Finally! pharrell releases his skincare secrets [WATCH]

A year or so ago, Groomguy.com made sure to spotlight Pharrell Williams due to his ageless skin that seems to give the reversible Benjamin Button effect. It seems like each year we see him, his skin comes more radiant. Without a mention of any magic drug, GQ was finally able to get the super producer to spill some gems on how he does it. He recently announced his skincare line, HUMAN, and we are moments away from getting that a test drive.

As you can imagine, his debut collection is currently sold out but can be viewed at the online store.

https://youtu.be/1ZLlVdfvLYc

RAndy reed Talks Psoriasis, Home Tools and Barbers

Itchy scalp. Constant dryness. Redness. Flakes.

These are just some of the common tortuous symptoms of skincare agony. We often fall into illusion that if we just scratch more, it'll miraculously give a give us a dosage of temporary relief. That is, until you're scalp is suffocating from some unknown oil you got from the first results page of Google Search aimlessly researching "itchy scalp solutions." Stop it. Bury all of that.

I had these struggles as well only to find out its a very common skin condition within the United State. If you've got an ongoing issue with your scalp after shampoo and/or conditioning treatment, chances are, you have a condition, or some form, of psoriasis. The name itself sounds terrifying. But rest assure, its easily treatable and found in 2-3 percent of the total population. So you're not alone in the recovery process. I recently had the opportunity to chop it up with skincare expert Randy Reed of Osswald Parfumerie Boutique in New York City. Serving NY's supreme clientele and a licensed esthetician, Randy supplied us with some everyday tips to end the immediate horror sightings of psoriasis.

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Groom Guy: What does psoriasis look like?

Randy Reed: So it typically takes shape of a rash. Most of the time, due to the irritation and scratching, it’ll be red patches.

Groom Guy: How many people have this condition?

Randy Reed: It’s very common. Don’t worry.

Groom Guy: What can trigger psoriasis?

Randy Reed: There’s a number of factors included in the inflammation like your diet. Most commonly is the environment or climate that you’re in especially harsh cold winters where you’ll have little sun exposure.

Groom Guy: What’s the best treatment for it?

Randy Reed: A short term treatment is buying a skincare product with SPF (aka Sun Protection Factor) as an immediate solution. Many products that are packed with this measure of protection will keep your scalp and/or face protected. Food plays a role in your psoriasis as well. For example, one’s sensitivity levels to gluten (typically found in breads) may aggravate an itchy scalp. So pay attention to what you food you intake and stock up on inflammation fight-foods.

Mister Fresh featured in GQ Thailand.

Groom Guy: When we transition into new seasons, what should we be doing?

Randy Reed: Stay Moisturized! Using a facial moisturizer will you give you a thicker layer and protect you from outside infestations. I use a serum  which is a pre-moisturizer and locks in moisturizer.

Groom Guy: Any other home made solutions?

Randy Reed: You’ll want to invest a humidifier. This device is designed specifically to put moisture into the air. By traveling, working out, you lose moisture throughout your work day. At night, your skin is supposed to repair itself. With the humidifier preventing the air from being dry, that also means it stop your scalp and face too.

The best winter investment I made. - Groom Guy

Groom Guy: Should your local barber know how to treat this?

Randy Reed: No. A professional should be mindful of this during the consultation and then recommend the client seek a specialist aka dermatologist.

Groom Guy: Is there anything a client can do before/after a haircut?

Randy Reed: He/She should tell the barber immediately before the cutting hair process. The barber should shampoo & condition the client before haircutting to reduce the inflammation during the cut.

Note: A visit to your local dermatologist will be available to give your special case a full evaluation with easy treatment. Many patients get equipped with an ointment or prescription that’ll show immediate results.

Be sure to visit Randy Reed's site iammisterfresh.com & follow him: @iammisterfresh


Product Review 102: Gillette SkinGuard Razor

As told by Kwame Thomas, 2019

Gillette has heard your cries and your prayers. The ongoing pains of razor burns, bumps, and other mistreatments from poor blades can slowly become a thing of the past. The historic shaving company has recently launched a new campaign introducing the new Skin Guard Razor. It's equipped with a two-blade cartridge and targets men with sensitive skin and prone to common side effects like razor bumps. Has Gillette made a strategic retreat from the “razor blade wars?”  I was recently sent one and tried it for myself.

The common consequence of using a poor, dull or even too many blades on a single razor.

“Gillette SkinGuard is the first razor specifically designed for men with sensitive skin and razor bumps. The razor shaves hair and protects the skin thanks to its unique SkinGuard positioned between the blades. It works to minimize tug and pull and cut hair at skin level, helping to prevent irritation.”

Gillette Company

An occasional razor bump or ingrown hair will probably happen to every shaver at some point.  But some people get them all the time, over a larger area.  If it’s not treated, over time it could result in keloid scarring. My first couple of shaves with the Gillette SkinGuard were decent, as I was skeptical it could live up to the HYPE. 

I used the PURE shave cream that was provided in the kit, with a brush and the lubricant on the cartridge mixed with the lather in an odd way, creating little “tendrils” and generally not shaving with a clean track. I’ve seen this happen with other lubricated cartridge razors, especially the lubrication “gel” in some Schick Hydro cartridges.  However, the results of those shaves were actually quite decent–solidly in the “Damn Fine Shave” although I have a beard I got my neck line and cheeks and under my nose to shape up my mane. There is virtually zero “blade feel” from this razor–to me it feels like a piece of plastic is being drawn over my skin.  On the other hand, I think the shave is actually quite comfortable.  It just doesn’t feel like shaving to me.

Of course you can also avoid razor bumps by practicing good shave technique with a razor that just has one blade.  And if you’re looking for an “easier” shave with a single blade you can even get one that pivots. But the Gillette SkinGuard razor seems to do what it set out to accomplish an easy, quick, “good” comfortable shave with a lower chance of getting shave bumps.


Product Review 101: Scotch Porter Collection (Part 1)

Is a new weekly series that spotlights grooming products in our personal arsenal that we use regularly. From barbers to clients, its real products tested in real time. Please note: We are not personally endorsed by brands. 100% authentic evaluations & testing.

Looking for a product line that covers all bases from beard hydration to a skin care regimen is hard especially one that is formulated for ethnic skin and hair type. I’ve heard so much about scotch porter and how great the product was but only problem was it good for me after spending hundreds of dollars with trial and error I was reluctant of trying something new, but I did!

I first stated with the Scotch Porter charcoal and licorice exfoliating face scrub and being one who has struggled with mild break outs as a teen, I have come to appreciate my adult skin and take it very seriously. I used a dime size amount of the face scrub and started with small circles cleansing my face the sent was very light and calming and the exfoliant beads were not hard or course at all. After rinsing my face and patting it dry it felt clean but not dry and with a small amount of moisturizer left from the wash on my face.

On to the moisturizing, beard wash was very light send again the small 1oz bottle was not squeezable like the face wash bottle was so taking off the cap and shaking in it in my hand was what was needed to extract the product. When I applied it to my beard I worked it in from skin to tip, it didn’t lather heavy at all, but I could see the product wash out into the sink very easily. Groom Guy Tip: Use about a quarter size amount on a thick and long beard.

Photo by: Kwame Thomas

After the beard wash I moved on to the beard serum and immediately I got a whiff of nostalgia the serum smelled like Duke hair pomade I could be wrong but it smelled great.I applied 2 drops into my hand and worked it in from skin to tip, used a wooden comb to work the product through, and it felt soft and had a mild shine to it. With products I’ve used in the past I had to add heat to achieve the uncoiling of my beard but with this I didn’t at all.

Photo by: Kwame Thomas


Nipsey Talks Being Comfortable In Own Skin on "Mancave" Series [WATCH]

Newly appointed #BeardGang representative Nipsey Hussle is keeps the cameras rolling with his recent Billboard charting album, Victory Lap. After growing up in the ever changing flow of Los Angeles streets, Nipsey discovered his recent reflection on growth and development as a man. Recently, Nipsey Hussle sat down with BET's newest show Mancave cast members as he details his perspective as it relates to self confidence.

Do you agree?


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...

 

 

 


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

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.

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.


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)

th2_1851_tend-skin-8oz
Tend Skin Solution

 

Wahl Shaver
Wahl Super Close Shaver

 

2-6
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