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

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