When it comes to skin care and men, it’s no longer a brave new world.
“Men are paying more attention to their skin,” says Linda Ortiz, the representative at the Sisley Paris Boutique in Greenwich Village, where WAG recently experienced a richly moisturizing facial that was the perfect antidote to the wintry mix outside.
Ortiz says that some 25 to 30 percent of the spa’s clientele is male, which is about the national average. Meanwhile, spas such as the Clarins Skin Spa at Bloomingdale’s White Plains — where WAG was treated to a facial that felt like an instant face-lift — are actively seeking to increase the number of male clients.
At first glance, men and skin care would seem to be a natural pairing. “Men’s skin is usually more resilient than women’s,” notes the Sisley men’s skin care brochure. Male skin has greater collagen density and more moisture — men sweat more — which may account for its more youthful appearance. Plus, says Karlene Aarons, the aesthetician at the Clarins Spa, men exfoliate their faces every time they shave.
Still, shaving can cause irritation, as do the elements — for which makeup serves as a barrier, and few men wear makeup. Also unlike women, experts say, men can be impatient with the one hour to one and a half hours that a good facial can require — although spas offer an array of treatments that can be tailored to your needs.
Men are more interested in grooming products than treatments — roughly 80 percent nationwide use them —provided they can keep the routine simple. At Clarins, Aarons recommends the Exfoliating Cleanser, which can help with the redness male skin can be prone to and the irritation caused by shaving; the Revitalizing Gel, which smooths and hydrates the skin while offering anti-pollution protection; and the Anti-Fatigue Eye Serum, which uses a combination of plant extracts to lessen dark circles and puffiness.
As in any makeup line, there are a number of signature unisex products. Clarins’ signature is its Double Serum, which relies on 20 plant extracts to deliver tauter, more radiant skin. Sisley’s is All Day All Year, with its UV filtration system.
Sisley has some 15 products for men, but Ortiz says guys can pare their routine down to the Buff and Wash Facial Gel, which sloughs away the dead skin cells, and the Sisleÿum for Men moisturizer, designed to strengthen and reinvigorate the skin.
WAG’s managing editor, Bob Rozycki, has tried both of these Sisley products, which he describes as “a welcome to fingers and face. The lotion disappeared with a few quick rubs. Yes, do the neck, the instructions implored. So I did.
“The botanicals had an ever-slight fragrance that disappeared quickly. After a shave, the moisturizer feels great, with no residue or feeling of the skin encased in some translucent plastic. (I have experienced that before with another lotion.)
“The verdict is still out as to whether I’m looking any younger. Perhaps a selfie is in order in the off-chance the anti-aging elements kick in and I take on the handsomeness of, say, a Liam Neeson or Denzel Washington.”
Still, nothing beats a facial, Ortiz and Sisley Paris Boutique makeup artist Natalia Acosta say. From the meditative music to the soothing scents to the gentle pressure of the aesthetician’s hands on your face, a facial is among the most sensuous and refreshing of experiences.
Afterward, Acosta says, “You feel and show more confidence.”
“That’s what’s exciting,” Ortiz adds, “to see the difference.”
For an appointment at the Clarins Skin Spa at Bloomingdale’s White Plains, call 914-684-6457. For one at Sisley Paris Boutique, call 212-645-1013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.