Looking for a great body bar? This Shearer’s Soap from New Zealand is a triumph.

soap1_grandeSo obsessed by soap am I that really, I should have just set up a soap blog where I could bang on about bathtime and go on about glycerin to my heart’s content. The fact is I love discovering new soaps and Triumph & Disaster’s Shearer’s Soap is my latest little discovery.

Hailing from New Zealand but now available over here it was inspired by the smell of freshly scrubbed shearers (I’m sold already) and is formulated with glycerin so as to be gentle on the skin. It also contains poppy seed to provide a little exfoliation too and has  a wonderfully waxy, slightly smoky smell which, to my nose at least, also has a tiny hint of rubber and aromatic herbs. If you’re looking for an interesting body bar give it a go.

Triumph & Disaster Shearer’s Soap is available priced £9.95 from nivenandjoshua.com

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best Grooming Gadget: The Clarisonic Plus

CLARISONICggawrd12lAlthough there are plenty of great grooming gadgets out there most of them are focussed on shaving. This one, however, is a bit different, improving skin before you actually shave. The Clarisonic Plus uses an exfoliating brush and a sonic frequency of 300 oscillations a second to remove up to twice as much grease and grime as manual cleansing. And though originally a device aimed at women its popularity with men has rocketed, prompting the launch of this new grey version (presumably for those men scared of brandishing the pink version).

Not only is the Clarisonic a fantastic device for giving skin a deep-down cleanse it’s actually a great one for prepping skin in readiness for your daily shave, ridding skin of razor-clogging dead cells and helping prevent ingrown hairs. What tips the balance for me as a bearded guy, however, is how useful it is for getting to the skin beneath facial hair, keeping it clean and free of beard dandruff. My Clarisonic has been, by far, my favourite piece of kit of 2012, hence the Best Grooming Gadget gong. It (quite literally) is the perfect way to brush up on your skincare.

The Clarisonic Plus Grey, which includes a head for the body too, is available from Harrods.

Coming tomorrow… The Grooming Guru’s Dud of The Year Award 

The Lynx Manwasher – the ultimate shower tool for men

If there’s one thing you can say about Lynx it’s that they’ve never stopped being witty, clever and innovative. Their advertising has always pushed the envelope (the fallen angels remains one of my fave grooming ads) as have their products.

And now, in that spirit, the team at Lynx have developed the ultimate shower tool for men: The Lynx Manwasher. An easy to use, dual-sided shower accessory, the Manwasher makes for a brilliant, palm-sized body exfoliator, replacing cumbersome luffas and brushes, and can be used in conjunction with Lynx shower gels to ensure you get squeaky clean.

One side features a textured scrubbing pad (making it perfect for tackling tough skin on heels, elbows and knees) while the other has a lathering micro-mesh “scrunchie” which ensures you get the most out of your shower gel. Not only does it help whip up a fantastic lather (making your gel go further in the process) it also gently removes dead skin cells, polishing skin and leaving it smooth, soft and conditioned.

So whether you’re scrubbing up for an important date, interview or after a muddy Saturday afternoon five-aside the Lynx Manwasher is the perfect way to feel clean, confident and 100% fresh.

The Lynx Manwasher is available at retailers nationwide priced £3.99. For more information, special offers and other fun Lynx stuff go to www.facebook.com/lynxeffect


Clarins Men launch 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser: a bit of rough?

If you like the ClarinsMen range you’ll be pleased to know that June sees the launch of their brand new 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser. Capturing the current zeitgeist for multi-functional products it’s a daily-use product that cleanses and exfoliates at the same time and a study of 43 men (not many I know but enough to give you a rough idea) showed it delivered fresher looking skin straight away and after four weeks made shaving easier, with less cuts. The exfoliators it uses to achieve these results are a combination of natural lava powder and tiny microspheres of salicylic acid.

So how do I rate it? Well, I tend to think that the key to a daily exfoliating product is fine, non-abrasive particles that gently polish rather than scrub your skin (after all you’re using it daily not twice weekly) and to me the texture of this feels a little bit rough. I’m a huge fan of daily exfoliators though (I love Lab Series’ Multi-Action Face Wash for example) as they simplify your routine, so I’ll be interested to know what Clarins fans make of this one.

ClarinsMen Exfoliating Cleanser will be available in June prices £20 for 125ml

Conran’s Body Scrub is the biz

Finding a decent face scrub is easy. Finding a decent body scrub, on the other hand, is much harder. Quite often they’re abrasive, cheap-smelling and have a nasty habit of ending up in places they’re really not welcome.

So it comes with some relief that I’ve discovered this fantastic Body Scrub from the new Conran Bath and Body Range. The scrub itself has a rich, woody, slightly spicy scent but it’s the texture that’s the thing. A cross between caviar, snow and a space-age gel it somehow melts on the skin whilst exfoliating it at the same time. It’s unlike any scrub I’ve come across and is currently a bathtime favourite.

Available from www.nivenandjoshua.com.

brush up on your body basics

78largeWhilst I’m a great fan of body scrubs, for men they can create unique problems. There is (and how can I put this delicately?) always the risk of getting, erm, ‘sand in your eye’. Male readers of this blog will know all too well what I mean.

The solution is to ditch the body scrubs in favour of an old fashioned body brush like this little fella from Labour and Wait. It’s the perfect way to exfoliate skin, miles more fun to use and eco in the sense that there are no chemicals involved and that it’ll last you ages if you look after it properly. At £12.50 a great investment.

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insider interview – liz earle

Liz Earle

One of the most famous names in the skincare industry (she even has an MBE for her services to it) Liz Earle has always viewed looking good from an holistic standpoint. In an industry obsessed by technology her natural approach is as refreshing as it is convincing. Here she shares a few insider thoughts on male grooming.

GG: Best skincare tip?

LE: Cleansing is the foundation to great-looking skin.

GG: Best credit-crunch busting grooming tip?

LE: Multi-tasking skincare is a great way to make your routine work harder for you. It’s worth using the pure muslin cloth provided with our Liz Earle for Men Cleanse & Polish, for example, as this gives the skin the added benefit of daily light exfoliation. This in turn helps speed up skin cell renewal, lifts away dead skin cells and unblocks pores.

GG: Most common mistake men make when it comes to grooming?

LE: Not enough men moisturise and moisturising is key to keeping your skin in a healthy and hydrated condition. Moisturisers essentially work by preventing transdermal moisture loss from within the upper levels of the skin. The best ingredients for helping the skin to retain its own moisture reserves are plant oils, as they mimic the skin’s own naturally effective moisture barrier, sebum. Look for moisturisers with a high content of natural source vitamin E and hyaluronic acid (a natural moisturising factor found in younger skins and some good rehydrating skin serums) and apply after shaving each day.

GG: Next big grooming trend?

LE: You only have to look at the number of new men’s grooming lines to realize that men are becoming ever more concerned with maintenance regimes. There has also been a rise in the demand for specific spa treatments for men as they are becoming more vocal about wanting to stay looking their best.

For more info on Liz’s men’s range click here.

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