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Thread: Men's Grooming

  1. #1
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Men's Grooming



    I have always wondered about that. I like Khiel's for my shaving cream and after shave - definitely better than Barbasol, but beyond that I have always wondered if all these expensive products are worth the money, or if they are simply a sham. I came to think that it's somewhere in-between. And this stuff can get very expensive if you think of the whole battery of products one needs - shaving cream, after shave, pre-shave lotion, gel, bla, bla, bla. For women the scenario is much worse, there is like ten thousand things out there - add them up, and you got a big hole in your pocket. On my recent visit to Barneys while buying my Acqua di Parma cologne the salesman tried to talk me into some new brand that does this and that (one of their products had cashmere in it - woopty fucking doo). I found the NYTimes article below very interesting. What do you people think?



    January 4, 2007

    Skin Deep


    The Cosmetics Restriction Diet











    DR. FRAN E. COOK-BOLDEN, a
    dermatologist in Manhattan, is an advocate of skin-care minimalism.
    When a patient recently arrived for an appointment toting 20 different
    products she was using regularly ? including an eye cream, a vitamin C
    cream, a wrinkle serum, a pigmentation cream, a mask, a peel, a scrub
    and ?some sort of special oxygen detoxifying cream? ? Dr. Cook-Bolden
    said she confiscated all but three.




    ?It gave me a headache just to look at all of those products,? Dr.
    Cook-Bolden said. ?Just two products, a gentle cleanser and a good
    sunscreen, are enough daily skin care for most people, and you can buy
    those at a drugstore or a grocery store.?




    Dr. Cook-Bolden is part of a back-to-basics movement among
    dermatologists. At a time when beauty companies are introducing an
    increasing number of products marketed for specific body parts
    ?including necks, creases around the mouth and eyelids ? or for
    apocryphal maladies like visible pores or cellulite, these doctors are
    putting their patients on cosmetics restriction diets.




    They are prescribing simplified skin-care routines requiring at most
    three steps: soap; sunscreen every day, no matter the weather or the
    season; and, if necessary, a product tailored to specific skin needs,
    whether a cream for pimples or pigmented spots, or a vitamin-enriched
    moisturizer for aging skin. Each product, they say, can be bought at
    drugstores for $30 or less.




    Among those doctors who have become experts at uncluttering their
    patients? vanity tables and medicine cabinets is Dr. Sarah Boyce
    Sawyer, an assistant professor of dermatology at the School of Medicine
    at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.




    ?My New Year?s beauty resolution for patients is: cut down on
    skin-care products and cut your skin-care budget,? Dr. Sawyer said.
    ?Cut down on those $100 potions.?




    For some doctors, simplifying skin-care routines is a way to make
    patients follow a regimen or a means to soothe irritated skin. But some
    dermatologists are also suggesting patients use fewer, less expensive
    products because they believe there is little scientific research to
    justify buying an armload of pricey cosmetics, Dr. Sawyer said.




    ?We have good medical evidence on prescription products,? she said. ?But the science is fuzzy with a lot of cosmetics.?




    Unlike drugs, cosmetics are not required to prove their efficacy.




    Prescription medications like Accutane for acne and over-the-counter
    drugs such as sunscreen ingredients must undergo rigorous clinical
    testing before they gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
    But cosmetics are not subject to the agency?s scrutiny before they go
    on sale. The F.D.A. defines cosmetics as topical products that do not
    alter the structure or function of the skin.




    Dr. William P. Coleman III, the vice president of the American
    Academy of Dermatology, said consumers should view moisturizers and
    wrinkle creams as no more than superficial treatments.




    ?You have to think of cosmetics as decorative and hygienic, not as
    things that are going to change your skin,? said Dr. Coleman, who is a
    clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University
    Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. ?A $200 cream may have better
    perfume or packaging, but as far as it moisturizing your skin better
    than a $10 cream, it probably won?t.?




    According to F.D.A. regulations, beauty manufacturers are
    responsible for the safety of their cosmetics and for their own
    marketing claims. Although many beauty companies perform studies on
    their products, they are not required to conduct clinical trials on the
    level of medical research or to make their proprietary research
    available to the public.




    Dr. Mary Ellen Brademas, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center,
    said the paucity of rigorous published science on cosmetics makes it
    difficult to determine how well creams work, whether they cost $10,
    $100 or $1,000.




    ?People are spending $450 on a jar of cream just because it is made
    out of something exotic like salmon eggs or cocoons,? Dr. Brademas
    said. ?But the cheapest products work just as well as the more
    expensive ones.?




    A study of wrinkle creams published last month by Consumer Reports
    concluded that there was no correlation between price and
    effectiveness. The study, which tested nine brands of wrinkle creams
    over 12 weeks, also concluded that none of the products reduced the
    depth of wrinkles by more than 10 percent, an amount ?barely visible to
    the naked eye.?




    The Consumer Reports study found, for example, that a three-step
    regimen of Olay Regenerist products costing $57 was slightly more
    effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles than a $135 tube of
    StriVectin-SD or a $335 combination of two La Prairie Cellular lotions.




    ?I am seduced by fancy packaging as much as the next person,? Dr.
    Brademas said. ?But I have a theory that all these skin-care things
    come out of the same vat in New Jersey.?




    John Bailey, the executive vice president for science of the
    Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, an industry trade group
    in Washington, said that skin care varies widely in price because of
    amounts spent on research and development of ingredients and product
    formulas, and the cost of manufacturing and packaging.




    But, he said, it is difficult to measure performance differences among products.




    ?Cosmetics don?t have the same quantitative analysis as drugs, so
    you don?t have a set gauge you can use to determine perceived and
    actual benefits,? said Dr. Bailey, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry.
    ?Ultimately, consumers will have to try products out and find what
    works best for them.?







    THE back-to-basics skin-care regimen is based on practicality
    rather than marketing claims. It does not rely on exotic ingredients
    grown on far-flung islands hand-picked by natives only under a full
    moon.




    Dr. Diane C. Madfes, a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai School of
    Medicine, said that basic skin care requires washing one?s face to
    remove dirt, sweat and bacteria, and using sunscreen to impede sun
    damage. People who worry about wrinkles, pimples, dry spots or pores
    may want to add one or two treatment products, she said.




    Dr. Cook-Bolden, who has been a paid consultant for several
    mass-market cosmetics brands, suggested a mild liquid cleanser for the
    face. Instead of using toners, which may strip skin, or gritty
    exfoliation beads and microdermabrasion systems, which may irritate
    skin, she recommended using a washcloth to slough off dead skin cells.




    ?If you have dry, sensitive skin, you just pat the washcloth on your
    face gently in a circular motion,? she said. ?If you don?t have
    irritated skin, you can put more speed and pressure on the washcloth.?




    Dermatologists disagree whether a moisturizer is then needed. Dr. Brademas said it is superfluous.




    ?Moisturizer is optional unless you are in the Arctic,? said Dr.
    Brademas, who favors Vaseline petroleum jelly for dry hands, feet,
    knees and elbows. ?I?m not sure moisturizers do very much except for
    creating a smooth surface so that makeup can go on without drag.?




    Dr. Cook-Bolden took a more agnostic position.




    ?If you need a moisturizer, moisturize,? she said. ?If you want less
    moisture, use a lotion. If you want more, use a cream. And if you have
    acne-prone skin, use a gel or a spray.?




    Although the dermatologists interviewed for this article disagreed
    about moisturizer, they agreed on one point: the importance of sun
    protection, including hats, avoidance of midday sun and the use of an
    effective sunscreen. They recommended that consumers look for formulas
    that include ingredients ? like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or Mexoryl
    SX ? that impede damage from the sun?s longer wavelength UVA rays, a
    protective effect that is not indicated by a product?s SPF rating.




    Beyond soap and sunscreen, Dr. Madfes said that one or two
    additional products might be added to personalize a skin-care routine.




    ?People who see wrinkles around their eyes are going to reach for an
    eye cream,? Dr. Madfes said. ?Someone who looks in the mirror and sees
    large pores may want to use a cleanser with salicylic acid, which can
    reduce clogged pores.?




    She is also a proponent of night creams that combine retinol, a form
    of vitamin A that may help speed up the turnover of skin cells, and
    antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E or lycopene that may help
    thwart environmental damage to the skin. People with skin conditions
    like severe acne or people interested in topical anti-wrinkle drugs
    should consult their doctors about prescription medications, she said.




    On an expedition last week to a CVS Pharmacy at Columbus Circle with
    a reporter, Dr. Madfes examined the product labels on skin-care items
    from a variety of mass-market brands and recommended a few basic
    products, including Cetaphil cleanser and La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX
    sunscreen.




    ?Higher end, more expensive products may look better in the box and
    feel better on your face, but they don?t necessarily work better than
    less expensive products as long as you look for ingredients that are
    known for efficacy,? Dr. Madfes said.




    But she did see one benefit to splurging.




    ?The thing is, when someone buys a $200 cream, they are going to use
    that cream,? Dr. Madfes said. ?So, in the end, their skin may benefit.?



    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  2. #2

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    Great article. The cosmetic department at Nordstrom has more volume in sales than any other department. It's amazing to see the amount of effort that goes into marketing and packaging these items, and I'm glad this article hit on that. The most expensive cosmetic item at Nordstrom, a 600 dollar jar of wrinkle reducing cream, is one of their most popular buys. Whether or not it works, I think it just reinforces the idea that Americans are clinging to youth and youthful looks, and are willing to pay anything to feel like they are maintaining it.



    I use Kiehl's myself, and find it to work well. A face wash, scrub, and moisturizer is all I need.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    I vote no. I simply use Pure & Natural, the dollar store equivalentto Dove ($3 bars for a $1!!!)and a rough-ish washrag. I take a hot shower, soap & scrub, flip it to cold (and I do mean cold), and scrub again. Keeps my skin fresh, rejuvenated,and happy.




    About aging... I'm going to accept the grey hair and wrinkles. I think it adds character and beauty, and yes, even in women. My main problem with a lot of cosmetics and so on is that they treat the symptoms, not the cause. Eat well, drink/drug in mild moderation, and exercise, and your skin will most likely reflect that. I have teachers in their 60s that look simply great because they share a similar philosophy. In contrast, It's pretty sad to see the number ofcollege kids around me looking old & usedbecause of their lifestyle, and it only becomes more evident when they pile on the cremes and makeup before leaving the house. [:S]


  4. #4

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    I learned a lot a couple years ago when I went to a dermatologist. He was a proponent of simplicity, he recommended cetaphil products for sensitive skin while I was on acne medication. Basically just wash twice a day and moisturize after you wash and that's it, washing too much can irritate the skin and actually increase oil production and toners don't really do anything. He also recommended just using my hands and water to wash my face and not a cloth because they can harbor bacteria. One cycle of Accutane more or less cleared up my skin for good, so now I just use Kiehls blue herbal facewash and Zirh "fix" which keeps my skin clear and feeling nice. I also love Kiehls shave cream. But yea, I don't see the point in buying anything more expensive than Kiehls, it seems like all those crazy expensive cosmetics are just a bunch of fluff, and this article confirms it.
    BTW, if anyone has skin problems I HIGHLY recommend seeing a dermatoligist, I wish I would have gone much sooner, but I listened to people who would say "oh you'll grow out of it" or "the dermatologist won't give you anything you can't buy at walgreens" which just isn't true. There's no reason to suffer with self-esteem damaging bad skin when it can easily be fixed with a dermatologist.

  5. #5
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    [quote user="macuser3of5"]

    I vote no. I simply use Pure & Natural, the dollar store equivalentto Dove ($3 bars for a $1!!!)and a rough-ish washrag. I take a hot shower, soap & scrub, flip it to cold (and I do mean cold), and scrub again. Keeps my skin fresh, rejuvenated,and happy.




    About aging... I'm going to accept the grey hair and wrinkles. I think it adds character and beauty, and yes, even in women. My main problem with a lot of cosmetics and so on is that they treat the symptoms, not the cause. Eat well, drink/drug in mild moderation, and exercise, and your skin will most likely reflect that. I have teachers in their 60s that look simply great because they share a similar philosophy. In contrast, It's pretty sad to see the number ofcollege kids around me looking old & usedbecause of their lifestyle, and it only becomes more evident when they pile on the cremes and makeup before leaving the house. [:S]



    [/quote]



    Indeed. Besides, in this wonderful country where the cost of healthcare is rapidly rising and squeezing out the middle class, many young people cannot afford health insurance. Today, when people ask me what the best health insurance is, I say, "a gym membership."

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  6. #6

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    I've read other articles on this, where they found that, 9/10 times, when a brand markets two different versions of something: i.e. the high priced version and a low priced version, the low priced version was more-or-less exactly the same thing, and often the price differences were well over $100. And yet, it's often like the diffusion vs. main line of certain high fashion. The two shoppers will rarely run into one another, and both will purchase independently, so why not get an extra $100 from one of them?



    This was about women's products, so I don't know about Mens. Personally, the only thing I use is for acne. I don't even use shaving cream since I have really sensitive skin.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    I agree for the most part. Like some of you I've had problematic skin, and I did the whole accutane thing. Now I'm 22 and my skin is considerably better, but still not "ideal". I also prefer a more simplistic approach to this, but I prefer using "decent" products, as I've tried both very cheap and relatively expensive ones. At the moment I use products by Shiseido, a Japanese company that's been around for quite a while. They cost about $30, but last long, smell nicely, and seem to work as intended. At the same price range I've tried Clarins and Hugo Boss, and neither really "worked" with my skin. It's a shame that you have to go around trying different products, just to find the one that doesn't feel like goo.



    Additionally, changing the pillowcase relatively often, eating properly, and drinking a lot of water helps more than any cream will.



    When it comes to shaving creams I enjoy splurging, but fortunately there aren't really any that cost very much. I'm something of a shave snob, and use a Merkur HD with double-edged blades, a brush, and that whole thing. Shaving creams are quite different, but spending a few bucks will get you one that smells so good that you actually look forward to shaving. Look at www.shaveblog.com and www.badgerandblade.com for more.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    The 'best' (bad definition in this subject, skin reacts individually but lets say in general) skincare are probably one of the most expensive too because they put more money on reserach, better substance and so on and the cheap brands can't compare their budget with them because their salesfactor is the price and therefore much find a balance in the contain of the product.



    Take Shiseido for an exempel, I would say their prices are pretty expensive and one factor of that is that they hire the best reserearchers to create the best product, example; they have a cooperate with Harvard (I think) which make all the products the dermalogic students creates more or less Shiseidos.



    But then again, it has its backside, a lot of companys raise their price and put like 0000.mg of some very expensive substance and use aggresive (and false) marketing. And the high-brands skinproducts are for me 95% shit, its just one more way to fool the labelwhores, Dior Hommes new line for an example. (even if dior skinflash is the best foundation I ever tried :D)






  9. #9

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    I think nancyboy.com is kind of interesting, because they're guys who've worked in the industry, and saw how much companies charge for essentially marketing and a pretty bottle. They're using high quality ingredients, and not spending much of anything on marketing, which means we get a lot more for a lot less money.



    A while ago I ordered their signature shaving cream (which I enjoy greatly), and got a great bar of body soap with it. About ten minutes ago I ordered about $180 worth of stuff from them (10 products), and I'm especially curious about how the facial stuff hold up, though most of it is to give my place a better scent, and make showering more fun.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    An expensive skincare product won't necessary be effective. It all boils down to the individual IMO, probably more on whether the product suits your skin type.




    Personally, if the product is that good, I'd willingly pay more for it.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    I think that expensive skincare can definitely be worth it if you go about it the right way. I never pay more than $20 for a cleanser. In fact, I use Oil of Olay daily cleansing cloths which are like $8. I'd rather save on the cleanser and spend a lot of money on night creams and treatments that actually make a difference in how your skin looks. Serums containing vitamin C are usually very expensive, but worth it IMO. Right now I use Retin-A because it helps keep my pores unclogged and prevents/treats wrinkles as a side effect. If you're looking to get into high end skincare products, I strongly recommend www.makeupalley.com. It's a review site that has numerous reviews for almost any product, and I've discovered some amazing things there. You do have to register though, but it's worth it. Some brands I recommend are Dermalogica and Obagi.

  12. #12
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    I always feel duped when I need to buy something for my wife - after a while of a salesman talking to me, I just feel numb and by whatever... She loves this stuff though.



    BTW, I recently switched my shaving cream from Kiehl's to Geo Trumper, and I would never go back - this stuff is awesome. [Y]

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    Actually I have to say that I have tried MANY MANY skincare products from cleaner to toner to night cream to anti-age cream.. I don't claim to be an expert... but if you know one I probably have tried it already... the only ones that I honestly can say that I have not tried is Dior homme Dermo system... the honest truth is they are selling 'water'.

    my mom's friend who are actually based in Taiwan.. their company produce the whole range for this cosmetic company( I shall not name) for this USA company..and on the bottle it is also said... made in USA... hahahah.. what a load of crap.. remember the big issue we have about how famous brand lipstick has too much lead... you can understand why.. because.. they are all made in Asia... even though it is said to be made in USA or europe..

    They also make a HUGE KILLING OFF it.. the sell the anti-age cream for like 1000USD... and cost them shipped to USA 10USD... and the my mom's friend is even making a HUGE killing out of it.. man.. they are driving like Rolls Royce and Ferrari... the kid even owns three Ferrari... thats how much money they are making... anyway..

    On the other hand.. I do have my fave and I still have problem skins... no matter how hard I try to fix my problem skin.. and no matter how I try to change different product it always comes back to haunt me.. so... I just stick to very simple cleanser.. and then moisturizer... and change my pillow case very often.. but.. honestly everyone's skin is different so.. it is no one right product to say that will work wonders. ... some of people stand by Kiehls.... it does not work for me at all. so.. .

  14. #14
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    /\ i suspected as much. this industry is ready for a heavy hitting investigative journalism.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  15. #15

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    The cosmetic industry is undoubtedly an insanely profitable one. Appealing to one's vanity is big business. Funny thing is that if you talk to people at the cosmetic counters long enough, most confess that they use Oil of Olay. Seems to be a consistent choice amongst those with easy access to the high end lines out there. I think the marking of imported goods as being produced at the destination market has been touched upon in some thread here on SZ. So much for the efficacy of business ethics.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    fuck you, i don't have an attitude problem.

    Sartorialoft

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    [quote user="Faust"]/\ i suspected as much. this industry is ready for a heavy hitting investigative journalism.
    [/quote]



    Totally! Another thing that really bugs me is how crazy it is that as more and more men are focusing in on grooming and skin care the more options we see surfacing that are the same formula for women only heavily diluted. Talk about preying on the ignorant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    fuck you, i don't have an attitude problem.

    Sartorialoft

    "She is very ninja, no?" ~Peter Jevnikar

  17. #17

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    It is not only the products that determine the outcome. The most important part is the skin care regimen that you follow. You obviously have to find the right type of products for your skin type, dry, oily, etc. If you have highly sensitive skin like I do, then products with less fragrance as well. What works best for me, recommended by this lovely woman I was buying product from, is to use a very mild simple cleansing system. Then, follow with a good moisturizer, med to heavy depending on your skin, and then if still needed a lighter moisturizer. I do this at night, every night (or try to) and then in the morning replenish with the lighter moisturizer. I only exfoliate once or twice a week, because you take moisture out of your skin. I follow the philosophy that the more natural it is, the better it is for your skin. I use the Clinique system and have for quite a long time and it seems to be outstanding for me. Most serums are very unnecessary unless you have a dermatological problem. Also, diet plays a huge role. Your body needs tons of water and what you eat does affect your skin as well. Genetics plays a nice role as well. My family has a great youthful appearance and really soft skin and I was always taught to take care of mine since I was very young, which helps.

    Distraction is an obstruction of the construction.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    relatively inexpensive as well. my cleansers and moisturizers last me for months. so maybe i spend $100 for the entire year...
    Distraction is an obstruction of the construction.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?

    Nice. My expenditure is minimal as well. I think that diet plays the most significant role for me. Well, that and smoking as a detriment to my skin. I guess I am fortunate on the genetics tip like you though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    fuck you, i don't have an attitude problem.

    Sartorialoft

    "She is very ninja, no?" ~Peter Jevnikar

  20. #20

    Default Re: Expensive skincare - is it worth it?



    /\ diet can be huge, especially if you have any food sensitivities, it will show in your skin quickly. and it stays in your skin for a while. it acts like a toxin. smoking is just bad. [66]



    also, if you use the products at the best times that also helps keep the expenditure down. at night - or when you will be resting is always the best time for everything, your body is in a recovery healing kind of mode, not fighting anything.

    Distraction is an obstruction of the construction.

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