Thursday March 7, 2013
By BERVIN CHEONG
With the current selection of grooming products in the market, a brighter, flawless-looking complexion is attainable by men too.
AS much as the beauty industry has embraced the need for women to have bright and clear skin, men are not left out of the picture. Today, a variety of male grooming products are available that aim to give men flawless skin as well.
These offerings all aim to effect a change in brightening the complexions of men. Looking at the different male specific facial cleansers, toners, serums, moisturisers and masks in the market, the guys have a ready range of skin brightening products to choose from too, which claim to lighten blemishes and even out the skin tone, among other things.
Nevertheless – as with products for women – men should understand that the grooming arsenal laid out for them does not really “whiten” their skin.
As Grace Teong, technical training manager with Sothys Malaysia comments: “Some people are confused about the term ‘whitening’ and ‘brightening’ in general.”
“Brightening products promote a natural and healthy complexion, yet utilise effective, stable and safe active ingredients. On the other hand, products that claim to whiten skin could most likely contain bleaching agents like hydroquinone or kojic acid, and this may cause the skin to burn, dehydrate and have an allergic reaction,” she explains.
Dr Jason Yip, the resident physician of an aesthetic clinic in Kuala Lumpur, agrees and says, “The term ‘whitening’ is loosely used. What it basically means when used to describe a product is that it is able to brighten the skin rather than turn it a few shades lighter.
“A person with a darker complexion might misconstrue this and expect to be a few shades whiter after using such products, but that is generally not possible unless harmful bleaching agents are used,” adds Dr Yip.
Kimberly Foo, the consumer products division training manager at L’Oreal Malaysia, says that the male skin is on average 22% thicker than female skin. This, combined with the fact that their skin also tends to be oilier, makes it important for a guy to use brightening products that are specially formulated for men.
“There are key ingredients to look out for in skin brightening products that work to give skin a more even tone. For example, some regulate production of melanin (the pigment within the layers of the skin that gives it a darker colour if found to be in abundance) and others work to oxidise sebum (which can cause breakouts if produced excessively and in turn become blemishes),” explains Foo.
With all being said, it would appear that men are more clued in than we give them credit for when it comes to achieving a brighter complexion. For one, they are well-informed and they do realise that brightening products do not really make them fairer.
Celebrity Will Quah, 28, comments: “I’m not an expert, but from what I’ve heard discussed among some of the guys is that it is more about evening out skin tone, as well as making skin look brighter and clearer, than it is about actually trying to bleach skin.”
Similarly, Jeremy Goh, a 27-year-old lawyer, says he does understand that such products do not whiten the skin. “I would think that the primary effect would be to give someone more of a glowing complexion,” adds Goh.
And why a would guy care about having brighter skin anyway?
Well, Quah says it all depends on the individual. “Some men think they need to have perfect abs and others want great hair. There are even some who spend hours grooming their facial hair – it’s very much a personal choice.”
Goh says that he’s not concerned about having flawless skin, but he does have male friends who are really particular about this. “I think some guys equate having a brighter and smoother complexion with being more presentable. Good and brighter skin act as a confidence booster for them, I guess,” he concludes.
Made for men
THERE are some products in the market that are specifically formulated for men, to give them brighter and clearer skin. Here’s a heads up in case you want to look out for them.
● SK-II MEN Facial Treatment Essence: This particular serum – containing Pitera, a metabolic solution generated in the fermentation process of a unique strain of yeast – works to address the different concerns of a dull, less vibrant-looking complexion.
● Sothys has a range of products within its [W.]+ Cosmeceutic Brightening Programme that is claimed to affect a change in complexion as well. It is said to be suitable for both men and women whereby it has a brightening fluid, preparative lotion and mask that targets pigmented zones and brighten visible spots of the skin.
● Under the L’Oréal Paris Men Expert White Activ Control range of products, guys can find cleansers, toners and moisturisers which can be used daily to achieve healthy, glowing skin.
● The Garnier Men TurboLight range is claimed to work for those who have dull skin and are looking to rejuvenate their complexion.
● For spot correction, guys can look to the Dark Spot Corrector by Clinique – Skin Supplies for Men. This serum is said to visibly reduce the appearance of sun spots, dark spots, acne scars-on all skin types and tones, and is specially formulated to suit a man’s needs.