There wasn't a cloud in the sky Saturday, but inside One Green Street, Sherry Eichelberger's organic oasis for skin, hair and fashion apparel, it was raining men.
Well, men's skincare, at least.
Michael Bruggeman was the man of the hour (or two), and, aided by a spread of delicious cheeses and the soulful croons of local acoustic artist John Curry, he preached the gospel of organic skin care to a roomful of well-gussied guys.
"I'm passionate about helping men understand the importance of skin care," Bruggeman said.
Bruggeman is one of the enlightened when it comes to male grooming, and he has created a four-product ("4 Products"), four-step ("4 Steps"), four-minute ("4 Minutes") system of organic skin care, OM4Men: Skin Care 4 Men of the World, that appeals to men of all ethnicities and skin types -- and even attention spans, as Bruggeman attests that the ritual can actually be completed in two minutes and 30 seconds.
"Men are tough," said the Wisconsin native, who admits running into a slight male resistance over the complex system and refusing a "one-size fits all" product after being asked if he could shorten his four steps into three. "They want it simple. They want it fast. They want it easy."
Still, he prevailed, and the result is a four-step system that covers all the basics: Wash, Balance, Bioactivate, Defend. "Wash" does exactly what it says: It cleans according to skin type, of which there are four, separated into collections: Sensitive, Oily, Dry and Normal. "Balance" works like a toner would for women by eliminating trace elements of dirt that may have not been caught by the cleanser. "Bioactivate" is a serum that deposits essential vitamins back into the skin after the dirt has been removed, and "Defend" is a dual moisturizer which encourages a well-lubricated countenance and protects against "environmental toxins."
In the spirit of Bruggeman's four-step skin-care system, here are our own four steps to get glowing male skin. Do all these steps twice daily.
Step One: Wash
Now, we don't want to just write down a repeat of Bruggeman's own system (not trying to get sued here), but some parts of a regimen are tried and true, and for women as well as men, the first step to a great skin-care program is to wash your face. After dampening your skin with water, apply a dab of your favorite facial wash -- organic or not -- to clean hands. Put cleanser to face and start to rub in a circular motion. When done, rinse off with cool water.
Step Two: Tone/After Shave
Unlike (some) women, men have to factor the removal of facial hair into their skin-care regimens. Because of this, a good after shave and/or toner is a must to remove trace debris. Use your hand instead of a cotton ball to apply after shave or toner to your skin, as leftover stubble may cause its pieces to stick, thus defeating the purpose. Give it 20-30 seconds to work its magic into your skin before you move on.
Step Three: Moisturize
"Our skin is 30 percent thicker than women's and has smaller sebaceous glands," Bruggeman said. "The molecules [in moisturizers] are too large to penetrate male skin." Because of this, added the skin-care CEO, men should use a serum instead of a traditional lotion or cream-based moisturizer to drench their faces. Squirt a dime-sized dab of serum into your hand and press it gently into your skin.
Step Four: Exfoliate
Because all that shaving, plucking and preening can wreak havoc on the skin, men should treat their skin to a gentle exfoliating cleanser once a week (although Bruggeman's Web site recommends twice a week). Apply the exfoliant the same way you would your cleanser, only this time let it sit while you shower. When done washing your body, rinse away the exfoliant.
Voilà! You are now ready to take on the world, you sexy organic guy, you.
To learn more about OM4Men: Skin Care 4 Men of The World and to order Bruggeman's skin-care system for yourself (or if you're a woman, as a Valentine's Day gift for the man in your life), visit om4men.com.
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