bring you my review of eraclea skin care.

Known as a “unisex beauty routine”, eraclea offers a three step system including a cleanser (daily bamboo exfoliant), a serum (intensive repair and protect serum with Vitamin C) and a moisturizer (pure hydration with zinc).  Here’s my rundown product by product:

Daily Bamboo: This exfoliant is a a gentle and good cleanser with a neutral smell and little fragrance which  makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin like me.  Actually all of the eraclea products I tried worked well with my skin and were non-irritating which is something you look out for when you have finicky skin. The exfoliant is pretty smooth with small bamboo particles that provide gentle scrubbing power.  It works pretty well. However, I did have a few zits pop up while I was using the system but there’s really no way of knowing why that is. I can say that, however, that if you’re looking for acne protection, this probably isn’t your best stand-alone product. The product sells for $40 for 4 oz/120 mL.

Intensive Repair and Protect Serum:  This serum was a positive in the eraclea line up.  I actually really enjoyed using this one (it’s even good post-shave).  With the addition of Vitamin C, it was also good to know that my skin was getting some benefits when I used the serum. The other big positive was that the product readily absorbs into the skin, avoiding the all day slippery feeling in humid air like the Pure Hydration product gives you.  All in all, I feel it’s a solid serum and when combined with the pure hydration moisturizer it also gave me a little skin tightening sensation which let me know that I was also fighting off wrinkles at the same time. The product sells for $75 for 30 mL at eraclea.com.

Pure Hydration: This last step in the eraclea system is a good daily moisturizer, but maybe too good.  In my trials with the product I realized that it sort of sits on top of my skin and didn’t ever seem to absorb completely.  If you partner that up with the baking summer heat, not only do you get sweat but the moisture in the air also seemed to reactivate the moisturizer leaving my skin feeling super slippery.  Not fun.  Perhaps I might have a different experience in the non-humid months but it definitely wasn’t enjoyable in NY’s increasing humidity.  The product sells for $80 for 30mL.

Overall, eraclea offers a flexible and usable line up of products that is good for both men and women.  Personally, I was a big fan of the eraclea daily bamboo exfoliant while the pure hydration formula isn’t the best for long days in the summer heat.  All in all, there’s something here for everyone, but it comes at a premium price. The only question you have to ask yourself is, “is it worth it?”

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of eraclea. All the opinions listed herein are of my own creation and have not been unduly influenced in any manner.

Product Review: Lab Series Pro LS All-In-One Face Treatment

Lab Series Pro LS All-In-One TreatmentFinding the right daily moisturizer is a difficult, if not, insurmountable task for a guy like me with sensitive, combination skin.  In my quest for perfection, I recently had the opportunity to try out Lab Series skin care for men’s Pro LS All-In-One Face TreatmentProduct for review was provided courtesy of Lab Series.

My skin is particularly prone to redness near my sinus areas which makes it difficult for me to find a  daily moisturizer that soothes that irritation.  While trying the treatment for the first few times, I was pleasantly surprised by the mattifying effect that it has (which means it dulled the shininess of my skin). At the same time, it moisturized the lower parts of my face and neck with a light, grease-less feel.  This is particularly important for someone like me with oily skin in my t-zone (forehead and nose areas) but dry skin on my cheeks and neck (where shaving usually takes place).

The 1.7 ounce bottle was definitely smaller than I anticipated, but the pump nozzle is easy to use and doesn’t leak out too much product which sometimes leads to waste.  I used between 3-4 pumps during my morning routine and the treatment held up even in the harsh, and ever-changing, NY weather.

Overall Impression:  Lab Series’ All-In-One Face treatment for men is a quality buy at a mid-range price point (1.7 ounces for $29).  By far my favorite part of my experience was the subtle mattifying effect which helped dull shine in my t-zone area which is prone to periodic mini-breakouts.  This is what sets this daily moisturizing treatment apart among a plethora of competitors.  It is smoothing, calming and moisturizing which is exactly what Lab Series promises.  That being said, my one major criticism is that the product doesn’t seem to offer any SPF protection which is helpful for all skin types.  This is a major miss for me.  All in all, it’s a little pricey but definitely delivers.  The Pro LS All-In-One Face Treatment has definitely made me personally want to give the entire Lab Series brand a try.

Product Review: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque review
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, this stuff is pretty messy!

With a $3 price tag, the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque fits almost any budget, especially if you’re hesitant to try a new product in the first place.  I’ve used the masque now and overall I liked how it performed and you certainly can’t beat the cheap price tag.

The masque is designed to help “dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads and shrink enlarged pores”.  To be honest, I can’t really vouch for any of that because I haven’t used the product regularly.  What I can say is, it most certainly left my skin feeling baby smooth.  I used the product directions to a t (seriously, I set a timer) and I really enjoyed how it made my skin feel afterwards.  I can’t say that I’ve used any face product that left my skin feeling that smooth.  On the other hand, the smoothness was relatively temporary.  I’m not saying my face turned to stone the next day or anything, I just didn’t notice any lasting results.  Perhaps regular use might get me longer lasting results.

The one thing that bugged me about the masque was the application.  The product comes out of the tube in a semi-solid state and mystified me a bit.  As you can see from the graphic above, I had a hard time evenly distributing the product due to its texture.  It definitely got into my hair which was a little annoying to wash out after my 15 minutes was up.

Overall, I think that the masque is fine for what it is.  A 2 ounce sample tube will run you about 3 bucks and that’s probably the most inexpensive masque you can get anywhere.  While the treatment is refreshing and generally good for your skin, I can’t say that I noticed any real difference in the clarity or even-ness of my skin.  If you’re a guy with problem skin, this may be a good product to add to a weekly regimen.  That being said, this was the first mask I have ever used and I did feel a little bit like a housewife prepping for bed.  But then again, I recovered with my machismo intact.  I do have to say, the feeling of your skin tightening while the mask is on is REALLY weird, but sort of cool.  So, just consider it an experiment, OK?