Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream gift set: the gift of great-looking skin

DERMALOGICApegI’m often asked what my favourite skincare brand is and though I have a couple, dermalogica (like poet e.e. cummings they don’t ‘do’ capital letters) is the one I always mention first. Their medium weight skin smoothing cream is one of my favourite daily moisturisers and their uber-gentle special cleansing gel is also a bathroom cabinet staple.

So I’m pretty excited that they’ve combined both for a special limited edition skincare set. Included is a full-sized 100ml tube of skin smoothing cream along with a free travel/gym bag-sized 30ml special cleansing gel and a brilliant mitt which you slip over your fingertips to help the cleansing process and remove dead skin cells. Think of it as great-looking skin in a box.

For stockists go to

Don’t let sunburn be a pain in the neck!


Okay, since summer is here (sort of) I thought I may as well issue my annual sunburn warning. British men’s attitude to sun protection has improved immeasurably in recent times, which is just as well given that malignant melanoma is the sixth most common cancer in men and death rates from it are 70% higher in us than in women.

dermalogica spfWith all the will in the world, though, it’s all too easy to end up with a nasty dose of sunburn, especially as our unpredictable British weather means that you can leave the house in fog, lunch in sunshine and return home in pouring rain. And as you can see from the picture above it’s easy for people to get caught out unexpectedly. They guy in the pic is actually a friend of mine who slathered on the sunscreen for a one hour walk to work but forgot to protect one crucial bit – the back of his neck. It’s a part of the body that catches the sun easily so make sure that when you protect your face you always take your sunscreen around the back of your neck, into the nape and over the ears (another prime place for burning).

If you always want to be prepared, do as I do and carry a product like dermalogica’s Super Sensitive Shield SPF30, which is compact enough to fit in a bag or pocket, and  ensure you go under the line of your shirt or T-shirt so you’re still protected even if your clothing moves. Nivea’s Sun Kids Pocket Sized SPF 30 is handy to have at hand too. Bottom line is: always be prepared if you don’t want sunburn to be a  – literal – pain in the neck.

dermalogica’s daily defense block SPF15 – my summer skincare hero

Daily Defense Block SPF15Several things have seen me through the summer this year. Not least a sense of humour, given the sweltering heat and torrential downpours. But on the skincare side it’s this non-greasy daily defender from dermalogica that’s been my hero. It’s been with me halfway around the world and now I wouldn’t be without it.

Designed for men (it can be used after shaving and contains ingredients to combat ingrown hairs and breakouts) it has a barely-there fragrance and is quickly absorbed, leaving skin with a matt finish.

The best thing about it though? Unlike many products that also offer a built in UV sunscreen there’s no white residue so you don’t look like someone’s splashed your face with a base coat of emulsion. If you care about the damaging effects of the sun this is a must-have. Absolutely one of the best daily skin defenders I’ve come across.

For more information go to

Turbo-charge your grooming routine with dermalogica’s multivitamin power serum

dermalogica vitamin power serum

When I first started writing about male grooming, over 13 years ago, the discovery of dermalogica changed how I viewed skincare (it offers a truly bespoke approach to taking care of your skin) and products like their Skin Soothing Cream, Total Eye Care and Daily Microfoliant have since entered my all-time favourites list.

The latest addition to the range, a Multivitamin Power Serum, is designed to give skin the maximum chances to repair itself after environmental damage and to bolster it against the ageing process. It contains a raft of ingredients, including microencapsulated antioxidants, to repair skin damage, boost skin’s natural elasticity and, well, generally make if look and feel better. Non greasy and super-concentrated you simply apply it to a freshly cleansed face before moisturising.

If you’re a guy who’s never used a serum before, the tiniest amount is all you need (I’ve met some men who have gone through tubes that are meant to last months in a week!) and it’s worthing giving skin a double hit by applying morning and night. Super-concentrated, they’re a great way to turbo-charge your existing grooming routine and the great thing about this one is its texture: it’s super light, easily absorbed and wonderfully matt.

dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Serum will be available from the beginning of June. For more info go to

Grooming Guru Essentials: Dermalogica Total Eye Care

If like me, your blighted by the kind of dark circles only Uncle Fester would envy, this technically- advanced eye treatment is an absolute godsend. I’ve been using it for years and whilst I do use other eye products, I always seem to come back to this one. Part of its appeal is that it does much more than your average eye cream. For starters it contains gentle alpha-hydroxy acids to smooth the skin around the eyes and it contains special light-reflecting particles which manage to fool people into thinking your skin is in better nick than it actually is (no mean feat in my case) and that your dark circles aren’t nearly so…dark. Indispensable.

To buy Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15, click here.


Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.


Christmas 2009 Favourite Products To Go KitOf all the brands I’ve come across dermalogica is without doubt one of the most consistent, inventive and efficacious. It has within its exhaustive range some of my all time favourite skincare products and when I flew off to New York recently, my washbag was crammed with travel sized dermalogica stuff. So it’s great to see a brand new collection featuring some of the brand’s best- loved products in dinky ‘to go’ sizes. The new favourites kit (£23.50) features four essential products – including mini Skin Hydrating Booster and the award-winning Daily Microfoliant – in a handy carrying case. Perfect for travel and perfect as a gift idea. Who says good things don’t come in small sizes?

For stockists call 0800 591818 or visit

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Insider Interview – Sally Penford, Education Manager, International Dermal Institute.

sallyOf 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?

derm copySP: 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.

n48053204038_1473942_1020GG: 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.

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