We’ve worn his shirts, used his aftershave and even have our own style of boyfriend jeans. And now, it seems, we want his grooming products.
According to the latest reports, more and more women are raiding men’s bathroom cabinets and using his skincare products instead of their own. And one product in particular is causing a stir. Beauty bloggers and reviews left on Boots website and You tube swear by Nivea Men’s Post Shave Balm as the new must have make up base. Although the £5.35 bottle of Nivea is designed to soothe men’s skin post shaving, when used as an alternative to primer it can help make up last longer.
The secret ingredient? High amounts of glycerine, which makes the perfect base for foundation. Glycerine is often found in women’s hand creams and cleansers (but strangely it’s not in many make up primers – manufacturers take note!) and is known for its ability to trap moisture so that skin remains hydrated and looks more radiant.
It also acts as a type of ‘superglue’ and makes whatever is put on top of it stay put, so is the perfect base for make up to stick to. However, with the male skin care market growing rapidly and more men than ever using their own moisturisers, serums and even blemish balms can women safely share their beauty products? There’s no denying that men and women have very different skin. A man’s skin is around 20% thicker than a woman’s, is rich in collagen and elastin, making it firmer and giving it an advantage in the aging process. However, it is oilier, due to increased testosterone production has larger hair follicles, has a tendency to sweat more, and is prone to dehydration due to daily shaving.
Although it’s well worth trying his shaving balm as a primer (do check that it’s alcohol freebecause alcohol dries your skin) not all men’s products will be suitable to share as some skincare will contain stronger ingredients designed specifically for men’s thicker oilier complexions.
Men also usually prefer fragrance free all in one products whereas a woman usually prefers layering and pretty smells. Women’s products also take into account that they have thinner skin and tend to lose moisture more quickly. However, there will be some products you can happily share so if you want to man up your make up bag, always check the label first and look for great ingredients, like AHAs, hyaluronic acid and glycolic.
Here’s what you need to know before swiping his products. Post Shave Balm Besides doubling up as a primer, a Post Shave Balm, especially one formulated for sensitive skin is perfect to smooth on areas like armpits and legs after shaving to help prevent irritation and red blotches. Try Bulldog Sensitive After Shave Balm (£3.66 boots.com), the paraben free formula contains aloe vera so will calm and soothe sore skin and is suitable for all skin types. Soap Bars Men are often guilty of taking super hot showers and using soap bars .Yes we know they’re quicker especially for a quick rub it all over in the shower but they’re not good for a woman’s complexion – or his for that matter – as they can strip the skin of its protective barrier causing dry and flaky skin.
When it comes to cleansing your skin avoid soap bars and stick to your facial cleansing lotions or persuades him to switch to a cleanser with ingredients perfect for women, Try Monroe Daily Cleanser For Men (£35 MrMonroe@MonroeofLondon.co.uk) which doubles as a shaving gel and contains antioxidants to combat signs of ageing, Vitamin C to boost collagen production and Vitamin E to repair sun damage Razors/Shaving Brush Men’s razors are designed to tackle thicker hair. This is why there are more men’s razors available with multiple blades than women’s on the market. But according to Lloyd Hughes one of the country’s leading educators in men’s hairdressing and shaving if a woman also has thicker hair on her legs and is looking for a closer, smoother and a longer lasting result she may want to try a switch from the budget disposable razors. Make sure you ‘borrow’ a new razor as opposed to a more worn used blade for best results and do not use if you have fine hair.
As for his shaving brush, which helps whip up a creamy lather as well as stimulating the skin, don’t tell him but it’s great for shaving your legs and under your arms. Shaving brushes also help generate a low aeration and make shaving crème go further says Lloyd Hughes, which means less irritation and less nicks. Try Pro Black brush (£19.95 www.men-u.co.uk) Deodorant The major differences between male and females stick deodorants are all quite superficial. It’s more about the smell and the packaging than anything else as active ingredients are present in much of the same amounts in most sticks for men and women.
If you’ve run out of your usual deodorant there’s no reason not to try his, but watch spritzing on your favourite floral perfume after, as the aromas may not mix. Exfoliator A woman uses her a face scrub to brighten, decongest and smooth her complexion. It’s the same for men although they usually have an extra reason to exfoliate: stubble that sometimes gets stuck under the skin.
It’s fine to share his exfoliator but make sure it is suitable for your skin type as most men’s exfoliators are designed for oily skin. Some are grainier than others so can be too harsh for a woman’s finer complexion so try it on the back of your hand first. If it ‘s not too rough then it should be fine for your complexion – if not use it on your legs and arms! Try Monroe for Men No 3 Exfoliator (£29.50 as above) which contains glycolic acid to gently dissolve dead skin cells, glycerine to plump up skin cells and help retain moisture along with chamomile to soothe and calm sensitive skin, making it perfect for everyone Moisturiser A big difference between men and women’s moisturisers is the way they smell.
Men’s moisturisers usually play it pretty low-key when it comes to fragrance. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t borrow a man’s moisturiser as many of the latest ones are formulated with the same key ingredients like Matrixyl, AHA’s and hyaluronic acid. Boots No 7 Men Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Moisturiser contains the same ingredients as No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream for women Both cost £24.95 and the only difference is the packaging. Fragrance-free or sensitive skin male moisturisers are also just as suitable for women’s skin while Cetaphil Moisture Lotion (£8.99 boot.com) is a great his and he’s moisturiser as it is good for all skin types and it doesn’t look girly. Jack Black, the men’s skincare range has jumped on the trend for sharing and introduced a new collection suitable for men and women using ingredients like botanical oils to deliver moisture with a sheer, light feel. Try Jack Black Epic Moisture MP10 Nourishing Oil (£27.50 www.mankind.co.uk) which can also double up as a hair frizz tamer, shaving oil and a dry skin smoother.
However before using your man’s moisturiser check the ingredients list and look for antioxidant rich ingredients as well as SPF protection to keep skin soft and supple. Bear in mind, that you don’t always have to use his moisturiser on your face – smooth some on your décolleté , hands and arms. Try Monroe No2 Moisturiser & Shave Balm which also has an SPF20 and contains hyaluronic acid to keep skin plump and dewy (£38). But for longer term anti ageing benefits, stick with women’s skincare formulas which are designed to boost collagen and treat fine lines and wrinkles and target your specific skin type and needs– men’s skincare still has some way to go to compete with women’s superior wrinkle busters and advanced anti ageing technology.
– One thing most men overlook is sunscreen which increases their risk of getting sun damage and skin cancer. If you can’t persuade him to buy a moisturiser with an SPF of 15 or higher that provides broad spectrum protection make sure he uses yours – bonus, it will also keep him looking younger for longer *Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat (£25 from most stores), the iconic gold pen will conceal dark shadows and bags and works just as well on his skin as yours. Just make sure he rinses the brush afterwards. *Lip Cream – Lanolips 101 Ointment (£10.99 boots.com) contains medical grade lanolin which not only soothes your parched lips but will treat his dry, itchy shaving and nasal patches *Eye Cream – whether male or female, the skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the body. Be generous with your eye cream and let him share.