Saving Face: How to Catch Up with Years of Damage

shaving with an electric razer

The years have been kind to you, but not your skin. Sun, wind, smoking, and other lifestyle factors can do a number on your skin. Skin aging isn’t something a lot of people think deeply about, but it can affect how well you turn over cells in your body absorb nutrients through skin, and detox. It can also affect you psychologically. Here’s how to get your skin looking young and wonderful again.

Get Just Enough Sun, But Not Too Much

The sun is actually good for your skin. UVB radiation initiates the conversion of cholesterol in your skin to vitamin D while upregulating melanin production – the body’s natural defense against the sun. UVA from the sun oxidizes the melanin in your skin, providing further protection from future radiation.

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Product Review: Sebamed Sensitive Skin After Shave Balm and Deodorant

Sebamed first hit store shelves in the 1960s, which makes it about twice as old as Sabretooth, famous archenemy of X-Men character Wolverine. Maybe if Sabretooth used Sebamed, his pH levels wouldn’t be so out of whack and he wouldn’t be as vicious. He would at least have better skin.

Speaking of which, healthy skin has an intact protective barrier which defends against environmental irritants and guards against dehydration. In fact, the surface of the skin is covered with a hydrolipid film called the acid mantle that is slightly acidic (pH 5.5). The acid mantle is essential for supporting the barrier functions of the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. And you thought the acid mantle and stratum corneum were obstacles you encounter during the Tough Mudder.

“Acid mantle? Stratum corneum? What is all this stuff, Paul?  The active ingredients in Sebamed sound like something straight out of X-Men. But it’s just another facet of aging, and as you age, you start to care about stuff you never thought you would. Like warranties, APRs and how rezoning of the local school district may impact what school your daughter attends. You also want to avoid crow’s feet and other examples of skin pushed to the limit without the intercession of a tender hand. And that is where the tender, caring, nurturing hand of Sebamed makes the difference, just like the tender hand of Professor Charles Francis Xavier aka Professor X.

Disruptions in the skin’s barrier function can lead to sensitive and dry skin. The skin then becomes susceptible to outside (allergens, irritants, weather, infection) and internal (stress, hormones, diseases) factors which can trigger skin inflammation. Moisture is lost through unprotected cracks in the outermost layer of the skin and the skin is also more prone to infections.

I tried the Sebamed for Men After Shave Balm and the mix of botanical phytosteroles and chamomile extract had a soothing effect, like a fat tax refund. It didn’t dry my skin out because it isn’t loaded with alcohol or mentholated.

But the product that I really enjoyed was the Sebamed Balsam Sensitive deodorant. What I really liked is that it is aluminum free. Amazingly, almost all name brand deodorants contain aluminum, and I just don’t think there’s any way that is good for you, unless you are Magneto, primary villain of the X-Men. It was also applied via roll-on applicator and reminded me of Certain-Dri in terms of consistency and application.

Sebamed isn’t going to wow you with an awesome marketing campaign like Old Spice’s “Mom’s Song,” but that’s not their brand. Sebamed is the old standby that doesn’t jump up for attention, like Mystique, who is there and you’re glad, because they hit the mark every time.

For more information on Sebamed, click here.


Product Review: Evolution Man Shaving Cream and Face Wash


Is it a shaving cream? Is it a face wash? The new shaving cream and face wash from Evolution Man is literally both, combined into one.

In a natural progression based on a man’s need for clean skin and an effective shaving cream, Evolution Man was born. If you have to do both anyway, why not just combine them? This is the foundation that the brand was built on.

When I first applied the cream into my hand, I feared it may be overly gloppy. But the thickness allowed it to function as a facial scrub for cleaning, which in turn softened and opened my skin for shaving.

After my shave, my skin felt crisp and exfoliated, even beyond the normal feeling that I would typically experience after a shave. It was potentially the fastest shave I have ever completed. Not because speed is king, as it is in the NFL, but because there was no mess and my razor seemed to move with atypical ease.

Several hours post-shave, my skin retained a baby-like smoothness and felt tingly, like it was energized somehow. Even on areas I didn’t shave, like my forehead, the cleansing effect it had on my skin was noticeable.

All the oil my forehead had accumulated after a long two days of wrenching on my kitchen sink was removed effectively, beyond what even a cold, saturated wash cloth could accomplish. And it didn’t dry my skin out — it wasn’t that kind of tightness. Instead, it was the kind you get that leaves you feeling fresh with the confidence that you look good.

The orange scent of the product was a nice touch. The aroma of the essential oil left me feeling relaxed and happy. The cream is “derived from the peel of fresh oranges it work as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant super star.”

The product itself isn’t the only thing that has evolved; the packaging it came in also represents the next phase in men’s grooming products, as each tube is made with post-consumer recycled materials.

Is it a shaving cream? Is it a face wash? EvMan’s Shaving Cream and Face Wash is a high-end, highly effective grooming product that is pushing the limit of what we expect from our shaving and skin care experiences. Strike the “s” from ‘experiences”; they are now one in the same.

To order or to find more information, follow the link to


Product Review: 2013 Dove Men + Care Product Line


When I’m cleaning my face, I want a system. I don’t want to approach the situation haphazardly, like the parents on MTV’s hit TV show “Teen Mom.”

Let’s be frank — and yes, you “can still be Garth.” Your face skin is essentially your billboard to the world. And what does this billboard promote? The business of You, Incorporated.

If your face looks blotchy, dry, flaky, weird, or any other adjective that would describe a rabid Russian dog, scrounging the public subway system for scraps, you probably don’t want to look like that. You probably don’t want to look like Gorbachev, either.

You, Incorporated is coming off of another great fiscal quarter, but how do you maintain the momentum and feed all the families who depend on your face? By trusting a known commodity when it comes to building the brand of You. If you’re breathing, you’re branding, and if you’re washing your face and the rest of your body, you better be using the new cleansing system that is the 2013 Dove Men + Care line.

In a word, the Dove Men + Care line is stout. Dove has really covered all aspects, from shaving, to cleansing, and everything in between. Check out the list of products I received:

 – Cool Silver Deodorant

– Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

– Aqua Impact Body + Face Bar

– Aqua Impact Body And Face Wash

– Hydrate + Post Shave Balm

– Hydrate + Face Wash

– Sensitive + Shave Gel

– Sensitive + Post Shave Balm

– Sensitive + Face Lotion

My inclination when I started writing this review was to mention my favorite product, and then spend equal time on the one I liked the least. But honestly, I liked them all. Plus, it’s impossible to single them out, because they are all pieces of the same entity.

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Dove Skincare Interview: Dr. Allan Peterkin (Beardsman and Author of “The Bearded Gentleman: A Style Guide to Shaving Face”)

Dr. Allan Peterkin is a physician, author and professor. He has published 14 books, most recently The Bearded Gentlemen: A Style Guide To Shaving Face, and is currently working with Dove and their new Men+Care Face Range, a full line to help dudes care for their faces.

Recently, I sat very close to Dr. Peterkin as we stroked our beards in a sexually suggestive manner in unison, and asked him the following questions.

BE: “Beardsmith” that you are, what’s the best way to kiss my old lady with passion, yet not drag my stubble or goatee across her skin, to the point where she says it feels “exfoliated” after we’re done?

DR. PETERKIN: Some call that a “snog burn,” snog being the English word for kiss. The best advice I can give you is work on your angle and your approach, and moisturize your face often to keep it as soft as possible!

Your book is called The Bearded Gentleman: A Style Guide to Shaving Face and One Thousand Beards. What is the number one mistake most aspiring “beardsmen” make?

DR. PETERKIN: The number one mistake men make is that they think their grooming work is finished once they’ve grown a beard. Facial hair requires a lot of maintenance; men have to make a commitment to their beards! They need to be trimmed properly and their margins kept clean. Washing and moisturizing also helps to keep the facial hair clean, and to condition it, which is crucial. I like the new Dove Men+Care Face Range, which provides products specifically designed for men and offers a three step solution: cleanse shave, and finish. You can use the Dove Men+Care Face Wash to clean your beard and the Face Lotion to condition or soften it.


BE: What is the professional opinion regarding the soul patch? I’ve been known to sport one, a blonde one. Should blonde dudes just not wear facial hair? Why do blonde mustaches look so weird, a la Larry Bird in the ’80s?

DR. PETERKIN: I often think of the term “flavor saver” in relation to the soul patch. I think the soul patch is a fun form of expression, probably most appropriate for younger guys. Facial hair has become more mainstream and acceptable, but I’m not so sure we’re there yet with the soul patch.

An issue some guys have with their blonde hair is that it doesn’t tend to grow in fully. Blonde facial hair can have uneven or patchy growth. Being a blonde myself, I suggest choosing a style after seeing what grows in most, and where, but don’t be too concerned about the color of your hair. Just play to your strengths!

BE: How can I pick up chicks using just my “beardsmanship”?

DR. PETERKIN: That is a tough one and it’s a matter of taste. Women seem to be split – some really like facial hair, others do not like it at all. Toss a coin, and if you’re going to have facial hair, wear it proudly.

BE: What is your stance on guys who have so much chest hair that it naturally flows into the beard area? Should there be a distinct line of demarcation?

DR. PETERKIN: I think it would look better to have a distinct line of demarcation, somewhere between the chin and the Adam’s apple. Men should shave the neck and lower edge of the beard, and leave their chest natural.

BE: In your opinion, either living or dead, who had the most badass facial hair in history?

DR. PETERKIN: I think I would have to say either Santa or Satan. Kidding. By category, I’d choose Salvador Dali’s mustache and Elvis’ sideburns. My favorite religious beard is Moses. I’d say one of my all-time favorites is romantic Composer Giuseppi Verdi’s beard.

For more information on the new Dove Men+Care Face Range, click here. For more information on Dr. Peterkin’s book, click here.