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Lloyd Hughes, Creative Director and Lead Educator at men-ü exclusively reveals all the top trends to Beauty Editor Ivana Sidey.
Recent years have seen an increase in the number of men opting for a beard, (reflected in a 5% decline in razor blade sales), but that looks like it may be changing. In fact, according to research we ran earlier this year, 60% of men in the UK now opt for a clean shaven look, whilst less than a quarter (23%) are bearded. This is also reflective of the preference of women in the UK. A tiny 9% of women say they like bearded men! Compared to more than two thirds (64%) who would rather their man wore a clean shave.
Shaving is generally considered an easy process with 97% of men saying they know how to shave. Despite this perception some simple but fundamental errors are being made. More than four in ten (43%) of men didn't know that hair around the neck area often grows in different directions and needs to be shaved accordingly. This lack of knowledge could be leading many men to bad shaves and irritated skin. Shaving against the growth of hair can cause damage and lead to redness and blotchiness.
But men are aware they lack knowledge with regard to shaving and skincare and are keen to learn more from experts. A huge 88% of men said that they thought more education on shaving would be beneficial. And they are right as the majority of men (88%) said they shave simply to achieve smooth skin, and (69%) find shaving a chore. But when done correctly shaving has some excellent benefits for the skin. The process removes up to two layers of dead skin cells which is great exfoliation that women can only dream of. More than one in three (38%) men were completely unaware of this!
The perfect shave is a four-step process - exfoliate, deep cleanse, tone and condition. Following the shave, it is important to cleanse the skin to remove lingering hair, dirt or dead skin cells - all of which can result in break outs, if left on the skin. Following that, a toning product is key to bringing down the levels of oil on the skin. Men have more active sebaceous glands than women, so excess oil can be a real issue. Men see the term toning as feminine which is why men-u call their gel toning product - matt skin refresh gel. Finish with a moisturiser to leave the skin feeling conditioned and healthy. There are all kinds of factors that can lead to the skin drying out, the face is exposed to the elements and so is vulnerable to being dried out. Always apply moisturiser with clean hands and massage gently into skin.
The declining popularity of the beard signals a new generation of clean shavers, many of whom will be unfamiliar with the process, but it is important to note - a thorough, comprehensive routine is key!
For more hints and tips, visit www.men-u.co.uk