News

  • You’ve Got Male!

    Lesley CorridanWith Father’s Day looming, we’re undoubtedly flooded with memories of the impact various men in our lives have had on us. Whether its fathers, grandfathers or our own partners who share the parenting responsibilities with us – they all deserve a little recognition, and now’s the time to celebrate the male species! However, as an industry that is predominately made up of women, with a female clientele, we need to make sure we know our facts before we claim to be authorities on male skin. Further, according to Global Industry Analysis, INC, the global men’s grooming products market is said to exceed $33.2 billion by 2015. This is not an industry you want to miss out on!

    First thing’s first – is there a difference between male and female skin? Absolutely! This is due to the action of the sex hormones; in men it’s primarily the higher level of male androgens. These hormones cause coarse hair growth of the beard, larger sebaceous glands and higher likelihood of sebum production. Testosterone, one of the male androgens, increases collagen production in the dermis, leading to approximately 25% thicker skin than women. Genetic differences aside, many men are faced with additional skin concerns.

    Shaving causes razor bumps and ingrown hairs as it “sharpens” the free hair end, facilitating its ability to pierce back into the skin. If men shave daily it can accidently serve as a form of over-exfoliation, as well as lead to a compromised lipid barrier. Also consider that the skin could be left vulnerable due to the misuse of shaving products, soap-based formulas and insufficient protection from ultraviolet (UV) light. The result is additional skin sensitization and aging, not to mention any of the other common skin conditions also found in female skin.

    So we have the knowledge to coach men on achieving healthy skin, but how do we entice them in? Male shopping behavior is vastly different than that of women. For men, shopping is a mission that must be accomplished with minimal distraction or interference. With that in mind, does our environment speak of a clean, professional and no nonsense approach to skin care? Men will not enter a skin center that is shrouded with mystery or cluttered with merchandise! We may have the environment right but men are not necessarily just going to walk off the street into your business. Firstly, use your female clients to get to their men! Educating women about how their men should be looking after their skin could mean they end up using their persuasive powers to get him into your business. Especially with Father’s Day around the corner, make sure you have retail promotions with limited edition male skin kits that can be bought as gifts. Include a free treatment voucher to entice the recipient back to experience your services.

    Fun and interactive educational events might be another option, as men prefer safety in numbers. Demonstrate your credibility as a skin therapist by discussing male skin concerns and providing an interactive skin lesson including cleaning the skin, preparation for shaving and protecting the skin. If you’re struggling to get groups of men in, book out 30 minute one-on-one skin lessons for a less intimidating approach. Most men are pleased to receive the advice and will take your recommendations seriously. Product solutions that are straight forward, practical and revolved around their common challenge of shaving will be willingly incorporated into a daily routine.

    What about communication? While it might frustrate the female species that men constantly problem solve when we just want them to listen, it’s a great clue on how to approach our communication with them. For men it’s all about a resolution to an issue – name the problem, identify a solution and implement it! When talking skin care to a man keep it simple, and focus on his skin concerns and what is going to resolve it. Men are not interested in the fluff and padding so make sure you’re getting to the point. The great news is that once they’ve been convinced you’re credible and they trust your advice, they can become your most loyal clients!

  • Men and Shaving

    Annet KingIt’s no secret that men need to care for their skin just as much as women do, but this can be difficult and frustrating if there’s a stubborn beard in their way. Share these shaving facts and tips with the men in your life and see if it makes a difference in their daily skin care regimen!

    Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

    Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (razor bumps) is a common condition of the beard area occurring in African American men and other people with curly hair. The problem results when highly curved hairs grow back into the skin causing inflammation and a foreign body reaction. Over time, this can cause keloidal scarring which looks like hard bumps of the beard area and neck.
    So what causes this? Blade shaving, which sharpens the ends of hair like a spear.

    Treatment
    A 100% effective treatment for this condition is to let the beard grow. Once the hairs get to a certain length they will not grow back into the skin. Also, washing the beard area with an abrasive scrub helps raise the hairs from under the skin and prevents them from growing back into the skin.

    The Shave
    The use of an electric shaver will help Pseudofolliculitis Barbae because it does not cut as close as blades do. Some doctors recommend chemical shaving with products such as Nair or Neet to improve the condition. Retin-A or a topical antibiotic solution prescribed by your doctor can help the problem as well. Shaving every other day, rather than daily, will improve Pseudo-folliculitis Barbae. Do not pull the skin taut when blade shaving and do not use a double or triple-edged razor. If you must use a blade, wash the face before shaving with a mild foaming cleanser, then rinse. Massage the beard area gently in a circular motion with a warm, moist, soft washcloth. This will free up the hair tips so they can be cut with the shaver. The warm water will also soften the hairs, making them easier to cut. Lather the beard area with a non-irritating, non-alkaline shaving gel and shave in the direction of beard growth. After shaving is finished, rinse thoroughly with warm water and apply a mild moisturizing aftershave lotion.

    The Facts
    The average man will shave approximately 20,000 times in his life, using 139 full days. Shaving is to most guys what make-up is to most women – the only way to face the world on a daily basis. Men shave for varied reasons: for hygiene, to look good, to look fashionably smooth, or to simply avoid turning into hirsute wonders. But many men suffer with irritation caused by shaving. This is something that can easily be avoided as it is often caused by misuse of shaving products or incorrect shaving techniques. Making sure your clients avoid those highly alkaline shaving foams or soap formulation will go a long way in solving the problem. Ceasing to use highly artificially fragrance after shaves will also help. Artificially fragranced products can cause photo sensitivity as well as being the number one cause of contact dermatitis.

    Shaving Tips
    Share the following shave tips with your male clients; they’ll be forever grateful.
    • When performing a skin treatment in the morning, advise the client to shave the night before. If the treatment is in the afternoon or evening, recommend that the client shave that morning.
    • Don’t shave right after getting up in the morning because during the night, fluid builds up under the skin of the face. This prevents the hair roots from being exposed enough, which makes it difficult to obtain a good shave. Wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Before shaving, wet the face and beard with warm water for at least a minute.
    • Try a shaving brush when applying shaving cream or gel.
    • Leave the shaving cream on for at least a minute before shaving.
    • Shave starting at the sides. Then, move on to the neck. Shave the chin and moustache areas last since they have the stiffest hairs that need to be softened in the foam longer to make shaving easier.
    • After shaving, wash your face thoroughly with cool water.
    • Gently pat face dry with a clean towel. Do not rub the face.
    • Clean the shaving equipment frequently.
    • Disposable razors should be air-dried after rinsing. Wiping the blades dry may blunt them.
    • Change your razor blade at least once a week to avoid bacterial growth.

  • Men’s Skin – The Difference

    Dr Claudia AguirreDid you know more men die of melanoma in the US than women? (According to CDC 2006 statistics). Are men more genetically predisposed to get skin cancer? Probably not. The reason may lie in how men care for their skin- and we can make a difference by educating our male clients and patients.

    Men, just like women, deal with issues like aging, pigmentation, sensitivity, and acne. However, just as there are keen differences between the skin conditions of men and women, every man’s skin is as unique as his fingerprint. His skin health is shaped not only by his genes, but also by his lifestyle choices. A 20-year-old surfer’s skin is different than a 50 year-old businessman’s skin and will require different targeted products.

    The biggest difference between male and female skin is due to the male sex hormones known collectively as androgens. It is these higher levels of testosterone that result in all the characteristics of an adult male- muscle development, greater upper body strength, facial and body hair growth, deepened voice, and ‘manly’ odor, as well as a tendency toward more active and aggressive behavior. Testosterone increases oil secretion all over the body, as is particularly evident on the face. This increase begins at puberty and remains relatively constant thereafter. On the plus side, sebum provides natural moisturization for the skin.

    Sebum and sweat, along with epidermal lipids make up the oil on the surface of the skin. Although this mixture provides protection from environmental agents and prevents water loss, it also provides the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria P. acnes. The presence of these bacteria, along with the excess pore-clogging oil, set the stage for the onset of acne. Thus, it is no surprise that acne in young males is more severe and long-lasting than in females. By adulthood, however, most men normalize their oil production so that acne is not a life-long skin problem.

    So how can we get men to care for their skin properly? Men traditionally do not show early signs of skin aging unlike most women. So, they’re not easily persuaded into using moisturizing creams early in life. Despite their thicker skins, we must reassure men that proper skin care is key in resolving the issues that come later in life. As we know, American men have a greater incidence of skin cancer than women .These scary statistics should serve as an impetus to educate men about the need for daily defense against sun damage while providing solutions targeted to male skin.