Of all the ‘industry’ people worth seeking skincare advice from Sally Penford, Education Manager, International Dermal Institute is, without doubt, one of the most knowledgeable (not to mention one of the nicest) experts around. Over the years she’s be an invaluable source of information for journalists like me so this week I asked her to shave a few of her favourite tips for men…
GG: What’s the biggest mistake men make when it comes to grooming?
SP: Following in their father’s footsteps! Things have moved on considerably in the world of shaving and the old fashioned alkaline shaving foam and splash it all over after shave, should now be laid to rest. Alkaline shave foams sensitise skin and leave it vulnerable to shaving nicks and an irritating rash. Aftershave is alcohol based, which is the reason it stings when you apply it to freshly shaved skin. The final greatest sin is shaving against the direction of hair growth to achieve a close shave. A close shave you may get but you may also get ingrown hairs and sensitivity to boot.
GG: What’s your best tip for the perfect shave?
SP: Scrub skin gently the evening before a shave to lift hair and loosen dead cells in preparation for shaving the next day. Use an acidic shave cream or gel over damp skin (The Grooming Guru recommends Dermalogica’s excellent Soothing Shave Cream) and always use a sharp razor. Always follow with a protective post shave balm to soothe and guard against the environment.
GG: What’s men’s biggest skincare issue would you say? And what’s the solution?
SP: Shaving irritation. So it’s essential to invest in good products to shave with, use a sharp razor, shave with the hair and always apply a soothing balm post shave.
GG: What would you say has been the biggest change in male grooming in the past 5 years?
SP: The mediums used for shaving; now ranging from shaving oils great for the lighter beard growth to acidic gels for medium growth and creams for heavier growth and more sensitized skins. And the fact that men now have credible skin care ranges suited to their skin care needs rather than having to use female orientated lines behind closed doors.
GG: What’s your favorite men’s fragrance?
SP: Thierry Mugler’s A*Men- my partner’s chosen fragrance, just lovely!
GG: Next big thing in male grooming?
SP: As the male grooming market continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the cosmetics arena it seems logical that men will continue to evolve in their use of skin care products beyond simply shave. As manufacturers realize that men have wider concerns than simply shaving, their offerings will expand and unisex brands will benefit in being able to offer solutions to a wide range of concerns from ageing to acne.
For more info on the International Dermal Institute click here.