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Monday, November 26, 2007

Stop Men's Skin Care Disasters Now!

Obviously most of our efforts are dedicated to bring into focus to the right audience the right men's skin care information for the right season. Other men's skin care blogs, many of whom work write endlessly trying to help consumers choose the right products, face many challenges.

Third-party sites or distributors are often forced into difficult situations helping disoriented customers. What if you were the one on that side, trying to make a decision on a product? We've spent the last few months talking to skin care consumers about their daily needs and frustrations in order to come up with a few best skin care practices and identify problematic skin types. Here's a mix of that conversation.

Skin Type Classification Syndrome (STCS)

The STCS brand of wicked is easily identified as the "noob" with a passion for confusing well-read consumers. The "noob" is not to be confused by the other form of new player in the men's skin care world, "newb," who actually has intentions of improving their skin and look.

Classifying your skin type is the first step to finding the right products for you. Most products target several individual skin types: oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, acne-prone skin and combination skin.

Oily skin: Feels slightly greasy or slick to the touch, with larger pores. It is usually more prone to blackheads and whiteheads. Look for products that are ultralight and oil-free, and exfoliating items that will remove oil and dirt.

Dry skin: Often feels tight and itchy and is more prone to irritations. Look for products that contain hydrating ingredients like Aloe, Urea and Allantoin, and pay special attention to moisturizers. Keep in mind that moisture is not the same thing as oil, so you don't need heavy, oily products to achieve good levels of hydration for your skin.

Sensitive skin: Easily irritated by skincare or shaving products or extreme weather conditions. Look for products that do not contain dyes, fragrances or irritants and are specially formulated for sensitive skin.

Normal skin: If haven't had any reoccurring skin problems such as shininess, acne or irritated skin, you probably have normal skin. Unless a product states otherwise, most skincare items can be used by men with normal skin.

Combination skin: Most men fall into this category, having dry patches and oily patches on their face at the same time (oily patches often fall in the “T-Zone”: your forehead and down your nose to your chin). Look for products that gently clean skin without harsh abrasives and moisturizers that are ultralight.

Acne-prone skin: Can partner with oily skin, but is also a factor with people with dry skin. This type tends to break out frequently with pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. Look for products that are noncomedgenic (not pore-clogging) and contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide.

Ill-informed Skincare Product Expert (ISPE)

Similar to the STCS entry, the ISPE is identified by making nutty decisions armed with enough information to be dangerous. For example, the ISPE may say something like, "My brother-in-law knows all about that skin care stuff, so I can help you."

According to many of the experts I spoke with, said brother-in-law is so poorly equipped to handle anything men's skincare related, he often causes nearly irreparable damage with his "advice," and the men's skin care customer spends more time doing damage control than achieving results.

Counteracting the effects on an ISPE can be pretty simple. Zero in on your skin type, and concentrate on finding products that appeal to that type, or products recommended for all skin types. And although there's still a sea of products out there, you can decide which you need and which ones are nothing more than fancy packaging by starting with the basic skin care routine that involves four steps: Cleaning, Exfoliating, Shaving, and Moisturizing.

That means you should look for a gentle liquid cleanser for your face, an exfoliating scrub, a shaving product, an aftershave product and an oil-free moisturizer. Trust us, you can't really go wrong.

Screwball Customer Meltdown (SCM)

The SCM is an affliction of the highest order that affects many men's skin care industry folks who are either duped by customers with specific needs or have customers forced upon them by ISPEs.

SCM is a progressive disorder that usually cannot be treated with early detection. Those affected by the SCM often don't see it coming. The consumers often bypass the men's skin care experts and consistently attempt to undermine their efforts by abandoning contact protocols. They reach out to ISPEs directly and pile on unrealistic expectations, armed with misinformation.

There are few effective treatments for SCM, though the disorder has been linked to causative factors associated with the creation of ISPEs.

Men's Skin Care Hater (MSCHMr)

The MSCHMr spends all of his time reading Men's Skin Care blogs and attempts to circumvent the efforts of manufacturers everywhere. The MSCHMr views everything manufacturers does as evil, and this psychosis has bled into other areas of his or her life.

The best way to counter the MSCHMr is to stay on top of the information produced by the MenScience team, cross referencing the information with your own logical conclusions, and citing that information in each skin care need.

And, It Continues to Happen

The men's skin care world is changing but not as quickly as we would like it to. Believe it or not, we still get calls from customers asking for advice on the best "Men's Skin Care Product."

"Men's Skin Care?" Nice one. While I am at it, I usually also pass along MenScience's phone number and url, just in case.

At the end of the day, all you need to do is narrow down what types of products you should be using, and how to apply your core men's skin care products.

BTW, feel free to link to this post. Thanks!

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