The hyperactive sebaceous glands that cause oily skin are wiley little blighters. Succumb to the temptation of stripping them dry with industrial strength acne / anti-blemish formulas, and you’ll send them into overdrive, causing an oil spill of BP proportions. Kid gloves, good sirs, are required when treating greasy skin.

Ren’s four-strong, step-by-step anti-blemish range tackles the three causes of breakouts (excess sebum, build up of dead skin cells and bacteria) with gentle, bioactive formulas that won’t set off a series of side effects. The anti-microbial day fluid and cleanser are great for balancing out problematic skin but it’s the clay mask and  night serum which win hands down for reducing redness and lightening pigmented acne scars. They’re no solution for serious cases of hyperpigmentation or scarring but they will sort out that ‘Windolene’ shine in a jiffy.

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If scented candles are for girls, then these stink bombs are definitely for boys. Props to Cire Trudon, the oldest (and arguably most lauded) candlemaker in operation, for breaking with tradition for these innovative boules puantes. More pleasing than the sulphurous stench of rotten eggs, these posh bombs instantly scent rooms with fragrances from the existing Cire Trudon candle range including bestsellers Abd El Kader and Spiritus Sancti.

£29; available from September; united-perfumes.com

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The idea of  altering one’s skin tone might incite racial debate on these shores but in Asia, where skin whitening products are a ubiquitous (not to mention hugely profitable) part of the beauty industry, there’s no shame in wanting to achieve a more ‘wheaten’ hue.

In 2005, Indian firm Emami  was the first to offer whitening products for men, followed closely by the L’Oreal stable of brands and Nivea, making the market worth some £12 billion.The success behind skin whitening lies in the cultural belief among some Asians that the lighter one’s skin tone, the higher their social standing – a hangover, no doubt, from the colonial days when darker skin tones were negatively perceived.
Vaseline (who, rather worryingly, released a product with the promise that it would achieve ‘an Aryan glow from head to toe’)  has just launched a Facebook app aimed at men featuring Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor.  The software allows users to adjust their profile pics so their skin appears lighter.
In spite of its instant success, parent company Unilever isn’t prepared to comment on how their campaign might be perceived as a way of perpetuating an outdated and racially-insensitive mode of thought.

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Anti-ageing products are a minefield to navigate but they basically fall into two groups: preventative potions (for those sensible enough to know their good looks won’t last for ever) and industrial-strength curative formulas (for when the shit really hits the fan).
Lab Series’ new Max LS Age-Less face cream (out today) sits on the fence, offering unbeatable damage control for those under 30 (the sirtuin-based formula prolongs the lifespan of cells to stave off the ageing process) along with enough reparative ingredients to help counteract the fine lines that come later.

For guys who don’t like cream-based formulas, this multi-faceted potion has more of a balm-like texture that skin drinks in seconds.

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Talking about – let alone shaving – one’s ‘happy place’ is riddled with pitfalls. Props to  Philips for handling the delicate subject matter of manscaping with uncharacteristic humour while trying to flog their ‘bodygroomer’ in the US. In this ingenious reworking of the infamous Vagina Monologues, various men talk about their personal relationship with body hair. A particularly funny (though decidedly un-PC)  skit  featuring a hirsute Frenchman is no longer available on the site but you can still view the winning sketches, including the hilarious ‘Vas Backwards’.

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