The boom in male grooming has revolutionised the way in which men perceive themselves, but it has not come without its fair share of casualties. There are, of course, the extremists – most Major League Soccer players, many Premier League footballers and the entire male cast of Jersey Shore – who are, for the most part, a lost cause. And then there are the gents who unwittingly take a wrong turn on the road to self-improvement and somehow find themselves bolt upright in bed at three in the morning panicking about the amount of gluten in their eye cream.
It is rare that I write a post in the first person or, for that matter, reference my own convoluted dermatological woes. But given that this is a blog, and blogs are designed for confessional writing, I should probably tell you about my chronic allergies – the kind of sensitivities that trigger eczema, angry flare ups and the occasional rash on my face. Not a strong look. Especially for someone that’s supposed to be a health and grooming editor on glossy magazines.
It is alleged that John Ruskin, the eminent 19th century art critic, had become so conditioned by pube-less sculptures that the sight of his wife’s lady garden rendered him unable to perform on their wedding night. If you possess an unusual amount of disdain for residual fur – especially your own – and have ever wondered how to shave (or wax or, indeed laser) your undercarriage, then my latest contribution to Mr Porter on the highs and lows of manscaping might be what you’re looking for. Click here or on the image above for the full story. I think my journalism career might have just peaked.
There is no greater oxymoron than a ‘healthy tan’. Bronzed skin may fit our cultural ideal of beauty but it is anything but healthy. Yes, sun exposure triggers the release of feel-good hormones and tops up our levels of vitamin D but the pros are severely outweighed by the all-too-familiar risks.
As the health and beauty industries start to merge, it’s no surprise that skincare now comes in pill form. Formally known as ‘nutricosmetics’, these pills and potions play on the idea of beauty from within. Anti-ageing drinks such as Gold Collagen, Fountain and Pure HA have taken the UK by storm.
As part of the ‘Skincare & Dermatology’ report in today’s edition of The Times, I explore the gut-skin connection, the nutricosmetics market and question whether supplementing has any effect on the skin at all. You can read the full article online here.
In spite of some very convincing greenwashing, many of the larger cosmetic manufacturers don’t have verifiable eco credentials or a long-term corporate responsibility plan.
Last year Unilever’s Indian arm, Hindustan Unilever, was accused of dumping toxic mercury from a now defunct thermometer factory in the forest near Kodaikanal, an act made public by, Kodaikanal Won’t, a youtube video that went viral. Episodes like these, along with an increasing amount of public awareness around carcinogens and toxins in personal care products, are forcing the industry to clean up its act. The most recent industry-wide reform came about when activists campaigned to ban the minute polyethylene microbeads that are found in most big brand face scrubs, toothpastes, body washes and other grooming products.
Miracle ingredients are a dime a dozen in the grooming industry. And while impossible promises are par for the course in an industry hell bent on making sales, there are a few occasions when a piece of bona fide science rises to the surface, clinical evidence in tact.
In my latest contribution to Mr Porter, I unpack the most common age-related obstacles for men from bone degeneration and crows feet to follicular mutiny. Click here for the full article or on the image above and discover five guaranteed ways to look and feel younger for longer.
Women are schooled in the art of stalling time. Given their delicate features and thinner skin, they’re well aware that signs of wear and tear invariably show up earlier for them than they do for men. Our biological points of difference – thicker, oilier skin and a more resilient body – mean that many lucky men enjoy an ageless grace period that lasts up until our thirties.
Come December ‘how to cure your hangover’ features are par for the course. My latest contribution to Mr Porter goes above and beyond the usual advice, citing everything from cosmetic quick fixes to pre-tox cocktails that will make your liver invincible. Click here for the full article or read an excerpt below.
As temperatures begin to drop, there’s a good chance your skin will take a beating. Harsh winds and cold, dry air rip into the skin’s moisture levels, leaving your face flaky and sensitised. In short, a simple moisturizer isn’t going to cut it anymore. Reach for these reparative solutions to beat the big chill and replenish dry skin.
There is one aesthetic affliction that cuts to the core of all grown men – hair loss that has the power to elicit responses ranging from steadfast denial to a televangelist-style comb-over. But acceptance is increasingly inconceivable in a world where there are so many viable options to tackle follicular shortcomings.
It doesn’t take a psychotherapist to see why hair loss can break a man. For centuries, a full head of hair has been a symbol of masculinity, an expression of youth, strength and virility. For many men, hair loss is emasculating, a brutal blow to their self-esteem, a depressing reminder that time is passing.