The Ultimate Guys' Guide to Summer Skincare
Men's grooming tips for the sunny season courtesy of expert Ada Trinh, who has worked with Kobe Bryant, Matthew Morrison and model Shaun Ross.
In decades past, skincare was not seen as manly. But that's now changed as today's stars aren’t afraid to embrace getting a little help for their complexions. Over years of working with dudes as diverse as Kobe Bryant, Matthew Morrison and model Shaun Ross, men’s groomer and makeup artist Ada Trinh began plotting her own natural, small batch line called Guise Etiquette (though the fairer sex is more than welcome to use it, too.)
"I have seen that once given the proper education on how to care for their skin, men tend to be more willing and excited to use the products," says Trinh. To that end, she’s all about offering education along with her three just-launched core products, made from organic ingredients sourced in California, New Mexico and Arizona.
Trinh notes that guys shouldn’t be using the same bar of soap for their face as their body, as it's harsh on the skin and causes sensitive areas to become dry and flaky over time. "As a result, your body produces more oil to compensate for the dry skin, which leads to excess oil problems. I’ve seen clients’ skin become so dry that it becomes inflamed and increases redness around the nose, forehead and cheek areas."
In fact, men have 25 percent thicker skin, due to testosterone, and produce more oil (sebum) than women. In the summertime especially, the heat only exacerbates the problem. Trinh advises using an oil-free moisturizer to temper shine, like her Guise Etiquette No3 ($28), which she says "helps with balancing oil production and the aspen bark will refine pores while keeping the skin hydrated." She also likes to see guys start using an antioxidant-infused eye cream in their early 30s, when skin cell reproduction around the eye area slows.
For those whose sweating or shine issues go beyond a simple moisturizer, the expert defers to milk of magnesium. "It has the ability to absorb oils on the skin and it really does work! Just apply it to your armpits and allow to dry before putting on your shirt," Trinh says. "If you’re putting it on your face, avoid your eyes."
Sweat can also be a hurdle at the gym. After working out, she advises her athletes and non-athlete guys to wash their face with a gentle facial cleanser and avoid products with sulfates and alcohol. Instead, stick to ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber, which are featured in her Guise Etiquette No1 ($30). She also likes to finish up with an aftershave or toner. Most — including her No2 ($34), with colloidal silver — have antibacterial properties that will help combat any bacteria buildup on the skin during excess sweating.
And women aren’t the only ones who need to worry about aging sun damage from UV rays. Trinh stresses that men should also wear at least an SPF 30 daily, applied after moisturizer (putting on skincare afterward will reduce its effectiveness). Her favorites are TwinLuxe Anti-Aging SPF 40 Moisturizer ($48), which has willow bark to control oil, and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel UV Guard SPF 50+ ($38).
Her favorite hot-weather trick is a hack anyone can use. "It may sound strange, but rubbing your face with ice cubes (wrapped in a wash cloth) for five to 10 minutes a day will help a lot with toning your skin texture and cooling down your pores from overheating." Ultimately, Trinh says, taking care of one’s complexion is not a question of gender. "Everyone wants to put their best face forward and wanting to enhance your features shouldn’t be reserved for women only. The idea of these products is to help boost confidence and self-esteem."