I have always been hesitant to bother with skincare. Even with introspection, I couldn’t say why. You are probably already familiar with the fun fact that the skin is the largest organ in the body. So why wouldn’t you want to care for your skin? But while I have always been very determined to care for my other organs, I neglected my skin. My wife tried her best to get me to use a variety of products. Concerned for my long-term health, she would stock them for me in the shower or medicine cabinet. And I just … did not. For whatever reason, it did not appeal to me.
Maybe it was the idea that it was too much work. Maybe it was the erroneous idea that “real men do not moisturize.” Maybe it was just because I am an idiot who does not even bother putting on sunscreen for a day at the beach. It is impossible to say for certain.
And while my wife’s side of the bathroom is filled with various products, I basically have a handful of necessities and three old bottles of cologne I have not thrown out yet. But we agreed to try a series of Sunday Riley products to see the benefits. We would use them together for a month and document our changes. I was skeptical, being someone who barely uses products, but I was intrigued.
I am in my early 30s, and despite my youthful charm and sprightly attitude, I am beginning to look the part. I have wrinkles, a ruddiness to my cheeks, and to put it bluntly, my nose has some big-ass pores. I am comfortable with how I look, but I can see where there is some room for a tune-up.
I am warm, olive and oily, which sounds delicious
but not necessarily ideal for
My wife and I were given a series of products to use, and because I need complete hand-holding here, I was also given a specific skincare regimen. This involved a very brief questionnaire via my editor, in which I found out my skin tone as well as the fact that I am oily. I have been walking around oily my whole life and had no idea. I am warm, olive and oily, which sounds delicious but not necessarily ideal for my skin. My wife, however, assured me that this was all normal. She is “combination and fair” though, which sounds way more like words you can and should use to describe skin. I remain skeptical that my skin type is not inferior in some way.
Speaking of my wife, she was my Sherpa through this entire experience. It is difficult to slather various creams and balms onto my face without getting it stuck in my beard. But my wife was there to laugh at me and give pointers all the way. She actually, you know, takes care of herself, so she had a good grasp of how this all worked. Meanwhile, I was learning what “toner” meant and realizing that “sleep oil” existed.
I want to note that my prescribed skincare routine had different steps for morning and night. This surprised me. I wrongly assumed I would be applying a few creams or balms or lotions at night before bed and that would be it. It did not occur to me this would also be happening in the morning, let alone that I would have specific products to use before I started my day. I suddenly realized that this was more involved that I had even assumed.
My mornings and evenings both consisted of Ceramic Slip Cleanser and Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream. The morning also found me applying a Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner. At night, I used Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment. The products were designed to smooth my skin out, reduce redness and tighten pores. These are all things that frankly, my face needed.
But there was a learning curve. My wife showed me how to use Ceramic Slip to clean my face, and I learned how to make sure to let everything soak in and dry in between steps. (What also struck me was how it all absorbed itself into my skin. It felt soothing to rub it all in, and when it was all over, an earthy, natural scent lingered. It was a fragrance I certainly couldn’t describe as traditionally feminine. That was also a pleasant surprise.) I will be completely honest: My initial trial run, in which I had the bathroom to myself, saw me basically goop everything on one after another. It seemed more expedient, but certainly less effective. When my wife entered the bathroom, I whirled around, dripping wet and glistening. After this, she vowed to walk me through the process. And while doing things like waiting a minute or using cotton swabs complicated the procedure, everything still only took about five minutes.
One of my major concerns was my time management, especially in the morning. But the whole process was not exactly taxing, so it was not as if this was about to make me late. And as I saw the impact it was having on my skin’s health, it just made things easier. I worked it into my morning shower, and alternated between skincare and things like brushing my teeth while I waited for it to set. I do not know what I was afraid of.
At night, it became another thing my wife and I did together. After dinner and some much needed relaxing and binge-watching, we would both get into the bathroom and go about our nightly routine. There was something relaxing about doing this all right before bed, in the same way a hot shower can get you ready for sleep. It is funny because we have been looking for more ways to practice self-care together. We will go to the gym or take an evening without television. But it did not occur to me that skincare was another path to actualizing this.
It took about two weeks, but I was able to see massive improvements. I was very impressed with Luna’s ability to remove a lot of the redness I had previously. My skin tone was overall more even. My skin looked healthier. My pores did not look quite so big. I did not expect to see improvements that were so immediately and obviously noticeable.
And my wife felt the same. Her morning routine consisted of Ceramic Slip along with C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric Face Oil, Good Genes and C.E.O Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream in the mornings. In the evenings, she’d use the Blue Moon Clean Rinse Cleansing Balm, A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum and Juno Antioxidant and Superfood Face Oil. Her favorite? Blue Moon. “My makeup would come right off at night,” she told me. “ Typically, I’d have to scrub and scrub to remove my eyeliner.” Her skin was cleaner and brighter, and she appreciated having a routine to do at night. (She normally uses a moisturizer, but having these different products made a huge difference.)
But we both saw a marked improvement. Frankly, I went from rejecting skincare out of hand to turning into someone who will use this routine for the rest of his life. I would have dismissed these products entirely a month ago, but I was able to see the benefits so clearly that I can’t believe I dug my heels in so much for so long and just outright refused to use treatments on my skin. I should have been using these for years, but at least I can start taking care of my skin now.