If there’s one thing the recent uptick in male beauty treatments has given us, it’s a solid appreciation of portmanteau. From the dermal depths of ‘Brotox’ up to the smooth layers of ‘manscaping’, bolting a macho prefix onto the names of those decidedly ladies-only treatments makes them very manly indeed. And thank the grooming gods; getting caught with your hands in your partner’s wash bag was becoming a real risk, right guys?
So it’s cool to drop a bit of your hard-earned cash on your hard-worked body. Everyone is doing it. Among the swell of Hollywood botox and lip-filler rumours is some undercurrent of truth *cough* Tom Cruise *cough*. If you still feel in any way uncomfortable, just think of yourself as the Patrick Bateman kind of vain. Without, you know, channelling any of his psychotic rage if possible. No amount of skin buffing can get a chip like that off your shoulder.
And yet it’s true that most men are hardwired to approach a spa or salon or cosmetic laser dungeon with a healthy degree of trepidation. Truer still is the fact that the things we want done – a hair plucked here, a gland zapped there – are going to hurt us more than the fairer sex. That’s because we have more hair. And a somewhat pathetic pain threshold. Google it; it’s actual science.
That’s why we’ve created this user’s manual, to ensure you don’t waste your time and cash (and tears of pain) on stuff that doesn’t work. So take a look around our guide to the best treatments on offer to those with both a Y-chromosome and hair on their feet. Stay for the massages and tell your friends about the facials. It’s time to Brolax, erm, bro.
1. The Face Of Things To Come
Luckily, both spa slippers and whale noise are omitted from most of the male-specific treatments you’re likely to find in the UK, so you’ve really got no excuse to swerve this one. Us chaps stand to gain more from a facial than women, too. That’s because our higher levels of testosterone cause our skin to secrete more oil, so hitting the reset button now and again is important.
To maximise the results, opt for a male-specific facial, which will give you more bang for your cosmetic buck than a generic one. Why? Because exfoliation is usually paid more mind and things like post-shaving soreness are considered as much as hydration.
What: The Mankind Facial
Where: The Akasha Spa, downstairs at the Hotel Café Royal in London, has really gotten on board with the man-focused treatments. This one promises to deal with ingrown hairs while delivering a tension-releasing massage, too.
2. Enlist A Frickin’ Laser Beam
Alright, Chewie, it’s time to deal with this. The back hair, at least. Maybe just the shoulders? You see, statistically, she prefers you smooth. It’s a fact with which companies like Braun have been hitting us around the head with for years.
If you’re happy with your torso mane, good for you. If not, you might want to consider a treatment.
Now, waxing is like sitting down to 20 minutes of James Corden on TV: a waking nightmare. That’s especially true if your hair is coarse. Equally, and at times more hellish, is laser hair removal, depending again on the thickness of your body hair. But – and it’s a big but – the results are, generally speaking, permanent.
What: Torso laser-hair removal package
Where: Many newfangled treatment options are popping up, but you won’t beat what’s offered by The Harley Medical Group. Their technicians are peerless and aftercare comes as standard.
3. Step In The Right Direction
You don’t need us to tell you that feet are inherently gross. Which is why some sort of pedicure should be on the top of your treatment hit list (once you’ve got your MANicure out of the way, that is).
Without even noticing it, you could be cultivating fungal infections between your toes and ignoring five-a-side injuries or old niggles that often lead to ingrown toenails.
Of course, you want to put your feet in good hands. Literally. A medical therapist is always the best option, as treatments can then range from cosmetic to health-boosting. To that end, a medical pedicure will soften and help heal your foot while removing unsightly problems that could worsen over time. You can skip the polish.
What: Medical pedicure
Where: Margaret Dabbs is the last word in luxury podiatry, so seek out her salon downstairs in Liberty London. She’s soon to step out across the rest of the UK, so keep an eye out for a salon opening near you, too.
4. Go Beyond Skin Deep
If you read FashionBeans in the hope of more ‘spashion’ articles like this one, we’ll presume you’re the sporty type for whom ‘treatment’ means one thing, and one thing only: a good and proper massage. And rightly so; there’s a lot of research out there on the efficacy of a decent deep-tissue rubdown post gym.
Or post nine-to-five, for that matter, if your office is prone to becoming as uncongenial as a scrum. A proper deep-tissue session will release fascia and relax muscles, allowing better blood flow around your body. And yes, that includes to your skin. Meaning you’ll leave relaxed and a little more handsome to boot.
What: Deep-tissue massage
Where: Most swanky gyms and hotels will have an in-house expert adept at untying those knots. But you’re not here for the function alone. Which is why you should head to Cowshed in London, who know a massage from a handshake, while still being experts in unguents.
5. Go Over The Lines
You might not be hitting Gordon Ramsey-levels of facial contouring just yet, but your eyebrows may still perk up at the thought of a quick treatment that can hide frown lines. Brotox is, as the sleuths among you may have already deduced, botox geared specifically at men.
On the face of it, the procedure will make you look less weather-beaten and haggard if you’re a guy who channels stress through his countenance. The forehead is the most commonly treated area for men but many opt to have the lines around their eyes done, too.
Another option particularly useful to those frequently feeling the heat in the boardroom is armpit injections, which curb excessive sweating.
Where: Cowboys abound so make sure you go to a proper, regulated practitioner. PHI Clinic in London is led by one of the cosmetic surgery industry’s most respected doctors, Dr Tapan Patel. Otherwise Harley Medical is a UK-wide option.
Will we be seeing you at the wheatgrass bar post-rubdown or are you sticking to the bar coal tar and a cold shower?
Let us know in the comments.