Invest in your future with Lab Series’ new Repair Serum

LAB SERIES RESCUEIn terms of skincare serums are a hard sell to men. Most of the guys I know have absolutely no idea what they’re for, how to use them or why they should add yet another step into their existing grooming routine.

In short, used morning and night, after cleansing but before moisturising, they’re a handy way to turbo-charge your regular skincare regime. Lab Series’ brand new Future Rescue Repair Serum – in its TARDIS blue bottle – is designed to “fortify” the skin’s natural protective barrier as well as improve its overall appearance, making it the perfect way to go time travelling with your skincare and, hopefully, discover a slightly younger-looking you in the process.

It works by delivering a potent antioxidant boost to promote the skin’s natural repair process and support the production of collagen – the stuff that keeps skin looking young and firm. It also contains ingredients to shift dead skin cells and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier thus protecting it from future damage. It’s ultra-light, quickly absorbed and leaves a matt finish and if you can be bothered to add it to your grooming regime (hey, it only takes about three seconds to apply)  it’s well worth a look.

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self to do just one thing (apart from not to drink Snakebite) it would be to do anything – and everything – to look after my skin for the future. Unfortunately, until there’s real time travel, this skin saviour in a bottle will have to do.

Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum is available from October from labseries.co.uk priced  £48 for 50ml. 

Male grooming for grown-ups

HIGH50Throughout much of my journalistic career I’ve written for men aged in their twenties, thirties and forties so it’s great to finally have the chance to write for guys who are 50+ thanks to the website high50. Guys in this age bracket are something of a forgotten audience when it comes to skincare (and male grooming in general) which is odd given their increasing numbers. As a man just a few years away from being 50 myself, I probably understand more than most how different a guy’s skincare needs are at that age than they are at 25, so it’s a real thrill to be writing for my contemporaries. So if you’re a man who’s 50+ or just want the heads up on how you should be looking after yourself once you get there, check out my male grooming features for high50 over the coming months. Oh, and if you’re a woman reading this they have some great ‘grown-up’ beauty features too!

Grooming Guru Essentials: Shiseido Men Total Revitalizer Eye cream

Shiseido eye creamHaving been a little under the weather this past week I’ve also been looking decidedly below par. A little like Uncle Fester in fact. So it’s a blessed relief I have this new eye cream from Shiseido to hand. Lovely and light it’s quickly absorbed, leaves no shine on the skin and is great for tackling annoying ocular occurrences such as eye bags and dark circles. It also has a special “Damage Defense Complex” which features a raft of ingredients to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier and keep the skin around the eye firm and hydrated. Anyway, it’s certainly helped make me look half-human again and for that reason alone I can heartily recommend it.

Available now from House of Fraser.

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 dermalogica.co.uk

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 www.dermalogica.co.uk

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

Grooming Guru Essentials: Molton Brown Skin-Firming Lipoamino Hydrator SPF15

Moisturisers containing sunscreens are pretty much de rigueur thesedays. After all, if you can buy a moisturiser that doesn’t just hydrate skin but also protects it from the ageing-effects of the sun on a daily basis why wouldn’t you?

The problem is finding one that doesn’t sit on your face, looking as though you’ve slathered yourself with white emulsion. Thankfully, this new addition to the Molton Brown range blends in a treat, leaves a non-greasy matt finish and doesn’t have that nasty sunscreeny smell either. As well as hydrating it also has a slight firming action on the skin. As anti-ageing moisturisers go it’s definitely up there with the best.

Available from Niven & Joshua priced £38 for 50ml. 

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

Ask the Guru: can I exercise my facial muscles?

Absolutely. According to Mike Gianelli, author of Facebuilder For Men (and a man who’s devised special workouts for your the face), slack facial muscles are the primary cause of the sagging skin and droopy jowls many of us develop as we hurtle into middle age and beyond. The fact that facial muscles aren’t connected to bone, as our other muscles are, is good news because this means that toning them up may help actually lifts skin they’re attached to.

For a quick workout Gianelli recommends opening your mouth, rolling your lips over your teeth forcefully then pulling the corners of your mouth towards your back teeth. Count to thirty-five and release. Then repeat five times, three times a day. Preferably when nobody’s looking.

If you can’t be bothered to do that you could always invest in a product like the Slendertone Face which exercises your facial muscles for you. It’s expensive though and does feel a little like you’re having a series of minor strokes until you get used to the sensation.

Personally I’m with the French who say happiness is the best facelift.

Nanoblur, FreezeFrame & Frown Fix. Can any of them really rid me of my wrinkles?

This week I’ve be testing out three anti-ageing products each promising, in their own unique way, to tun back the clock without you having to resort to Botox – something I’ve tried but am no fan of (see this old post for my views on that).

I’ve got to be honest, it hasn’t been a trial that’s over-impressed me. To be fair, the products I tried have certainly got their work cut out with my craggy, 40-something mush, especially as my face is testament to my general theatricality (I’m very much a stranger to the natural wrinkle-buster known as ‘Behavioural Botox’). But anyway, here’s how I got on with them. I’m not saying they will or won’t work for you, just how they performed on me. 

FreezeFrame, £49 for 50ml from Boots.  Seemingly this became the No 1 selling anti-ageing product in Australia in its first week. This does nothing to make me think well of our Australian pals, who I can only assume have much lower expectations than us Brits when it comes to wrinkle-busters.

In a similar way to products like Eyesential, it’s great for temporarily erasing wrinkles and would be brilliant just before having a family photo taken perhaps but not so great if you actually want to engage your facial muscles because all the wrinkles simply re-appear the moment you do. It contains a litany of muscle relaxants, face-freezers and wrinkle-relaxing octapeptides ( pentapeptides being terribly old hat) but alas, it still couldn’t cope with my fine lines and furrows. Don’t, whatever you do, use too much of the stuff either – it dries on your face like, well, I won’t say – but let’s just say you’ll look like The Singing Detective if you overdo it.

IP+ FAB FROWN FIXm £10.25 for 4ml from Boots I can’t tell you how excited I was about trying this. Looking back at old photos of myself recently I realised that I’ve been scowling almost since I left the womb. I don’t quite know what I was expecting, given the depth of my frown lines, but whatever it was I didn’t get it from this filler. Apparently celebrity fans include Sarah Harding, Victoria Beckham and the girl from last year’s X-Factor who did that thing with her hand. I can only assume these people have even lower expectation than the Australians.

Nanoblur, £19.99 for 30ml from Boots. The last of the trio of products I’ve been trying, this is also by far the best. Unlike the others it doesn’t relax muscles or fill out wrinkles – it simply cheats the eye into thinking your skin looks better than it actually is. Based on advanced optics technology (it contains millions of light reflecting particles) it evens out skin tone, minimises fine lines and gives skin a nice matt finish. Light diffusing technology isn’t anything new but this product seems to take things to a new level. And guess what? It actually works.

So I did actually find something to wrestle with the wrinkles in the end. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m ready for High Definition yet but, hey, it’s a start.

Placenta Collagen drink anyone?

Collagen drinks  have been around for a while now (Shiseido do one called The Collagen) but I must confess I’ve not actually come across one until my other half brought some back from a business trip to Japan. This particular beauty supplement, delightfully named as it is, actually contains pig-derived placenta collagen, is flavourless and can be added to food or fluid to make your own collagen drink. Very handy. They’re huge in Japan and, at £2.50 a sachet don’t cost the earth either. I did dab a wet fingertip into one just to try but frankly, given its origin (and I mean the pig not Japan) I think I’d rather stick with the wrinkles.