Mirror, Mirror on the wall... Who is the fairest male of all?

Feb 05, 2013, 01:10 IST | Hassan M Kamal

The Guide shortlists five skin and hair products that men use but are afraid to reveal, openly. From moisturisers to sunscreens and face washes, here's the ultimate grooming regimen that guys follow, but hate to admit. Now you know!

A decade ago, if you were to ask a man about his skin care routine, you would have invited stares that would’ve made you want to bury yourself in the ground. It was a part of the “macho image” that men wanted to portray, as they were wary of being typecast, if they spilled the beans, about moisturisers, face washes and shampoos, forget about having a soft spot for petroleum jellies or lip balms! 

Secretly, most men use products. The GUIDE played secret scouter and got five such men to reveal about skin, hair and oral care products that they cannot do without, padded with expert advice on why these work, or don’t, for the Alpha male.

Secret one >> Shampoo cum body wash
Why it’s cool>> “For me, a body wash is essential and I wouldn’t really think about shampoo. I bought a shampoo-cum-bodywash because my girlfriend persuaded me to, but I have found a likening to it,” says 28-year-old advertising professional Aditya Seth, adding, “It’s good and does two jobs at the same time.”
Expert Speak: “Professionally, I wouldn’t recommend mixing shampoo and body wash as the two are made to serve different purposes. A shampoo contains more detergent, and is made according to scalp type — oily scalp needs more detergent whereas dry scalp requires less,” says dermatocosmatologist, Dr Swati Srivastava. She adds, “A shampoo is not good for the skin, and some like dandruff shampoos, would do more harm. It’s best to know your skin type and scalp-type and chose accordingly. If you still chose to use an in-between product like this, depending on your skin and scalp type, something has to be compromised.”

Secret two >> Face wash
Why it’s cool>> Media professional Parikshat Wadhwani has to meet new clients everyday, and for him to look presentable, is really important. Although he doesn’t go overboard with skin care products, he never forgets to use a deep-cleaning face wash, twice a day. “With pollution everywhere, it’s necessary to use a deep-cleaning face wash. Also, its makes me feel fresh and clean,” he adds.
Expert Speak: “Face wash is essential. Most Indian men use soap to wash their face, but it’s not good for the skin. I would recommend using any type of face wash, which doesn’t have a lot of foam, for men. While for oily skin, a salicyclic acid-based face wash is good, for those with dry skin should go for a hydrating face wash containing AHA (Alpha Hydroxyl Acid), which acts as a hydrating agent,” advises Srivastava.

Secret three >> Moisturiser
Why it’s cool>> After shaving or bath, moisturiser tops the list when it comes to skincare. “I shave regularly, but after a point I realised that every time I would shave my skin would turn dry and flaky, sometimes, even irritating. I have always been against using any skin care products but I find moisturiser great. It keeps my skin hydrated, and I feel good,” maintains 27-year-old professional photographer Dilip Shah.
Expert Speak: “Moisturiser is very essential, especially after a face wash and shave. It’s the best thing that you can do for your skin. You need to drink water for your body likewise you need moisturisers for the skin to protect it from the bad effects of the sun,” reasons Srivastava.

Secret four >> Sunscreen
Why it’s cool>> “Since our city is mostly sunny, a sun block is a must. Considering the amount of pollution and depletion of the ozone layers, sunscreen helps to keep away from the unwanted rays. I use a sun protection for men each time before I get out in the sun,” says Wadhwani.
Expert Speak:  “Men need sunscreen more than women do. Sunscreen is important not just outdoors but even indoors more so in men because their skin is coarser, contains more pores and is more uneven than women’s. There’s constant friction on their skin. The problem that most men have with sunscreen is that they are afraid that it will make their skin oily, but they can always go for matte or water-based sunscreens,” says Srivastava.

Secret five  >> Whitening gum
Why it’s cool>> While a regular visit to a dentist is essential, you could take care of the stains — especially if you smoke a lot, and love your coffee and red wine. Gaurav Deshpande who uses a whitening gum or whitening toothpaste, says, “Although nothing works better than regular brushing, whitening gums are a great option. It’s a tad expensive and is available only online, but since I am a regular smoker, these are handy as they not only clean but also whiten your teeth.”  Dr Sagar Shah, cosmetic dentist, says, “Teeth can be stained either by food products like chocolate or berries and consumption of tobacco or calculus and tartar deposits. Although, the best thing is to visit a dentist, chewing whitening gums or using a whitening toothpaste is also very helpful. But the ideal is to visit a dentist as these gums cannot treat bad breath.”

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