I used to know a guy who spent some time working on an Australian sheep station. At every exit to the building, he said there were huge bottles of sun screen mounted on the wall, rather like hand sanitiser in a hospital. As you left the building, you were expected to apply it to every bit of exposed skin.
This guy apparently stepped outside in the mid-day sun for one brief moment. A woman on the site saw him, dashed out and placed a hat on his head.
The message? Burly, tough Australian sheep shearers appreciate the power of the sun. They take skincare and the risk of skin cancer seriously. If they can, you should too. You would also be following in the footsteps of Hugh Laurie, Clive Owen and Laz Alonso, men who all famously moisturise.
Keeping this in mind, and with both summer and Father’s Day on the horizon, I’ve been test driving various “man moisturisers”, each of them containing SPF. SPF is great stuff, not only does it protect the skin but it keeps the skin looking younger as UV and UVB rays age it.
Here are the products I’ve spent the past few weeks trying out:
Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer
This product contains SPF20 and stands out as it is both a moisturiser and toner. Jack Black prides itself on using natural ingredients. I won’t list them all, but it boasts blue algae extract and sea parsley.
The product comes in a pump-style container and has no discernible scent. It’s quite thin in consistency and is the most like a sunscreen of all the moisturisers I tested. It also works into the skin well.
At £28 for a 97ml bottle it’s mid-range in terms of price, although in the US, where Jack Black hails from, this is considered a higher-end product. It’s been a pleasure to use and I’m quite happy to have this nestling in the bathroom cabinet. You can buy Jack Blacks from Stockists including Boots and Amazon.
Xanthe Men Urban Quick Fix
Xanthe Men Urban Quick Fix is part or a range that includes an active ab firmer and, believe it or not, a face scrub containing powdered meteorite! It is impossible to write about Urban Quick Fix without mentioning its ingredients.
In addition to UV sunscreen (the packaging doesn’t give the sunscreen a rating), it contains a range of antioxidants plus diamond and platinum! Not surprisingly this puts it at the pricier end of the spectrum. You can expect to pay around £37 for a 30ml container.
This is a bit more than a moisturiser. It claims to firm the skin and also help erase lines.
On application, it does smell a little metallic, but this quickly passes. It seems to work very well. Stockists include Beautylabshop.com and Harvey Nicholls.
Rehab London Revive Survive
This was the stand out product during the trial. You could apply it early in the morning and your skin feel great hours later.
Rehab is another brand that likes to rely on natural ingredients. Revive Survive contains escalol which provides natural protection from UVA and UVB rays (although no SPF rating is given). It also features cocoa butter, algae extract and ginseng.
The surprising thing is this product’s price tag; £14.95 for a 50ml container. It’s available from Boots and well worth trying out in our opinion.
Herbal Life Skin 5 Moisturiser
This was the left-field product of the test. This is a unisex moisturiser. I was more than a little surprised by this as men and women’s skin is very different, hence why you have differing products. Despite some scepticism, I gave it a go.
Herbal Life is another company that likes to keep things natural. Ingredients include aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, olive oil and sesame seed oil.
Despite misgivings it was perfectly pleasant to use. It did have an apricot scent, which was a little odd at first, but it quickly dissipates. Crucially, this product has an SPF rating of 30 so if you need something with a strong level of protection, you may want to consider this.
Herbal Life products are sold via member’s club so you’ll need to visit the website (herballife.co.uk) to track someone down.
ARK anti-ageing skin protector
If any of the products we tested were going to win awards for packaging, this would take the prize! It looks like a higher-end product in a clear tube.
ARK’s range is a little like Herbal Life in that it doesn’t distinguish by gender. Instead it sells products according to age group, hence the full company name which is ARK Age Aware Skincare. A look at the website reveals it is significantly more popular with women than men, but don’t let that put you off.
This product has an SPF rating of 30, so another one to think about if you are going overseas somewhere particular sunny. It contains shea butter, plus jojoba and sunflower extracts. The moisturiser itself is quite a thin product so easily works into the skin. It’s also scent free.
You can buy from the ARK website, arkskincare.com. Expect to pay £36 for a 30ml tube.
Disclosure; Product samples were provided for review purposes. Thoughts and opinions entirely my own.