- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2020


Stress is all around you, and it’s taking a serious toll on your face.

You might find wrinkles, blemishes, dry skin and blotchiness to be worse than ever. It’s time to rethink your skin care routine — and a different kind of mask.

“Having unhealthy or blemished skin totally destroys your confidence,” the Grooming Lounge, a barbershop that caters to some of Washington’s most powerful men, said in a blog post.

Samantha Bergmann, who co-founded the HETIME skin care line with Christopher Carl, said in an email interview with The Washington Times that many men are making mistakes with their skin care. “For some, the biggest mistake is that they don’t use any skin care,” she said.

“Others don’t educate themselves on what’s best for them. Most men that don’t have a skin care routine don’t even know how pleasurable and beneficial taking care of their skin can be. It truly can help you look and feel your best,” Ms. Bergmann said.

In the middle of a public health crisis and a cratering economy, who couldn’t use a little downtime for self care?

A study conducted by NDP Group found that a quarter of men use skin care products on a regular basis, according to the lifestyle blog Guy Counseling, and Mr. Carl said HETIME intends to disrupt the industry. “We want to change men’s relationship with skin care, period. Turning skin care into a self-care ritual is our ethos and our secret sauce.”

On the Guy Counseling blog, John D. Moore said men should adopt a consistent skin care regimen in their 20s or 30s. “Proper and regular skin care not only improves and preserves your appearance, but it can also delay a plethora of skin-related conditions that happen due to aging, pollution, stress and prolonged exposure to the sun,” he wrote.

Where to start? Professionals agree on several basics: a cleanser, a moisturizer, an exfoliator, an eye cream, daily sunscreen and a facial mask.

Bath soap and bargain body lotion won’t cut it. The cleanser and moisturizer should be made specifically for the face. Exfoliators, which come in a variety of physical and chemical forms, make the complexion fresher and cleaner.

Signs of aging usually show in the delicate and often-neglected eye area, and a moisture barrier can help soften the look of crow’s feet, dark circles, puffiness and sagging. Look at the label to find the right one for your needs.

Dr. David Colbert, founder and head physician of New York Dermatology Group, told GQ grooming columnist Phillip Picard about the importance of proper application of sunscreen: on the face, the ears and the neck — front and back. He recommends a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to prevent lines, wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging — not to mention skin cancer.

Ms. Bergmann said men have up to 25% thicker skin than women, along with more oil glands and larger pores. “Due to a higher collagen density, wrinkles tend to show up later, but then often deeper compared to women’s,” she said.

Dr. Susan Bard, a dermatologist in New York City, recommends sheet masks. “The mask creates an occlusive environment which allows for greater penetration of moisturizing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides, in a short period of time. It also allows for better penetration of other active ingredients that can help with anti-aging and soothing,” she told Men’s Journal.

Ms. Bergmann agrees. “Face masks are literally the superhero product within the skin care category. We recommend using face masks one to three times a week, whenever you need that extra boost of energy, want to combat signs of aging or simply want to take some well-deserved ‘me’ time,” she said.

“Face masks work their magic by creating heat between your skin and the mask’s fabric, allowing your skin to absorb active ingredients quicker and more effectively,” Mr. Carl said.

He and Ms. Bergmann designed the shape of their masks to fit a man’s face. “It is wider, takes receding hairlines into account and conveniently avoids the beard and mouth area,” Ms. Bergmann said.

They speak with pride about the two HETIME formulas: one to reduce the appearance of blemishes and help the skin look energized and refreshed, and the other to hydrate the skin immediately and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines over time. Both are free of parabens, artificial fragrances, sulfates and phthalates.

“So many products out there contain potential toxins and contaminants that destroy your skin’s natural barrier and will impact the resilience and health of your skin,” Ms. Bergmann said.

The HETIME founders said they are committed to using natural, high-quality ingredients that provide “outstanding” effects.

“Using a men’s facial mask can help you to achieve that simultaneously ‘rugged’ and well-put-together look that you see the men of Hollywood, Capitol Hill, and Wall Street sporting,” the Grooming Lounge blog said. “Surely, your peace of mind and focus is worth spending 20 minutes with a rejuvenating face mask on your skin.”

• Cheryl Danehart can be reached at cdanehart@washingtontimes.com.

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