Mankind Editor-in-Chief /
The ESPA range draws from their long spa history, with a core philosophy that focuses on inner and outer wellbeing. Their Men’s Grooming selection combines practical function with the aim of treating the senses and relaxing the mind. For this post, we gave Rohin from our Marketing Team a chance to test out the ESPA Men’s Grooming line for a whole month, keeping a diary of any thoughts he had while testing it out. What did our guest tester think? Read below to find out.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’m the type of person who normally takes their toiletries on holiday in a plastic bag, so my first thought on seeing the products was that the Grooming Bag that came with the Skincare Experience set would be a game-changer. I went away for a few days towards the end of the test and I managed to fit everything I needed in it.
The packaging appealed to me, subtle and understated, that clearly showed what the product was and what I needed to do with it. Although I have to admit I was a little sceptical as to how effective the products would be. I have combination skin (oily forehead, dry around the jaw and cheeks), and my past experiences with skincare have been mixed to negative. I find that most cleansers strip away too much oil from the dry areas, and that using moisturisers doesn’t do much to help, causing particular trouble when playing sport. I was excited to get testing, but a little cautious for these reasons, hoping I’d find the range effective without causing any discomfort.
Considering my biggest concern heading into the test was whether or not the face wash and moisturiser would be right for my skin type, I couldn’t have been much happier with the Invigorating Facial Wash and The Hydrator moisturiser.
I found the face wash left my skin feeling hydrated and soft on first use, and experienced none of the harsh drying effects I’d found with other cleansers. I quickly formed a routine where I followed cleansing by moisturising with the Hydrator first thing in the morning.
The Hydrator threw me a little at first due to its lightness. As it was rapidly drying, I initially thought that it wasn’t doing its job very well. I realised, however, that despite it not feeling heavy, my skin felt soft and (appropriately) hydrated throughout the day after using it. After a few days following this setup, I noticed my skin was clearer, the overall blemish count was down, and I hadn’t noticed any irritation when playing sport.
During week 2 I started using the Triple Action Grooming Oil as I had a little bit of stubble coming through that I decided to keep around for the purposes of the test. The Hydrator being so lightweight meant that it wasn’t great for dealing with the dry skin around my jawline on its own, and supplementing it with the Grooming Oil was the perfect thing to deal withe the issue.
I’ve never actually used a beard oil before, and it was something of a revelation to try one for the first time. My facial hair gets a little itchy after a couple of weeks of growth, but the Grooming Oil softened the beard hair so much I didn’t notice any irritation. It also smelled fantastic. Definitely a product I’ll be using after test ends.
In week 3 I was also lucky enough to receive a facial treatment from ESPA, involving a scrub, facial oil, and facial massage. If I wasn’t already a convert before, by this point I was hooked.
By this point, I’ve settled into my routine of using the Facial Wash, Hydrator, and Grooming Oil every day before leaving the house. In week 4 I decided I’d shave to give the Dual-Action Shave Mud a proper try.
My first impression of the Mud was that it’s very unlike any product I’ve used before. Thick, but not sticky, when shaving it felt like it created a protective layer above the skin that meant I could apply more pressure to the blade, and get a closer shave, without causing any cuts or irritation.
Like with the other products, the smell is perfect for my taste: fresh, but not perfumed to the point that it’s overpowering.
Given that what little experience I’ve had with skincare before was mostly bad, the last month has really opened my eyes to how positive skincare can be. My complexion cleared up fairly quickly in the first week and steadily improved over the next few weeks, while my dry skin has been kept more or less completely under wraps by combining the Grooming Oil and Hydrator.
Standout Product: Triple Action Grooming Oil
Highlights: My dad *borrowed* some of the products and said he was ‘blown away’, convincing him to change his shaving routine for the first time in 15 years.
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