Hims is a new American ‘ personal wellness’ brand entering the UK market. ’You should look and feel your best all the time. Men now have easier access to the care they need - because men trust hims with the things they find hard to talk about.’ or so the company blurb says. The Founder and CEO is Andrew Dudum who is a serial backer of start-ups.
TheChicGeek says, “Hims is more than a grooming brand, and goes deep into the wellness area for men. Covering hair, skin, mouth, sex and health, hims is trying to broaden the grooming scope and make these new areas cuddly and sexy. The branding is great. The phallic images of the flaccid cacti feels more like a premonition when you get to my age… (On that note, they could make the information on the bottles a little bit bigger for those us actually losing our hair and of that age).
I tried the ‘dht shampoo’, ‘morning glow serum’ and ‘immunity’ supplements, all achingly cool lower case. It’s a very Helvetica type brand, - it looks a bit like an underwear brand - but I like its modern approach and tone. It’s an open platform and makes more sensitive subjects feel just as easy and fixable as buying a new moisturiser.
Hims offers erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatments, but you have to go through a consultation and an online doctor will prescribe these. The company works with a large network of doctors to prescribe Finasteride - a proven-to-work hairloss treatment - and Sildenafil - the active ingredient in Viagra - through their website - customers will be assessed by an online consultation with one of the team. If they pass the assessment (in the US an average around 10% of patients are refused), an online prescription will be drawn up by a pharmacist and mailed in a discreet manila envelope. There is a huge emphasis on aftercare and customers will be able to follow up with the same doctor to monitor use.
As for the more traditional products I tried: the blue shampoo blocks DHT to help prevent hair-loss, the serum focuses on vitamin C for its collagen benefits and cute gummy bear shaped supplements support a healthy immune system. I have tried ‘Beauty Candy’ before. (Not quite a replacement for Haribo!)
These are all fairly long term products and need a longer of period of time if you’re going to see and assess any benefits. I did want a bit more ‘glow’ from the serum though.
Hims feels like an inclusive brand rather than one trying to rinse people’s insecurities. I just kinda wish they sold the penis cacti too!”
Because the non-prescription products haven’t launched in the UK yet, they haven’t released prices, but looking at the American website they look pretty keenly priced. The prescription products are: Hair Loss (Finasteride): £35 for a month’s treatment, Sildenafil (50 mg pill): £33 for 8 pills or a months supply. There is also a £10 consultation fee on top - www.forhims.co.uk
Disclosure - The products were gifted by Hims to review
Suitable for all skin types, 9 is a light satin-feel oil-based serum for the delicate eye and lip area. It is formulated from a unique blend of four modified plant oils (Coconut, Olive, Kahai and Echium) and high levels of five scientifically substantiated active ingredients that are proven to reduce puffiness, re-hydrate and firm the eye and lip area. Ingredients include marine micro-algae (CF) to smooth out the appearance of lines, geranylgeranone to promote cell longevity, liquorice (GG) to brighten, induce radiance and for even skin tone, aloe leaf to gently hydrate, soothe and reduce puffiness and poppy to firm the delicate areas.
Left - Katerina Steventon - 9 Radiance Eye & Lip Serum - 15ml - £65
Dr Steventon says, “9 is a unique, hybrid formulation that combines traditional plant based healing with 21st century clinically proven active ingredients to help repair and prevent signs of ageing. The four natural plant oils have been specifically selected to increase the penetration of the five active ingredients deep into the skin to promote a youthful appearance.”
TheChicGeek says, “The queen of facial massage, Steventon is quickly become the go-to for anti-ageing serums. This targets the eyes and lips and is, as always, not just about applying the product, but also taking time and massaging the targeted areas. (I’m not very good with this and feel like I need a dressing table and half an hour to really do this justice).
You need very little, just one drop each, for both the eyes and lips. Warmed in your palm and gently patted onto the areas, this is fragrance free, but you’re inclined to add more, as a drop doesn’t seem like enough.
I was conscious of it on my eye area for sometime after application, and, while not uncomfortable and heavy, it was a continual reminder. I wondered if I’d put too much on, but any less and you feel like you’re not really applying anything?
I think this is a long term product, and I like the way its for eyes and lips, which are the most delicate areas. It's about learning a routine and religiously sticking to it. I don't suffer from any dark circles and puffiness around the eyes so I can't report any noticeable differences, in the short term anyway."
Inspired by Epigenetic - (Dictionary definition) relating to or arising from non-genetic influences on gene expression - science, QMS’ EpiGen Daily-Detox Serum has been specifically designed to address the damage increasing levels of pollution is having on our skin.
Central to its formula is the innovative Epigenetic-Peptide which mimics the function of Royalactin (royal jelly protein), this has a positive effect on the regeneration of the epidermis and in combination with the other advanced-performance ingredients delivers targeted action against the impact of pollution on the skin. Key ingredients include PCW-Skin Relaxing Extract from the Swiss stone pine which reduces local redness and age spots, resulting in a more even skin appearance, Matrikine Complex, a special messenger peptide (matrikines) playing a role in skin repair processes and GCI-Peptide which maintains genomic integrity by protecting and repairing DNA damage.
Left - !QMS - EpiGen Daily-Detox Serum - 30ml - £167 (30ml)
TheChicGeek says, i “I hadn’t heard of QMS before, so this was the first product I’ve tried. I was fortunate to meet the brains behind the brand, Dr. Erich Schulte. A plastic surgeon from Germany, he founded QMS to get his patients’ skin into tip-top shape before they went under the knife. Ouch.
He says one of the biggest stressors of skin, after UV damage, is pollution and with London’s current problem, this is easy to believe. The rising levels of microscopic pollutant particles in the air can lead to skin irritations, increased sensitivity, hyper-pigmentation, premature skin ageing, clogged pores and acne. These particles are so small they can penetrate right down to the epidermis and this is where the damage starts.
Schulte says, “The highly innovative active ingredient complex in EpiGen Daily-Detox Serum helps to deactivate the negative chemical markings that are having a detrimental impact on the skin whilst accelerating epidermal regeneration, activating the cellular cleaning process and delaying skin aging.”
This goes on once a day, in the morning, under your moisturiser. It’s probably one of the most expensive products I’ve tried - £167 for 30ml!!
It’s good, but it’s hard not to be shy with it when you think about how expensive it is. Though, as it’s once-a-day, it should last a reasonable amount of time.
QMS stands for 'quick magic skin', and Dr. Schulte says the exclamation mark, before !QMS, was inspired by German designer, Wolfgang Joop - JOOP!. He thought it would intrigued people to know more about his nascent skincare brand.
These Doctor brands just keep getting bigger and bigger, as people want to pay for the science rather than the packaging, brand and marketing campaign. This is definitely one to keep an eye on.”
Bulldog Skincare’s new 'Age Defence' range comprises a Moisturiser, a “potent” Serum and Eye Roll-on. Each product is said to have a powerful blend of antioxidants from rosemary and echinacea to help fight free radical damage as well as vitamin E.
The Age Defence Moisturiser is said to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after 4 weeks. *Consumer trial - 146 male participants, June 2017.
Left - Bulldog Skincare - Age Defence Moisturiser 100ml - £8, Age Defence Serum 50ml - £12, Age Defence Eye Roll-On 15ml - £10
It’ll also brighten the complexion and leave your skin feeling moisturised and nourished. The tube is part made from sugarcane plastic - plastic which is produced from ethanol derived from sugar cane production - to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels.
With more than double the concentration of antioxidants as the Age Defence Moisturiser, the serum has been formulated to leave the skin feeling firm, smooth and nourished. Should be used underneath the moisturiser for an extra boost of hydration and the Age Defence Eye Roll-On has been formulated to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark circles and puffiness.
TheChicGeek says, “If I was going to be picky I would say just use Bulldog’s “Protective Moisturiser” with an SPF if you want ‘anti-aging’, as the majority of our skin’s aging is from the effects of UV rays from the sun.
Many men have grown up with Bulldog, and trust it, so it’s about time they did a range of “Age Defence” products for their loyal and maturing fan club.
They did have an “Anti-Ageing Moisturiser” before, but not a full range. The new Age Defence Moisturiser will be replacing this, as they say they’ve done more tests to prove the efficacy on this one. It has more of a potent blend of antioxidants and different actives.
These products are targeted specifically at those who would like to prevent the effects of free radical damage - which is the main cause of skin ageing. Free radical production increases under certain conditions such as UV radiation and environmental pollution; known as oxidative stress.
I never really buy into this idea of "anti-aging", but if you look after your skin, from a reasonably early age, it will reward you. FYI - Lots of sleep, water and SPF help too.
The moisturiser has a “brightening” element which helps to lighten and even out skin tone. If you lighten the darker blemishes, the skin looks younger and more flawless. Brands are often afraid to mention skin lightening, but it works to deceptively even out creases and wrinkles.
The serum has the consistency of a moisturiser and the roll-on has a cooling steel ball to gently rub around the eyes. I like using Bulldog’s products and I enjoyed using these. The prices are great value and everything feels simple and straightforward. The serum is billed as double the potency as the moisturiser, so if you were only going to get one product from this range, I would get this and add an SPF moisturiser on top.”
A new men’s grooming brand, Stoer, pronounced 'store', is named after a remote place in the Highlands of Scotland where the founder, Marianne Morrison, spent her formative years.
This technologically advanced collection of ‘skin-smart’ products introduces novel and effective ‘Cosmetic Drone’ technology, a first for the male skincare market.
Left - The ‘STOER Skincare for Men’ collection includes: Foaming Face Wash, Detox Face Scrub, Firm & Protect Moisturising Serum, Energising Eye Serum and Vitamin Power Mask.
Cosmetic drones focus on delivering the brand’s unique Clima 5™ formulation of active ingredients directly into the skin layer where they work best. Each active has been individually sourced from extreme climates in 5 global locations (Mexico, Japan, Scotland, West Africa and the Alps) to underpin the value of protecting the skin against pollution and the elements, whilst rejuvenating, energising and improving skin health.
TheChicGeek says, “The drones are coming! There are 5 initial products in the STOER range, with 2 more to follow. It’s interesting they’ve launched without a moisturiser, but I think this is down to a production issue rather than a deliberate absence. A moisturiser with SPF 30 is to follow, as it says so on the back of the serum.
I’ve not heard of ‘Cosmetic Drone’ technology before, but it makes sense if your trying to get the right product to the right place rather than relying solely on skin penetration. According to the information, each active is entrapped in a unique microscopic ‘Cosmetic Drone’ capsule to deliver the actives to a deeper layer of the skin. This revolutionary system targets specific cells and releases the active ingredients where needed.
I always think a new range lives and dies on its moisturiser, but I’ll have to pass judgement another day. I tried the serum and eye serum, which both have a nice lavender scent. This is particularly relaxing when applying in the evening, just before bed.
I used the serum like you would a moisturiser and applied the eye serum after. The eye serum definitely had that blowing-in-your-eyes effect which means something positive is happening. The serum and eye serum are light and disappear quickly and you’re not conscious you’re wearing it. It’s non greasy and oily and leaves the skin feeling nourished for the day.
The other products: face wash, face scrub and power mask are pretty standard: easily applied and washed off.
While not cheap, these are reasonably priced. If you didn't want to buy all of them I would go for the serum and eye serum: some men are willing to pay for new technology, especially if it delivers results quickly. STOER seems like a welcome edition to the men’s grooming market and, as we've been told, drones are in our futures, we may as well get used to them in our skincare and medicines."
Available at Harvey Nichols from £24 from 11th March
Based in East Yorkshire, Dr Katerina Steventon has launched an anti-ageing serum to address concerns about wrinkles and vertical lines. Named ‘4’ after the four regenerative plant oils - jojoba, rose hip, camellia, echium and four technologically advanced active ingredients - marine micro algae, Indian gentian leaves, Renovage, (the brand name for trepenone, developed by the French skin care company Sederma and used for anti-ageing and skin stress) and liquorice and it is promoted alongside her ‘Faceworkshops’. Over her career she has worked at La Prairie, Shiseido and Smith and Nephew wound healing.
Left - Katerina Steventon 4 Anti-Ageing Serum - 15ml - £52.90
TheChicGeek says, “A new Doctor brand, Katerina Stevenson says over 20 years' experience has gone into this serum. It’s light, non-greasy and is applied before your moisturiser twice a day.
For Katerina it is all about the massage and the ritual of applying the product and with it being an oil-type consistency, this makes it easier to do this.
It’s labelled a serum, but I would call this an oil. I like oils as they feel nourishing and feed the skin. They feel more physical than a normal cream type product.
Katerina says it’s a hybrid product: serum in the morning, massage oil in the evening. The ‘Vertical Line Massage’ - she shows you how to do this on her site - is a prep before the product, but also an exercise for the facial muscles. I’ve seen this promoted before, when Creme de la Mer launched their Renewal Oil - see review here - but I didn’t do this with this product.
It says you need only a few drops of the rape seed coloured product, but I felt I needed more and the more I used the less it felt like an oil. It has a good consistency, absorbs well and smells good. Interestingly, people said how well I looked a few days after using this. A coincidence maybe?
These type of products are for the long-term, but I like a product somebody puts their name and face behind. A lot of these products you have to have an instinct for on whether they are working. This one I would say yes and would definitely look into trying the massage techinques. People can't expect to reduce ageing by simply and lazily apply a product. It makes sense you need to exercise, like the rest of your body, in order to keep it firm and looking its best.”
This brand new formulation delivers high performance and long-lasting SPF 50 UVB and 5* UVA broad-spectrum in a sun block that works to defend skin from premature ageing due to sun exposure.
It utilises cutting-edge micro encapsulation technology which quickly forms a breathable, ultra safe protective shield on the skin - think Gortex for the skin! - to ensure uniform coverage in a water resistant, non-whitening, non-greasy serum that gives hassle-free, safe invisible protection.
Left - FIT Skincare - Sun Protect Serum SPF50 - £35
It also contains vitamin E which helps shield DNA from the damaging effects of free radicals, protecting against unsightly dark spots and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid to continuously hydrate and kees skin supple whilst the OXY- FIT-10, FIT’s unique oxygen delivery system, fuels skin cell regeneration.
FIT’s new manufacturing method ‘high energy homogenisation’ means particle sizes are reduced and the ingredients are dispersed evenly throughout the product, resulting in an even distribution on the skin.
TheChicGeek says, “This says it’s ‘the first and only sunscreen serum created exclusively for men’, and about time too! The majority, 90 per cent, of your skin’s visible ageing comes from the sun and sun exposure. The easiest and more effective way to protect yourself is, to either not go in the sun, boring or unavoidable, or apply a high-factor sun protection. So, think of a product like this as an anti-ageing product and one you should use all year around.
This is one of the best high-factor face products I’ve tried. It’s really light, has a nice zesty/lemony scent, and you don’t notice you’re wearing anything, which, I think, is down to the micro-encapsulation technology.
I initially thought this would be much more than £35. Unlike most serums, they recommend you put this over your moisturiser and to use on face, neck and ears. You could just use it as a moisturiser as it contains plenty of moisture type benefits. Lastly, just because it’s a high factor, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reapply. You sweat, swim and miss bits, so reapply every two hours.”
Crème de la Mer introduces The Lifting Eye Serum with its new 'Stretch Matrix Complex' to visibly support the architecture of the eye and brow. As soon as the silky serum touches skin, the eye area feels an immediate, soft yet tightening effect. With use, it helps to give a significantly more heightened look to eye contours, resulting in an appearance that is rejuvenated and elevated.
Engineered with a network of naturally derived ingredients and unique red algae, the Stretch Matrix Complex self-assembles an interlaced elastic net to help give the eye area a more lifted and contoured appearance. Combined with kelp gel, a natural lifting polymer, it helps give an immediately tighter sense to eye-contours. Ultimately eyes emerge looking more defined and sculpted.
TheChicGeek says, “This serum comes in a pipette applicator with one of Crème De La Mer’s famous applicator sticks - pictured - but this time it has a flat side.
What they are pushing here, as well as the product, is the time and attention you should pay to your eyes and the area around it. This means massaging, delicately, and stimulating the eye area as well as applying the product.
I tried to use the stick for a while and it’s cool, metal finish does soothe the eyes, but like all things it was quickly replaced with the finger. I’ve been putting this on in the morning, as a final product, around the eyes and the same before bed for the past couple of months.
It’s very gentle and you can get it in your eyes without worry. Because it’s a serum, I was told you could also use an eye cream as well, but I don’t think it’s realistic for guys to use two eye products. It’s hard enough trying to get them to use one especially when you’ve paid £180 for this one!
The result - you can definitely feel a light stimulation directly after application which is a positive. It is hard to judge, but the eyes are a long term project, best started early. Will I carry on using this? Yes".
Above - Crème De La Mer - The Lifting Eye Serum - £180
Lab Series’ new Future Rescue Repair Serum is a high performance, anti-aging treatment that if used daily helps renew the look of skin today and for your tomorrow. Featuring a ‘Quad Focus’ approach to combat visual ageing - antioxidant/enviornmental defence, purifying surface detox, barrier fortification and damage repair. This global serum acts as the skin’s first line of defence to help combat the look of aging.
Left - Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum - 50ml - £48
Research shows that only 10% of visible aging is chronological, the remainder is from our surroundings: the sun, pollution, stress, lifestyle etc.
TheChicGeek says, “Lab Series had me at ‘The Future of Handsome’ with this one. Okay, so serums haven’t really taken off in men’s grooming, but, the way to look at is as a future-proofing anti-aging layer: giving your skin a boost and added protection.
When this first went on, the smell and texture reminded me of the Lab Series all-in-one moisturiser PRO LS, but this is much better than that.
Applied day and night, it is light, absorbs quickly, but feels rich enough to do what it says. These types of products are often about a feeling rather than an instant change and needs long term usage to reduce the signs of aging. This isn't about turning the clock back!
I would recommend this, but apply an SPF moisturiser over the top during the day, to really protect your skin for tomorrow”.
Eighteen months in development, FIT Moisturising Ultra Serum, joins the FIT skincare line up and is formulated to treat and care for all skin types.
FIT serums and ultra serums combine multi-benefit active ingredients with natural biological and marine extracts, vitamins and minerals. FIT products contain no harsh preservatives, parabens or SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate).
The power behind the range is OXY-FIT-10, a unique oxygen delivery system that boosts skin cell respiration to increase cell regeneration and ensures targeted delivery of nutrients for maximum benefit.
Formulated and manufactured in the UK, the FIT Skincare range now sports a sophisticated new look with improved packaging designs.
TheChicGeek says, “I have reviewed a FIT product before and I did criticise the branding and packaging. It seems they have listened to the feedback and come back with something that looks and feels more premium. An elegant silver tube, emblazoned with the new logo, contains the new Moisturising Ultra Serum.
It doesn’t have any fragrance, which I think men prefer. It’s light, absorbs easily and leaves the face with a soft, mattified appearance.
The majority of serums go under your daily moisturiser and are usually there for their anti-aging benefits. You could use this instead of your moisturiser, but I would still recommend putting some form of SPF protection on top. While I wasn't blown away by this product, it is a premium price for this amount, I do like its lightness and easily absorbability."
Above & Below - FIT – Moisturising Ultra Serum – 30ml - £50