There may have been a time when it was acceptable for a man to look like he had just rolled out of bed. But we live in a slightly more equal world today and there’s no reason he can’t benefit from the science that has come to our aid for so many years. This handy guide to facials and skin-care treatments is a good place to start. By Joyoti Mahanta
You know it’s a big trend when advertisers home in on it. An increasing number of skin- and hair-care products are being created and marketed to the Indian man. This makes business sense, since personal care for men is one of the fastest growing industries in the beauty sector—it’s expected to be worth worth AED 2.9 Billion by 2016, according to a Euromonitor study. Surveys have shown that men love their perfumes and skin creams. Most male grooming products and treatments, like facials, are focussed on tackling specific problems, like blackheads, tanning and greasiness, because men are more likely to have open pores and blackheads. Here’s a ready reckoner of skin-care procedures for men to help you cut through the clutter of a rapidly growing market.
Go for: MARINE THERAPY, CRYOTHERAPY, FRUIT FACIALS
Reena Sheth, manager at the Taj Salon in The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai says, “Men’s skin is generally oilier than women’s. They have more sebaceous glands and regular shaving causes friction which further stimulates the sebaceous glands. Oily skin tends to be prone to acne, which is caused by the clogging of pores with the oil secreted by the skin.” For this, the Taj Salon in Mumbai recommends the Rebalance treatment, which is a high-tech facial for stressed skin. It combines energising marine active ingredients, delivered through a relaxing massage. The skin soon regains its tautness and balance, and signs of tiredness are erased. Mumbai-based celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad recommends cryotherapy. Its name is derived from the Greek cryo meaning cold, and this therapy has been in use since the 17th century. It’s ideal for acne-prone skin. Dr Sharad explains, “During this treatment, dry ice is applied on the face and this absorbs the excess heat and oil. It’s a quick procedure and reduces acne considerably. Even a facial made of a mixture of papaya and cucumber peel reduces oil production, but you must first exfoliate with an orange peel.”
Go for: OLIVE OIL FACIAL, MINERAL-LADEN FACIAL, AROMA-MASQUE
Years of neglect takes its toll on men’s skin. “Most men neglect their facial skin by using regular soap to cleanse it. Drinking, smoking and caffeine addiction add to the problem of dehydration,” says Reena. Dr Sharad recommends a facial that is olive oil-based, “Olive oil is extremely nourishing and will deliver the hydration that your skin needs.” At the Taj Salon, you can avail of the Quench facial, packed with hydrating mineral properties. Additionally, aroma-masque facials are a good choice for those who suffer from dry skin or stress. These facials contain aromatic oils, which not only hydrate the skin but relax the mind too.
Go for: MICRONISED MARINE ALGAE FACIAL, MESOPORATION, OXYGEN JET PEEL
Due to environmental factors, negligence or improper lifestyle, men’s skin is more prone to congestion. Pollution suffocates and dulls the skin. The toxic particles create free radicals, which damage the skin and accelerate ageing. At A’Kreations, a luxury salon in Mumbai, they use products by brands focussed on rejuvenation, like Phytomer, Remy Laure and Thalgo. Anjoo Karanjia, owner of the salon, says, “Phytomer and Thalgo are marinebased products, and their key ingredients are very soothing to male skin. Thalgo’s Micronised Marine Algae has shown effective results in detoxifying the skin, leaving it soft and supple, with a smooth texture. Results can be seen from the first sitting, but three to five sittings are recommended for best results.”
At the Taj Salon in Mumbai, the Breathe facial is recommended for congested skin. It has been specially concocted to protect skin against pollution and dirt. “Thalgo’s revolutionary anti-pollution complex combats the three radicals most harmful to the skin and creates a shield to help skin breathe and recover its radiance. After an energising cleansing ritual, the skin is detoxified with depolluting foam. The unique mask repairs and reinforces the skin’s barrier function. An oxygenating serum is applied with a relaxing massage. Finally, an antioxidant, antipollution and anti-UV Oxygen 3-Defence Fluid SPF 15 is applied to protect the skin, leaving your skin refreshed,” says Reena.
Dr Sharad further adds that the oxygen jet peel is very popular with her male clients, irrespective of their age. “It is a natural non-invasive, relaxing and painless skin-care procedure where a machine delivers pressurised air in the form of micro droplets that gently and painlessly cleanse and exfoliate the skin. This peel delivers moisture, vitamins and nutrients into the skin without needles. I usually perform skin polishing prior to the peel to remove dead skin and grime.” She adds that mesoporation is also a popular option. “Most men don’t have the patience to apply creams and follow elaborate regimens, so this is a quick and painless fix. Here, active ingredients, vitamins and serums are infused into the skin, deeper into the dermal layer, with the help of an ultrasound device to get fresh-looking skin. This procedure can be done once in 10 days.”
Go for: COLLAGEN TREATMENTS, MESOPORATION
Men’s skin generally tends to age faster than women’s due to their genetic make-up. At the Taj Salon, there is a special facial called Reverse, which gives skin an instant collagen boost and corrects the signs of ageing. “After a relaxing welcome massage, a cleansing ritual adapted to your skin type, and an intense exfoliation to smooth the skin and allow optimum penetration of the active ingredients, an expert anti-ageing massage lifts the features and helps the skin drink in all the marine collagen. The collagen mask smoothens fine lines and has a plumping effect,” explains Reena. Mesoporation is also effective in reducing the signs of ageing, as well as blemishes and tanning, says Dr Sharad.
Go for: CLEAN-UPS, FRUIT PEELS
Not only are men more prone to clogged pores and blackheads, their skin is also typically thicker, oilier and, in some cases, much more sensitive. Regenerating facials are perfect for men as they not only cleanse and exfoliate, they also repair sun and environmental damage. During the process, the skin is cleansed, exfoliated and steamed, and a facial mask, mostly fruit-based, is applied during the final step.
A basic clean-up is also a great way to address blackheads, unclog pores, get rid of dead skin and impurities leaving the skin squeaky clean. In this case, it cleanses, removes dead cells, picks at blackheads and scabs, and moisturises skin, leaving it smooth and glowing. The facial skin is cleansed using steam, and blackheads and whiteheads are removed. Then tiny granules are massaged in a circular motion, gently exfoliating the skin. Once the exfoliation is done, skin is moisturised. Those suffering from acute acne and rashes can try a clean-up rather than a facial. “Fruit peels made of orange, papaya and cucumber are great at reversing the signs of sun damage as they are not only rich in vitamin A and C, but also have skin-lightening properties. They are great multitasking peels that can be used to address several problems and are mild on the skin as well,” suggests Dr Sharad. A caveat: If you have combination skin, it is best to avoid peels and opt for skin polishing instead.
IF YOU CAN’T SQUEEZE IN THE TIME FOR A SALON APPOINTMENT, HERE ARE SOME QUICK-FIXES AT HOME:
Take the pulp of a cucumber and add half a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well. Massage your face with this mixture for some time. Rub your face with orange juice and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash your face with cold water after this process. This vitamin A- and C-rich facial will lend a glow to your face.
Take a tablespoon each of honey, egg yolk and olive oil, and mix well. Apply this mixture and massage onto the face. Follow up with a massage using a face buff brush. Keep on for 10 to 15 minutes. Use cold water to wash.
A facial of sandalwood and rose water is effective. Massage the mixture onto the face and let it dry. After 20 minutes, wash off with cool water.
PHOTOGRAPHS: MASTERFILE INDIA, SHUTTERSTOCK