Reviewed: Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk

I meant to write about this great little hydrator a while back but somehow forgot to (it’s my age!).

Anyway, an ultra-light moisturiser it’s brilliant for oiler skins or anyone who suffers from spots as it regulates sebum production (don’t use it if you have very dry skin as it won’t provide the intense hydration you need).

It’s also absorbed immediately, leaves no sticky-residue and helps mattify skin. It even includes fruit enzymes to help exfolaite skin of dead skin cells too.

What I love most about it though is the smell. There’s a raft of aromatic essential oils in there – from rosemary and tea tree to pelargonium flower oil, which makes it smell of geraniums – one of my favourite aromas. So if you get chance, check it out.

Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk is available from Space NK

If you want to look after your body check out Bodhi

Men might better at looking after the skin on their faces these days but generally speaking they’re still pretty lax when it comes to looking after the skin on the rest of them. Me, I’m very fussy about things like shower gels, bath products and body moisturisers.

A brand I came across only recently but love is Bodhi. Free of chemical nasties like parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances or colourants they’re great for the skin and – since they smell amazing – even better for the nose.

The Rosemary Chi is fantastically aromatic,  Mint Thé is bracing and perfect for mornings and Galangl Spice has a delightful Far Eastern vibe thanks to cardamon and Kaffir Lime leaf.  Especially worth checking out, though, is the the Pep Noir Energising Bath & Shower Therapy which is warm and spicy (thanks to black pepper and white thyme) but refreshing too, thanks to bergamot.  In fact, it could be the new Molton Brown Black Pepper Body Wash it’s that good.

For more info about the range go to www.bodhi.uk.com

Noxzema Protective Shave: a blast from my past

Once upon a time, way back in the 1980s, when male grooming was still in its infancy, if a vaguely exotic skincare product  emerged I would cling to it. At the time few of my friends really bothered with fancy shaving gear or moisturisers but I was obsessed. And Noxzema – iconic American shaving brand – was one of the products I fought hard to get hold of.

Thankfully, a new UK distributor has recent brought it to the masses over here. Back in the eighties I seem to remember it stocked by the odd barber shop and advertised in the back of trendy style mags. The first time I smelt the bracing Methol version I was captivated, so much so that I actually couldn’t wait to shave (a concept hard for me to imagine these days) and the moment I smelt it again this morning I was instantly transported back to 1987.

As a brand Noxzema has been around for yonks, launching its first shave cream in the Fifties and the shaving foams 30 years ago, so having lasted this long you know it’s doing something right.

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of shaving foams, finding them too drying but the Noxzema ones are an exception. They’re rich, creamy, refreshing, dermatologically tested and deliver great results. What’s more (and I know these things matter to many) there’s also something reassuring about the delightfully solid and chunky cans they come in.

Noxzema is available nationwide priced £5.95 for a 300ml can. There are five variants but it’s the Menthol one that will also ways do it for me. For more info go to www.noxzemaproducts.com

Grooming Guru Essentials: SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF 50

I know the summer’s almost over but I just wanted to give a shout out to the one product that has loyally seen me through the sunshine we did have this year: SkinCeuticals’Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF 50. This high-performance mineral sunscreen has been an absolute godsend.

Since I have a fair, easily burnt Celtic complexion I’m uber-cautious about sunburn so always like to play safe with a high SPF. This lightweight liquid has been with me on beaches, picnics and impromptu hill walks throughout the summer and I can’t speak highly enough of it.

Absolutely nothing got through it and though I’ve tanned slightly, I never burnt once. It might be a mere 50mls in size but I’ve still got enough left for an Indian Summer and its dinkiness means I’ve always been able to finds a bag or pocket to store it. If you’ve still got hols in the pipeline don’t leave home without some.

Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF 50 is available from http://www.skinceuticals.co.uk, priced £28 for 50ml

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

Real men wear face masks don’t ya know?

Much has been said about the constant need for male grooming brands to ‘butch up’ their products to make them acceptable to the average bloke in the street and though we’ve come a long way, most brands still use hyper-masculine brand ambassadors to give everyone else permission to use ‘beauty’ products. If you want proof this trend is still going strong just check out the campaign for Montagne Jeunesse’s new face packs for men.

Featuring five separate masks to give skin a deep clean, tackle blackheads, perk up morning-after skin, rescue tired eyes and deal with blemishes, the masks have been ‘put through their paces’ by the Cardiff Blues Rugby Team. So clearly, if they past the locker room test they must be ok.

Ironically, of all sports, rugby always comes across as the most metrosexual one to me, with the majority of players comfortable enough in their own masculinity not to give a damn about appearing ‘girlie’.  Ex-Lion Gareth Thomas’ coming out was greeted with a chorus of  ‘so whats’ and Ben Cohen, though straight, is a champion of LGBT equality. So the use of  rugby players in campaigns like this strikes me as being both perfectly natural but surprisingly tame. Imagine the impact if the line up above had been Millwall players. And how everyone would have reacted then. Just saying.

The five masks are available from www.montagnejeunesse.com priced £1.09




Grooming Guru Essentials: Nivea Sun Pocket Size SPF30

Sometimes the very best grooming products aren’t the most expensive, coolest or most beautifully packaged. Sometimes they’re just simple, effective and functional. Very, occasionally, as in this case, they’re lifesavers.

The number of men dying from skin cancer has doubled in the last 30 years in the UK  partly, one suspects,  because we’re a bit crap at slathering on the sunscreen. There are times, of course, when even the most diligent of us gets caught out. After all, who carries a huge bottle of sun lotion with them everywhere?

This dinky 50 ml bottle of factor 30 suncream, then, is a godsend. Perfect for gym bags, work bags, car glove boxes and small enough for your trouser pocket when you pop out  at lunchtime, it’s my undisputed summer 2011 essential. Go buy!

Available now, priced £5.10

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

Grooming Guru Essentials: Anthony Logistics Facial Cleanser

When I first started writing about male grooming many years ago this superb cleansing for dry or sensitive skin was one of the first products I genuinely fell in love with. Because it’s non-drying, it’s perfect for skin like mine which can be a bit on the sensitive side and which easily ends up as tight as a drum after using cheaper cleansers. Glycerin-based (so much kinder on the skin that soap) it features extracts of azulene (an organic oil that’s great for redness and irritation) and a raft of other natural skin conditioners. It smells fantastic and – best of all – it’s bright blue!

To get your hands on some click here.

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

 

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