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mens grooming skin and beauty

Men’s Facial Skincare and Ingrown Facial Hair

Recently, customers in the shop have been asking how to manage and or prevent their ingrown facial and beard hairs. As mentioned in the last blog, you should always cleanse your face in gentle circular motions using a cleansing oil or soap with either your fingers, washcloth or using an exfoliant scrub. This process will help untangle these ingrown hairs – but how do you prevent this from occurring?
Ingrown facial and beard hair occurs when the hair curls and grows into the skin instead of growing outward. Shaving leaves the stubble with a sharp edge which can penetrate the skin on your beard area – the chin, cheeks or neck. The hair follicle can also become plugged and that can force the hair to grow in sideways. When this happens, it may lead to inflammation which can result in pain, burning, itching, tiny bumps, hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), scarring and possibly even bacterial infection from scratching.

Truefittt and Hill 10 scrub
Use of a face scrub can help reduce the occurance of ingrown facial hairs.

How you prevent this from happening depends on the way you prepare your skin for shaving, how you shave, and what you do to follow up your shave.
Always start with washing your face, as described above. This process may help avoid these ingrown hairs by untangling them and allowing them to grow outward.
Rather than using an electric or manual razor with multiple blades which can cause the problem, as it cuts the stubble too close to your skin, use a single-blade razor.
shaving with cutthroat razor
Use of a single blade for shaving – either safety razor of cutthroat, is recommended.
Photo by Nick Demou from Pexels

Start by dampening your face and beard for a few minutes with warm water, shaving cream, pre-shave oil or gel or place a warm washcloth on your face. Allow the product you are using to work for a couple of minutes before proceeding with the shave. This give the product time to moisturize the skin and hair, which softens the hair making it easier to cut with the razor. Never shave dry. Your facial skin needs to soften before you shave. When you shave, strokes should move in the same direction as your hair is growing -i.e. with the grain – not against as this can cause ingrown hairs as well. Don’t over shave either, use fewer, shorter strokes. Rinse the blade with water after each stroke and instead of shaving too close to your skin, leave some stubble. It’s better to avoid the closest shave you can get. Your skin will thank you. If your skin still feels irritated place a cool towel or washcloth on your face.
Now it is time to moisturize your skin with a good moisturizer that is either scent-free or a with scent you like.
Remember that the time you spend on yourself and your skin should not be considered a chore but be an enjoyable experience. This will leave a more pleasurable feel to your face, and a pleasing scent will help waken you in the morning.

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mens grooming skin and beauty

Exfoliation and Men’s Skincare Regime

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. This allows for newer cells to be on the surface so that your skin looks brighter and smoother, as well as improving the elasticity of your skin. Exfoliating also opens your pores so that your moisturizer can penetrate your skin. There are two different ways to exfoliate, chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation. Make sure you have cleansed your face first, before you exfoliate with either process.

skin cross section
layers of the skin, showing top layer of dead skin that is removed with exfoliation

Physical exfoliation is either when you physically use a washcloth, facial brush, or your hands to gently apply an abrasive scrub onto your damp face. Working in small circular motions and avoiding your eyes, massage the product onto your face for a couple of minutes and then rinse it off well. This process is effective for normal, dry and combination skin.
Chemical exfoliation is when you are using a chemical scrub such as a citric acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, malic acid or a fruit enzyme to loosen the dead cells. This time it is applied onto a cotton pad and wiped gently over your face, again avoiding your eyes, to remove dead skin cells. This process is effective for oily skin that may be prone to acne and blackheads.
For sensitive skin, avoid using an exfoliant when skin has blemishes or is dealing with sensitivities such as eczema and is red and inflamed. Wait until your skin has healed and remember to be extra gentle with your sensitive skin.
province apothecary exfoliate
Exfoliate with a abrasive or chemical scrub

After exfoliating, moisturize your skin with either a serum or moisturizer so that it can reach deeper layers of your skin.
How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type. Normal and dry skin should usually be exfoliated once a week. Oilier skin is thicker and often needs a twice a week exfoliation. Often weather conditions may also dictate how often your face needs this process. Hot weather will usually produce more oil on oilier skin and then you may need to exfoliate twice a week or more.
Remember, your facial skin still requires a daily routine of using a cleanser, a toner and a moisturizing oil and or serum, and when needed, a simple weekly exfoliating, to keep your face looking its best.

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mens grooming skin and beauty

Walton Wood Farm Hand Balms

Walton Wood Farm – Shop Locally made Canadian products
“Consciously crafted & thoughtfully packaged gifts, sure to sow smiles.”
As I mentioned in my last blog, Walton Wood Farm is a wonderful line of women’s, men’s and pet’s personal care products. Made in Ontario means you are supporting Canadians who are part of this company and acknowledging the importance of sustainable, natural, vegan friendly and cruelty free ingredients.
The rescue balms for both women and men are made from cocoa butter, green tea and shea butter. Never greasy, but thick and super moisturizing. This product is one of our personal favourites. It really targets rough hand and works its magic.

The women’s “Beach Babe” hand rescue is where you can “Escape the dry hand doldrums with a fresh cut pineapple formula”. “Me” Time is “mojito magic” scented and “Birthday Girl” is a rejuvenating vanilla butter cream scent so that “soft hands take the cake”.

Walton Wood Farm Hand Balms
Hand Balms for the Ladies – Several great scents for everyoone!

The men’s hand rescue is just as cleverly labelled, and each has their own personal scent. “The Adventurer” uses a super-rich and hydrating bergamot green tea formula. “The Canadian” has a maple bark and wild portage trail scent which as stated on the tin that keeps “hands softer than your plaid jacket” and “The Gentleman” hand rescue has a citrus and mahogany scent so that “Well-Mannered Hands Have a Softer Touch”.
Walton Wood Farm Men's Set
Products with Matching Scents are available

These well crafted and natural hand balms are but a few in the Walton Wood Farm collection. They make wonderful gifts for others and of course are a daily must for yourself.

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mens grooming skin and beauty

Walton Wood Farm

Walton Wood Farm

Walton Wood Farm Logo
It all started on a farm in Bailieboro Ontario, June 2014. Leslie had grown up on a cherry farm. Along with her husband Peter, a retired farmer, they purchased a former dairy farm as their future home. Shortly after, they began making bath salts in their country kitchen. The early beginnings of a start-up business called Walton Wood Farm. Now, they have created over 85 consciously crafted, personal care products for women, men and recently for pets. Leslie had been on Season 11 of Dragon’s Den, came away with an offer, and her company has just kept on growing into one that cares deeply for small town communities and their heritage farms.

Now, I must take you back to the first time we met Leslie. We were at the August Toronto Gift Show in 2014 and came upon this very personable person, wearing an apron who had a very humorous display of women’s bath salts that she had created and designed in her farmhouse kitchen. The packaging was great, using glass milk bottles and the labelling was hilarious. We decided it was a great find for our shop and went with it. Shortly after, Leslie travelled across to Streetsville, and met us at the store carrying a pig under her arm. Now, this was not your average pig. This was a cute, genuine ceramic pig, whom Leslie introduced as Walton, the mascot of the company and representing their vegan and animal cruelty free stance.

Walton
Walton – the Mascot

The beginnings of a great relationship between Walton Wood Farm and The Shop, their display area has increased as their line has grown to include many women’s and men’s grooming products and now a new line for your pets.

Their beauty and personal care products are also consciously clean; free of SLS, paraben, phthlate dye-free, and gluten free. They also contain essential oils and butters. As Leslie explained to us back in the beginning, product scent lines were named after her own life experiences such as Me Time, Dear Mom, Week from Hell, Rebel Girl, Beach Babe, Birthday Girl, Canadian Girl, Nurse’s Rescue, Winter’s A B*TCH and BETTER B’ver.
The Men’s line contains Aftershave Balm, Beard Balm, Beard Wash, Body Wash and shampoo, Body and Shaving soap in great scents such as The Gentleman, The Adventurer, The Wanderer, The Canadian, The Musician, Men Don’t Stink, Boys Don’t Stink, Proud Cock. All products are alcohol free as well.
I will discuss each line in more detail over the next few blogs.
Want to see more of Leslie and her history? Here are two of her videos
RBC Video

Dragons Den

Categories
mens grooming skin and beauty

Men – Be Kind to your FACE – Your Daily Facial Routine

Men – Be Kind to your FACE – Your Daily Facial Routine
Lucky you. Your skin is approximately 25% thicker than women’s facial skin. There is more circulation happening because you have more blood vessels. Generally speaking, your skin is oilier, and you are able to maintain more hydration within your skin. As well, you have a greater density of collagen. All these factors are allowing your face to age gradually. So how do you protect, maintain and achieve this healthy skin? Certainly, that depends on your genes, what you put into your body, environmental factors and of course, how you take care of your skin.
The start and end of your day should always include an invigorating morning facial routine and a relaxing evening routine. This does not mean slapping after shave on your face or being aggressive to your skin. Your face requires a gentler approach.
Your skin consists of three layers. The hypodermis is the deepest layer, containing fat and connective tissue. The next layer is the dermis which holds your hair follicles and sweat glands. The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin and and holds in moisture. This is where you may see rashes, hyper-pigmentation (those dark patches that appear from the suns damaging rays), dry and patchy areas, oily areas, enlarged pores, and inflammation such as acne.
Your skincare routine should always start with cleansing your entire face. To help you determine what kind of product to use, remember to look at whether your face is oily, dry or a combination of both. Due to your hormones, men usually have larger pores and as I mentioned that usually means oilier, shinier skin. That does not mean you want to strip your face of its natural oil. You do want to control the excess oil.

mens facial products
A variety of facial products are available from several companies

Cleaning your face removes dirt that clogs your pores and removes some of your dead skin cells. When washing use your cleanser in a circular manner. Always be gentle and wash your face for approximately two minutes. A quick wash does not do the job. Some of the best cleansers are oil based as they attract dirt and provide a thorough but gentle cleaning. Stay away from alkaline soaps as they disrupt the skins balance and strip the lipids that naturally keep your skin moisturized.
While your skin is still moist apply a toner. This is an important step as toners balance you skins PH and allows your skin moisturizer to do its job. Do not slap it on, instead rub it between your fingers and pat it on, or spray it on your face and then pat.
As stated above, following the toner your skin requires a moisturizer, providing hydration to the deeper layers of your skin. This is what allows your face to look refreshed and keeps it young. Apply the moisturizer onto your already damp face in gentle, small circular motion.
These processes: cleanse, tone, and moisturize are the three fundamental steps.
If your skin has other issues, such as inflammation or skin disorders then those may need to be targeted differently.
To protect your skin daily it is very important to block the harmful rays of the sun by using sunscreen. If you are exposed to mid-day sunlight, use a broad-spectrum SPF that shields your skin from the ultraviolet rays that damage your skin and age it prematurely.
In the next blog, I will discuss various types of products available in each of these categories, as well as adding exfoliating to your weekly routine. Included will be discussion of products for those sporting beards and moustaches.

Categories
skin and beauty

Double Happiness Skincare

Around a year ago, we brought into the shop a new women’s skincare line called Double Happiness Skincare. With co-creators Sonja’s and Young’s background in herbology and their love of essential oils, they developed a healthy, vegan and organic choice for skincare. Personally, having been diagnosed with eczema and allergies to synthetic fragrances, I was constantly experiencing major flare ups over the last several years and was seriously intent on finding Canadian products that were ph-balanced, simple, plant based with no added fragrance or perfume.

Double Happiness Skincare was mindfully created in 2015.  By using powerful active botanical and elixirs that are hand-blended and filled with healing properties, Double Happiness Skincare re-balances, strengthens and nurtures the skin.

An easy and relaxing skin ritual consists of: RESTART FACE OIL CLEANSER, REFRESH FLOWER SHOWER FACE MIST, RESTORE FACE OIL POTION used in the morning and at the end of your day, as well as REFINE FACE EXFOLIATOR used once a week or when needed.

RESTART FACE OIL CLEANSER

This first step to cleaner skin is filled with botanical oils are that are ph-balanced for your skin. Filled with pumpkin seed oil that is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which easily removes makeup and deeply cleanses with the intoxicating smell of rose and neroli. Using several pumps gently massage onto your moistened face and wash off with warm water or a warm wet face cloth. Doing this during your morning shower routine is very relaxing and easy. Your face is now ready for the next easy step.

REFRESH FLOWER SHOWER FACE MIST

With organic botanicals of rose hydrosol and essential oils, this light mist calms inflammation and hydrates the skin. It also effectively sets your makeup and leaves your face with a dewy glow.  It’s a must throughout the day and when travelling, especially when flying, and instantly refreshes your face.  Remember to shake well before use.

RESTORE FACE OIL POTION

NOTE: FACE OIL DOES NOT MAKE A GREASEY FACE!! Only a few drops are needed of this elixir filled with powerful active botanicals and schizandra berry which has been used over 2 thousand years ago to nourish the skin, improve elasticity and reverse the effect of free radicals. Magnolia leaf, pomegranate and sea buckthorn are rich in antioxidants, omega and vitamins which strengthens weakened skin, reduces inflammation and promotes healing from sunburns, eczema, psoriasis, acne scarring and hyperpigmentation.  Broccoli seeds within the elixir also helps to keep your skin hydrated.  The rosehip is not only a lovely natural fragrance but is high in OMEGA 3 and 6 and stimulates collagen especially for mature skin.

REFINE FACE EXFOLIATOR

Using a blend of natural ingredients that gently exfoliates the face and hydrates it, to create radiant skin. When used weekly or when needed, follow with the refresh shower face mist and restore face oil potion.

“DOUBLE HAPPINESS SKINCARE uses the finest ingredients available in the natural world that are harvest sustainably and mindfully. Joyfully handcrafted in small batches, their products are a ritual self-love, preserved by nature for healthy and happy skin”.

ALL PRODUCTS ARE NON-GMO, VEGAN AND CRUELTY-FREE, PARABEN, SULFATE AND SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE FREE

Categories
mens grooming skin and beauty

Aging or Ageless

The Rolling Stones lamented about it, Ponce De Leon supposedly searched for a cure, and Indiana Jones even found the magic potion to stop and reverse it – the passage of time and the effect on our body.  But time does progress and we suffer the tug of gravity and the wear of wind and sun – we know that aging occurs. By practicing daily rituals it is possible to minimize the damage and maintain our skin the best we can.

The beauty, makeup and skincare industry has targeted the effects of time by promoting products termed ‘anti aging’.  Push back to this term (and mindset) has been growing. Sonja from Double Happiness writes about the terminology of anti-aging.

Allure magazine has stopped using the term . It is not so much political correctness, it is more an issue of truthfulness. Huffpost writes:

At 54, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is looking better than ever, and we think it may have something to do with her unique approach to aging.
“I hate that word [anti-aging]! It should be something positive, like pro-aging,” the actress told NewBeauty Magazine in a recent interview she did as their spring cover girl.

At The Shop we carry a range of moisturizers, scrubs and lotions that help maintain a more healthy skin.  Other products are formulated for problem skin – Baume.be has a preshave, shave cream and soap as well as aftershave balm for sensitive skin.  Exercise, good diet, enough sleep and proper skin care all go a long way in maintaining our healthy bodies.