Skincare

The Power of Exfoliation

We hear this word time and time again. Whether at your girl’s house, stepping into Kiehl’s, or browsing the net. But facial scrub aka exfoliating isn’t just a buzz word to sell products. It actually works and is one of the most critical processes for a better skincare routine.

According to Shear & Shine, “exfoliating sheds hundreds of dead cells on a daily basis, this can clog up pores and lead to bumps/pimples. By exfoliating regularly you clear your skin of any debris, including product build up and allow the new layer of fresh skin to be exposed. If you shave often then you definitely need to exfoliate as this will help to reduce the risk of ingrown hair/razor bumps.”

As a barber, I got onto facial scrubs a couple years back and have been implementing that into my schedule. Think of exfoliating as setting up that Jordan / Curry jump shot. Your foot placement determines your level of elevation thus aiming for nothing but net. So whether you deal with super oily or flaky skin (like me), discoloration, wrinkles, or those horrid razor bumps, make sure to slip a facial scrub into shopping cart. As tempting it may be to simply slab a moisturizer on, the exfoliating scrub is the prerequisite that may be just what you need.

 By scrubbing off dead skin, you not only unclog pores and brighten the complexion, you are also exposing hair follicles, allowing for a closer shave and eliminating ingrown hairs.” – Alex Grogan, Co-founder of ManCave

Power moves of exfoliators: 

  • Removes dirt / grime
  • Ingrown hair / razor bump reducer (apply beforehand)
  • Dry-flakey skin solution
  • Regenerates skin coloration

 

Best times to use: 

  • After a workout
  • Before you start your workday
  • In the shower
  • Early morning / before date night

 

Below I’ve listed some personal recommendations that cut right into what you’re looking for. A handful of available of this options are made available at Birchbox Man.

 

Groom Guy Tip: I usually use my facial scrub while I’m showering. The steam from the shower opens up my pores and perfect launchpad to using the scrub effectively.

Exfoliating be like…

 

 

 

Skincare, Uncategorized

Diddy Officially Joins Beard Gang

When he’s not being predicted by Forbes as the first hip hop billionaires or Diddy bopping in his newest music video, Puff Daddy continues to exemplify the true definition of “Renaissance man.” In the midst of his many accomplishments and business ventures, he still finds time to keep his grooming routine on par. He remains as one our groomer spotlights.

He recently appeared pictured with Jay-Z at the Roc Nation party during Grammy weekend this year. Not only were we greeted with his fly salmon color suit but his beard has made its grand return. It looks as though he’s sporting a more natural grow out of his hair as he climbs up the age ladder (5-0 years old in three years). Puffy continues to keep us amused via Instagram of his habitual grooming practices. Either way, he’s aging gracefully and we’re happy to see him join the beard family. Jay-Z take notes…

Below we’ve listed some immediate beard favorites Diddy’s barber may want to introduce him to and you’ll want to get your hands on this upcoming Spring:

Scotch Porter Beard Balm
Babe of Brooklyn Beard Balm

 

Boldsmen Beard Balm – Redwood
Polish / Men's style, Skincare

At-Home Facial Skincare

By: Kadia Blagrove

Smooth, clean, even-toned skin can be achieved in 6 easy steps. Find your new daily routine below!

Step 1: Open your pores

Open your pores for a deeper clean. This can be done in a hot shower, a hot washcloth or towel, or by steaming your face over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head to trap the heat.

Step 2: Wash your face

Wet your face with warm water. Smooth a dime-sized squeeze of your facial cleanser between your palms and lather all over your face avoiding your eyes and lips.

Product recommendations: Garnier Shine Control Cleansing Gel, Cetaphil, Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

Step 3: Exfoliate

Scrub away dead skin and debri with a exfoliator towel, cleansing brush, or a gentle facial scrub.  Rinse with cold water.

Product recommendations: Prospector Co. Gleaner’s Facial Scrub

*OR go d.i.y. style and make your own: coconut oil + sugar mix,  honey + olive oil + sea salt mix

Step 4: Clean dry

You should always have a face towel, used only for, you guessed it, your face. It’s a great way to keep your face clean.  Pat dry your face.

Step 5: Toner

Close your pores with a toner. Dab a few drops of toner on a cotton ball and wipe all over face in one single swipe.

Product recommendations: Apple cider vinegar (can dilute with water if it’s too harsh for your skin), Witch Hazel, Origins United State Balancing Tonic

Step 6: Moisturize

Hydrate your skin with a non-greasy moisturizer. Apply a dime size amount of your moisturizer of choice and smooth all over that handsome, clean face of yours.

Product recommendations: Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion, Cetaphil, cocoa butter + coconut oil.

Kadia Blagrove is an NYC writer on all things life and culture. Catch her tweets at @KazzleDazz and her work on KadiaB.com.
Polish / Men's style, Skincare

Stay Polish’d: Essential Grooming Habits & Products for Fall

The Fall season definitely just smacked us across face reminding us to pull out our fall, and even winter, coats. We may get a little teaser of sunlight here & there but the wind & cold front is asserting its dominance for the next couple months.

You already know the obvious of grabbing that coat before you leave for work, but lets make that effort to make sure our basic grooming needs are seeking the attention they deserve. Gone are the days of fighting the Fall season with dry skin, neglecting those critical parts that can enhance your overall style. Trust me, she’ll notice…

Here’s some quick grooming tips to start paying attention to this season:

#1 Chapped lips

No need to have your lips feeling like stone. So before you leave for the day get acquainted with a lip balm that keeps your lips protect & moisturized. Newly released lip balm aim to restore moisture and provide immediate relief from dryness and sun protection. Goodbye cheap Blistex & Carmax…

 

 

#2 Dry hands

You’ll get no play having hands scaling like a crocodile. To with frame from those stone hand encounters, keep those hands softly equipped with a hand lotion. Personally, I catch myself moisturizing in colder climates at least twice a day.

#3 Dry Scalp

One of the most ongoing battles I face is dry scalp. Its when the Fall hits where it seems to be my most trouble some area. I’ve realized my shampoo regime has to become a bit more intensified in order to get a hold of the scalp maintenance and dryness prevention. If you’re like me, battling eczema, you may need that medicated shampoo like Selsum Blue which targets the source of dandruff with a maximum strength ingredient for relief of even the toughest dandruff symptoms. Added menthol provides a cool, soothing sensation.

In any case, before you cop out throwing on last year’s beanie on, treat your hair / scalp to some treatment with some recommended shampoos that’ll have it cleaned and smelling refreshed.

Be sure to check your local pharmacy, Walgreens, Duane Reade etc for the carrying of these recommended shampoos. They get the job done without doing any permanent damage to your wallet. I’ll be sure to go into specifics on what to look for when purchasing shampoos soon. Stay tuned!

#4 Facial maintenance 

The moment you jump out of the that shower and onto those streets, you’re immediately exposing your face to all types of bacteria. Various bacterial exposure and lack of facial cleansing lead to breakout and ingrown hairs. You can tackle those pimples and much more by applying that facial cleanser in the morning & nightly to ensure maximized effect.

Shaving, Skincare

What are Razor Bumps (Explained) + Treatment

No one ever said shaving is a walk in the park. It’s hard enough having to designate the time before / after our workdays to actually get it done. So its even worse when we’re given  an invitation to one of the most torturous repercussions or what’s mostly commonly found razor bumps.

Nothing annoys me more, besides a crappy haircut, then those bacteria-filled reactions. We read countless sources and ask our local barbers whats the best way to avoid or just an overall solution, but thankfully, I’ve got something for us that may put your skin irritation at ease.

Key things to remember:

1) According to WebMD.com, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They happen after you shave, when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. They cause irritation and pimples. They also may cause scarring.

ingrown-hair-and-other-shave-problems

2) Do NOT pluck or pop ingrown hairs or bumps. You have to fully come to terms that they are inevitable. This will be a key factor in permanent scarring and bacterial infection. So as tempting as it may be to pop that next ingrown…do not!

3) Everyone’s tolerance level is different when it comes to shaving. What works for you may not work for the next guy. Over the years, I’ve discovered that I can NOT use safety razor frequently. I’ve developed a system overtime that includes using a trimmer machine. So BE patient and aware of the journey, make mental markings of what seems to irritate your skin.

4) Listed below are some helpful tools that can instantly improve your overall shaving performance & defend yourself against any skin irritation / bump outburst (note: Be sure to contact me and ask any questions on application process or usage on products listed)

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Tend Skin Solution

 

Wahl Shaver
Wahl Super Close Shaver

 

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Thayer’s Witch Hazel

 

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Harry’s Daily Face Wash
post_shave_repair_gel_3605970706012_4-2fl-oz
Kiehl’s Post Shave Repair Gel

 

Bodycare, Grooming 101, Skincare

Grooming 102: Some Tools Every Man Should Have in the Shower

Whether you recognize it or not, your bathroom is your sanctuary. Gone are the days of having it look like a gym locker room. Here’s some helpful necessities that can transform your bathroom & shower routine into the manly kingdom we know it can be.

#1 Body Towel

I couldn’t understand why on earth  my mother bought this for me during my college years. What I thought was a lazy college, going away gift actually turned out super helpful. The body wrapped towels give spa-like vibrations that set the perfect finish to your shower. Some include a velcro attachment allowing an easy wrap and ability to multi task throughout your morning get up.

Izod Men’s Black Terry Cotton Wrap

#2 Facial Cleanser 

Lets hope you can notice your pimple outbreak before she can and tackle it. Applying a facial cleanser to your skin while in the shower assures the most effectiveness. Why? The skin is completely wet and with a combination of steam and hot / warm water your pores can fully open up for maximum results. Apply your facial cleanser in the shower and let it sit in your skin allowing both the steam and product to work simultaneously. We’re all familiar that cleanser generally rids your oily skin, acne breakout, ingrown hairs, and those nasty blackheads.

Recommended: Billy Jealously Facial Scrub, St. Ave facial scrub, Cetaphil facial cleanser

#3 Body Brush

It’s time to rid yourself of those body rags. On top of the fact its lived in your shower collection since you moved out of your parents house, it has tons of germs still sitting on the fabrics of it (even when you do wash it). Your mother’s body rags don’t properly clean the skin anyway and actually spreads dirt along the body. Body brushes contain strong bristles that exfoliate and lift the dirt & dead skin cells from the anatomy while boosting circulation and overall glow. I swear by this product which relieves my skin of any daily toxins that may have reached my oily skin. The long handles brushes are perfect for heard to reach areas too.

 

#4 Foot Exfoliator

Blisters. Calluses. Corns. They’re all on the foot hit list. It’s time to rid yourself of those disasters before that summer heat. I was introduced to a new device: Micro-Pedi Man. From the description, it gently and effectively buffs away dead, calloused, hard and dry skin in seconds. Classic metal scrapers can be dangerous & harmful since the metal can potentially cut the skin. Elevate your shower experience with this new device at a valued price of $19.99 via Amazon. Special shouts Alex Bracetti for the reference on this! 

 

 

#5 Soap Dish

Soap dishes are simple yet helpful household accessories that benefit users in many ways. In shared bathrooms, for instance, they are perfect for storing soap after having a bath. Nobody wants to share that bar soap amongst all their roommates. Instead of placing soap on the floor or on the countertop of your bathroom, a quality model will never disappoint you. For those that hate bathing with mushy soap on the other hand, soap dishes have well-draining systems that keep soap dry.

Shaving, Skincare

4 Common Shaving Mistakes

I got the opportunity to spend some time with friends in Virginia this past weekend. As usual barber instinct, I asked how’d my friend’s shaving routine was coming along. Like many of you, he shared that its been a continuous battle of uncertainty of products or simply not knowing what he should & should not do.

Over the course of the past couple months, I was able  to retrieve some response from various guys what troubles them most about their shaving experience. Maybe you can relate to some & fall right in line on the shaving rollercoaster:

#1 SHAVING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION

If you ever wish to give a personal invitation to razor bumps, you can simply shave (with a razor) in the opposite direction of your skin. Before you shave, its crucial to feel the direction of where your skin grows. For some it may flow downward and others upward but you must make sure that is clear before any razor touches the skin. Knowing this will help increase chances of a smooth shave & healthy regrowth pattern.

#2 APPLYING ALCOHOL

We’ve all experienced the barbershop at some point and been slapped with some classic rubbing alcohol after a close haircut. The truth is it may be a “disinfectant” but it is also another evil to dryness & razor bump development. Sterilization is important but there’s many more alternatives that do not strip your skin of its natural oils or feeling stone cold dry like Aloe Vera or Witch Hazel).

Fact: Surfactants and alcohol contribute to the problem of acne instead of preventing outbreaks while additionally causing dryness and irritation, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health in 2011.

#3 CHEAP BLADES

Gone are the days of your cheap BIC razors. Don’t become another victim to the conventional-shaving experience you get sold in TV ads and the “mens grooming” department at CVS or Walgreens. Treat your face with some respect and dignity. There’s currently a variety of upstart brands that are looking to redefine that shaving industry by first producing Grade A quality blades at a fair, competitive price. Many of these regular department store blades are poorly-produced and lack durability. Companies like Harry’s and Bevel stand at the forefront of the new shaving crusade. R.I.P. Bic Blades

Note: Both shaving products can be found in your local Target store.

R.I.P.

#4 NO SHAVING ROUTINE

I understand that every shave experience is different. Some may need more product then others but the fundamentals remain the same. The execution always starts with a pre shave and ends with an aftershave routine. Developing these healthy practices now will have a strong benefit in the long run & you should start seeing immediate results.