Grooming expert, Dr. Allan Peterkin talks facial hair & the best products for guys

Dr. Allan Peterkin talks male facial hair and grooming products. Bearded Jake Gyllenhaal pic: complimentary eye candy
Well, hello males who wanted more posts on grooming here: I got a unique chance to interview Dove Men+Care expert, Dr. Allan Peterkin, a physician and author of several books on the cultural history of facial hair and grooming (The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face), not to mention a featured expert on Morgan Spurlock’s “Mansome.” Basically he’s the authority on the topic, and was game for all my questions as I picked his brain on the mystical topic of male grooming:

Beauty and the Feast
: Beauty and products are a very openly discussed topic for women — do you think men are coming around with their skincare concerns?
Dr. Allan Peterkin: I think men are more open to discussing grooming questions or concerns and using favorite products regularly now than before. In the past, most men were worried that paying attention to their appearance would be perceived as feminine, but now guys are more confident about grooming.  Men today associate looking and feeling good with both personal and professional success.

What are some of the most common skincare concerns for men?
Dr. Peterkin: The most common skincare concerns for men include sensitive or irritated skin, looking tired, blocked pores or blemishes, and oily skin.

: What are some products every guy needs?
Dr. Peterkin: Guys only need a few products to care for their skin, and certain brands like Dove Men+Care have made it easy for guys to maintain a quick, regular grooming routine. For example, their face range is designed to care for men’s skin in three easy steps: face wash (which removes dirt and oil but replenishes lost moisture),  a good shave gel that will help protect from blade irritation, and face lotion or an alcohol-free post-shave balm (preferably with SPF).

Dove Men+Care line

What is the best way to take care of skin during the summer?
Dr. Peterkin: During the summer it’s likely you’ll be spending more time outdoors, which means SPF is a must. Many brands are creating 2-in-1 products that not only act as moisturizers, but also contain sun protection – I’d recommend guys try the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face lotion, which has SPF built in. I’d also suggest wearing sunglasses and a hat to help prevent sun damage. Even if you have a beard, you need SPF! Finally, be sure to moisturize regularly and drink lots of water! Hydration both inside and out is crucial to maintaining healthy skin.

What are the best ways to take care of skin/body if you’re physically active/sweating a lot?
Dr. Peterkin: Sweating more frequently can lead to blocked pores and breakouts, so I’d recommend washing your face regularly in the morning, after workouts and before bed to remove the sweat, dirt and grime that may collect on your skin. If you are showering more often use products that won’t dry out your skin or strip it of its natural oils. Dove Men+Care has a great variety of face and body wash products that have moisture built in, which will leave skin feeling clean, smooth and hydrated. Also, be sure to “cover up” if you’re heading outside for a workout. Sunscreen is a must but it can wash off. Adding a t-shirt or baseball cap to your workout as protection is best for that long bike ride or run on the beach.

Let’s talk about facial hair. What are some of the more popular styles for men?
Dr. Peterkin: There are a few: neat stubble, a short and tidy beard, the goatee, and side burns. Heavy beards and mustaches are less common, but can work on the right face. My advice to any guy would be to consult with his partner and/or barber to figure out what facial hair style works best on his face. [Fun fact: Research from the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior reported that women prefer men with some stubble and that beards were rated highest for perceived parenting ability and healthiness.]

The many beard hair types

What are the best ways to maintain a beard and keep it looking neat?
Dr. Peterkin: I have a few tips: (1) Keep your facial hair in check by shaping the facial hair to give it a cleaner and sharper look; (2) When shaving, use a shave gel that moisturizes your skin and shave outside the natural growth, but not with too much precision that it eliminates the natural look; (3) Use pictures of yourself as a reference and create visual parameters – keep that in mind when shaving the perimeter on the upper cheek and at the neckline. You can also use your finger to make a boundary for the upper and lower part of your beard. Use short strokes with the razor, keeping the surrounding skin taut.

Trimming facial hair is also key to maintaining a well groomed look – an electric clipper is helpful as it has a variety of adjustable attachments that you can choose from to trim the hairs to a specific length, but a pair of simple barber scissors will also do the trick. Uneven or rough areas or loose hairs can be refined once the initial shaping is complete. Finally. be sure to apply a non-irritant like Dove Men+Care Post Shave Balm to relieve any irritation and soothe the skin (it’s also a super beard conditioner!).

:  Can you relay a couple “fun facts” about facial hair history?
Dr. Peterkin: There are a ton of fun facts about facial hair history!  For instance, beard hair grows 0.4mm every 24 hours, so most men can have a new style in 7-21 days…and a man will shave approximately 20,000 times over a lifetime!

Dove Men+Care products are available at drugstores and range from $4.50-$7.50.

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