Style » Grooming

Smooth or Scruff: Expert Tips for the Perfect Complexion

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Now that winter has almost passed, many men are shaving down their winter scruff to expose a fresh-faced look for spring and summer. This can mean disaster if you don't follow some simple but important steps to protect your punim from the elements - or your own jagged, dull razor.

The Dove Men+Care U.S. Grooming Report was conducted to help experts and developers gain a better sense of how men approach their skincare. The results? Not well! According to the report:

  • More than 7 out of 10 men (72 percent) have used handwash or soap to wash their face.
  • 59 percent of men have left the house without moisturizing.
  • Nearly a quarter (23 percent) have used hand cream to moisturize their face, while 21 percent have used body sunscreen or body lotion!
  • Half of the men have used a razor that is over one month old, while nearly 1 in 5 men (18 percent) have used a razor that is 6 months or more old!

    With these statistics, it's a wonder that our faces don't look like a well-worn sisal rug. EDGE offers exclusive advice from Dr. Allan Peterkin, who is featured in the 2012 documentary "Mansome" and is also the author of several books on the cultural history of facial hair and grooming including One Thousand Beards and The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving. Dr. Peterkin has also recently consulted on the launch of the new Dove Men+Care Face Range products.


    EDGE: Is there a single "most important" step for men in terms of taking care of their skin?
    Absolutely-and it’s often neglected. Moisturizing is the most important step - so if you haven’t started yet... start now! This is especially important for older guys, who are most susceptible to dryness and wrinkles. Cleansing is also crucial to avoid a lot of men’s common skin concerns.

    EDGE: What are some of the most common mistakes that men make in facial hair and skin care?
    I’d have to say enduring pain is one! I think a lot of us grew up with this hyper masculine mentality that we should endure discomfort... and it’s carried over into our grooming routine. It’s just no longer the case: there are products specifically designed for men’s faces-and men’s common skin concerns-that eliminate the ’ouch’ factor.

    Neglect is another one. About half of U.S. men don’t wash or moisturize, which are crucial steps for maintaining good skin. There are lots of products designed for men’s differing skin types, so there’s a solution to heal and soothe your skin, no matter the type.

    I’d say shaving also comes with its own set of challenges, too: make sure your products moisturize and suit your skin specifically. Shaving against the grain or using an old razor blade are pretty common, too. And post-shave balm is a must!

    EDGE: What are the current trends in men’s facial hair - and do these echo any period from our past?
    Facial hair is definitely cyclical - so a lot of the patterns you’ll see are ones we’ve seen before. We’re seeing a resurgence of major amounts of hair: in fact, the last time men were this bushy was back in the Victorian period. Heavy moustaches, beards, and sideburns have made a comeback.

    EDGE:Do you see seasonal trends (for example, less facial hair in the summer months)?
    Definitely. Men tend to grow beards when it’s cold and shave up when it’s hot in the summer. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule: the guys who grow facial hair in order to protect their skin during summer holidays. I’d say, go with what suits you!

    EDGE: What are the most important key ingredients in a shave cream/lather and post-shave balm?
    A lot of it is about feel, because men have different responses to ingredients. Is the product creamy on your hand? Does it feel moisturizing and soothing when you apply it? There are some basics, of course: added vitamins offer added care and a creamy lather helps to prep and moisturize your face, which can help prevent nicks and cuts.

    EDGE: Dove Men+Care Face Range products feature DEFI technology - what is it?
    DEFI stands for Directly Esterified Fatty Isethionate, which is a proprietary component of Dove Men+Care skincare products. By preserving both proteins and lipids during cleansing, it offers a dual approach to healthy skin.

    Looking for other face-friendly tips from EDGE?
    Skincare 101: Five Myths Exposed
    Hello, Bright Eyes
    A-List Tips for the Best Brows

    Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


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