Holistic make-up artist Sjaniël Turrell shares her insights into the gender neutral skincare and what it really entails.
Often I’m asked if there is a difference between skincare for men and women, or for men’s skincare brands specifically. The short answer is “no” – all skincare can work for all genders – the main question you need to ask is “what do I want from my skincare?” And more often than not the answer is very different for men and women or simply from woman to woman or man to man. Your preference for simplicity, fragrance, packaging and feel will all determine what constitutes as a gender neutral product.
In my experience, the majority of men have not grown up with the same influx of beauty info that most women have been exposed to their entire lives and find it overwhelming. You may have reached a certain age and realise that you want to take better care of yourself, perhaps your partner’s beauty habits have influenced the way you see your own routine or you may absolutely love the idea of tailored skincare but don’t feel as if you’re being catered to. You may simply not be a ‘girly’ girl and hate all the faff involved in complex beauty regimes or you may not love strong fragrances and ‘girly’ packaging. Whatever your preference, there certainly are wonderful organic and clean beauty products on the market for you to use – even better if you can simply share one beauty product between you and your partner and know it works for you both (saving on money and packaging – bonus!). I’ve chosen the brands below based on their use of minimal fragrance, their no- nonsense design and their focus on simplicity for skin health and wellbeing.
BY SARAH LONDON
British brand By Sarah is designed to keep your skincare regime as simple and easy as possible. Its clear and concise labelling tells you exactly what is in each product on the front of the product (the first brand to do so). It is based on very simple steps, using the best organic ingredients and oils that help to cleanse and moisturise your skin without any added fragrance or synthetics. Perfect for those with sensitive skin or a dislike for added fragrance – highly rated by men and women alike.
If you want high-end results without the convoluted packaging or messaging, then Twelve Beauty is the brand for you. Expertly formulated by botanist and pharmacist Dr. Pedro Catala with a PhD in green chemistry, every product in this brand has a targeted purpose sans fancy smells or horrible residues. However, if you’re looking for simplicity simply opt for the amazing cleanser and very light and highly absorbable serums for maximum hydration. The twelve expertly chosen plant extracts in these products work wonders on any skin.
British beauty brand Evolve has taken the UK by storm and rightly so, it has a wonderful range of products that are organic, handmade, cruelty-free and vegan. You can choose from an array of skin and body care including shampoo and conditioner. The simple design with a contemporary aesthetic definitely lends itself to not only being good for you or your partner, but also looking pretty fine on your bathroom shelf.
A long running favourite for both men and women clean beauty enthusiasts alike, Dr. Alkaitis is the preferred option for those with acne-prone or more oily skin types. The products are impressive with their organic, biodynamic and ethically wild-crafted ingredients – these are not derivatives of plants but whole plant ingredients of the highest quality. The brand combines expert scientific knowledge with herbal and plant remedies for stressed and unhappy skin.
Available at contentbeautywellbeing.com
Josh Rosebrook is a skin and hair range that caters for those with minimalist needs both in practice and aesthetics. The beautiful white glass packaging is a desirable design aspect, but the real treasure lies within the contents. Hydrating and nourishing oils and moisturisers work on all skin types and the inclusion of a great daily SPF option both tinted on non is a major plus for those wanting to avoid those nasty chemical sunscreen additives (and yes boys, you should be putting sunblock on your face daily too!)
Available at joshrosebrook.com
This brand has that Danish/Japanese style effect and just looking at the packaging makes you want to buy it. What makes this brand stand out from the rest is its ingenious way of making natural, fresh and powerful plant ingredients work best for you. Each package comes with a ‘manufacture date’ and ‘use before’ date that lasts only a few months. Since natural vitamin and anti-oxidant rich ingredients can go off very quickly, most brands need to opt for a synthetic preservative to keep them safe and effective for longer. But Nuori avoids this by making sure the most volatile aspects remained sealed and airtight until the day of use or make sure you know when the effectivity wears off. A great way to not double up on too many products and swiftly use the ones you need – an even better reason to share!
Available at nuori.com
THE LOST EXPLORER
Not strictly a skincare brand – it also sells apparel – its products focus on those who love the outdoors and nature. With face, hair and body options this is a simple range that harnesses the power of nature in products like its Volcanic Facescrub or Magnesium Arnica Gel for those who work out in nature’s gym. Its designs and packaging options are great for those who travel with cleverly curated travel kits – if you’re a professional sports person with a love for all things natural and want to include that in your skincare regime, then this is the brand for you.
Available at thelostexplorer.com
French brand Ho Karan is tapping into the very ‘now’ ingredient of CBD oil. There is much in both the natural wellness and mainstream media on the healing powers of CBD oil and Ho Karan has cleverly added this wonder ingredient to its unisex skin and body care brand. Simple face oils and moisturisers or a simple bar soap for less waste and packaging. This is a great brand for those who like one step washing and and moisturising. Its “Everything Oil” called ‘The High Oil’ (sorry, but it won’t actually make you high) works on everything from face to body to moisturising dry hair ends. Definitely an easy to use for everyone brand.
Available at hokaran.com
GUY MORGAN APOTHECARY
Guy Morgan grew up in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, England and learned to love plants and their properties from his botanist mother. In his East London studio, he transforms this knowledge and love into a beautifully curated unisex skincare range using the finest organic and wild crafted ingredients. His products are designed for men and women alike and cater to all skin types with simple and clear labeling resulting in an array of options for feeding and treating your skin. His beautiful packaging design has a vintage apothecary feel and is fit for any chic organic bathroom shelfie.
Available at guy-morgan.com
SKIN & TONIC LONDON
This East London brand has been another unisex skincare pioneer. Its face and body range includes everything from makeup remover and face masks, to beard oil and lip balms. This brand is also a great first time skincare option for teenagers, the fun design is appealing to all ages and cater to all skin types. Its Steam Clean cleansing balm, for example, uses oils like thistle and spearmint instead of coconut oil and is perfect for oily skin prone to breakouts. Its selection of lip balms is a must for any lip care addict like myself.
Available at skinandtoniclondon.com
Read Sjaniël’s guide for where to start with ethical beauty and discover her favourite natural beauty basics for every budget.