Men are the new beauty consumers: The best grooming basics to buy now

If you want to start taking more care of your skin, there has never been a better time

Men are buying cosmetics in previously unseen numbers and, for the most part, they’re buying them online. Photograph: iStock

Men are buying cosmetics in previously unseen numbers and, for the most part, they’re buying them online. Photograph: iStock

 

Men’s beauty – many prefer the word “grooming” – is gaining momentum, and young men are leading the charge. According to the UK director at market research group NPD, in April of this year, men’s skincare outperformed women’s compared with 2020. That is pretty much unprecedented. Men are buying cosmetics in previously unseen numbers and, for the most part, they’re buying them online.

If you are a man who wants to elevate your bathroom shelf or start taking better care of your skin, there has never been a better time to invest in a handful of really effective products. These are basics, but elevated.

Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF 50+, €40
Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF 50+, €40

Sunscreen is the single most important skincare product you will ever use for both health and aesthetic reasons. Repeated and lengthy sun exposure over years damages and prematurely ages the skin, and skin cancer rates are highest in men. There are some excellent sun care brands coming out of Australia, especially for the face, and Ultra Violette is one of the best. Their Lean Screen SPF 50+ (€40 at cultbeauty.com) has a sophisticated texture that feels like skincare and has an undetectable matte finish. You won’t look or feel like you’re wearing SPF.

Image Skincare Iluma Intense Facial Illuminator, €79
Image Skincare Iluma Intense Facial Illuminator, €79

Your serum is the first skincare step after cleansing and before moisturiser, and it is the targeted product used to treat specific skin issues. If texture, pigmentation and a general lack of clarity in the skin are bothering you, a redness and pigmentation-reducing serum will be ideal. Image Skincare Iluma Intense Facial Illuminator (€79 at imageskincare.ie) is gentle enough to use daily, but effective.

Yon-Ka Barber Shave, €31
Yon-Ka Barber Shave, €31

Shaving with blunt blades or poor, thin products can exacerbate irritation and redness. To make shaving easier and less harsh, invest in a really good shaving product. Yon-Ka Barber Shave (€31 at yonka.ie) is rich, comforting and contains allantoin – an ingredient that is used to soothe irritated, hot and cranky skin issues such as razor burn. Paired with a good razor, it will make shaving pleasurable rather than an uncomfortable chore.

Malin + Goetz Leather Perfume Oil, €50
Malin + Goetz Leather Perfume Oil, €50

For a touch of sheer indulgence, try Malin + Goetz Leather Perfume Oil (€50 at cultbeauty.com). I’ve been writing about this product for years because every man in my life seems to fall for it. First, my husband, then my brother and even my uncle who works with leather professionally. This fragrance is incredibly rich and comforting, incorporating the lightest touch of soft florals with the deep intensity of leather, cedar wood, cashmere musk and incense. The portable little roller ball bottle is travel friendly and you only need a little of this potent scented oil to last all day. The fragrance does come in a traditional spritz version as well, but I think this one is better value and lasts slightly better on the skin.

Product of the Week

Floral Street Sunflower Pop Eau de Parfum, from €22
Floral Street Sunflower Pop Eau de Parfum, from €22

Floral Street Sunflower Pop Eau de Parfum (from €22 for 10mls at Arnotts) was created by Floral Street in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum. It’s a joyously summery, sun-drenched concoction of bergamot, mandarin, honey and bellini.

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