Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Body beautiful
Decoding the lead look
Hair: Medium length and cut in layers left to look a bit untamed. We used the excellent volume and strength shampoo and conditioner by L’occtiane to nourish, condition and make the hair feel light and soft.
Brows: Thick, a bit bushy and all left all natural.
Face: Clean shaved.
Skin: Smooth hydrated skin. We used the Vitamin Face Mist by Bare Body Essentials to refresh and energise the skin.
Others: We sprayed the Engage L’amante Aqua which has notes of Petitgrain, Sage Clary and Fir Balsam for a long lasting and fresh masculine fragrance. Camouflage pants for a military feel.
The summer body
As summer soars, clothes get lesser and shorter. This is the season to showcase the results of the effort and long hours that have been spent in the gym.
You should work the arms, enhance your definition and cuts, but never ignore the thighs and legs (as more of you are now wearing shorts) for a perfect summer body.
Be it in the make believe world of Instagram, sometimes in this column or out there in the real world, we are seeing more ‘man skin’ than ever before. This is what you should do to look picture perfect:
The upper body
Start with the hair, then the face – before you make your way downwards.
Make an effort to start a hair care regime that keeps your scalp & hair both clean and cool. Oil your hair no more than once a week. Shampoo your hair daily (yes, it’s safe as long as the product is natural or from a trusted brand) just before bed. Use a conditioner after each shampoo or a minimum of thrice a week.
If you are obsessed with using styling products on a daily basis, I suggest investing in a tried and tested water based gel. Any oil or pomade based styling product like wax should be avoided, as the excessive product that does not stay in the hair, will end up on your forehead and face, leading to acne and unwanted pimples.
Use a face masque once a week. This will help deep clean the pores and tighten the skin. Besides drinking enough water and keeping the body hydrated internally, try and wash your face as many times a day as possible. This will not only keep the face clean and make you feel cool, but also prevent the build-up of sweat, germs and bacteria.
However dry your skin, do not use any oil based product. I suggest using water based creams and lotions instead. Use an astringent or toner twice a week to remove surface dirt, oil and grime. This will also prevent any skin breakouts.
The lower half
Ensure the fold areas have been dried well after a shower. Do not leave any moisture behind. This can lead to a stale odour, bacteria and an unwanted rash. Stick to wearing only breathable cotton underwear. Change daily or twice as and when necessary.
If you are excessively hairy you could use a trimmer to reduce the length of your hair, so the skin can breathe and stay both dry and fresh. If the hair bothers you and you prefer to look and feel squeaky clean, then you may use a hair removing cream. If you are using a hair removal cream for the first time, then you need to do a patch test on a small area to check for any adverse reactions. Manscaping is easy when done right.
Keep your feet just as clean as you would your face. Check between the toes to ensure the area is dry, especially after a shower. This is to prevent any fungal infections and also to ensure the feet don’t smell foul. Socks, like your underwear should only be made of highly absorbent cotton.
If you tend to sweat excessively on your feet, then sprinkle some powder on your feet before you put your socks on. This will absorb the excessive sweat and ensure the feet feel and smell fresh, even after a long day of wearing closed shoes.
1.Use a natural loofah or sea sponge to exfoliate and remove dead or dry skin as well as to target specific area like the elbows, knuckles and knees. To use, work up a lather then rub gently in all directions. Always allow dry the exfoliator after each use and replace as and when necessary.
2.Use a sunscreen on any exposed areas – which includes your face, neck, arms or legs. Apply ten minutes before exposure and choose a SPF of over 50 and a brand that offers an oil free formulation
3.Ensure the underarms stay dry. Trim the hair and use an effective alcohol free deodorant spray or a natural deodorant stick. There’s nothing worse than looking good, but smelling bad!
4.If you perspire a lot, you might need to shower more than once a day. Showering right after your workout will help wash away sweat and prevent your skin from breaking out.
5.Too much facial hair can be tough to manage in the heat. I recommend that you sport a clean-shaven look this summer.
Wellness on the shelves
Here are my pick of seven wellness products that you should try:
This revolutionary iodine-based therapy is the newest and perhaps the most promising Covid defence product as it offers broad spectrum antimicrobial protection against any known bacteria, virus or fungi and substitutes the use of a sanitiser. To use, simply apply two drops every six hours on your fingertips, palms and the tip of your nose and around the mouth. The product also nourishes and moisturises the skin as it works. My ‘go to’ product for added and extra protection!
2. Pure oxygen
During exercise our body requires energy, hence more oxygen which if not provided can lead to fatigue. This portable can provides pure oxygen and a few puffs will enhance your sports performance and help restore the energy levels after cycling, aerobics, yoga, dancing and other forms of physical exertion. Adequate oxygen levels also leads to smoother and plumper skin. Keep a can handy in your gym bag or better still, in your first aid kit.
3. Matcha green tea
Japanese Matcha is known to have 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. Traditionally the tea is said to improve focus and boost your metabolism. The brand offers a range of pure Matcha powder infused with various other herbs and ingredients, each of which have their own additional health and wellness benefits. Matcha green tea is excellent for weight loss and to detox the body, especially after a night of partying.
4. Mask cleanser
Wearing a face mask can lead to sweat, oil and bacteria getting trapped on your skin’s surface, which creates a breeding ground for acne and other skin breakouts. Infused with salicylic acid, citric acid and tea tree oil, this gentle cleanser fights acne by reducing oil and bacteria on your skin. The product also reduces dryness and the appearance of both wrinkles and acne scars.
5. Wellness strips
These tech based Ayurveda supplements come as oral strips, which makes them easy to carry and consume. Each variant has a distinct purpose: induce sleep, provide energy or just build and improve your overall immunity. Simply unwrap and place in the mouth.
6. Odour-killing hand cream
This one of its kind hand cream neutralises the long-lasting odour of cigarette smoke which stays on our hands each time we light up! It comes loaded with vitamins and natural ingredients which deliver deep, gentle and long-lasting moisturisation and hydration. The cream also protects your nails and cuticles from nicotine stains by accelerating the growth of healthy nails. Smokers, go grab your tube and then thank me for telling you about this one.
7. Bum cream
This cream promises to cure dark and patchy marks on your bum! Contains natural ingredients like coffee powder, orange extract, yogurt and honey which helps improve the overall texture of the skin while making it feel and look softer. The cream helps reduce dark spots, lighten skin tone and firm your skin. Time to give your rear end a complete and well-deserved transformation!
Summer skin and hair care
Three products to use for the harsh summer months:
Body powders are invaluable in the battle against sweat, moisture, and the build-up of bacteria, especially in summer. This powder has an unscented formulation. The key ingredients are organic Arrowroot powder, natural zinc, kaolin clay and olive oil. The powder is ultra-fine and smooth in texture, so it glides well onto the body leaves the skin feeling healthy and fresh for a few hours.
2. Rose water
For centuries, rose flower extract and water has been used to refresh, hydrate and tone the skin. This herbal water smells and feels good and promises to be as pure as possible. To apply: simply dab a few drops on a cotton ball and wipe your face. Use thrice weekly, ideally at the end of the day.
3. Hair serum
This anti-breakage serum stimulates the scalp. To apply, gently massage a few drops daily or weekly as needed. The serum limits the loss of fine and fragile hair and reduces breakage. The product helps make the roots stronger, leading to denser and more voluminous hair within a month of regular use.
The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer.
From HT Brunch, April 11, 2021
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