Body treatments for men are no longer such a controversial issue. A modern gentleman looks after his appearance and well being. It is shameful that once this self care was considered “unmanly” or subjected to ridicule. To this day, we see the effects of this. There are many otherwise charming and handsome men, who just never learned to look after themselves. There is nothing quite as sad as going home with a hot date, only to find out that he’s worn the same socks for two weeks and his underwear…actually, let’s not even go there. But the tide is turning. Making an effort is no longer the preserve of women, and a wide range of body treatments are now available to men who like to put their best foot forward. Here’s a quick guide to them.
Facials are very relevant to men. We shave and thus irritate our skin a lot (and if you don’t shave, the hair on your face still acts as an irritant, just to a lesser degree). We experience skin dryness and various skin problems. There are now facials designed specifically for men, and it is recommended that you have one every month or so. Age is most strikingly visible on our face, so do yourself a favour now and thank yourself later. As men tend to look after their skin less in general, the results of a facial can be truly surprising.
How often? Once a month would be ideal.
Tip: A skincare specialist will be able to recommend a treatment that’s suitable for your skin, but you might want to mention it if your skin is sensitive or prone to breakouts.
Remember Jonathan in Queer Eye banging on about the necessity of a “mani-pedi”? He may have had a point. There are few things as off-putting as long, dirty fingernails. You don’t have to wear varnish to have a manicure. Instead, you would have the dead skin trimmed away from your fingernails, your skin softened, your nails trimmed and buffed.
How often: when your fingernails start to look untidy.
Tip: if can’t stop biting your fingernails, you can buy a product that will make your fingers taste bitter and unappealing.
Some men grow hooves, and it’s a sad state of affairs. Don’t wait until things get to that point – relax while someone soaks your feet and removes dead skin from your heels and toes. At many modern salons, you can even enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine while you have your pedicure. Now that’s a civilised way to live.
How often: when your toenails start to look untidy.
Tip: use a foot scraper in the shower once a week. Scrape the dead skin from your heels gently and put some lotion on your feet once they are dry.
Sometimes incorporated into a facial, and sometimes as a standalone procedure, a facial massage is more than a pleasant past time. It increases the blood flow to your face, thus encouraging skin cell regeneration. It also releases tension from facial muscles and reduces the possibility of expression wrinkles. When paired with a facial, a facial massage can help the product penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin.
How often: whenever you have a facial.
Tip: here’s a mini facial massage for when you are feeling tense: gently knead along your jawline and cheekbone to release trapped tension.
Full body massage
If you are not lucky enough to have a partner with massage skills (idea for upskilling?), a professional masseur is the way to go. We now know that physical and mental health are intricately liked, and removing tension in your lower back can also make it easier to deal with life’s many problems. And if you prefer your massage to have a sensual element, here at Touch of London we would be happy to help.
How often: ideally, once a month.
Tip: tell your masseur if a particular stroke makes you ticklish. The masseur can change the stroke, warm up the skin further or focus on a different area.
Sauna & pool
Like massage, sauna will help your muscles relax. Some saunas and steam rooms will also have essential oils vapourised into the air, which can further aid relaxation and help with a variety of conditions. Couple your sauna visit with a swim, and you will be doing your body a good turn. Swimming works all muscle groups and is great for your back.
How often: not more often than weekly
Tip: avoid swimming pools that have a strong smell of chlorine. It can bleach your hair, cause skin irritation and makes it really hard to enjoy swimming under water.
Last word on body treatments for men
You may not have the time or inclination for regular treatments, or this might seem overwhelming. It is about the amount of time that you can give to yourself – what is it worth to you? And if you have none, are you putting yourself below other priorities, such as work, relationships with people, keeping up with the news? If you really feel that you have no time for yourself, make a small pocket of time: give yourself an hour a month. Slowly increase this to a point that feels comfortable (can you work towards an hour per week?). Switch your phone off and claim that time for yourself. You don’t have to have a fixed schedule of regular treatments – pick and choose whatever works for you and your lifestyle. To paraphrase the old Loreal slogan: you’re bloody well worth it.
- Body well looked after but mental health could do with a boost? See our 7 Self-care tips for men
- Want the best of the best? See Standard’s guide to the best treatments available.