I was running out of shaving cream and was in search of a new one. My trip to Hong Kong couldn’t have come at a better time as I had access to a wide variety of grooming products. I came back with this old-fashioned wet shave jelly by Portland General Store. Their products don’t have fragrance and harsh chemicals so it fits perfectly into my regimen. Notable ingredients are organic aloe juice (moisturizing properties), organic bilberry extract (anti-inflammatory properties), and witch hazel (astringent). Continue Reading
Using antiperspirants made with aluminum cause stains in the armpit areas of your shirts. This can range from tiny crystals on dark fabrics to yellowed areas on light ones. No one wants their shirts to have this kind of stain so I offer two simple tips.
Use an aluminum-free antiperspirant
Most antiperspirants sold in supermarkets have aluminum in them as a sweat blocker. Aluminum in different forms is often listed as an active ingredient on the labels. Choose an antiperspirant that does not have any aluminum in them. You can buy them from stores that sell natural and organic products.
Use an undershirt
If you can’t avoid using an antiperspirant with aluminum the next best thing to do is use an undershirt. An undershirt worn underneath a dress shirt catches the aluminum preventing it from reaching your dress shirt. This also has an added benefit of shielding your dress shirt from unsightly sweat marks.
Personally, I do both. A natural and organic antiperspirant keeps my body away from the bad stuff and at the same time prevents me from sweating too much. And if I do sweat a lot I have an undershirt to keep me looking fresh.
Two weeks ago I was in the market for a new facial wash. Before buying this I was using a local brand’s facial wash which I found too watery and felt didn’t contain enough ingredients to cleanse and improve my skin. I’ve been eyeing Desert Essence’s product for some time now but only decided to buy it just recently. Their Thoroughly Clean Face Wash – Original is for oily/combination skin.
I’ve used the product for the last two weeks and it cleanses my skin well. It removes just the right amount of oil without drying my skin. You only need a small amount as it lathers very well. The two ingredients that shine in this product are tea tree oil and awapuhi. The former is known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties – essential in any cleansing product. The latter is known for its use in shampoos and conditioners but is also great for treating acne (I’m not acne prone but should help prevent). It doesn’t contain parabens, glycols, sodium laureth sulfate, phtalates, petroleum compounds and artificial fragrances/dyes making it very much all-natural and organic.
Desert Essence’s Thoroughly Clean Face Wash – Original is a great product to start your day & night routine. At 635 pesos for the 250 ml bottle, it should last up to six months of daily use.
Desert Essence products are available at Healthy Options.
I’ve been growing my hair long since the start of the year. Around February I realized I needed a product I could use to style my mane. I’ve used gel before and I don’t like it because it makes my hair hard and has ingredients which I wouldn’t want to put on my hair. My options came down to waxes and pomades – products that allow one to style hair without making it hard or showing an overly wet look. I stumbled upon this organic hair wax by Z.E.N. Naturals while browsing their products at the Legazpi Sunday Market. At only 120 pesos I thought I’d give it a try.
I used the product every day for a week to see how it holds and shapes my hair. I apply a pea-sized amount that I spread on both my hands after towelling dry. The combination of virgin coconut oil and beeswax (not stated in the list of ingredients) holds my thick hair quite well and makes it easy to style. It’s not as sticky as I expected it to be. It has a nice, gentle scent courtesy of the patchouli, rosemary and tea tree extracts added to it. Throughout the day my hair is kept in place and I hardly notice I had it on. Z.E.N. Naturals organic hair wax is a product I recommend to those looking to style their hair well using natural and organic ingredients.
Z.E.N. Naturals sells their entire line of natural and organic products at the Legazpi Sunday Market.
Every man out there who shaves has experienced cuts and nicks. The right preparation, equipment, creams and procedure lessen the likelihood of one ever getting them. However, they can still happen if one shaves too close, improperly angles a razor or the skin is uneven. Usually the bleeding is quite hard to stop so the solution is to use a styptic pencil such as this one by Clubman Pinaud. All you need to do is moisten the tip and rub it on the affected area. The bleeding should stop soon after. A pencil this size should last a couple of months.
It is currently on sale at 20% off and can be had for 60 pesos instead of the regular price of 75 pesos.
The Clubman Pinaud Styptic Pencil is available at True Value in Park Square, Makati City.
Last year I ran into Rob of Ritual at the Legazpi Market and he told me that their shaving soap is now available. I have not shaved with shaving soap before and I was eager to try it. I dropped by Ritual to check out their new products and purchased a bar of shaving soap which they playfully called ‘Ey Good looking!’ for 150 pesos.
Bea wrote down the name of the soap and the ingredients that go into the soap on a paper bag. One of the main ingredients is Kaolin clay. It is one of the purest forms of clay and is great in products used for shaving such as this soap. Aloe vera and castor oil seal in moisture and treat skin dryness. Bergamot (essential oil) adds a nice citrus scent and menthol (not listed) gives that cooling feeling while shaving. Continue Reading
A few years back I started using all-cotton hand towels with an antibacterial coating. The coating would last 50 times of repeated laundering. They were good enough until a friend introduced me to towels made with bamboo fabric. Towels made with bamboo are more absorbent than cotton, naturally kill bacteria and are luxuriously soft. I bought the hand towel for 200 pesos. I use it to wipe both my hands and face after washing.
Bamboo towels are available at Chlorophyll Manila stalls at the Salcedo and Legazpi Markets held every Saturday and Sunday respectively. Larger towels and towel sets are also available.
In my skincare regimen what I’ve always lacked was a moisturizer or cream to use at night before I sleep. I don’t use the moisturizer I currently have as it is meant to be used during the day when exposed to the sun (it has SPF 15).
I purchased Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Facial Cream after having a good experience with one of their other products. I specifically chose this product as it contains Vitamin C. It is widely known to be good at fighting skin ageing, preventing acne and minimizing scars. Aside from this it is all-natural and organic so you don’t have any chemicals that are known to cause cancer. The list of ingredients is too extensive to cover and I’d rather not talk about them, but rest assured you’re putting the best stuff on your face.
It’s quite heavy when compared to other creams (such as cold cream) and you need quite a bit to be able to cover your entire face and neck. I’ve been using it every night for a week now and I like the results. I have lesser pimples (although my skin isn’t acne prone), scars have lightened up a bit and my skin is better hydrated overall. Only time will tell it’s anti-ageing effects. It’s for normal to dry skin types. Retails for PHP 579.
Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Facial Cream is available at Healthy Options.
I have always wanted to try using shaving oil to improve my shaving routine but I could never find one locally at a reasonable price… until now.
I found out about Leyende while looking for locally-made, natural and organic skincare and grooming products. While looking through their website, I discovered Hair’s End Shaving Oil. It retails for PHP 350.
The product is made of sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, organic virgin coconut oil, aloe vera extract, vegetable glycerin, Ylang Ylang extract and A. Tocopherol (Vitamin E). Many of the oils in this product are found in most imported brands with the exception of organic virgin coconut oil which is found in many local brands. One notable ingredient Leyende added is Ylang Ylang extract. It is an anti-septic and is good for balancing combination skins (which is the kind of skin I have).
I used the product in two ways which produced different results and a different feel while shaving.
First I used it as a pre-shave skin treatment. After washing my face and lightly patting it to remove excess water, I apply the shave oil with my hands in a circular upward motion using the friction to make the skin absorb the oil. I then lather shaving cream and proceeded to shave. The shaving oil made the blades glide over the skin smoothly. I achieved a close shave and my skin did not encounter any irritation afterward.
My other test was to use it as a substitute for shaving cream. I was hesitant to do this but since this is a shaving oil it must be possible to use it without anything else. After applying more oil than the first test I started to shave. The blades tugged on the hair too much and was a bit uncomfortable. I finished shaving and upon checking my skin I didn’t achieve the close shave I was looking for. A few days later I seem to have developed some mild blemishes.
Leyende Hair’s End Shaving Oil is a great addition to any man’s shaving routine. It works great as a pre-shave treatment by making your skin extra smooth prior to applying shaving cream. However, I would strongly advise against using it as a substitute for shaving cream. You will not get a close shave, you might develop some undesired skin blemishes and you might even end up getting a cut if you’re using a disposable razor.
Leyende products are available at SESOU Nature Source stores in Market! Market!, Trinoma and Glorietta 3. It is also available at Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
A few weeks ago I was at Ritual and spoke with owners Bea and Rob. I was telling them that I was looking for some pre-shave oil. They didn’t have any but mentioned that they would be having some badger hair shaving brushes soon.
I visited Ritual last Friday and they had the shaving brushes I was looking for albeit made of hair from a different animal. Instead of it being made from badger hair, it was made with boar hair instead. I bought it and used it when I shaved the next morning.
At this point I have to be honest in saying that this is the first time I am going to use a shaving brush.
I start my shaving ritual by using a scrub to ensure that the skin is smooth before shaving. I then put a small amount of shaving cream on my face. Using the shaving brush, I lather the shaving cream in a circular motion. Some of the bristles come off the brush while I lather. I don’t think I have to worry about it as loose bristles will need to come off during the first few uses. I’ll stop here as we all know what happens next.
I must admit it’s quite hard to tell how well a shaving brush improves the shaving ritual. I can’t provide any proof but all I can say is that it somewhat feels better after shaving.
Using a shaving brush definitely has that luxurious, old-world feel to it. It not only helps lather the shaving cream and raise the hairs, but it accomplishes it in a way that makes a man feel like a real man.
Ritual is located at The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., Makati City.