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Interview with UrbanMale UK

Posted on 5 June, 2019

To finish our season on men, we had the pleasure of welcoming Tom from UrbanMale UK to talk skincare, if you missed this, you can find the transcription of Tom with our Clinical Director Elizabeth Rimmer:

Tom: Yeah, sure so Urban Male UK was a blog I started doing and when I graduated it kind of just turned into kind of this social media handle for all my journalism, so I am now a journalist. I spend a lot of time testing beauty products and seeing what they do to my skin, which is why I am here.

Elizabeth: That's a hard life, isn't it?

Tom: It is, putting a face mask on isn't fun.

Elizabeth: Okay great, so what we were going to do today was just to continue on the male theme that we've had going over the last few weeks, I asked Tom is her would like to come so that we could have a look at what he's actually using in his daily skincare regime, I could have a look at his skin and give him some feedback on the kind of things that may be helpful or may not be so helpful. So I guess, what would normally happen in this scenario, and I have seen Tom before, so we would normally start by going through medical questionnaire, so let's assume that's all been done, and I've also already had a look at his skin before we've come live so that we don't have to kind of keep changing the camera angle. But that being said, Tom could you tell us if and what are your skin concerns generally? How do you feel about your skin?

Tom: So, my main skin issues, this only just general, I do have eczema, so I have quite sensitive skin on my body, sometimes it goes on my neck, so sometimes I notice it on my neck and I am going to breakout is my neck does react quite quickly.

Elizabeth: Okay. Tom: So I guess, I know mostly skin care products that you're working on are not for me because of what my neck's doing, because I always bringing it done my neck.

Elizabeth: Okay.

Tom: And it seems in general I do find that my skin is quite oily, especially in my T-zone.

Elizabeth: Mm-hmm

Tom: I would say that personally I find these areas a bit drier than that area, but I think that's just a general thing, I don't produce more oil in my t-zone like most people.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: I do have a bit of redness that comes through mainly, Scandinavian blonde hair, blue eyed guy, I do get red very easily. It looks like I'm blushing like 90 percent of the time, which I am not sure is a good or bad thing, but it's cute... Tom: It's fine, 

Elizabeth: Ah yeah, well I can't comment on the cuteness, that would be unprofessional. Tom: I know, it's fine.

Elizabeth: I think yah, it's really probably one of the most common male skin complaints, I would say would be oiliness, so that's really, you know not unusual at all, and not that it's just restricted to men, but especially men do find that. Redness again, I think is a really common complaint across the genders, rosacea, there's something called rosacea, I don't think you've heard of, which is a chronic inflammation of the skin, I think it's way more common than people even realize, in other words I think there's lot of people out there that have it that don't know they have it. But, no so mild rosacea can cause low level redness, flushing and blushing are really normal as well, and yeah they can be kind of cute, the trouble is that every time you flush and blush you're stimulating blood vessels to the surface of the skin and in the long run you can be left with tiny little broken blood vessels on the skin that create this even redder look, so yes, it's a bit like freckles, they're kind of cute but you know when...

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Yeah, maybe but you know like I said most people have a bit of rosacea, I certainly do myself. So having a look at your skin as we did earlier, and I mentioned to you I think you have got an oily skin type, you've got some open pores, you've got a little bit of background redness in the cheeks there, and on the nose you've got some broken blood vessels that we were just talking about. Other than that I think you're looking pretty good.

Tom: Okay, so I am not a complete write-off...

Elizabeth: No, absolutely not, not at all, so I think yeah, for you the main things going forward are trying to manage that redness, because that could be something that gets worse as you get older. And I think you know, keeping your skin, the colour that it is, in terms of protecting it from the sun...

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Because you've got really lovely fair skin, it's quite, there's not so much pressure these days to have the kind of tan and for you, I think that's a good thing, keeping, keeping out of the sun obviously will help with fine lines and wrinkles, that kind of thing, But anyway, what we were going to do, was a quick run through of what you're using currently. So, do you want to maybe grab that first product there?

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: So you told me you... we can tell everyone what you're using. Tom: So, the first thing I use in the morning, is by a brand called Barbarians Copenhagen, it's a general face wash, so the first thing in the morning I am cleansing my face, getting ready for the day type of moment, you know?

Elizabeth: Yep. Tom: I do have concerns about this. Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: The main reasons I have concerns is because I do find that it feels like I am just putting soap on my face.

Elizabeth: Yep. Tom: And that kind of worries me after, I feel like I can just get my hand soap off the side and use it the same, that sounds bad, but it hasn't broke me out.  

Elizabeth: Okay.

Tom: I will give it that.

Elizabeth: Yep, that's good. So yeah, I agree, when I looked at it, when I looked into it, I've got concerns about the face wash as well, so the main issues for me is that there's a high content of oil, and some perfume in there. So for me, oil, you've hard me talk about a million time before, I am not a fan of oil on the face, for me it will make your face more oily, it's going to make you more predisposed to breakouts, it's not very affect at actually cleaning your skin, and you know, there's three things that a cleanser should do and one is to remove debris and a woman, I shouldn't say that, a person who wears makeup, okay? Also, to remove makeup, also a cleanser should help to start to break up the bonds that are attaching dead, dry skin cells to the surface so that they can shed away, and just generally prepare the skin for the next layer. So something that's kind of oil based for me, I'm not a huge fan of that. So for me a good cleanser would be perhaps something that's kind of acid based, something like that, that's really going to help do these three things, remove the dirt, start dissolving the chains that are keeping dead dry skin cells, and prepaying the skin for the next layer. So, what's up next on your skin care regime? Tom: So following this, not every day, but this I am trying to get ready for an event, or you know, if I am looking extra tired that day because you know it does happen in London...

Elizabeth: It does. Tom: I do use these energizing sheet masks from Bulldog. Okay. Tom: And these, I can't say they're overwhelming, exactly doing wonders for my skin.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: But it does seem like something, okay my skin's more awake, its more alive and I think that's kind of the point of sheet masks.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Tom: The really don't do anything long term, it's that instant effect.

Elizabeth: So it just gives you a little bit of kind of a wow factor.

Tom: Yeah, it just gives, it kind of makes my skin look brighter, gives it some[inaudible 00:08:29], makes my face look more awake in general.

Elizabeth: Right, okay. Well yeah, I mean I pretty much agree, it's not terrible product, it's got a few acids in there, and I think they're the things that stimulating your skin and making it look a but more glowy, think it's a little bit of a gimmicky kind of product, but I can see, you know, the value of you've got a night out, a special event or something, so yeah, that one's not too bad, you can keep using that, I'll let you have that. Tom: One I can keep, yay.

Elizabeth: But you're right, it's not going to do anything long term, in terms of changing your skin.

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: But, you know, we all use little pick-me-ups before an event, and I think that's fine.

Tom: Honestly what's your opinion of, obviously these are dehydrated...

Elizabeth: Yes.

Tom: So, is it, would you say it's better with sheet masks to actually have the solution separately?

Elizabeth: Um, I think so, um I think you get more benefit if you're adding the solution separately, yeah definitely. So is that how they come? Tom: Yeah, so I'll get them out and show you, so they come like these little guys.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: Which is, I kind of like it, because I don't like it when you get normal set and you buy something like on the internet and it's just drenched in serum, you burn your face, it's falling off, especially if you've got facial hair, it's not going to stay on there.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: And the good thing about these as well, is they actually have a tearable part for your facial hair so they sort of stay on if you've got it.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: It also helps to put on your neck, because I think a lot of people forget that.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Definitely, necks are very neglected. Tom: Yeah. So next one, this one is a brand called Face Theory and it's a moisturizer.

Elizabeth: So, the face theory verdict for me, was yeah, again it's not something I would object too terribly, it's got a nice content of acids in it, and it's got niacinamide, it's got vitamin C, the one thing I would like to point out when people tell me they're using vitamin C is just to be aware that vitamin C is incredibly unstable, so many products that you buy over the counter, when you open it, it's ineffective. Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: So just something to be aware of, but its got a few other nice ingredients in there, so I'm not really offended by that at all, and it's oil-free, so that's a good thing. So we'll keep that one. Tom: And it's a homegrown one from Sheffield, which is where I'm from.

Elizabeth: Amazing. (laughs) big ups, Sheffield.

Tom: You know, you got to have Yorkshire or something like that. And from the other side of me, Sweden, we've got Recipe for Men, under eye gel.

Elizabeth: Okay. Tom: My main thing with this, it's kind of, I know it isn't going to do wonders, I don't really think I can actually do anything amazing for your skin.

Elizabeth: Yep. Tom: Wake me up in the morning, get rid of the puffiness, I do think it helps with it.

Elizabeth: Yep. Okay, so I agree, I am not an eye cream person, I think you either are or you're not. I don't really see that much benefit from using eye creams, eye gels tend to contain caffeine, and you're bang on point with that, I mean, basically caffeine works by dehydrating the skin, so when you wake up in the morning, you're puffy, it's normally to do with fluid retention so by putting caffeine containing gel it will help to dehydrate the skin there, make you look less puffy, the other thing it will do is constrict blood vessels, which again, sometimes the dark circles under the eyes are because the skin's so thin that you can see the hue of blood vessels. Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: You know, scientifically I am not really sure with dosing, and whatever, how effective that really is, so I don't think it's an essential, if it makes you feel a bit better, I don't think it's doing any great harm...

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: So yeah, I am on the fence about it I wouldn't say you shouldn't, lets out it that way, if you like it Tom: Yeah, just as a morning pick me up, it's not gong to hurt, you know, if you've got it, use it.

Elizabeth: Yeah, okay. Tom: Might as well. So the last thing in my morning routine, is Lab Series, it's the BB tinted moisturizer.

Elizabeth: Uh huh Tom: I mainly use this because like i said, I've got the redness in my face, it does kind of even my skin tone out for me.

Elizabeth: Yep. Tom: And it has got an SPF of 35. Which...

Elizabeth: Yep, I like that. Tom: I know it's not fully protective for me, but on most days in London I think it's okay.

Elizabeth: Yeah, and again, I would say I like, I am a fan of CC's, this is a BB, CC creams are colour correction, so it's fairly similar product, CC creams a little bit lighter, SPF 30 or above on normal day in London is perfectly adequate in my book. It's oil-free which I like, so yeah, it's doing a little bit of both dampening down that redness, and giving you a bit of sun protection.

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Yeah, that's in.

Tom: Also, something why I need to cleanse my face properly with makeup.

Elizabeth: Absolutely, absolutely. I do stand corrected.

Tom: See, male makeup it's a thing now.

Elizabeth: It is a thing, I know it is. Tom: Um, so yeah, night time routine.

Elizabeth: Night time, lets do it. Tom: At the end of a long day, so this thing, rescue, it's just cleanser mainly what I think of this brand is just, like I said to you, it's the, whenever my skin is breaking out, I know I can always fall back on it, and I know it's kind of clears my skin up, gets it back to normal, I'm not sure why that's though.

Elizabeth: Mm-hmm   Tom: So, by all means, if you know.

Elizabeth: Well I'm not really sure why either, if I'm honest with you. So we talked about this earlier, and I think the branding and packaging for this is fantastic, I mean it looks like a real man's product, it's very minimalist, it's, it looks cool, I can see why people would buy it, the facial cleanser is a little bit wishy-washy, it's cinnamon and ginger based, so for me, it's a little wishy-washy, I think probably st is a little bit wishy-washy. I think you could use something better to wash your face with, if I am being honest, so I think this and your morning cleanser, you know like I say, you'd be better off using something with a little bit of salicylic acid, something like that. But again, we talked earlier that you started using this brand at a point when your skin wasn't great and you felt like it made a real difference.

Tom: Yeah.

Elizabeth: And I do find that if I've got someone sitting in front of me and they tell me that, it's really hard to tell them not to use it and I do think if something works for you, you know, it works for you. It could be that it was just coincidental, and there were other things going on in your life, but I think that's something you need to discover. So for me, it's not a fantastically amazing product, I'm not sure why it was so good for you, but that's how you found it, so there you go. Tom: Yeah

Elizabeth: But I wouldn't necessarily have that on my Yes list. Tom: I look at it this way, skincare I something that's so personal, for the person as well, everyone's skin it might need for the type but it's completely different for the person.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And again, I do I say I think when people have good skin, as in no problems, you can pretty much use anything and it's fine/. Its when you go through periods and you've got problems is when it becomes a bit more tricky. But yeah. So next up, we have...   Tom: Next one I guess would be this one, um so, yeah this is completely not sponsored, there you go, I'm saying it I could do a YouTube video, basically this I just essentially use it's the anti-redness gel and I use it as an after-sun, especially now it's spring and summer, I do find it's something that cools my skin down at the end of the day, it seems to do a good job, ill put it on the morning after, my skin is[inaudible 00:15:57]

Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean out of this range is probably my favorite one, it's got, it's a gel, it's got niacinamide, four percent, which we talked about before, it's an antioxidant, it's got ant-iinflammatory properties, it's usually in acne, rosacea, it can also help the pigmentation, it's quite stable, it's quite readily absorbed, so I don't mind this one, it's not too bad, you can have that one.  Tom: we've got two, that's good. It's great.

Elizabeth: Now it's getting dangerous. Tom: She doesn't like this product. So this one is by Argentum Apothecary, and...la potion infinie I would say that this is just kind of something I out onto my skin, I've tried using it daily, it didn't really work for me, sparingly, every now and again, I find it's not too bad, but it's just kind of a bit more moisture, just gives me when I out it on, it's kind of, I don't know, I kind of feel like its more of a sleep mask for me.

Elizabeth: Okay.

Tom: But yeah, silver.

Elizabeth: Yeah, silver. la potion, which is quite an expensive tub of stuff, it, this is one of my stereotypical products that are really expensive, it's really well packaged, it looks kind of slick and cook, again quite manly, I imagine it probably feels really nice when you put it on your skin. Is it actually doing anything? No. I mean it's essentially a load of oil mixed up with some silver, and yes, silver is used in wound dressings and has a role in skin, but mixed up with a load of oil, really, I'm really very sceptical about the benefits of this. The info on the website as well, is so kind of wishy-washy and just nonsense if you ask me. So for me, this is probably the most expensive product in your selection... Tom: Yeah by far...

Elizabeth: And it's probably the least helpful, I mean, yeah, that's not really doing anything for you. Tom: To be honest, that to me is more of an experience base than anything else. When you put it on, it smells nice, it's rich, its luxurious to put on, but like I use it, I don't see that its actually sorting my skin out if I used it.

Elizabeth: But my argument to that is night time is when you should be putting something on before you go to bed, because night time is when your skin cells starts to get active, so you need to be putting on something at that point that's really helping that process. That's kind of your anti-aging window, and again you're 26 so you're kind of young, but so we don't necessarily have to be talking retinol, but you could be talking some like potent growth factor, something like that and yet it isn't going to feel as luxurious and nice but you're going to bed, does it matter? Tom: Yeah, true.

Elizabeth: That's my view. Tom: Oh I completely get that. I think it's more of a de stressing thing for me, but  I do know I've got it, I'll use it till it’s done, probably.

Elizabeth: Yeah Tom: Yeah, I get what you mean, I don't think it’s actually doing anything for my skin. Elizabeth: No. We're agreed. Tom: It makes me feel nice. Elizabeth: Okay.   Tom: Yeah, the other one, the one that she actually doesn't like, but this is, you know I've got facial hair, that might be why, but it's a beard oil. It's by Face theory, so the brand that you liked before. Elizabeth: Yep Tom: But I think this just generally smooths out and kind of conditions my beard. I don't think it does anything for my skin whatsoever, it's more just like facial hair management that's part of the routine. Elizabeth: Yeah, and the thing is I understand that and obviously not having facial hair I wasn't sure whether, I can see that it would sort of kind of groom the beard and make it look kind of shiny and nice and that kind of thing, however my issue with it is not that it, it’s not meant to do anything for the skin, but actually that seeping on to your skin could make you more likely to be breaking out, and down the neck you mentioned earlier about breaking out around the neck so again, anything oil I wouldn't use, so for me if there is an alternative and like somebody, I'm a bit ignorant in that department, but if there was something else... Tom: I don't know it that's what it’s all about, there, it's not a tube of that, I would say with this, it's not something that I would ever use every day... Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: But at the same time, I'd like manageable, if I use it too much I get too much of the cream there, it’s quite rich and it does break out on my beard line, I get little spots there and under there... Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: So I yeah, it's not the best thing. And then the last thing, it’s kind of part of my morning routine... Elizabeth: Oh yeah. We talked about this one. Tom: Yeah, but this is one, one I use once a week, that's what you talked about earlier and I shouldn't use it more than this, so again, recipe for men, it’s their facial scrub, but I said the reason I like this is it's a physical exfoliator, but is one that doesn't actually feel like I'm scrubbing my skin. Elizabeth: Yep. Tom: Its very smooth in texture, it's like a blue gel, and it kind of feels, it buffs away any dead skin, makes my skin look a bit more awakened, alive but not something that brings irritation or redness. Elizabeth: Yeah. So yeah, I defined think that a drub is a good thing, and both men and women, about three times a week is a good time, yeah. So you can do it too much, so let's say two or three times a week, every day is too much, three times a week is probably about perfect. And like you've said, with this product a nice fine grain is the way to go, so the big kind of more coarser grain I would steer away from. Tom: Yeah. Elizabeth: Yeah, and that is a good thing to do, and its doing exactly what you said, helping to slough away dead, dry skin cells. So that's you. See, I didn't negate everything. Tom: It's fine, there's like two products from the is brand I can keep. Tom: It's all good. Elizabeth: I mean it's a sleek brand though, I'll give you that. Tom: You know, I just think this kind of for me I've tried a lot of products, you know, I've tried cleaning for mean and it’s going to be great and it’s going to solve all my skin problems, I don't think it really does. Elizabeth: No. Tom: I find that brand seems to work for my skin type. Elizabeth: Fair enough. Tom: I know there's way better products out there. Elizabeth: No, but as I said that if you found something, if you feel like it works, then I am not going to tell you to throw it away because its important, and how you feel how we feel about things is important, and you can't, I can't it here and say it doesn't make your skin better, I am not you I haven't used it. Tom: Yeah, exactly. Elizabeth: The only time I would get frustrated on that sense, which I have mentioned before is when people come see me and they are having problems with their skin and then you suggest skincare and they say oh no I'm happy with my skincare, and you're like but you just told me. It's like what?! But I mean, if it's working, it's working. Tom: Exactly. And something that is interesting as well, sort of as you use products, this is the current skincare regime I'm using, I do get to try out a lot of products, that's what my skincare routine changes roughly every month, I try... Elizabeth: So a lot. Tom: I try out products every month, so changing over... Elizabeth: Do you notice much changes in your skin as you're changing your skincare regime so frequently? Tom: I do notice, towards the final weeks, I see if a product is giving me a claim of what it is going to do, like I notice in eek four if it's actually doing that or going towards that. Elizabeth: Okay. Tom: But one thing I try to steer clear of is I don't like trying something out just once, and okay, that's fine. Elizabeth: Right, no, it's pointless. No. You take definitely, if I'm starting someone on a new product I normally say for to six weeks before you'll start to notice anything, so yeah, to use something once and decide whether it works or not is nonsense. Tom: Exactly. Elizabeth: You have to commit to it. Yeah definitely. Okay, so there was one question that you mentioned earlier that somebody had asked you about whether it was okay to use the eye gel on the lips? Tom: Yeah, so being at Uni, going kittles, it's old, okay if you've already got chapped lips, use eye cream. Elizabeth: Okay. Tom: So does that translate to eye gel as well? Elizabeth: I would say probably not, only in so much as most eye gels these days contain caffeine, and as we've mentioned caffeine will dehydrate. Again as a caveat to that, how much caffeine is in these eye gels, and is it really going to dehydrate to any significant degree? I would accept but I think an eye cream would be better on the lips. Tom: Yeah. Elizabeth: As opposed to an eye gel. Tom: And yeah, there was one more question, as well... Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: So someone asked me how to do this particular, if you've got one patch on your skin that's overly dry... Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: How to deal with that? Elizabeth: It's a difficult one, sometimes dryness on the skin can be purely related to sing the wrong products, or over using moisturizers, so it's a difficult one to try to generalize about, also you've got to take into account, is it a genuine case of eczema, is it an eczema skin patch, and in that case, it may require a short burst of hydrocortisone or tacrolimus or something like that to dampen it all down, so it's hard to kind of say without seeing, without having the context of the person, but like I say, sometimes dryness is due to the fact that people are just using products that are too harsh.. Tom: Yeah. Elizabeth: And it's just the way the skin is, you'll have a dry patch here but not over here and its, but overall the skin is unhealthy and unhappy with what's going on. Tom: Yeah, one thing I'm not sure you agree with me on, it’s something I speak on as my advice on skincare... Elizabeth: Yeah... Tom: And one thing I wold never say, I would never do is if something says they've got dry, a dry portion on their face and they out moisturizer on, then they out the same moisturizer on top, because I feel like that's never going to really help the situation. Elizabeth: No, I would agree. Tom: Because layering moisturizer, the moisturizer can only do so much to your skin... Elizabeth: Right. Tom: It's not going to do more if you keep putting more on. Elizabeth: But this is a really important point, I think because it’s also in the situation of aging, what people tend to do as they get older and their skin gets drier, and again I've spoken about this before, is they use richer and richer moisturizer or as you say, start layering up moisturizer and what you're actually doing is reducing your skins ability to get rid of dead, dry skin cells on the surface, so it still feels rough and dry and you're switching off your skin's ability to hydrate itself, so moisturizer, moisturize, moisturizes is not the answer unless you've got a genuine dry skin diagnosis, like eczema or psoriasis. Tom: Yeah. Elizabeth: But in other cases, I agree with you, you're completely right, don't do that, it's going to make it worse if anything. Tom: Yeah. Well that's all I've got. Elizabeth: Marvellous. Okay, so yeah, brief summary for men's skincare, I think oiliness is a real common complaint, redness is not uncommon, so keeping it really basic, I would say a good face wash morning and evening. Maybe something with kind of acid based. Spend a full minute washing your face, use tepid water, pat your skin dry, don't rub it, so pat it with a clean towel or a bit of kitchen paper. If you want to keep it really simple, did you want to say something? Tom: Oh no. Elizabeth: If you want to keep it really simple, daily SPF, and that's it. If you want to get a bit more in there, we can add in a scrub three times a week and if you really want to go for the anti-aging then you're looking at something retinol based at night time, or if you're in the younger age group, maybe growth factors, something like that. So it doesn't have to be over complicated, and I just had a question to ask you, Tom just on a theme of I've been exploring the subject again over the last few weeks, which it maybe difficult for you to answer because you're not in that category, but I've been exploring themes around barriers for men having aesthetic type treatments, say for example, wrinkle injections or derma fillers whatever, and I wondered if you had any ideas what might stop the average man from seeking those kinds of treatments? Tom: I think it's more of a generational thing, I would say. Elizabeth: Okay. Tom: I think it’s sort of the same with skincare, is that the whole concept of a metro sexual, more metro, thirties downwards. Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: And for example, my dad is 65 and he was brought up the whole things using soap on his face, and that's the end of it. Elizabeth: Yeah. Tom: So I think it’s more to do with that, and what people judge as accepted and what is like too feminine to people and I think this whole idea of masculinity now has changed so much, this [inaudible 00:29:04] between London, guys you need to look after yourselves, you really do. Elizabeth: Thank you.   Yeah, I think that's the real thing and it’s interesting to hear that you think it'll change with the kind of younger generation, and I think that would be a good thing to see.   Is there anything else you wanted to say? Tom: Um, I think that's about it actually. Elizabeth: Yeah? Tom: Yeah. Elizabeth: Okay. Well thank you so much for coming it’s been really good fun. And thanks for watching. And as always if you got any questions for myself you can get in contact via the Instagram page, Facebook page, my personal Instagram, skinnlizzie and To, how do people contact you if they'd like to? Tom: So if you want to include me on Instagram, it's urbanmaleuk, also if you want to send an emails well we also have style at the gay UK dot com. Elizabeth: Amazing. All right, thank you ever so much. .