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Men’s skin saviours

27 July 2022

New to skincare or want to up your grooming game? Our expert shows you how to achieve complexion perfection. By Emily Dean.

Emily Dean
Emily Dean photographed by Mark Harrison.

I will always be eternally grateful to The Rolling Stones. It was at their gig, in the summer of 2018, that I was gifted a truly momentous eavesdropping experience. As Keith Richards strummed the iconic riff to (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction a loud roar erupted. Suddenly the giant screens showed Mick Jagger’s legendary lips, poised to sing those first words. The stadium fell eerily silent with awe. At that pivotal moment a woman near me screamed at ear piercing volume, ‘MICK’S STILL GOT ALL HIS OWN TEETH, LESLEY’. She’s held a very special place in my heart ever since. Anyone preoccupied with dentures while watching the greatest live rock band in history has a respect for personal grooming that leaves me awestruck.

In fairness to her, Mick is in distractingly good nick. As well as all his own teeth, Lesley, he is also a skin-spiration. He’s swerved that taut surgery look and seems to have slowed down the ageing process with his hardcore skincare regime, which is said to involve Crème de la Mer, Lancôme and La Prairie.

‘Online shopping has given birth to an array of male anti-ageing gems’

And if there’s one thing guaranteed to win my heart, it’s a man who throws a little love at his skin. Traditionally, men always got a rough end of the deal when it came to products. But since male grooming has become normalised – thank you, David Beckham – and online shopping (let’s face it, beauty halls can be pretty female-centric places) has given birth to an array of male anti-ageing gems. And the good news? It’s never too late to get into good habits. The sooner you start, the more your skin will thank you.

So, the first rule of men’s skincare club? Step away from female products. Your skin is thicker, with bigger pores, so you’ll need to bring out the big guns.

Second rule: obey the four commandments of skincare: use exfoliator twice a week (three if you’re going full Jagger), followed by cleanser, serum and moisturiser.

Quick exfoliating masterclass: it’s basically the process of removing dead skin cells using a gritty paste to leave you freshly scrubbed and youthful – a bit like sanding down a door but smells nicer. Neal’s Yard Remedies For Men Revitalising Face Scrub (£18, Amazon) is a total hero that gently buffs away old skin cells with a blend of organic ground rice and rosehip seeds. It also contains green clay to draw out impurities. Every chap should have it in his washbag.

A man once told me he didn’t need cleanser as he didn’t wear make-up. Fun fact: bare skin gets a daily onslaught of grime and pollution, so to keep it looking healthy and hydrated it still needs a vigorous clean. Bulldog’s grooming products are no-nonsense marvels that are handily available in supermarkets so you can chuck them in with the weekly shop. Bulldog Original Face Wash (£4.80, Sainsbury’s) is packed with natural ingredients, such as aloe vera and green tea, to de-clog pores, prevent excess oil and keep skin supple.

Some men tend to skip serums. Breaking news: face serums are the holy grail of youthfulness. They are a concentrated dose of all those nourishing, protecting properties that stave off signs of ageing in one magic bottle. ManCave Age Defence Face Serum (£10.50, lookfantastic) is a game changer, working hard on fine lines, wrinkles and dullness. It also contains a fabulous ingredient called hyaluronic acid, which plumps and firms. A proper keeper.

Finally, get involved with moisturiser. Nivea Men Anti-Age Hyaluron Face Moisturising Cream SPF15 (£10, Sainsbury’s) is affordable, non-sticky and formulated to help reduce fine lines while improving firmness and elasticity (the SPF ingredient also keeps fine lines and sun age spots at bay). It dries completely matt so that glowing complexion will be your little secret.

A few months using these skin wonders and I promise that yes, even you, Mick, will be getting full satisfaction.

TIP - Rule out razor bumps – warm water makes skin more pliable, so save the shave for post shower

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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