How to Create a Skincare Regime (That You’ll Actually Stick to)

● June 2019

Introduction

You know what one of the best scenes from noughties-era movie history is? It’s in American Psycho. Not any of the parts where Patrick Bateman’s axe-murdering or bragging about business cards, but the bit where he goes through his skincare regimen.

Remember? With the gel ice pack and 1,000 crunches and low-or-no alcohol aftershave; not to mention Christian Bale’s character carefully peeling off an herb-mint facial mask.

Along with searing that unsettling image into our cultural consciousness, the scene did well to convey a simple truth: men who take care of their skin are serial killers. Kidding! They’re not. But they are often viewed as a bit extra, a tad self-involved, and maybe—God forbid—Bateman-esque!

Yet while a tiny handful of men might avoid moisturiser because they think it’s the first step towards a life of gratuitous crime, many, many others ignore their skin as they feel the alternative is simply too time-consuming.

The scene did well to convey a simple truth: men who take care of their skin are serial killers. Kidding! They’re not. But they are often viewed as a bit extra, a tad self-involved, and maybe—God forbid—Bateman-esque!

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’re very excited at MANUAL because we’ve got two new products, Wrinkle Warrior and Mr Moisturiser, a face cream and moisturiser that will help even the most in-demand man dedicate a little time to his skin. How do we know this? Because A) they’re great products that you’ll want to use and B) because we’re about to guide you toward a simple (read: not Bateman-esque) skincare regimen that you’ll actually be able to stick to. After all, it only involves two steps.

Wash Your Face. Twice A Day

Different men have different skin types. Some faces are prone to dryness. Others make the average oil slick resemble a strip of sandpaper. Most guys fall somewhere in between.

But no matter the level of sheen on your epidermis, you should get into the habit of washing your face once in the morning and again before going to bed. And we don’t mean a few splashes with cold water, but an actual wash, one where you close your eyes and motion your fingers across your face in neat little circles, replenishing your handsome mug with a lukewarm lather.

Different men have different skin types. Some faces are prone to dryness. Others make the average oil slick resemble a strip of sandpaper. Most guys fall somewhere in between.

Don’t opt for a bar of soap. Find a cleanser that suits your skin and use it around the times you brush your teeth (which, we pray, is already twice a day). In the morning, it will slough off the grime that’s hopped between your pillow and face overnight; and in the evening it will scrub away the dirt and excess oil that’s accumulated over the day. A thorough face wash not only feels good, but it will put you in fine stead for the next step.

Moisturise

Our Wrinkle Warrior and Mr Moisturiser products both contain Hyaluronic Acid, a moisture-binding hero that combats wrinkles by hydrating and plumping the skin. Wrinkle Warrior also boasts Coenzyme Q10, a compound that regenerates the skin’s energy and shields it against premature ageing, while Mr Moisturiser protects your money maker with soothing, natural biopolymers.

Your face is not a cast-iron skillet. It won’t improve with a rich patina of seasoned layering.

However, these wonderful ingredients are less effective when used on an unwashed face, where clogged pores and dead skin cells will prevent them from doing their age-defying thing.

Your face is not a cast-iron skillet. It won’t improve with a rich patina of seasoned layering. Even if moisturiser is already part of your routine, the only way to get the most out of it is by applying it to clean skin.

So wash your face twice a day, then apply moisturiser. No gel packs, no peels, zero crunches. That’s it.

Well, kind of.

A Few Other Skin-Friendly Habits

Combining a twice-a-day face wash with a twice-a-day application of moisturiser is the base level of skincare maintenance, a minimum effort ritual that fits seamlessly into existing routines while still delivering noticeable results.

However, you can always do more. Not necessarily Patrick Bateman levels of more, but more nonetheless.

For one thing, it’s always worth considering exfoliation. Exfoliating products—think face scrubs—can be applied every so often as a way to rid your skin of the dead cells that build up over time. Use them sparingly, as there’s no need to hit your skin with such an aggressive scrub more than once or twice a week.

On the days you exfoliate, do it after you wash your face but before you moisturise. The same process goes for the rest of your body. And avoid any product containing plastic microbeads. Those are ruining the planet.

Secondly, don’t be afraid of aftershave. The Macaulay Culkin-style, screaming in the mirror horror of Home Alone is pretty much a thing of the past. Nowadays, most aftershaves come in the form of moisturising balms designed to soothe the abrasions caused by shaving. The sting of old was a consequence of alcohol heavy concoctions which, although ultra-hygienic, did—as Patrick Bateman warned us—dry out the skin.

Lastly, use sunscreen. The sun’s ultraviolet rays mutate the cells in your skin, even when it’s cloudy and overcast. This can cause a whole litany of ills, including sunburn, sun spots, wrinkles, moles and even cancer.

And avoid any product containing plastic microbeads. Those are ruining the planet.

Sunscreen with a high SPF (anything above 15 but ideally 30+) shields your skin against these harmful rays, protecting you from short-term redness and a leathery appearance down the line. If you’re still not convinced, a 2013 study found that people who used sunscreen every day for four and a half years had noticeably more resilient and smoother skin than people who only applied it occasionally.

So, to paraphrase a popular 90s song which in turn paraphrased a hypothetical commencement speech, wash your face, moisturise and Always Wear Sunscreen.

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