Lab Series launch eight-hour oil control system

When it comes to combatting oil and shine – one of men’s biggest skincare concerns – high performance skincare specialists Lab Series have always led the way. They were one of the first major male grooming brands to launch a dedicated oil control range and now they’ve launched a new three-step, 8-hour oil control system, consisting of three core products.

You start your grease-busting regime with the new Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask, which eliminates grease and grime without leaving skin feeling dry and tight, then use the Oil Control Clearing Solution to remove any remaining oil and dead skin cells (you’ll need some cotton pads for this) and finish off with the Oil Control Daily Moisturiser – an oil-free hydrator that keep skin shine-free for up to eight hours.

Of the three products, the Clay Cleanser + Mask is probably the most interesting (the other two existed in slightly different forms in  Lab Series’ existing Oil Control range). A money-and-space-saving 2-in-1 product, it can be used as a straight-forward cleanser but also as an oil-absorbing face mask to give skin a deep clean and unclog pores. To use, you simply apply a thin layer once or twice a week and leave on for five minutes before washing off – the detoxifying Amazonian white clay and dead cell-dislodging salicylic acid in the mask do the rest.

With men’s skin naturally oiler than women’s and everything from heat and friction to sun and stress known triggers for oil production, a range like this is one of the best insurance policies a man has against oil slick skin and a shiny schnoz. You don’t even have to have excessively oily skin to benefit from the range. Now that I’m a bit older my skin isn’t nearly as greasy as it used to be (oil production slows down as you age) but the Oil Control Moisturiser is a godsend for when little patches of shine do appear (I just apply a little to problem areas around the nose and forehead before I go out) and I find the Clay Cleanser + Mask a little less aggressive than some other oil-absorbing masks on the market, so it might be worth a try if other masks have left you, quite literally, a little red-faced.

Lab Series’ new 8-Hour Oil Control System is available now. 

Kiehl’s mop up the competition (oh, and oil too).

Kiehl's Oil EliminatorAsk me which male grooming brand is in the zone right now and I’d have to tell you that it’s Kiehl’s. So hot is it right now that there’s a palpable sense of concern out there from its competitors as it creeps up behind them like the Nosferatu of skincare.

The company’s success, I think, is down to several things, including a great backstory, packaging that beautifully fitted the recent trend for heritage grooming and the fact that they’re great at sampling. They’re also perfect for the kind of consumer who eschews big faceless brands in favour of something a little warmer, quirkier and generally more interesting. In truth, whilst the leading premium brands are great they can come across as a bit characterless and sterile sometimes and, in contrast, Kiehl’s offer a lot more personality for your pound. The other factor, of course, (and one not to be overlooked) is that the products are, by and large, pretty good.

And now their dedicated men’s range is expanding with the addition of three problem-solving oil control products which, used together, form a new ‘Oil Eliminator’ range. Featuring a 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer, Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Wash and a Refreshing Shine Control Toner the products create a simple, three-step oil-busting regimen that handily addresses one of men’s most pressing skincare needs: a shine-free face.

The wash doesn’t strip skin of natural oils (an act which can itself stimulate oil production), the toner – if toners float your boat – acts as an effective mattifying mist and the Anti-Shine Moisturiser does what it says on the tin/tube, even if its 24-hour promise is qualified in small print by the words ‘with continued use skin looks less shiny’. All in all, the products are great, the distinctive green packaging’s a winner and the range as a whole proves that Kiehl’s aren’t just in the T-zone they’re in the zone full stop.

For more info go to the Kiehl’s website

Groomed to perfection: the Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm

groomed_super8 (1) Without doubt this year’s big grooming trend (apart from facial hair) is the rise of the multi-functional product. As belts tighten and spare time becomes increasingly scarce products that cover several bases are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant.

Already this year we’ve had Lab Series’ excellent PRO-LS All-In-One Face Treatment and next month sees the launch of Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash. And here’s another worth checking out.  Groomed’s Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm is a product designed to soothe razor burn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, energise dull skin, moisturise, provide anti-oxidant protection, refine pores, combat blemishes and mattify skin.

In fairness, a couple of these features are built in to some products without them even flagging up the fact and any good moistuiser will help minimise wrinkles but it’s still a pretty good product and at £4 for 50ml, reasonably priced too. The texture’s great, it’s not overly-fragranced and its instant cooling effect also makes it a great morning-after-the-night-before refresher – something I discovered when I tried it for the first time this morning. Just a shame it can’t get rid of the hangover too…

Available from Asda.

 

Lab Series prove they’re the pros of men’s skincare again

LAB PRO LS WITH BOX LOW RES

Soothsayer that I am I remember reporting a couple of years ago that male skincare was moving inexorably towards multifunctionalism. And Lab Series‘ new PRO LS All-In-One Face Treatment is yet more proof that my crystal ball still works occasionally.

Essentially a four-in-one face treatment it can be used as an aftershave balm to sooth irritated skin but also as an all-over-the-face anti-ageing and mattifying moisturiser, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, hydrating skin and absorbing excess oil.

Not only is it the perfect introduction to Lab Series as a brand it’s ideal for travel  – when space is at a premium –  too. One day all male grooming products will be this simple.

Lab Series PRO LS ALL-IN-ONE FACE TREATMENT is available from March, priced £22 for 50ml. For more information see www.labseries.co.uk

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best Problem Solver: Glamglow Super-Clearing Mud Mask Treatment

glamggawrd12lJust so you know, not all of these awards were planned ages ago (something that can’t be said of all grooming awards) and by way of proof, my choice for Best Problem Solver presented itself just this week when I finally got around to trying the much-hyped Glamglow Super-Clearing Mud Mask Treatment.

A potent blend of six skin-improving acids (don’t worry sulphuric isn’t one of them), it’s one of the best detoxifying masks I’ve come across. Most tend to leave my easily-irritated skin dry and red but miraculously – given its potency – this one doesn’t. In actual fact my skin looked and felt better than it has in a long while after using it.

Designed to help prevent breakouts and blocked pores it’s actually very good for helping prevent ingrown hairs too and you can use a small amount on a specific problem area (like the notorious T-zone) or slap it on all over. The best thing about it, though, is that as it goes to work, vacuuming out grease and grime, it darkens over your pores showing you just how huge and numerous they are.

This special feature, which is both horrifying and compulsive viewing (much like the grooming award ceremonies I mentioned earlier), makes it hugely entertaining. In fact, I’ve not had as much fun using a skincare product since I first discovered Biore Cleansing Pore Strips and the joy of examining what they remove. And problem solving should be fun right?

Glamglow Super-Mud is available from SpaceNK

Coming tomorrow…Best Grooming Gadget of 2012

Grooming Guru Essentials: Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer

There are few products I elevate to true Must Have status but this pocket-sized mattifing gel by Givenchy is one of them. Though I generally have skin comparable in texture to your average rice cracker I do occassionally suffer from what I call ‘chip shop chops’ (look, I’m Northerner ok? It’s how we talk). This most often manifests itself in a nose so greasy  you could probably cook a full english on it.

This genius little mattifying primer from Givenchy, however, is the perfect antidote, absorbing excess oil and generally leaving skin looking much-improved – kind of like Photoshop in a tube.

Several of the products in the Mister range were marketed directly at men last year (the matt black packinging and ‘Mister’ moniker helps) but having the words ‘Matte-finish make up gel’ kind of gives the game away that it’s essentially for women. Still, why should the girls have all the best products?

Worth trying too, by the way, is the new Mister Radiant – a product containing  tiny microbeads of pigment along with ones containing vitamin E to improve the appearance of the skin and give it some subtle colour.

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