Solutions to Common Skincare Problems

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The thing I love the most about working with men’s grooming products is their ability to transform the way we look. Not in a drastic surgical kind of way, but the way you can use products to positively ‘groom’ your appearance, leaving you looking and feeling one hundred times sharper.

But these transformations are never more apparent than when you’re trying to solve a specific problem – that’s where grooming products can really transform your look and have a huge impact on your confidence.

To help you find exactly what you need, I’ve highlighted seven common grooming problems and the products recommended to combat them.

SOLUTION: Dark circles which come courtesy of pooling blood, and puffiness, the result of temporary swelling often caused by seasonal allergies, dehydration and lack of sleep is best targeted with vasoconstricting products like caffeine and cooling products that can help reduce inflammation and puffiness. Antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and E, can also help to lighten dark under-eye circles.

Kiehl’s Eye Alert is a potent blend of vitamins, caffeine and cooling extracts to energise and hydrate the thinner skin of the eye area. (15ml R270.00)

Clarins Men Anti Fatigue Eye Serum temporarily decongests puffiness, brightens dark circles and smooths the look of wrinkles by tightening eye contours. (20ml R370.00)

Tom Ford Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment infused with skin calming and hydrating properties has the added advantage of a cooling silver-tip applicator to help reduce puffiness. (15ml R 1300.00)

Lab Series MAX LS Power V Instant Eye Lift is an intense moisturising eye treatment that boosts, lifts and tightens skin for a smoother, younger look. (15ml R565.00)

Elemis Time Defence Eye Reviver, rich in pomegranate and ginseng is lightweight, easily absorbed and won’t overload the thinner skinned eye area. (15ml R780.00)

SOLUTION: The bad news: dark spots can be brought on from past breakouts (AKA post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and ultraviolet (UV) exposure – both of which can happen to just about anyone. The good news: these darkened patches are fairly easy to treat, meaning you’re not stuck with them forever!

Spots, whether from picking your skin or the sun, take weeks to fade. But committing to a brightening serum – look for one with ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide , and/or retinol – can significantly speed up the process.

Clinique for Men Dark Spot Corrector helps visibly reduce past damage, including sun spots, age spots, acne scarring and darkening from shaving, restoring clarity and brightness. (30ml R780.00)

Clarins Bright Plus Tri-Intensive Brightening Serum with acerola seed extract reduces the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone and Sandspurry extract leaves complexion brighter. (30ml R680.00)

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution formulated with Activated C, White Birch and Peony Extracts, this serum helps correct and even skin’s appearance while visibly reducing a wide spectrum of dark spots. With daily use, this serum helps even and brighten skin over time. (30ml R800.00)

SOLUTION: When it comes to combatting oily skin it’s crucial you use the right products. Daily cleansing and regular exfoliation is key. Look for products with oil absorbing properties like clay, and Salicylic acid which penetrates through sebum, dissolving any blackhead-causing plugs and eliminating acne-causing bacteria. To add moisture without grease, opt for lightweight, oil-free moisturisers especially formulated for oily skin (they’re usually labelled ‘oil control’).

Lab Series Oil Control Clearing Solution is a two-phase formula combining a pore purifying liquid with oil-absorbing Amazonian White Clay clearing away residual grime and oily shine. (100ml R395.00)

Lab Series Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask, two oil-eliminating products in one, formulated with Amazonian White Clay—for a shine-free appearance. Used as a daily cleanser it foams up with water, removing shine and dissolving dirt. When applied as a face mask it unclogs pores, draws out debris, and delivers a more potent dose of the formula’s exfoliating AHA/BHA Complex.
(100ml R454.00)

Clinique for Men Oil Control Mattifying Moisturiser is a lightweight oil-free formula that hydrates and strengthens skin without leaving it shiny. (100ml R260.00)

Lab Series Oil Control Hydrator, great for acne prone skin, is a lightweight and oil-free lotion especially formulated to soothe, condition and hydrate skin without clogging pores. (50ml R520.00)

SOLUTION: It’s normal to have visible pores, and as we age, unfortunately those pores enlarge. Hormones, skin hygiene, and environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and UV exposure, contribute to differences in oil secretion, which may in turn affect pore size. While you technically can’t shrink your pores, you can control sebum build-up and combat things that temporarily or permanently enlarge them.

Amazonian White Clay to help absorb excess sebum and refine the look of pores. (75ml R570.00)

Clarins Pore Control is a skin-perfecting treatment with active plant-derived ingredients designed to reduce the appearance of visible pores, refine, smooth and even out the skin’s texture. (30ml R520.00)

Lab Series Power Pore Anti-Shine and Pore Treatment with I-Matte™, a special blend of oil-absorbing powders instantly smooths skin’s appearance, minimizing the look of pores and helping to fight excess oil. (20ml R465.00)

Kiehl’s Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate made with key active ingredients Yeast Extract and Geranium Essential Oil visibly improves skin’s elasticity while noticeably tightening the appearance of enlarged pores.
(50 ml R990.00)

SOLUTION: A common ailment, when shaving rash strikes it can be painful and unsightly. But that’s not to say there aren’t ways to mitigate your neck and chin erupting. When it comes to shaving, a shave oil will allow your razor to glide more smoothly across your face keeping irritation to an absolute minimum. But, it’s your post shave products that have the most important job of all – to put lost moisture back into your skin; calming, soothing and keeping redness and inflammation to an absolute minimum.

Lab Series Razor Burn Relief Ultra immediately distributes moisture to affected areas, calming the skin and rebuilding the moisture barrier damaged by shaving. Naturally derived minerals activate the skins natural defence mechanism, while a blend of Aloe-derived ingredients reduces irritation and sting. (100ml R475.00)

Clarins Men After Shave Soother formulated with shea and marula extracts to protect against dehydration and repair the skin, this non-greasy post-shave soother quickly restores comfort to sensitive skin damaged by shaving.
(75ml R175.00)

Elemis Smooth Result Shave & Beard Oil is packed with a vitamin-rich, nourishing blend of Jojoba, Hazelnut and Grapeseed oils, is ideal for use as a gentle shaving medium leaving skin perfectly nourished and moisturised.
(30ml R780.00)

SOLUTION: Spots and/or breakouts is a condition that can stretch well beyond your teens. Aside from maintaining a thorough skincare routine, if you do still get the occasional zit then there are a number of targeted spot treatments that can help keep them to a minimum. Armed with key bacteria fighting ingredients these blemish banishers also reduce inflammation and help speed up the healing process so while they’re not necessarily a preventative against future breakouts, when one does occur, you’ve got it under control.

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions™ Clinical Clearing Gel starts clearing blemishes upon application. Apply a thin layer to entire face twice a day after cleansing or spot-apply as required. (30ml R550.00)

Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Blemish Spot Treatment, formulated with Salicylic Acid rich in antibacterial properties, blends evenly into the skin allowing for quick absorption for optimal efficacy and fast results, calming the skin and reducing the appearance of spots. (20ml R560.00)

SOLUTION: The featherweight consistency of a serum or oil packs a heavyweight punch when it comes to targeting the signs of ageing. Made up of much smaller molecules than traditional creams, they’re able to penetrate deeper to deliver active ingredients right to the specific concern.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil contains three super marine-charged seaweeds working together to support moisturisation and visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (15ml R1810.17)

Tom Ford for Men Revitalizing Skin Concentrate treatment oil contains the highest concentration of the deeply hydrating Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes. (30ml R2500.00)

Kiehl’s Hydro Plumping Re-Texturising Serum Concentrate formulated with 15% plant-based Glycerin, intensively hydrates skin to smooth the appearance of rough texture and fine lines. (50ml R900)

Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum defends against environmental stressors, detoxes, rebuilds the skin’s protective barrier, and promotes collagen production. (50ml R615.00)

Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate, a potent Vitamin C serum with 12.5% Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves texture and over time minimises pores. (50ml R950.00)

Here are some of the most sought-after ingredients in skincare products and why:

Alpha hydroxy acids (or fruit acids) assist in the shedding of old cells, encouraging skin renewal and brightening.
Great for: oily complexions

Benzoyl peroxide is a drying ingredient with antibacterial properties.
Great for: treatment of spots

Caffeine helps to fight free radicals, as well as constricting blood vessels.
Great for: protecting skin from free radical damage (so you’ll see it in sun screens), combatting puffy eyes and dark circles.

Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 times its weight in water.
Great for: moisturising and plumping skin.

Nicotinamide or niacinamide reduces localized inflammation.
Great for: inflamed spots

Retinol (or vitamin A) stimulates skin cells on the surface to produce more collagen and elastin.
Great for: spot-prone skin

Salicyclic acid loosens the binding of dead skin cells so they don’t clump together and block pores. It has antibacterial properties too.
Great for: problem skin, particularly blackheads


Editor | Neil Doveton
Photographer | Ian Engelbecht / One League
Designer | De Wet van Rensburg
Assistant Stylist | Corey Boyana

*Prices and product availability are subject to change