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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

page 5 of 6

Finally, men may be worried they’ll end up smelling like a girl once their treatment is concluded. As with floral wallpaper and furnishings, keep sweet, flowery scents off the male treatment trolley. Clean, sharp essences of botanical essential oils such as citrus, lemongrass, clove, camphor and menthol will much better suit him.

The right path

Men find their way into the spa via numerous routes. Many are sent, like schoolboys to the principal’s office, by the women in their lives, and this often is the gateway—they have now been given permission to explore skin care by powerful influencers in their lives.

Next comes a tentative phase similar to wading in the kiddie pool. The man will casually stop by the skin care center “to pick up something for a buddy of mine.” Yeah, sure. Your buddy who’s really concerned about the milia he’s developed around his hairline from not correctly removing his hair product. Or maybe he simply wants to brighten and refresh his eye orbit area, perhaps something with light-diffusing particles and a bit of tint?

Both of these introductory phases—the first visit and the subsequent testing phase—are critical to cementing the new relationship. At these key points, sampling is effective, but spare his more delicate feelings. Please don’t give him a bunch of trial sizes in a ditzy little shopping bag with a big purple butterfly on it. Remember, his self-image is fragile.

One way to reach him would be to use a contemporary, high-end grooming environment that draws in male clients with the pleasure and comfort of an old-school barbershop shave, often complete with a shoe shine, Rat Pack music on the sound system, and a boy’s club highball as part of the service. This all makes sense, as shaving with conventional drugstore products can cause men a lot of grief, including the ubiquitous ingrown hairs and bits of toilet paper stuck to the morning’s bleeding nicks.