Tag Archives: skin care

Product Review: Shodai

Today, I share with you my thoughts on a new personal favorite, Shodai!

Hailing from Japan, Shodai skin care for men is an emerging, small-batch brand which makes use of some of Japan’s best local ingredients. The ingredients are cool, smooth and in my experience, work well for folks with sensitive skin. There are no harsh chemicals that leave your skin feeling rough or overly dry.  Read on for more of my thoughts!

Appearance wise, this is BY FAR the sexiest branding I’ve seen in a very long time. The minimalist color scheme reeks of elegance and sophistication. Every time I enter my bathroom there’s always a little bit of extra joy seeing these black bottles and tiny origami birds chirping to greet me.

The appearance is matched by what’s housed inside. When I initially received the product for review, I wasn’t convinced that a product with sake in it (SAKE FOR SKIN?!) would be the right thing for me. And I have to admit, the scent at first was just so unexpected. Perhaps, late night karaoke memories were triggered but that’s neither here nor there 🙂 Once I settled into the idea after about a day or two I realized that I really like the smell. It’s simple and not the overly fragrant stuff you’ll find in a lot of grooming products. For a gent like me, with sensitive skin, this is something I prize in skin care products.

Second only to the branding is the consistency and texture of  the face wash and moisturizer. They’re both pretty luscious and creamy, and not in a way that feels heavy. It’s odd, but they both strike a really good balance between thin and thick. And a little goes a long way for both, which is a good thing when you’re investing a few extra coins in your grooming products.

If you check out Shodai’s website you’ll learn even more about the products and what’s housed in this sexy little bottles. Some of the ingredients included are things like sake (as I mentioned), green tea (which is known to be great for skin) and hiba (something I’m less familiar with but has antibacterial properties).

That being said, I’ve been rationing out these little gems as I’ve grown fond of them.  You can learn more and purchase your own Shodai products at shodaimen.com.

 

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Shodai. All opinions listed herein are my own.

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.

5 Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy in the Winter

This is a guest post by writer Wesley Oaks of iManscape.com.

The winter weather can be tough on your skin. The dry winter air steals moisture away from the skin every moment you’re exposed. If you don’t treat your skin you could end up with dry skin, cracking, or bleeding and the colder it is the worse it can make the problem.

Things that we typically do in the winter can even add to the damage. Indoor heating robs the air of moisture. Hot showers & baths and over the top skin cleansers can also mean dry skin.

Giving your skin additional moisture indeed helps, but there’s more to do if you’re going to counteract the effects of winter and keep your skin looking healthy. Here’s a couple of tips to help reduce itching, redness, chapping.

1 – Choose Moisturizer Carefully

Some of the moisturizers out there have ingredients that will further dry your skin in winter months. Keep an eye out for petroleum-based moisturizers and dry to avoid them.

Choose a moisturizer with natural ingredients & is oil based. Oil based moisturizers do a better job of retaining moisture compared to water-based options.

2 – Use Lukewarm Water

No one’s going to argue that a hot shower during the winter doesn’t feel amazing. However, when possible, opt for a lukewarm temperature, particularly when washing your face, hands, or smaller area of your body. You’ll avoid stripping away natural healthy oils from your skin.

3 – Protect

Always protect your skin with gloves, scarfs, and other clothing. You’re already trying to stay warm so go ahead and grab a couple more pieces to do the job well. Also, don’t be fooled by the winter sun. It can be just as harmful as in the summer.

Grab a healthy sun screen and use small amounts. Products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are great choices.

4 – Drink Up

We often forget how important water is when it isn’t so hot outside. We end up turning to a warm drink over water. Your coffee, cocoa, and warm teas are wonderful, but they aren’t doing your skin any good.

If you want the best of both worlds you may like to try warm water with lemon.

5 – Exfoliate

We tend to forget about exfoliating during the winter. It’s a very important activity that should always be done. By removing dead skin cells you’ll help moisturizers do a better job by being able to reach more of your skin.

If left alone, dead skin will layer over old skin and prevent your moisturizers from being as effective.

Conclusion

Hopefully this post was a great reminder to take care of your skin this winter. Life can always get busy and we sometimes forget we just need to take care of ourselves. Treat your skin right and it will keep you looking youthful for a long time to come.

Please let us know if you enjoyed the post and share some of your own skin care tips below!

 

Wesley is the owner of iManscape, a website for men, beards, and manscaping. For more from him visit his website or like iManscape on Facebook.

Winter Skin Care Secrets with Dr. Brian Zelickson

It’s almost winter time which means it’s time to break out those humidifiers and extra thick lotions to take good care of your skin. Personally, I always struggle during the winter months because the air is so dry. My already dry scalp continues to suffer and if I forget to lotion right out of the shower, I get a BAD case of the itchies which is terrible for your skin.

Most of us spend winters covered up, from head to toe. As a New Yorker, it’s something I’m intimately familiar with.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to gear up with a scarf, gloves, coat and hat. It’s rough!

I always look for advice from the experts on how to practice the best grooming possible, because we all need help, right?  I was able to speak with Dr. Brian Zelickson via email about some of his winter skin care tips for men. Here are some helpful tips and product recommendations that I think will help you out this winter!

Tip 1

Nothing speeds up the aging process like excess sun exposure. It’s important to wear an SPF during the winter, even when the sun isn’t as noticeable. I recommend an SPF of at least 30.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Anti-Aging Youthful Skin Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Tip 2

Apply a body moisturizer when skin is still slightly damp to help seal in moisture, and avoid products with dyes and scents that can aggravate skin.

Product Recommendation: Curél Itch Defense Lotion

Tip 3

Wash your face at night, so you cleanse all of the oils and dirt from the day. In the morning, simply rinse with water and buff with a gentle cloth. If you have issues with acne, try a gentle cleanser with Salicylic Acid.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Skin Clearing Clarifying Cleanser

Tip 4

If your skin is constantly dry, add a product that is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid. It’s naturally found in the body, and is a moisture-binding ingredient that plumps skin with hydration.

Product Recommendation: Dermarché Labs Fullfill

What are your favorite products to use during winter? Let’s share some recommendations in the comment section below!

 

Dr. Brian Zelickson is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist who graduated from the Mayo Clinic. He is a pioneer in laser medicine and surgery. He is also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Dermatology and a member of American Academy of Dermatology & American Dermatologic Association.

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.

 

Brown Folks Do Get Sunburn!

It’s summer and that means that a lot of us are going to spend more and more time out in the sun having a good time at the beach and enjoying some sinfully delicious foods at the various cookouts we have lined up for the summer.  But, we all need to realize that brown folks do get sunburn!

It’s not OK to be out in the sun without sunblock. It’s simply an unnecessary risk to take. While black and brown folks don’t make up a statistically large portion of those who get skin cancer, that doesn’t mean that you should just opt out and be irresponsible with your skin care altogether. And I don’t know about you, but I want to look like I’m 25 well into my 40s. I know #Blackdontcrack but I ain’t trying to test that theory either!

You can also get sunburn. I learned the hard way several years ago back in college when I thought I was too cool for sunblock and spent several hours out in the Florida sun (Spring Break!).  My first experience with sunburn was not cute.  Every so often, I fail to adequately prepare and I learn that lesson all over again. I’m actually dealing with some burn right now….

Black and brown people do have more natural protection against the sun (thanks melanin!) BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t get burned. In the event that you do, check out my collection of sunburn remedies to help you keep it together this summer.

So opt for the umbrellas, use sunblock regularly (and reapply…my mistake!) and wear big hats if you need. Here are some backup remedies just in case you’re forgetful like me and need to heal your sunburn.

Check out 9 Ways to Beat Sun Burn

by Jor-El at Mode

Recommended reading: Here’s What People of Color Need to Know About Sunburn & Skin Cancer via Buzzfeed

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!

My Picks for Budget Conscious Skin Care

I’m spoiled fortunate enough to be able to try out so many great grooming products and it’s something that I obviously relish. It’s fun to try out new things and I’m always on the hunt for effective and budget conscious products that I know I’ll actually buy when I’m in my local drug store (or shopping online).

Today, I had the realization that fall is actually here.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the cooler temperatures that made it evident but more so the increasingly dry air.  After a few times washing my hands, I noticed that my skin has begun to dry out pretty quickly. That’s right, ladies and gents, that time of year is here.

It was just earlier this week that NYC was still relying on a little bit of AC to keep our homes and offices at a cool 72 degrees, but now it seems that all of the monstrous summer humidity has left and that wonderful fall crisp air is in full effect. I love it! I got to wear a jacket. It’s almost sweater weather!  Alas, my skin is not a fan.

Not only do I have to be more conscious about not turning up the water temperature in the shower but I also have to be more intentional about taking care of my skin.  With that in mind, I created a collection of budget conscious skin care products that I often find myself going back to when I need a little something special and my wallet is hurting.  Check out my picks below!

 

Check out Budget Conscious Skin Care

by Jor-El at Mode

Summer Skin Care Tips for Men

Although I haven’t been posting a lot of beach pictures lately, know that I’ve definitely been getting in some serious hours in the sun. I’ve been baking away and hoping that I’m not doing myself too much damage while basking in the daylight.  After a particularly hot (and SUNNY!) day I couldn’t help but think about the ways in which I was going to have repair some of the damage done to my skin.

I’m a BIG fan of sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen  daily (and not just on the beach) is one of the best things you can do to prevent skin damage. It’s the best preventative measure aside from just staying inside all day, and most of us don’t want to do that.  For the past few years now, I’ve tried to using a daily facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 so that I get daily protection against the suns rays. Sure, black don’t crack but I don’t want creasing either!

For long days at the beach I usually forego the daily moisturizer and instead rely on some real heavy-duty sun block to keep my face and whole body safer.  I usually use at least SPF 30 with broad spectrum (UVA & UVB protection).  Sometimes, I even use SPF 50.  Hey, I’m not taking any chances!

In addition to that, I’ve found this great over-the-counter clear zinc oxide that I use on my nose and cheeks to help prevent even further sun damage as I’m already prone to redness and irritation in those areas. It works pretty well and I never end up looking funny so it works.

In addition to skin protectants, don’t let yourself get dehydrated. Drink plenty of H2O, especially if spirits are a part of your festivities and don’t forget to seek out some shade underneath some trees or a beach umbrella every so often. Give your skin the break it needs. Your future 65-year-old self will thank you!

 

Product Review: PCA Skin

PCA skin care product review

Skin care is often a blind spot for many men. But, as I’ve learned, adopting a quick skin care routine can help you keep looking your best as you age and that’s something all of us can appreciate.

Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on PCA Skin.

Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45

I’m a big believer in the idea that one should wear sunblock daily, especially in the warmer months, to limit the impact of the sun’s rays. Exposure to the  sun is one of the biggest contributors to aging skin. We’ve all seen someone who has had a little too much sun and what that does to their skin, right?

What I appreciate about this product is that it is largely light and weightless. This is by no means the heavy, oil-filled sun block that you buy from the drug store. The texture has a light, almost whipped consistency which makes it easy to apply evenly.

The SPF 45 level protection is no slouch easier. This is by far the best sunscreen I’ve ever out on my face. And a little goes a long way. And because it’s powered with zinc oxide, caffeine and antioxidants you can be sure that you’re also doing your skin a favor by both protecting and nourishing it. Two thumbs (way) up!

Total Strength Serum

I have to be honest, serums are one of those grooming items that I still think are reserved for women only. Needless to say, wrapping my head around the idea of the PCA Total Strength Serum was definitely something I had to get used to.

Overall, I’ve grown to enjoy the product over the past several weeks. Featured in Oprah magazine earlier this year, the Total Strength Serum boasts a pretty big list of peptides and moisturizers (including natural ones like coconut juice).

The serums packs a pretty solid moisturizing punch and 2-3 pumps are a perfect amount of coverage for my nightly skin care routine. I dare to say that I like it. Trust me, I’m surprised too but if something works, it works!

For more information about these products visit PCA Skin care online.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of PCA Skin.