Mrs Everybody would like a quick word with the chaps out there.
She has been looking on ‘Men Who Moisturize’ blogs and thinks that the advice and products are so high in hype, that this ‘new’ consumer group (that is you!) are being deprived of their common sense and natural instincts.
You all know chaps who moisturize. They often do look younger than their chronological age and their skin looks healthy. Commendable. However, chaps, multi-national cosmetic manufacturers are trying to TAME you all. Is that what you really want?
While you know everything there is to know about cam belts, going up ladders and power tools, most men don’t have a clue about the principals of moisturizing. So here you go – the naked truth…
Do men need to moisturize?
Well not in the same way that men need sheds, hobbies, vehicles, power tools etc.
But that isn’t a ‘No’. Here are some ‘facts’ which I got off the internet!
When men have healthy looking skin, people assume that they are healthy inside too. Even is established relationships, the appearance of good health heightens your attractiveness.
These ideas are on my website and in articles I have written, so they must be true!
Men’s skin makes less antioxidants (compounds which reduce ageing) than female skin.
If that is true, then sorry about that chaps.
Men’s skin is less able to protect itself, from sun damage, as especially as the hair recedes.
Not to worry lovelies. Some experts in human evolution believe that receding hair typical in men in northern climates, gives a health advantage to affected males. They can make more Vitamin D3 (for the immune system and bones) from the sun. Sounds like fortifying stuff to me. Men with receding hair also learn a bit about empathy. Women suffer with hair thinning too.
Men spend a lot of time outside through their occupations, hobbies, waiting for fish to bite, loitering between goal posts, riding lawn mowers and so on and they are more exposed to solar damage.
Wearing a hat can prolong life. Sun exposure is said to be safest on the legs and body. You already know that it is safe to gradually increase your sun exposure to develop a tan. Conversely it is unsafe, unhealthy, painful and stupid to fry, broil or roast yourself on a single day or weekend.
Mens’ skin gets thicker as they age and becomes less flexible than female skin.
Perhaps thicker skin did provide an evolutionary advantage in the hunter gatherer period – less prone to damage moving quickly through grasses, undergrowth and hanging foliage while tracking animals? After all these are the things which separate the men from the boys so to speak. However the skin is less prone to ageing and damage when it is flexible, plus flexible skin feels more comfortable and looks better.
Men need to moisturize as much women, even if the reasons are a bit different! As you chaps are now living longer and longer, preventing the signs of aging, is a relatively new possibility. Hence many men feel slightly uncomfortable with the ‘new’ concept of moisturizing and associate the application of moisturizer to the skin as ‘girly’. That is understandable because moisturizers have been marketed to women for a very long time. Things are different now. It is a basic requirement. Our partners hope and expect that we will take good care of ourselves.
Men Who Definitely Moisturize – in a manner!
In certain traditional occupations and sports, men did protect their skin and keep it flexible and protected. Hence tanners who trampled skins in lye and long distance swimmers, used animal grease to protect the body and nails. Turkish oil wrestlers dowse themselves in olive oil. Warning, using animal fat might not increase your popularity nor enlarge your friendship circle.
Merv the Swerge, the famous Welsh Grand Slam rugby player used axle grease on his legs, but actually nobody would do this now as we know petrochemicals are toxic and carcinogenic – which is why mechanics sensibly keep their hands clean with gloves.
Don’t worry there are much better alternatives to fat, olive oil and grease. However let us bust another myth before we go on.
Where do you need to Moisturize?
Moisturize the exposed skin – face, (scalp if hair-free) neck, hands and nails.
You can moisturize more of the body if you like, but the goal is obtain such good skin condition that most of the skin takes care of itself, producing it own oil. I’ll give some hints on that later on.
Men who work with their hands should take very good care of their hands
Moisturizing the hands is vital for many occupations, hobbies and sports.
By protecting the hands and nails you can prevent the skin and nails them splitting and cracking. The skin, like a breathable membrane, should cover the body seamlessly without cracks and fissures.
If you work with your hands you should ensure that the nails are short. You will benefit from pushing the cuticles back daily while the skin is still moist after washing. In this way, you can prevent the cuticles from splitting. Moisturize the skin on the hands on both sides to keep it protected and flexible and oil the nails to make them stronger.
After work, the hands and nails need a good scrub with a nailbrush and hemp oil soap. This will remove grease, oil, soot, grime, plant resin etc without damaging the skin. Rinse well, then moisturize.
Choosing a Moisturizer
I can save you hours of your life, pounds and pounds, skin reactions and endless disappointment by giving you my tip.
Try using a cold pressed seed oil, called argan oil as your moisturizer. Argan oil absorbs quickly and completely into the skin and nobody will know that you are moisturizing, well apart from the fact, that your skin will look healthier and feel better protected. I have been using it myself for 7 years now.
Argan oil soaks very quickly into the skin and so you can still work with the hands afterwards. It doesn’t leave any surface residue (unlike coconut oil, olive oil etc). Flexible skin helps to protect the skin from mechanical damage. In this way axe makers, forgers, coopers, firemen, farriers and bush crafters are among our customers. I suspect that they all work in a Zen-like state of comfort and never knock-off work early due to sore hands.
As argan oil contains such a high fraction of tocopherol (Vitamin E) and Vitamin E provides UV protection, using argan oil must help to guard against sun damage. I haven’t had my argan oil tested for its UV protection factor – the test is hugely expensive – it could buy me 6 weeks of holidays somewhere really hot and I could test it for myself! Not that I have time for holidays! If you are going somewhere sunny, take a bottle with you and let me know!
Argan Oil is famous for its anti-aging properties. Say no more!
How to Moisturize?
Men who moisturize should focus on the exposed skin: The face and scalp, the neck, hands and nails. However moisturize other parts of the body if they really demand it. Some men moisturize once a day and some twice a day.
If you have hair, then oil the scalp 1 – 2 times per week, for an hour or overnight before washing it. Oiling the scalp is said to preserve the health of the hair and maintain the hair colour. We recommend using rhassoul clay in place of foaming shampoos, for washing the hair. In fact we use rhassoul clay like shower gel for washing all over.
If you are hair free, then you may need to moisturize the scalp daily to keep it looking healthy and to help to protect the scalp.
The skin is supposed to exchange water and oil soluble compounds, volatile gas and other gasses. So rather than automatically moisturizing the whole body, you should be able to keep your skin in good condition so you don’t need to moisturize all over. Shirley Eaton, the secretary in Goldfinger, did not actually die from asphyxiation after being painted with gold, she was only acting, but it is unwise to block the glands and pores in the skin as their secretions relieve the body of toxins.
Just a drop or two or argan oil is sufficient for each hand, and a few drops for the face and neck. The oil spreads best on the skin when the skin a slightly damp. Spread the oil quickly, you don’t need much pressure! It really only takes seconds.
If the skin is too oily a few minutes after application, you have used too much. If, after a few minutes, it feels a bit dry still, then use a few more drops. You will soon learn how little you need.
Learn to be discerning
This is the whole crux of this blog. Don’t be tamed by advertisers or duped by marketeers. Use your common sense and stick with something so simple it is prehistoric, fully natural, fresh, virtually odourless, plastic free and ethical.
Men should avoid plastic packed moisturizers (the oils leech chemicals out of the plastic which make your body produce more female hormones.) We pack our argan oil in amber glass bottles so that you don’t end up with premenstrual tension.
You don’t need products with long lists of ingredients. Real men in the past used fully natural resources with minimal aroma. That way they blended into the natural world better.
You can always add a splash of natural aftershave if you want to project a certain aroma – but be warned you can make terrible mistakes with aftershave and fragrant body care products and your mates might not tell you! In fact they probably won’t tell you. Also a lot of people around you are allergic to them.
I have noticed in searching for ingredients in commercial mens’ moisturizers that the vendors hardly ever provide a full list of ingredients on their website. So how can you make an informed choice? These vendors don’t want you to think about such trifles as the ingredients.
You don’t need anything containing artificial ingredients. In the world of cosmetics and food, in my opinion, artificial is never better than natural. If you have not heard of an ingredient, google it, with the word ‘safety’ or ‘toxin’ after it, to find out more. I am afraid that botanical products need to be listed in their official names. So argan oil is listed as Argania Spinosa seed oil. The official name does not do it justice and it makes it sound a bit spiky.
What is in those pots and tubes of commercial moisturizers?
A typical man’s moisturizer is essentially a fat or oil or some type, water and an emulsifier to bind them together. Due to the presence of water, there will also be preservatives. Fragrances will be added to mask the smell of the preservative. Artificial ingredients can disrupt your hormones, nerves and as well as the skin.
Fat, waxes or oil oil such Vaseline, oleum petrolatum, petroleum jelly, soft paraffin – all the same thing are petro-chemicals. Synthetic cosmetic oils can be derived from these. The fat or oil is mixed with water and the other ingredients to make it easy to spread. Then once you have put it on, the water evaporates. Why all this embodied energy, air miles etc, when you can just quickly spread a single ingredient of very fine, fast absorbing sustainable plant oil where it is needed?
Despite the differences between male and female skin you don’t even need ‘his’ and ‘her’ products. So you can reduce bathroom clutter. Order a glass pipette with the bottle and you can share the ‘liquid gold.’
Other tips for looking youthful
Eat highly nutritious food and eat enough of the good cold pressed oils and healthy fats. Make sure that your digestive system is working well and your general health is good.
You can also reduce the signs of aging by relaxing the face muscles. As you drive, relax your face so that you feel the relaxed state between you eyebrows, so that there is no furrowing of the brow. Relax the jaw socket. Try it in other situations too. I learnt it at yoga – just make sure that you don’t go into a complete Alpha State while you are driving.
You don’t need complicated routines or lots of products. Wash/Shower (We use Rhassoul clay for the hair, face and body with an exfoliating glove), Shave (Hemp oil soap), Moisturize (Argan oil).
Very Brief Summary!
Well I hope this has given you a basic orientation. Moisturizing is worth doing, in no way does it compromise your manliness and it only takes seconds out of your schedule. That way, your skin should behave itself well with minimal time and effort long into the future.
Exfoliate, Shave, Scrub Hands and Nail Clean with Hemp Oil Soap
Shower and Wash Hair with Rhassoul Clay Shower Gel (it comes as powder and just add water)
Moisturize and protect with Premium Organic Cold Pressed and Fresh Argan Oil
Also learn about the Volcanic Alum Deodorant, Aftershave, Shaver’s Styptic.