About a month ago, I heard the sad news that all the exfoliating face washes I've used with "microbeads" in them have been polluting the oceans and killing wildlife. Feeling a little like Captain Planet, I threw away my old face wash and thought long and hard about my next move. Naturally I consulted the skin-care genius, Marianne Mychaskiw. She directed me to a whole new world of face wash. Face wash that wasn't just the unisex brands you see in the drugstore, but brands that cater their formula to men's skin which is generally oilier and 20 to 30 percent thicker than women's skin.
This winter has been a disaster on my skin. My hands are all dry and cracked, no matter how much I lotion them. My humidifier hasn't been turned off since the holidays, and my face has been fluctuating from dry to oily on a daily basis. Since I have to lotion my face every day before I head out into the concrete tundra (where dreams are made of---sing it, Alicia!), I've had several breakouts. To combat this, I decided to try six different products that range in price from as little as $12 to as high as $36.
To clarify, these are cleansing face washes only. I don't want no scrubs.
target.com), which is an all-natural product made with willow bark, green tea, and spinach. Right out of the tube it smells like the great outdoors, and very woodsy. This is a man's face wash. In my experience with it, it does a great job creating a nice lather and also left my face feeling pretty well moisturized and not too dried out. For those with oilier skin, it might not be strong enough, but out of all the face washes I tried, this was clearly the most masculine-scented product.
neimanmarcus.com). I was really impressed by its ability to give me that super-clean feeling, but really didn't dry me out too much. My only complaint, which some men might add in the "plus column," is that it's completely unscented. It's just a matter of preference. I'm also rocking a beard right now so I was a little nervous adding an oil-control face wash to my beard (that I am also adding beard oil to!), but never fear---Clinique claims that it will also help soften your beard as well. In my experience with it, it definitely didn’t dry my beard out and it my book that’s a victory.
nordstrom.com) out for a spin, I really felt like they got it right. Right away, I enjoyed the scent; It's masculine, but in a different way than the outdoorsy scent of Man Cave's offering. The aloe and sage are really nice, with a fresh and slightly spicy scent, and for my skin, it did a great job cleaning without overly drying.
kiehls.com). It's made with a blend of caffeine, vitamins, and citrus, hence its 'Facial Fuel' name. Even though it might not replace your morning coffee, it does leave your face feeling very refreshed and awake. Most of all, what I enjoyed about this particular face wash is the bright, citrusy scent, and the refreshing feeling it left my skin with.
schafskincare.com) is the gentlest of all the cleansers I tried. It is a coconut based cleanser and has a scent of cucumber and aloe. What makes Schaf so appealing is that it's very hydrating as it cleanses. In the hand, it even looks like a lotion, but it's still an effective cleanser. I was noticing that I barely had a need to lotion my skin after using it in the shower. It's definitely a great option for people with sensitive or dry skin.
labseries.com). Ok, I am not a scientist, but some serious science goes into a face wash like this one. I could try to explain the importance of natural PH balance and their 'Molecular Age-Less Complex,' but frankly I graduated with a communications degree from a state school. Initially when you squeeze the tube into your hand, it looks completely different than any other facial cleanser that I tried; it has a shininess that can only be described as pearly. It does an excellent job of cleaning the skin without drying at all. I also tried it as a mask, which was kind of cool, you know, walking around your apartment looking like a ghost. The mask method felt like a much deeper tingly cleaning, and is definitely something I will try more often.
Men's skin care is an expanding market and these six options alone are a small sampling of this new movement. At this point, men and women shouldn't have to share their face wash and argue over who gets to take the last drop. Our skin and our skin's needs are different, so find the one that matches yours.
How did I go a whole article without a Jay Z reference? Shout out to Hov.