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Looking for a Few Good Men

By: Troy Fairchild
Posted: October 17, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
smiling man with face cream

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On a subtler scale, improper cleansing can aggravate the male tendency toward acne. Shaving with alkaline products causes inflammation that may result in painful, unsightly bumps and persistent, or even permanent, hyperpigmentation in the shave zone. In fact, a daily shave with aggravating products can essentially offset the collagen advantage male skin genetically possesses, contributing to redness, roughness, sagging and wrinkling.

But how do you use this knowledge to get male clients into your spa? Knowing the facts behind the skin will definitely help. Give him his space, and let him come to you. Most men are really little boys at heart, and love to explore and play as long as there is no pressure.

For the female client with a man in her life, prepare a collection of trial-sizes such as shave products and sunscreen for her to bring to him along with a certificate for him that entitles the bearer to a free skin analysis.

The myth of the metrosexual

Breakthrough cultural experiences, beginning with the landmark Bravo television series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy several years ago, proved sometimes even a manly man just wants to feel attractive. However, it’s a mistake to conclude all men are seeking to glorify their inner diva and secretly yearn for a thong-snapping, “boy-zilian” wax while listening to Broadway showtunes. There are the fearlessly fierce among us who do lose beauty sleep over whether or not we’re exfoliating properly or if our new Malibu Ken-blond highlights are just a bit much, but most men entering the skin care environment don’t want to feel quite that fabulous.

Creating a comfortably gender-neutral experience is the most prudent course in attracting and maintaining relationships with male clients. Of course, your décor should be neutralized of any overwhelmingly feminine components: pink walls, velvet-flocked wallpaper, gold-leafed statues of Venus, twinkling chandeliers and fluffy silk flower arrangements.