Grooming Editor

Lesson 16: Mastering Moisturiser

Moisturisers, as the name suggests, have a simple function – to add moisture to the skin and keep it healthy and hydrated. But they do much more than that. Because dry skin is more susceptible to premature ageing a moisturiser might well be your best weapon against fine lines and wrinkles. They also allow the skin to absorb more light which actually makes it look fresher and healthier. Dry skin, on the other hand, scatters light making it look dull and uneven. But don’t think that just because your skin isn’t dry you don’t need to moisturise. Oil and water aren’t the same thing, remember, even the greasiest of skin can be dehydrated and in need of a moisturiser. What’s more, because skin is affected by a raft of internal and external factors (from diet, weather and hormonal changes) you might find that the type of moisturiser you use changes depending on the time of year or even your age. Many men, for example, find they need a richer moisturiser as they get older and the skin’s natural oil-production slows down.

What Moisturiser Is Best Suited To Me?

In the same way that a bespoke suit will always look and fit better than an off-the-peg one, a moisturiser suited to your individual needs will always make your skin look better. To make finding the right product for you a little easier you can search for your moisturiser on Mankind by skin type but as a rule of thumb, If you have dry skin look for rich hydrating creams like REN Ultra-Moist Day Cream and Clinique’s Age Defense Hydrator. Or use a deeply nourishing product like Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream, which is enriched with beneficial nut and plant extracts and gives skin an instant moisture hit and has been designed to keep even the driest of skins in tip top condition.

If you tend to have oily skin (and those notoriously annoying shiny patches than invariably go with it) on the other hand, opt for oil-free moisturisers like Anthony Oil-Free Facial Lotion or Lab Series for Men Oil Control Daily Hydrator. Both of these will add moisture without adding any more grease. If you have sensitive skin, your choice of moisturiser can be especially important.

And what about If you have an oily forehead, cheeks and chin but drier areas on the cheeks and around the neck (a common problem in men)? Well, in this situation it’s worth considering using a combination of moisturisers (an oil free one for the greasy bits and a more hydrating one for the drier areas). It might seem like an added complication but can be worth the fuss. After all, you wouldn’t polish your car with the same stuff you polish your furniture with would you?

Many of today’s moisturisers also contain a built in sunscreen. With sun damage thought to be responsible for up to 80% of wrinkles these are good daily insurance policies against premature ageing but it’s clearly pointless to apply them at night (you’re hardly likely to get moon-burn!) so use them apply them each morning and then at night switch to a moisturiser without an SPF.

Applying Moisturiser Effectively

When applying moisturiser it’s tempting to squeeze a huge blob into the palm of your hand and just slap it on all over your face but for best results it’s worth taking a minute or so to work it into your face with your fingertips, using a combination of gentle circular motions and sweeps. Make sure you apply to the forehead (up to the hairline) and under the chin and around the neck (if you haven’t already applied an aftershave balm). In fact the only area to avoid is that around the eyes where the delicate skin requires a specialist eye cream like Anthony Logistics Eye Cream.

Since it’s a good idea to moisturise daily, get into the habit of incorporating moisturiser into your daily grooming routine. Moisturising will keep skin hydrated for between six and 12 hours, after which your face may start to feel dry and tight again. This is why it’s important to moisturise at least twice a day once in the morning after you’ve cleansed skin or had a shave and at night before bed.

This second application is especially important since studies have shown that trans-epidermal water-loss from the skin (i.e moisture moving from inside the skin to the surface) is greatest at night. What’s more, moisturisers are often better absorbed when you’re in a warm environment like bed. For maximum benefits it’s also worth applying within two minutes of washing to skin that’s skill slightly damp. This will help lock in an extra bit of moisture. If you suffer from particularly dry skin or work in a dry or air-conditioned environment you may also have to top up moisture levels an lunchtime with another quick slick of moisturiser. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a tube of moisturiser in your office draw or work bag just in case! If you’re looking for something compact try Men-U Matt Moisturiser with Sebum Absorbers which has the added advantage of keeping skin shine-free too.

Follow these simple steps and your grooming routine won’t just have the best possible foundation your skin will have the best possible chance of surviving the ravages of time, not to mention the ravages of that office air con!



Writer and expert

Creative storyteller. Believer in the power of natural ingredients and cruelty-free formulas. Always puts skincare first for a no-makeup look.