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Male grooming

By Denise Elliot

Men are caring for their skin and facial hair more than ever before. You may have noticed that more and more Kiwi men are also embracing this worldwide trend.

Because of the hormone testosterone, male skin is stronger, thicker and has denser collagen integrity. From the age of puberty men have an advantage over women with regards to visual skin ageing. Some men may not retain this advantage as they age because they are not as vigilant with applying sun protection creams as women.

Shaving regularly also helps men because the exfoliation of the top dead skin cells is removed by the razor, leaving a fresher younger looking skin. When shaving it is important to shave the same way as the hair growth, going against the direction may increase the likelihood of ingrown hairs and razor burn.

Shaving hair, as is often thought, does not make the hair grow back thicker, even though it may sometimes appear that way due to the blunt end of the cut hair.

A rough, hurried shave can damage the skin and sadly our skin is always slower to heal than we would like. It is best not to damage your skin at all, nourish it and treat it with respect. Ideally, apply a soothing cream after a shave as this helps to astringe, moisturise and tone the skin cells.

A beard cared for properly can be a delightful sight to behold, and most men take great pride in their beards. To keep beards healthy and hygienic they need washing, conditioning and brushing just like the hair on our head. If a styling wax is used then a regular wash becomes even more important. Like a daily shower for the body, a daily wash for the beard is a sure way to make sure no breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner are left behind.

My firm favourite home hair conditioning is still coconut oil, and this would also be beneficial for a beard. Leave the oil in for a few hours if you can, before washing and conditioning as usual.

The bearded men out there would like us to believe that their facial hair makes them trustworthy, demonstrates leadership, attracts lovers and enhances other imagined abilities.

We know Santa Claus has a big white beard, and some say that is what makes people place their trust in Santa and gives him special abilities.

But why does Santa have a white beard? Maybe so he can hide at the North Pole or maybe it is from spilling too many glasses of the milk he gets with the cookies! One thing we can be sure of is with such a thick luxurious beard he certainly takes good care of it, maybe he even follows my advice of using coconut oil. Either way you might want to leave a nice men’s face cream out for Santa this year.