I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many wonderful cities and countries in my life thus far. But one thing I cannot stand is the dry, recycled plane air that wreaks havoc on my skin. If you’ve ever been in a plane before, you’ll know […]
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You don’t need special treatment – and that’s a good thing
Please note that this post is relevant to anyone who feels like they don’t fit the stereotype of who skin care is “for” – not just men. If you’ve ever felt the need to justify yourself for caring about skin, or caring about anything at all really, this is for you.
There’s a movement coming and I can feel it in the air. We seem to be waking up to the idea that self care is vital to our wellbeing and that’s absolutely fantastic. But I think that a large portion of people feel left out of the discussion when it comes to building a skin care routine and learning to look after themselves – men.
So, I’ve decided to write an open letter explaining why all skin care is for everyone and why you don’t need to dramatically set yourself apart from women to enjoy it. Here it is:
I know that skin care has for a long time been very polarising, where women have been the target market and men swept to the wayside. In the past decade or two, products marketed towards men have taken their place on shelves and many of us fell into the trap of believing that men’s skin and womens skin were intrinsically different. You know the drill – women need floral fragrance, pink packaging and many different steps, while men need powerful chemical smells and 2-in-1 menthol-style icy moisturisers made from volcano ash and charcoal.
I personally am of the belief that products should be stripped down to their bare minimum and considered in terms of “does it work” being a main priority, and my relatively ‘unisex’ routine reflects that. The truth is that skin care should be the same for men, women, and everyone. There are no special reasons to be limited in any way when choosing personal care. Yet I often see men, frequently teens, visiting online forums (shoutout to r/skincareaddiction) and being very careful to let their interactions make clear that they are a MAN and need MAN skin care products and advice for MEN.
On the most basic level, female and male skin is practically the same. It all works in the same way. Don’t buy into the idea that you, as a rugged man, need “tougher” products – it’s all marketing. You might be more oily or acne prone thanks to having more androgens, but that doesn’t require anything far outside the realm of ‘female’ skin care. Trust me, I’m biologically female and could run a deep fryer off my forehead in the morning. Focus on working out your skin conditions and skin type, finding products that give you good results and then run with it!
Skin care products – like almost everything in life – don’t have a gender. It’s not inherently feminine to purchase toiletries beyond deodorant and toothpaste. You don’t need that men’s face wash to justify cleansing – most mens products are pretty garbage anyway! Just use plain, unisex-packaged products if the appearance matters to you. They’re probably better because they’re usually fragrance free and less expensive – it’s a win-win!
And lastly, you don’t need an excuse to care about your skin. Though many men do suffer from bad acne, you don’t need it to give a shit about ageing well and healthily. Caring about yourself isn’t girly, and if it is, why is that such a bad thing? Normalise it. Learn that it’s healthy to want to keep yourself healthy.
I’m not discouraging you to look for skin care advice. But don’t start every question with “I’m a man looking for skin care advice…“. It doesn’t matter. You’re just as welcome as any other person here. I want to reassure you that being a man is no obstacle to healthy skin. No need for special treatment, excuses or validation. Better yourself a little bit at a time, no matter who you are. You absolutely can enjoy the same products and interests as people who are different to you, and that’s a good thing. Don’t explain yourself, justify yourself, excuse yourself or define yourself. There’s no need for an invisible, made up line separating all these people who literally have the same skin.
Keep breaking down barriers!
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If you’ve been reading for a while you might know by now that I’m a very pale person. I love being pale, I think it’s a unique look and it suits me. But when the warm weather rolls around (like it is now in Australia) and it’s time to hit the beach, sometimes I want a bit of colour so I don’t blend in with the sand. It make my eyes look brighter and my teeth look whiter, and less like I’ve been sitting inside on the computer for years.
Now, I take skin cancer and ageing very seriously and so I prefer to use at home self tanners rather than go out in the sun. I can customise the look I’m going for and all without risks! I thought that today I’d share a few of my favourites with you all. There are three different kinds of tan I go for, depending on the occasion and look that I’m after.
For the instant glow:
Have you ever gotten last minute plans and wanted to look sun kissed fast? Or new to fake tan and want to see what the colour might look like on you?
If you aren’t worried about it lasting more than one night, then I’d recommend something like Rimmel SunShimmer Instant Wash Off Tan. It’s fast to apply, needing no development time, and has a beautiful shimmery bronze finish. And wonderfully, it washes off with soap meaning there’s no commitment! But best of all, it’s a bargain over on Amazon.
For the natural look:
If you’re got an week where you’ll be photographed a lot, maybe a trip you’re taking somewhere or an important ceremony, looking a little bit tan can help warm you up in photographs and lend some flattering shadow to make you look slimmer. In this case, I suggest using Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Moisturiser the week in advance. You apply it once daily and get a little bit darker each time.
It’s a natural colour that looks real because it’s built up over time and fades beautifully too. You’re at less risk of missing spots and streak because it takes a few applications to become dark. I also love that’s it’s free from guide colour, meaning none of the brown stuff will rub off on your sheets and towels!
For the holiday bronze:
When I really want to look as if I’ve just stepped off a plane from Ibiza (and am actually capable of producing melanin) then I reach for Bondi Sands Tanning Foam in Dark. It’s a rich, dark golden glow that is almost over the top bronze. Perfect for lasting you a whole week without fading away to nothing. If you don’t live in Australia and are having trouble getting your hands on the Bondi Sands, I’ve heard great things about Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse in Ultra Dark.
Most importantly, a tan should be something you have fun with! Don’t let anybody tell you what colour is right for you. Whether you’re naturally dark brown or pale as paper, own it! Stay tuned because soon I’ll be doing a post with all my self-tanning tips, because fake tan is the only safe tan!
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon,
Hey everyone! I’m back from my summer holidays and wanted to quickly update you on the newest members on my skin care routine! Recently I was struggling with my skin more than usual (think bumpy texture, dullness and huge pores) and I decided it […]
Happy new year! I hope that everything you’ve been working towards comes to fruition this year, you make many good memories and move on from the past. If one of your goals is to up your skin care game in 2018, here are some skin […]
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many wonderful cities and countries in my life thus far. But one thing I cannot stand is the dry, recycled plane air that wreaks havoc on my skin.
If you’ve ever been in a plane before, you’ll know how horrible the air is. That’s because it’s brought in from outside the plane and at such altitudes (sometimes 30,000 feet) the air is freezing cold and unable to hold any moisture. The typical humidity inside an aircraft is 12 to 15% – or as low as 2% if you’re alone in business class, as a lot of moisture comes from other passengers’ recycled breaths (ew). This low humidity also has the other benefits of minimising the spread of bacteria and mould and keeping the electronics and structures of the airplane functioning happily. Unfortunately, our bodies work best at a humidity of 45-55%, meaning the cabin of a plane is way too dry for comfort.
Over time I’ve developed some tips and tricks for keeping myself as hydrated and happy as possible during long haul flights. Here they are:
1. Fly makeup free
We’re going to be doing a routine on two in the span of the plane flight, so makeup will just be a pain to remove. Wear big sunglasses if you’re self conscious! But nobody really cares what you look like in an airport or on a plane – and if you don’t to draw attention to yourself, you’re not going to like #4!
2. Bring a no-rinse cleanser
Refer to my post on why I don’t use a regular cleanser to see why Garnier Micellar Water and microfibre cloths are my go-to cleansing options for every day. On a plane, however, they’re perfect because you won’t need to climb over your row-mates to go to the tiny plane bathroom and use potentially hazardous tap water on your face.
3. Douse yourself with face mist
My solution for increasing your personal humidity levels is to bring along a face mist to spray around and on yourself occasionally to keep yourself moist. I’ve heard and experienced good things from Lush Eau Roma Water and Avene Mineral Water. But nowadays I just like to take a watery lotion (usually Hada Labo Super) and mix it half-half with some water in a little travel spray bottle. Then I can just spray this on before I apply moisturiser and it lends a little extra hydration to my skin. Please note however that strong smells can be upsetting or even dangerous to other passengers on the plane so I emplore you to use fragrance-free or low fragrance products where possible.
4. Sheet mask session
These amazing inventions are pieces of thin cotton soaked into tons of skin care goodies, and usually ones that are full of humectants that will draw water from the deeper layers of your skin. They look absolutely terrifying, no lie, but it’s worth it for the relaxation and pampering factors, plus the skin benefits! I like to leave mine on until it starts to dry out then I whack on an occlusive to seal in all the goodness. I’m currently working my way through a box of My Beauty Diary Black Pearl masks and they’re awesome.
5. Never forget to apply an occlusive
Occlusives are essential if you want to stop the dry plane air from sucking your skin dry. Water wants to create a natural balance, and so if the air is drier than your skin, water will try to evaporate into the air. We can address this by using a strong occlusive layer as the final step in our in-flight skin care routine. This traps water in your skin, preventing the trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). I personally think the best and cheapest occlusive is Vaseline – it has been shown to reduce TEWL by 98% and is easy to find worldwide. If you really hate the feeling of vaseline, an oil like Squalane or Jojoba (my two favourites) is better than nothing. Heavy creams with shea butter or beeswax also work, but can be comedogenic so tread with caution. The most important thing is to never let your skin be without some rich occlusive layer, otherwise it will dry out really fast in the cabin air.
6. Drink water regularly
Not exactly a skin care tip, but the air will really dry out your whole body, especially your mucous membranes. Keep sipping on small amounts of water to limit the number of bathroom visits.
Basically, hydration is everything! You don’t need special expensive products or an exhaustive routine to stay looking fresh and feeling good if you stick to that rule. Slap on some moisturiser a few times and call it a day if you’re really minimalist. I just like to make my plane routines lush and lengthy because why not! I’ve got nothing better to do and skin care is something I enjoy.
I wish you luck on your next flight and hope you’re going somewhere amazing! See you again soon,
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