The RoyalShave Guide to Finding the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

Skin care. Handsome young shirtless man applying cream at his face and looking at himself with smile while standing in front of the mirror

At its core, the actual act of wet shaving boils down to two pieces: your razor and your skin, making contact for that sublime, smooth countenance. So we put a lot of thought into finding the perfect razor, blade, and shaving cream or soap.

But let’s focus on the skin part for a moment. You’re probably already aware that you should be moisturizing (on top of your aftershave), but how often should you be doing it? And are you using the correct moisturizer for your skin type?

While these questions may not rank high on your priority list (they’re certainly not quite as exciting as looking for a beautiful new razor handle or silvertip brush), they make a far greater difference in your daily shave than you think.

We’ve used this analogy before, but it’s worth mentioning again: think of shaving as painting the walls in your house – you can certainly apply the paint directly, but there may be bumps or cracks from painting over an uneven surface. Take the time to apply a primer before that first coat of paint, however, and you not only have a smooth surface to paint on, but also one that’s better protected.

Moisturizer is your primer, reinforcing your skin during the trauma of shaving.

Read on for tips on how to determine your skin type and find a moisturizer that will get your skin looking and feeling its best.

General Tips

  • First and foremost, schedule a visit to the dermatologist – He or she can determine your skin type and give you professional tips on caring for your skin, as well as suggest products.
  • Always read the label – The higher up an ingredient is on the ingredients list, the greater the concentration of that ingredient in the product.
  • Commit to a moisturizing schedule – Even if you have oily skin, you need to moisturize like clockwork: 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. Since most of us also apply a sunscreen during the daytime, a lighter moisturizer will do. To make sure you remember this step, just put it on right after you shave (this will restore natural oils and calm irritation caused by shaving). At night, you can go for something heavier that will penetrate deeply as your body naturally heals itself.
  • If you’re active and take a shower after your workout, reapply moisturizer.

Sensitive

Cetaphil

How do I know if I have sensitive skin?

Your skin is easily irritated, especially by products with many ingredients, fragrance, or exfoliating acids (Alpha Hydroxy Acids or Beta Hydroxy Acids).

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

The fewer the ingredients, the better. Aim for products that are marked hypoallergenic, paraben-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free (preferably all of the above).

Of particular importance is staying away from anything with fragrance, whether it’s synthetic or natural. Fragrance is one of the most common causes of sensitizing and allergic reactions. So while that moisturizer might smell delightful, it’s best to avoid it if you have sensitive skin.

Tip: Unscented does not mean free from fragrance. Usually this term denotes a fragrance which has been masked by even more chemicals.

SHOP: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, Fragrance Free

Oily

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How do I know if I have oily skin?

Soon after you’ve washed your face, things are getting a little slick already, especially in the T-zone.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

Even though you might think you don’t need a moisturizer because you produce enough oil as it is, you still need to keep your skin hydrated or you risk losing vital moisture that keeps your skin resilient.

To avoid added sheen, opt for an oil-free moisturizer that lightly hydrates.

We recommend Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer because it contains protective antioxidants while keeping your face shine-free.

SHOP: Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer

Dry

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How do I know if I have dry skin?

Right after washing your face, your skin feels tight. You may have patches of redness or itchy, flaky skin.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

An oil-based moisturizer (such as a cream or an ointment) will soothe skin while preventing water loss. In general, the drier your skin, the heavier and the creamier the moisturizer.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream is emollient, meaning it will prevent water loss by forming a protective film over your skin. It also contains UV filters for added protection when you head outdoors.

If you need something even thicker or have a skin condition like eczema, try an ointment like Aquaphor, which is petroleum-based and is very effective for dry or older skin.

Tip: You can also dab some ointment on razor burn or a rash for instant relief and accelerated healing.

SHOP: Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream and Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment

Combination

Neutrogena Moisturizer

How do I know if I have combination skin?

Some patches of your skin are dry, while others (usually the T-zone) are oily. Your skin can also fluctuate between oily and dry depending on the day.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

You have two options:

  1. Apply a heavier cream (the creams suggested for dry skin above will do) on the cheeks, and a lightweight lotion on your T-zone.
  2. Use a product specifically formulated for combination skin, like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin. This moisturizer actually hydrates dry areas while mattifying oily areas.

SHOP: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin

Normal

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How do I know if I have dry skin?

You are blessed with even skin tone, no severe sensitivities, and barely visible pores.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

A general moisturizer will keep your skin in its already excellent shape. If you’re applying lotion right after you shave, try Geo. F. Trumper Moisturising Lotion, which is fragrance-free and leaves a smooth, shine-free finish.

SHOP: Geo. F. Trumper Moisturising Lotion

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Common Shaving Problems: How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Attractive young guy is shaving his beard

Dragging a sharp blade across your face can have consequences. Ranking high amongst these is the ingrown hair, the annoying younger brother of the pimple. While giving up shaving is the best resolution, it’s not the most practical solution for most of us. So how do you keep your countenance looking good without sacrificing the razor? We’ve got your guide to keeping ingrown hairs at bay.

What are ingrown hairs?

When you shave, your hairs become very sharp and as the tips grow out, they can curl back into the skin, piercing it and causing inflammation, bumps, and soreness. Ingrown hairs tend to be more common for those with curly hair.

How do I get rid of ingrown hairs?

Add exfoliation to your skincare routine

What skincare routine, you ask? If you don’t have one yet, now’s the time to start, because when it comes to ingrown hairs, prevention is the best defense. Exfoliate daily with a gentle scrub (like Billy Jealousy Liquidsand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser) to remove dead skin cells that clog pores and hair follicles. And once a week, opt for a strong facial polisher to really get rid of the gunk (like Billy Jealousy Assassin Deep Exfoliating Scrub). If you have sensitive skin, start slow and increase the frequency with your tolerance.

If your skin is particularly reactive, only exfoliate the night before shaving.

Before shaving

Wrap a warm towel around your face and neck and wait for your hair to soften from the hot water. Alternatively, shave right after you shower so your hair is weak (that’s a good thing when you’re shaving) and your pores are open.

During shaving

The way you shave is a big part of the razor bump equation. Use a fresh, sharp blade, since dull blades can tug on your skin and cause more friction, leading to razor burn and ingrown hairs. Also, since fresh blades offer a crisp cut, there’s no need to do several passes over the same area, which can anger your skin.

Shave in the direction your hair grows to reduce spikiness.

After shaving

Relieve freshly-shaven skin with a rich aftershave balm or serum. Zirh Soothe Post-Shave Solution contains aloe vera to moisturize irritated skin, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A) to speed up cell turnover and reduce healing time, thus preventing clogged pores and ingrown hairs.

What if I already have an ingrown hair?

First we suggest giving your skin a breather. Stop shaving for a few days and let your skin go through its regular repair processes. During this time, remember to moisturize and feel free to try a cream formulated expressly for ingrown hairs, like The Art of Shaving Ingrown Hair Night Cream, which exfoliates skin as you sleep.

If you wear a tie or a high collar, loosen them both. Stiff collars and ties can rub against your neck, causing more irritation and slowing recovery.

If after this waiting period the pesky ingrown is still there, you can take matters into your own hands.

To remove your ingrown hair at home, warm up the area with a wet towel or steam your face over a bowl of hot water. Then use a pair of tweezers to lift the hair out of the skin.

You can also consult a professional aesthetician, who has all the tools to quickly pull that thing out with minimal damage.

Ingrown-Hair

SHOP: 1. Billy Jealousy Liquidsand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser, 2. Zirh Soothe Post-Shave Solution, 3. Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil, 4. Billy Jealousy Assassin Deep Exfoliating Scrub, 5. The Art of Shaving Ingrown Hair Night Cream.

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Interview: Triumph & Disaster

-T&D Dion Portraits-20

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If you’re an avid reader, you may recall some familiarity with the phrase “Triumph & Disaster” – it’s from a line in Rudyard Kipling’s poem “IF.” Specifically: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two imposters just the same.” The poem, which details a father’s advice to his son, is about humility, honor, risk, and reward.

Triumph & Disaster founder Dion Nash received the framed poem from his father when he was a kid. More than two decades later, he found the poem at the bottom of an old chest and merged these values – as well as the memorable phrase – into his New Zealand-based men’s grooming line.

In fact, Nash has a thing for memorable names. The former professional cricketer and skincare enthusiast (the two are actually more related than you’d think) dubbed his clay face scrub Rock & Roll Suicide (after a David Bowie song) and his popular facial moisturizer Gameface, a nod to his sports past.

Sourcing local indigenous ingredients from New Zealand, Australia, Polynesia, and beyond, Nash ensures each product is thoughtfully conceived and not harmful to nature or humans.

We were delighted to talk to Nash recently about many facets of his skincare line, from the line’s beginnings to product packaging to the importance of men remembering to take care of their skin.

Enjoy!

Tell us the story of how Triumph & Disaster began.

I started out in life as a sports jock. A cricket-mad sports jock to be precise. I chased this as far as I could and was lucky enough to play professionally and represent New Zealand for a decade before retiring due to a series of back injuries. In hindsight this was a lucky twist of fate as it gave me time to refocus and have another dig, so to speak.

After sports I ran into Geoff Ross and the guys setting up New Zealand Vodka brand 42Below and hung on to their shirttails long enough to learn a bit about selling, branding, and marketing, all of which sort of leads me to today.

Skincare was a more natural calling that you might think – it’s actually very close to a cricketer’s heart because when you stand in the sun and wind every day for hours on end you learn to appreciate the finer points of a moisturizer and sunscreen and the joy of exfoliation. So I felt like I had an industrial knowledge of the category, and I had learnt some skills I wanted to put into practice.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

The name comes from Rudyard Kipling. At about 13 years of age my father gave me a framed poem called ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling. The poem is advice from a father to his son on how to be a man. It is about humility, honour, risk, and reward. Values that would help mould a brand capable of reminding us that acts of ritual and preparation are worthy endeavours and that being well presented is something of which to be proud.

So when a tattered old poem that my dad had given me years before was uncovered in the bottom of an old chest and I read the line, ‘if you can meet with Triumph & Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same’, well, the deal was done and the brand was born.

The rest of story, as they say, is still ahead of us…

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You played for the New Zealand cricket team in the 1990s! Any special memories?

It all feels like another life ago now. I’m extremely proud of it and we had some wonderful moments (and some disastrous ones). Overall I just feel blessed to have had the chance to do it. It has given me a huge amount of confidence and also a very unique perspective on life and this adventure we find ourselves in.

Before Triumph & Disaster you worked for the vodka company 42Below for quite some time. Why the jump into men’s skincare?

Truth is Vodka’s a young man’s game : ).

Actually I just wanted to have a go at my own thing and as I have said I felt I had a real advantage in this category. I had used the products since I was 18 and had been exposed to/had to survive outdoors under the sun. I had worked out a routine.

At 42 below I learned about branding and marketing, so I really just put the two together.

Why did you decide to base your products in natural ingredients?

There really is no excuse to use synthetics and nasty chemicals anymore. Perhaps there never was. The lasted green science is better than anything else out there and utilizes ingredients that the body has become familiar with over thousands of years in nature. Therefore these ingredients are gentler on the body. It was a simple choice, especially when you start to dig into some of the ingredients that have become commonplace. Take denatured alcohol for example – it’s only there as a form of paint thinner. It has no place in skin care.

We hear your Gameface moisturizer contains natural ingredients traditionally used by Maori warriors?

We do use many indigenous New Zealand plants that were also used by Maori in their medicines. Many of these how now been clinically proven for their effectiveness, particularly in toning, antiseptic, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. Gameface uses ponga fern, which only grows in New Zealand and has been proven to lift and tone skin – it’s awesome like the Maori.

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We love the vintage barbershop feel of your packaging. What was your aesthetic inspiration?

The challenge we set ourselves was this: The moisturiser or cleanser needed to be able to fall from our gym bag and not have us feel embarrassed, but rather have people say, “Wow, that’s cool! What is it?”

We referenced too many points to recount fully, but it was as varied as rock ‘n’ roll album covers, long-forgotten fonts, and old gig posters.

What are some of your accomplishments as a business?

We are now stocked in over 400 stores globally, including great accounts like Selfridges in London, Fred Segal in LA, and Harrolds in Sydney. We were voted by Details magazine as one of the top five independent brands to watch for, and Men’s Journal voted three of our products into their Top 20 Best Men’s Products (YLF got first, Rock & Roll Suicide got 3rd and Gameface Moisturiser got 9th).

More than those achievements, though, is the sense of growing a great and loyal team around the world. We all sense the best years are still ahead; we have a lot to get done.

What is one Triumph & Disaster product every man should own and why?

Rock & Roll Suicide. Firstly, guys really need to exfoliate, even more than girls. We have larger pores and generally oilier skin, so cleaning it out, drawing out the dirty oil deposits, and taking away the top layer of dead skin is essential to an oil-free surface. Rock & Roll Suicide is our all-natural exfoliator designed to do just this job. It has two types of clay and volcanic ash that act to draw out and then slough away the impurities. It is named after a David Bowie song and is a game-changing product – a must, must have. Use twice a week: Once for business, once for pleasure.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Start.

Any new product releases we can expect in the near future?

Hair care has just launched and we are focused on that at this stage. We also have a body moisturiser that has launched in Australia that will be made available this year to the rest of the world. Everything else is top secret : ).

Quick Question + Answer:

Right now, I’m obsessed with:

Smells, always smells, I think I have a predisposition or hypersensitive nose, but whatever it is I love smells of all kinds.

I’d love to visit:

The Ivory Coast – I know nothing about it, but it seems to me that the best way to find out is to visit.

Rule I live by:

Nothing comes from doing Nothing. – William Shakespeare

Learn more about Triumph & Disaster on their website. Follow Triumph & Disaster on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Shop Triumph & Disaster products at RoyalShave.

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