There is a common misconception that men do not move a muscle when in comes to skin care. I tend to disagree, and so would you if you realised how much guys from around the globe are spending on grooming products. Even in Australia, men's skin care has gone beyond the rudimentary shaving and cologne categories to product lines that rival women's skin care. Although there are heaps of products on the market, there is still inadequate information for men to access and, of course, there is also the stigma attached to men who actually pay attention to their well-being. Shouldn't all guys be waking up to the logic of: "why cure when you can prevent?" To a certain extent men know that in summer they need some sort of protection and that time in the sun equals rapid ageing. In winter they are still in the dark and do not know that skin protection is just as necessary. The low humidity of winter wreaks havoc, literally sucking the moisture and natural oils from the skin, making it dry, itchy and flaky, and shaving only adds to the problem. Here is a quick guide to help men plough through the cold months and come up tops, ready for the all-important spring/summer months. Body
Don't forget the all-important body. Take a few minutes after each shower - in lukewarm water, not hot, because it dries out your skin in flash - to moisturise your body. Use a hardworking body lotion, such as Kiehl's Crme de Corps, 250ml/500ml/1 litre, $38/$68/$98. Guys, admit it - we all need a little help around the eye area. Try Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream, 20ml, $59.95. This formula stimulates collagen, reduces puffiness, illuminates the eye area and dulls dark circles - sweet. And add a little balm to your lips. Fruity flavours in cute colours need not apply - try Brauer All Natural Paw Paw Ointment, 25g, $3.99.
Cleanse your face gently twice a day and exclude anything that remotely resembles cake soap or smells like a eucalyptus forest on steroids. Baxter of California Daily Face Wash, 300ml, $33. A mild but hardworking face refresher. A little goes a long way. Burt's Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser, 175ml, $24.95 A great pick me up. Exfoliating should be part of all skincare routines. You need to exfoliate gently only once a week to achieve cell turnover to keep your skin looking youthful and to enable your moisturiser to work better. Try Kyoku for Men Exfoliating Scrub 100ml, $33 - if you like your scrub with a little grit. For an enzyme treatment, try this brilliant kit from Philosophy - The Microdelivery Peel, $95. Hydrate your skin at least twice a day with a light cream that is packed with benefits, such as MenScience Advanced Face Lotion, 100ml, $72. This is truly a miracle in a tube. If you are someone who is prone to redness, then you need Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream, 50ml, $90, and keep in mind that in Australia the sun is never on holidays.
If there is a trophy being handed out for the organic skincare maestro, then it rightfully has to go to Tata Harper. The industrial designer-turned-skincare bon vivant was raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, but she now flits between a 485-hectare farm in Vermont's Champlain Valley and Manhattan with husband and three children in tow. A proud Latin American, Harper wants people to embrace a preventative approach to skin care like she was brought up on. She is a firm believer that completely natural active ingredients work just as well as - and in most cases better than - synthetically derived ingredients. She is also a relentless crusader for ethically produced products that deliver results. Her products are certified organic, 100 per cent natural, unisex, minimally packaged, vegan, cruelty-free, Vermont-made and produced with a very small carbon footprint. Every product in Harper's multi award-winning range is infused with anywhere from six to 29 active ingredients. About one-fifth of all ingredients used are cultivated on her farm in Vermont and the rest are sourced from places such as France, Israel and our very own Tasmania. Her eponymous line is a testament to her passion to change the way skin care is used, produced and consumed. She says "Who says 100 per cent natural cannot be 100 per cent effective?" Firm favourites have to be the Rejuvenating Serum (50ml, $175) Regenerating Cleanser (50ml, $90) and Resurfacing Mask (30ml, $69). Tata Harper Skin Care exclusively available at www.bathingbeauty.com.au Colour of the moment
I know what has been said of painting matching nail polish on your toes and fingers, but hey, I was one of those to proclaim that the practice is so dated. But in beauty, if you wait five minutes the trend will come back hotter than ever. OK, I lied. The trend is still not back yet, but I am tired of seeing try-hard nails with zany colours and textures. My eyes hurt and I want something a bit more demure and alluring. So I am championing the return of classic timeless nails in the electrifying colour of red, and just to be a bit more provocative I am pushing for the artistry of matching nails and pout. Christian Dior famously said: "I love red; it is the colour of life!" The company still produces the most striking of reds for both nails and lips. The pigment is strong and lasting and the colour is at once dangerous, sexy, mysterious and alluring. To add a little colour to your life, try Rouge Dior Lipstick in Iconic Red ($50) - first created in 1949 and still gathering fans - then team it with Rouge Dior Vernis in Red Royalty ($39.) Stockists
Baxter of California, Kyoku and MenScience (02) 9634 5541 Burt's Bees www.burtsbees.com.au
Clinique & Dior Myer/David Jones Kiehl's www.kiehls.com.au
Philosophy selected David Jones