Stop in the name of upping your hair and skin game, from front to back.
My first thought when handed the palm-sized bottle was, “Why do I need beard moisturizer?” True, I’ve never actually grown out my beard until now, but aren’t they supposed to be a little scratchy and messy? That’s the manly part about growing a beard. I mean, Grizzly Adams didn’t stop to moisturize while schlepping through the forest with Ben.
Then again, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill boast two of the most famous beards in the world, and they sang that “Every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man,” which I can only assume includes one’s, ahem, face sweater.
So with some scepticism, I slathered L’Oréal’s Men Expert BarberClub line of beard, face and hair wash, beard moisturizer and beard cream on my face. To start, they all share a spicy, woody fragrance touted by the brand as a “manly scent,” which I suppose means that this is what John Wayne must have smelled like. And, admittedly, the scent has proven popular with those who’ve sniffed my face after applying it.
The beard, face and hair wash offers a solid scrub and conditioning in the shower, while the moisturizer actually does soothe facial itching. The beard and hair cream is a nice final touch, allowing you to shape and set it without any grease or stickiness left behind. And for those looking to emulate ZZ Top’s look, there’s also conditioning oil for long beards. (All BarberClub products $13, available at major retailers and at amazon.ca)
Of course, if I’m going to fuss this much over my beard, I figured I should give equal treatment to the rest of my face. Bulldog Skincare’s Men’s Age Defense Line includes a moisturizer said to reduce wrinkles and fine lines within a month – good for ensuring that my budding crow’s feet don’t expand to the point that it looks like Big Bird stomped on my face.
There’s no spicy wood scent here, but it does boast “an antioxidant complex of rosemary, echinacea and vitamin E,” which is sort of “manly,” I suppose. They don’t test on animals and the moisturizer does its job without leaving your face feeling like an oil slick. ($15, available at Shoppers Drug Mart)
And for men whose grooming needs extend over their shoulders, the BAKblade 2.0 Men’s Back Hair Shaver looks like a back scratcher armed with duel blades and a pivoting handle. Grab a hold, reach over and drag the blades across your back to rid yourself of unwanted hair. No shaving cream or gel necessary, and you can also use the shaver on your arms, neck, chest and, yes, abs. Hey, shave ’em if you got ’em! (US$30, bakblade.com)