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A rise in metrosexuality and competition among our fellow men has led to an increase in grooming and products aimed at us. Nevertheless, most men are still pretty clueless when it comes to the use and knowledge of such items.
As someone who takes a lot of pride in their appearance, I have been slathering on copious amounts of lotions and potions for many years. Popular culture has created a lot of pressure to achieve mainstream standards of beauty. These pressures are not our concern. We come at this from the angle that self-esteem and personal care are acts of respect for ourselves – and grooming may be part of that.
As a writer covering topics from fashion to beauty, I am often faced with many questions from misguided men and many open to trying out new regimes and methods to enhance their natural beauty. Here’s just a few of the questions I am asked and how best I can advise on said topics:
How do I stop my hair from thinning and can it be reversed?
In all honesty there isn’t a great deal that can be done to re-grow hair when it comes to male pattern baldness, unless you have the budget for a hair transplant. Baldness and receding hair is often hereditary and is inherited from our parents’ genes. Around 80% or more of men will lose their hair before late adulthood.
If you have started to notice a difference with hair loss, then I would suggest investing in products such as Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo. A product that’s very much in its marketplace infancy, it can prevent further hair loss by strengthening the hair roots through its patented caffeine formula. As it’s free from a lot of unnecessary cleansing ingredients, that can often strip the hair of much needed natural oil, it leaves the hair with more grip and hold.
Thickening shampoos can also be used to increase the hair shaft and give a fuller appearance. I would avoid styling products such as gels and creams, as they can highlight thinning hair, by weighing it down. Opt for a mousse and blow dry through the hair, or volume boosting powders, applied directly to the hair root.
How can I decrease the appearance of wrinkles?
Firstly you must look into your diet and see if there is anything that could be hampering your chances of gaining vital nutrients for your skin. Look to any leather bag, for example, and notice over time how it dries out and gets tougher in appearance. This is due to lack of hydration. You may find that increasing your amount of fluid intake and eating fresh food brings a fresher glow to the skin and clears up any unwanted pimples.
Sleep deprivation is also a massive cause of skin fatigue, so ditch the late nights and try to get 8-9 hours’ sleep a night.
A good skincare routine is also vital and should begin with a thorough cleanse, tone and moisturising. Don’t think that by applying half a tub of product to your face it will miraculously fill out fine lines, as it won’t. All that will happen is your pores will clog up, causing breakouts, and if used heavily around the under eye, you will retain water and gain puffy eyes. Instead, as a general rule of thumb, an amount of moisturiser equivalent to the size of a 50p coin is more than enough to hydrate your face. Work the product into your hands for 20 seconds and gently pat onto the skin, don’t drag and pull it down, work it in light upwards motions.
What is the best way to apply false tan and what are the best products to use?
Skin prep is key when it comes to a flawless tan and it also helps if you have a friend to get those hard to reach places. The skin must be exfoliated before applying fake tan, to get an airbrushed finish without the dreaded patchy colour. Areas such as the knees and elbows can be very unforgiving if not exfoliated correctly. The skin naturally sheds itself every few days, so it’s imperative that you have fresh skin when applying such products, as the results can also last much longer.
After this process you must then seek to hydrate the skin, by using a light body moisturizer. Pay extra attention to areas prone to dry skin, such as the knees and elbows.
Always use a mitt to apply tan as it can be tremendously tricky to wash off and in some cases may require scrubbing! Be wary also that a little goes a long way, you don’t have to use a full bottle to get full coverage.
By moisturising your body first, you enable the tan to glide over the skin and cover a larger surface area. Work from your feet first and smooth the product up the skin and buff out in a circular motion to ensure it is blended in completely. I don’t tend to use a general fake tan for my face, as it dries my skin out, so I would use one that is tailored for your face, where the skin is more sensitive and prone to clogging.
Okay, so now you’ve covered your body and you’re worrying your hands will be whiter than a glacier. A little tip is use the mitt, with any product left behind, and lightly slide over the tops of your hands. Don’t make the mistake of applying tan like a hand cream as you will wake up looking like you hit a bucket of BBQ chicken.