If anyone ever tells you that you can’t do something because it’s only reserved for women or men, just gently shove them in their time machine and back to the 1950s, because it’s 2017 and you can do whatever the hell you want.
Facials, for example, have more commonly been associated with women. But why? What’s so wrong with a man looking after their skin? If making sure your eyes don’t look like drooping bin bags is overtly feminine, then fill me up with oestrogen and call me Sarah, because looking after your skin is just common sense.
We caught up with Samuel Hickey, a barber and facial expert at London’s famous grooming institution Murdock, to talk us through why working a men’s skincare regime into your week is highly important and what it actually does.
Why should men get a facial?
“A facial is nothing to be frowned upon for gents. It’s an ideal way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take time to relax. The facial itself is a great way of cleansing, nourishing and rehydrating the skin and keeping yourself looking the best you can. Simple things like exfoliation (by using a facial scrub) can change your complexion by working away at the dead skin cells and removing the excess oils.”
What exactly goes on during a Murdock facial?
“A Murdock London facial comprises of six key steps using high-quality products to maintain an ideal skin regime. Firstly, we start off with the Murdock Cleansing Facial Wash which contains aloe vera and peppermint. We use this to cleanse the face and remove any excess oils and dirt from the skin – which could potentially clog pores – and reduces sensitivity.
“We then apply Murdock Exfoliating Facial Scrub which uses natural pumice to extract dead skin cells and keeps the skin feeling fresh. The pores on the nose are little pockets which face downwards so I always recommend working the scrub from the tip of the nose upwards to get into the pores a lot more effectively. After applying the scrub, we use a hot-towel to steam the face which will let the scrub work to full effect as it opens the pores to their maximum capacity and will let you unblock the pores once removed with a lot less pressure.
“After the hot-towel, application of the Murdock Hydrating Facial Moisturiser all over the face will rehydrate the skin post-steaming due to the essential vitamins and minerals in the product.
“We then use Murdock Anti-Aging Eye Serum which contains cucumber, arnica and elder. The combination of these plant extracts reduces any puffiness around the eyes and reduces dark circles (which is in fact just trapped blood cells) and soothes tired eyes. Lastly, the application of Murdock Daily Lip Salve leaves potentially chapped or cracked lips feeling and looking a lot healthier.”
What’s the most important part of a facial routine that a guy can replicate at home himself?
“All of the facial regime is pretty straight-forward to follow and easy to replicate at home. However, the steaming of the face can be achieved by simply turning the heat up slightly on the shower when the facial scrub is on and this will replicate the hot towel.”
That hot towel feels good, but what does it actually do?
“So the hot towel steams the face and opens the pores which allows all of the products to soak in and take effect. Without this, product can simply sit on the face, not penetrate the skin and not achieve its full potential.”
Do you see a lot of guys come in for facials?
“We’ve seen a rise in gents coming in for facials. They’re great to combine with any other service, it allows you to take more time away from the world and relax in one of our branches with a cup of tea or something stronger.”
How often should guys be doing this type of stuff to their face?
“You can follow the facial regime daily which will enhance your skin and allow for maximum hydration and reduce blemishes and skin irritation. However, the exfoliating facial scrub should only be used twice a week. Overuse of the scrub can irritate the skin and take off too many layers of epidermis which can cause sensitivity.”