It must seem strange to kick-off our first health and grooming column on Augustman.com without any mention of lotions, gels or creams. But there’s a reason for this, so hear me out. The top skin complaints I often hear from men are acne, oiliness and general dullness (or in skin industry speak: a lack of radiance). And the No. 1 reason for these problems is always from poor cleansing. If your face is dirty, no amount of moisturiser is going to help.
You must be thinking: cleaning my face can’t be all that difficult can it? Well, contrary to certain male beliefs, it’s not as simple as soap and water (more on the evils of soap in the next column). Think of it as a Goldilocks-inspired dilemma. Too much and you strip essential moisture and oil which protect your skin from drying out. Too little and dirt and dead skin cells will clog your pores, which can lead to skin inflammation and acne. What you want is to clean your skin just right, which electric facial cleansing systems do a brilliant job of.
I’m a big fan, as you can tell. Since trying a few, I’m completely sold on the fact that they do a far better cleaning job than my hands, and are gentle enough to be used every day. In the month that I’ve been using them on a daily basis, my face feels a lot smoother, my pores have shrunk remarkably and my face looks brighter and more refreshed. And I may be a woman, but I don’t see why men can’t enjoy the same benefits too. In fact, they may even make your daily skin routine a little more fun.
How to use
Squeeze a small amount of cleanser into you hands, lather and gently apply it to your face. Power up the gadget and move it over your face for a minute. Most are waterproof, so they can be safely used in the shower (which is what I do) and saves you time in the morning. For top effectiveness, remember to replace your brush head every three months. As always, if you suffer from any serious skin conditions, please check with your dermatologist before use. Here are three that I recommend for any budget.
Clarisonic Plus, $320, available at Sephora
The Rolls-Royce of home facial cleansing systems, the Clarisonic Plus is based on sonic technology, similar to the technology behind a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, but on a bigger scale. Its bristles oscillate gently back and forth at a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, gently buffing away dead skin, oil and dirt. Clarisonic produces other lower-priced models like the Mia, but the Plus is the only model that comes with three speeds for face and body.
Pros: Three speeds; rechargeable; a wide-range of replacement brush heads to choose from; has a timer function to let you know when to move to another area; automatically shuts-off after a minute; waterproof
Clariancy Crystal Clear, $165, available at Clariancy
Produced by local aesthetics company Clariancy, the Crystal Clear is idiot proof. It only has one speed and like the Clarisonic, automatically shuts off after a minute. It is also built using sonic technology that oscillates at a rate of 300 cycles per minute. The bristles of the brush are very gentle, but effective. I found my face more buffed with a slightly “squeaky clean” feeling after each use.
Pros: Simple to use, automatically shuts-off after a minute; waterproof
Cons: Only one speed
Olay Regenerist Advanced Cleansing System, $49.90, available at most leading pharmacies
Drugstore brand Olay is famous for producing high-performance skincare at affordable prices and its new Regenerist Advanced Cleansing System is a great introduction to face cleansing systems. Unlike the other two, it removes dirt using a brush head that revolves clockwise at 350 times per minute. I found that it required little more control to keep it in place, but quickly got the hang of it after several uses. The bristles of the brush are gentle enough for every day and left my skin feeling clean and refreshed.
Pros: Two speeds; waterproof; affordable
Cons: Requires more control than sonic-powered systems; doesn’t automatically shut-off