In 2001 NASA launched Genesis, a $294 million discovery class operation atop a Delta II rocket. The mission: to collect samples of solar wind particles. After 850 days of work in space the craft returns with the sample capsule. It is to land by deploying a parachute to slow it down for mid-air helicopter retrieval. Imagine the extensive, taking-no-chances planning that goes into coordinating every detail to ensure smooth delivery. Only the chute never opens and the probe crash-lands at 200mph. The investigation that follows reveals that the whole operation’s undoing is no bigger than a pencil eraser. A tiny accelerometer that was to detect the altitude and fire the parachute got installed - backwards.

While we are not planning to launch any space probes in foreseeable future, time and time again we see a lot of effort and investment spent into looking the part, only for it to be “undone” by one little grooming step, either done with harsh products or skipped altogether. Let’s talk washing your face…

What your skin looks like is a cumulative result of genetics, your overall health, nutrition and regular grooming upkeep i.e. applying posh moisturiser habitually, twice a day, not when you happen to remember. Great skin really is the result of weeks of steady effort. But the good news is that washing your face with the right products is a grooming shortcut that yields instant rewards of fresh looking skin. And it will make everything else you use that much more effective.

Sebum, an oily secretion from skin’s sebaceous glands, and pollution collect regularly in the pores of your skin, making them appear larger and causing blackheads (plugs of sebum darkened by oxidation). Throw in some bacteria and it’s a perfect recipe for a pimple. There’s more to it, too. The inflammation and the free radical damage that results from the build up of this grime also accelerates ageing by breaking down what keeps your skin firm (collagen and elastin). Washing your face daily actively prevents that.

A good Face Wash will cleanse and invigorate, while removing excess oil and dirt. A great one will do all that but gently and without disrupting the skin’s natural pH or causing any tightness or dryness afterwards. This by the way is the most common side effect of using products containing denatured alcohol or skin-stripping foaming agents – sulphates (watch out for Sodium Laurel Sulphate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate). The harsher and more astringent the product, the more oil your skin will produce, so don’t get caught up in the vicious cycle of bad skin and choose your wash wisely. With that in mind our barbers helped to create one that’s sulphate and soap-free with soothing Aloe Vera and cooling Peppermint to cleanse thoroughly without drying skin out.

Because your skin continually sheds billions of dead cells that can build up making it look dull and dry twice a week, make sure you get the cleansing super set. After washing your face, follow with Exfoliating Face Scrub. It employs a combination of Pumice and Lactic Acid to clear away any congestion, dead skin and lift the facial hair (great prep for shaving). For the best result, apply scrub in a circular motion to small areas of the face at a time. Exfoliating, when done properly, will complete the cleansing, help prevent ingrown hair and keep your skin looking fresh and energised for the next few days. It will also help all the active ingredients from your moisturiser (that should follow), absorb more easily. For a barber-approved one, try two pumps of our non-greasy, best for men Face Moisturiser. It will build your skin’s strength and firmness thanks to Creatine, deeply hydrate with Hyaluronic Acid and protect from pollution with Vitamin C.

Face Wash, Exfoliating Face Scrub, Face Moisturiser. Three small steps for a man, one giant step for the best skin of your life.