A grooming expert explains why men need to stop the common habit of using body wash on their face

Grooming expert and writer for Sweden's Café magazine Jonas Öhman.

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Grooming expert and writer for Sweden’s Café magazine Jonas Öhman.
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Jonas Öhman

  • Frank Ocean recently divulged his skin-care routine – and declared his love for night creams – in an interview with GQ.
  • Inspired by Ocean’s inclination for moisturisation, I decided to ask my esteemed male colleagues about their own skin-care routines.
  • I then sent them to grooming expert Sweden’s Café magazine writer Jonas Öhman to see what he thought.
  • Even in 2019, almost none of the men in the office adhered to the most basic routine of cleansing and moisturising their faces.
  • The most recurring mistake was men using body wash on their face.
  • Scroll down to see what our Swedish skin-care expert made of this dermatological car crash.

We can’t all be Patrick Bateman.

I’m not talking about his proclivity for being a massive murderer, but rather his iconic morning skin-care routine, which has since been recreated by Margot Robbie for Vogue and “Queer Eye”‘s Antoni Perowski for Netflix.

Bateman’s routine has 10 steps in total – unsurprising for a total sociopath, but a bit of a reach for the average Joe who would prefer 10 extra minutes in bed in the morning.

That being said, it shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on a face wash and moisturiser – the very basic two-step routine that every guy should adhere to – should it?

Read more: 5 grooming products every guy should own, according to the cofounder of a major skin-care brand

To find out, I asked all the guys in the office to talk me through their skin-care routines, then passed them on to grooming expert and writer for Sweden’s Café magazine Jonas Öhman to see what he thought.

This turned out to be a mistake.

Some of the worst habits include someone “scrubbing” their face with water and another scraping their face off with a body mitt twice a day.

The only person to even use a proper face wash was me, the author, who writes about this stuff for a living.

Here’s what our Swedish skin expert made of this dermatological car crash of an office.

Leon, Video Editor

“I shower twice a day and wash my face with body wash and a body mitt, but I very rarely put any moisturiser on (like once a week). I don’t really ever have dry skin, I often have the opposite problem, to be honest. If I use moisturiser I get greasy skin.”

Jonas: “That is alarming. One of the reasons he experiences oily skin is likely because he doesn’t moisturise. What tends to happen if you don’t apply any type of hydration to your face, your skin is going to go, ‘oh my god, I need to start producing fat to compensate for the fact that I’m not getting anything.’

“This person has stripped any ounce of hydration from his face using body wash and that horrible mitt.”

Moisturising is key.

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Moisturising is key.
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Shutterstock

Kieran, News Editor

“Skin-care products marketed at men are, in my opinion, a way of ripping off people without the self-confidence to buy anything that looks a bit feminine. I use own-brand lotion from Morrisons [UK supermarket], which I use for a couple of days after I shave, and any other time my skin feels particularly bad. That is it.”

Jonas: “When he says, ‘after I shave, and any other time my skin feels particularly bad,’ I wonder what that means. His skin should not be feeling bad for a couple of days after he shaves.

“That is something that I would try to point out to him. If you shave correctly – you make sure your skin is warm, you have a really sharp razor, and you’re light to the touch – then he shouldn’t be having problems for a couple of days after.

“Generally, products that are formulated for your face don’t clog your pores, which is not a big issue for the skin on your body.

“The products that are meant to be used on your face are developed to protect your face because your face is out there in all sorts of different climates, radiation, and sun and whatever. I think they usually put a bit more work into those products than the ones for your body.”

Bill, Breaking News Fellow

“After my morning shower I put on an SPF40 moisturiser, every day. If I have some damaged areas I use Sudocrem [anti-septic healing cream] before bed, but not too much as it dries out. Once a week I exfoliate my face (Sunday.) Don’t want to get dependent on it. Every now and again with the Carmex lip salve.”

Jonas: “First of all, this guy’s got something right at least. Using a daily moisturizer with SPF is a genius move in my book. You really should be using SPF all year round because even if the sun’s not out, there is radiation out there, so I think he’s doing well in that department.

“This antiseptic cream … never put anything drying on damaged skin. It does not help the healing process at all.

“You want to be using something that’s hydrating and calming because that helps the skin heal. Don’t put anything harsh on skin that’s already damaged. Also, why is his skin damaged?

“It does seem to be more like a cream you would put on a rash or something. If possible, maybe try not to use it so much on your face. Sudocrem contains lots of oils and waxes and that can actually clog your pores, so using that on breakouts might not be helpful. I haven’t used it but it doesn’t seem like the perfect remedy for that.”

Adam, Politics Reporter

“I moisturise twice a day, before I go to work morning and before I go to bed. Both post-shower.”

Jonas: “That’s it? My instant question would be how does he and people around him view his skin quality? If that floats Adam’s boat then good on him.

“If he manages to get away with just washing his face with water and then moisturizing then I dream of having a face like that. Some people are like that.

“I use so many different products – way more than I need, in fairness. But my skin quality is complicated, it tends to work against me, so I need to actively stop it working against me. But that sounds like it’s not the case with Adam, so don’t fix what isn’t broken.

“What he does need to make sure he’s doing, though, is using a moisturizer with SPF during at least spring and summer. Out of pure necessity and to minimize the aging process.”

[I ask: Would he not be clogging up his pores by moisturising without exfoliating first?]

“Absolutely, that is what I thought. But, if that’s not a problem for him then he’s lucky. Some people can get away with anything.”

Everyone should use a good face wash.

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Everyone should use a good face wash.
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Shutterstock.com

Harry, Associate Distribution Editor

“I don’t really use any specific skin-care products. After I shave I usually use some Nivea Creme [All Purpose Body Cream] to reduce razor burn and if I get spots I’ll put Sudocrem on them because it’s antiseptic.”

Jonas: “I think it’s adorable he says he ‘scrubs’ his face with water.

“If there’s an anti-inflammatory in Sudocrem I guess that could have some kind of effect on acne and spots.

“Anyone who is using body wash and body lotion on their face will experience positive effects if they were to take the giant leap over to facial products.

“If you shave with a razor and shaving cream, make sure to do that properly. Change your razor often. Make sure to have a back-up razor at home because what tends to happen is you run out of razors and you’re forced to use an old one, which reaps havoc with your skin.

“[Washing your face with warm water before shaving] makes your skin more supple and prepares your skin for shaving.”

Graham, Markets Reporter

“I can’t live without Bulldog beard oil and a boar’s hair brush. My ‘routine’ I guess is just water in the shower, oil in the beard while it’s wet and brushed with the boar’s hair to make it not itchy.”

Jonas: “Oh. So his skin gets nothing? I would like to plant this seed of thought in him: He tends his beard with oils but puts nothing on his skin? I don’t know why he would do that.

“He can clearly be bothered to put in the effort with his beard, so why not his skin too?”

Tom, Politics Reporter

“I honestly just use shower gel on my face sometimes. Usually nothing at all. Sometimes if I’m using my flatmate’s shower and I see a fancy face scrub I use a bit of that. During the day I sometimes use a bit of Nivea Creme but that’s about it.”

Jonas: “That’s not a routine. It actually sounds like he’s using whatever comes his way so, first and foremost, buy products of your own. He will have to visit a store to do that.

“Take your time to actually ask someone what would fit your type of skin and at least get a face wash and a moisturiser – that’s the bare minimum.”

David, Video Producer

“After a shower, I’ll first apply some cocoa butter over my face and body. I’ll then apply some coconut oil on, but not too much as it gets a bit too oily and can stain my clothes (which has happened before). For my facial hair and bald scalp, I use black castor oil, but that only goes on the face and scalp and never the body. I also don’t use coconut oil on my beard as it clogs up my pores and causes ingrown hairs.”

Jonas: “That is a very oil-heavy routine. I realise that depending on your ethnic background that dryness of the skin can be a thing and I guess depending on the colour of your skin, dryness is going to show more if you’re darker than if you have a lighter skin tone.

“I’m not much for oils, to be honest. At least for your face, there are a number of different face oils out there but you usually have to use them in addition to a cream because oils and only oils rarely do the trick.

“I would advise him to take a couple of steps away from all those oils and try some natural options in the cream section, which I actually think could suit him better.”

Jake, Executive Editor

“I observe a simple three-step routine every morning: 1. I scrub my face in the shower with a good quality, organic body wash, taking particular care of areas where my pores get easily clogged, like around my chin. 2. Once dry, I apply Bulldog Skincare’s Original Moisturiser where my skin easily dries out, including under my eyes and around my nose. 3. If it’s cold out, I always have lip balm at the ready.”

Jonas: “Good! I did hear body wash, though. I realise that you want to make life simple and you don’t want to be spending a great amount of time in the bathroom getting ready, but it’s not like using a face wash is going to add that much time to your routine. Bulldog does good face washes so go for one that’s actually formulated to suit your face.

“If anything, he should be doing that to get his money’s worth because he treats his skin well after the cleansing phase so just invest in a good routine the whole way through. And if he wants top marks then he should add an SPF during the day.”

Me (Tom), Lifestyle Reporter

“I use a La Roche-Posay Purifying Foaming Gel twice a day, after my morning shower and before I go to bed at night. On both occasions, I’ll dry and apply Bulldog’s Original Moisturiser. About twice a week I use Bulldog’s Face Scrub, which is a bit more heavy-duty.”

Jonas: “It sounds perfect. La Roche-Posay is a really nice brand, I use them a lot. It’s a French pharmacy brand so they’ve done tonnes of research on it. Usually, their products are good for all types of skin.

“I like that you don’t over-scrub your face. Two times a week is good, especially seeing as the Bulldog face scrub contains all those kernels and seeds. If your skin can handle it, go ahead.

“What you might want to try is a chemical peeling product depending on your skin quality.

“If you wanted to step up your game then maybe invest in a night cream so you have a lighter moisturiser for the day and something a bit more nourishing for the night.”

Read more: Frank Ocean revealed his love of night cream – here’s why you should try it out

Conclusion

Jonas: “I’m astonished by how many people in your office use body wash to clean their face.

“If you don’t have a problem with your skin, I would actually say only using water is better than using body wash because body wash will, for sure, dry your skin like crazy. So don’t do that. Invest in something that’s formulated for that area of your body.”