THE idea of “getting a bit of work done” is no longer the preserve of ladies of a certain age – everyone’s at it, including men, from Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay to City gents who feel their features wilting under recessionary pressures. Any attempt to revitalise one’s looks should begin with a lifestyle reboot, but there are plenty of fast, easy techniques offering subtle improvements to help out. Here are the most popular.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Hirsuteness is not the symbol of rugged manliness it once was, and laser hair removal has become the most popular men’s treatment at the Harley Medical Group’s City practice. Chaps wanting the smooth look can head along in their lunch break for a half-hour treatment which zaps the hair follicle at its root to destroy it. Most men have around four treatments, which take place with six week gaps in between (don’t do it if you’re just about to go on holiday, or just back, since the treatment doesn’t agree with tanned skin, and tanning doesn’t agree with recently zapped skin). You’ll feel it a bit but not massively – the pain quotient is said to be level with being pinged with an elastic band. Lasers are also being increasingly widely used for other cosmetic practices – Harley Medical Group is now promoting laser therapy for treating scarring and the kind of stretch marks caused by rapid weight gain or loss.
Treatment time: From 30 mins
From £79 per session at Harley Medical Group www.harleymedical.co.uk
The word might suggest women with freeze-dried expressions, but botox has become a
sophisticated treatment and one that’s increasingly popular with men. Micro-botox treatments, known as “baby botox”, in which half the normal dose is injected, are particularly appealing to chaps who want to subtly freshen up their look rather than fundamentally change it. When injected in tiny doses, Botulinum toxin works to relax the muscles that cause creasing and wrinkles. For men, that most commonly means the frown line between the eyebrows – long hours staring at the computer screen can exacerbate this – but it’s also good for forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet lines and neck lines.
Treatment time: From 30 mins
From £250 per session at Renew Medical www.renewmedica.com
Whereas botox is injected into muscles to relax them, dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvderm are inserted into wrinkles and lines to fill in and flatten them. As well as getting rid of wrinkles, fillers can be useful for smoothing out misshapen noses, acne scars, nose-to-mouth lines and sorting out eye-bags and tear troughs. The Harley Medical Group’s Dr Nick Milojevic specialises in the latter, and says he has many male clients. “You can reduce quite strong eye bags by putting injections below them and filling out the troughs, and it only takes 20 minutes to do.”
Treatment time: From 20 mins
From £300 at Harley Medical Group www.www.harleymedical.com
A procedure currently gaining ground – especially at this time of year – is the injection of botox around sweat glands in specific areas – shazam, no grim sweat patches on your shirt. The procedure works by blocking nerve signals to the sweat glands, thus preventing sweat in that particular area. While armpits are the most common area, it can also be applied to sweaty palms, feet or even the groin – anywhere perspiration’s a problem. It’s perfectly safe since you’ll still sweat in other areas, and lasts six to nine months.
Treatment time: From 20 mins
From £210 at Harley Medical Group www.harleymedical.co.uk
Having a layer of skin removed might sound more like a torture treatment than a cosmetic procedure, but microdermabrasion is a harmless, even relaxing process that exfoliates the skin, lessens scars and dark blemishes and freshens your look. It’s a little like having your face vacuumed by a very small Hoover: the nozzle of the microdermabrasion machine, moved over your face by the therapist, contains tiny crystals that blast off the top layer of dead skin and sucks away the particles, revealing the soft, living skin cells beneath.
Treatment time: 30 mins
£90 at The Refinery, www.the-refinery.com
Perhaps best known for its lush bath products, Molton Brown has a smart range of men’s skincare products to which it has just added a couple of sharp moisturisers and an eye serum, the idea being that the range now covers the whole washing, shaving and moisturising process.
TREATMENT REVIEW | MEN’S FACIAL AT THE SPA AT 51
Osmium for Men is a plucky British company dealing in high-end skincare products and treatments, which you’ll find at the spa at the 51 Buckingham Gate hotel complex near Victoria. It’s a bijou place with three smart treatment rooms plus a gym, sauna, steam room and relaxation area in the basement.
I visited to try out Osmium’s drastic sounding Advanced Collagen Facial. It was actually rather splendid.
Talented therapist Xanthi first applied some aromatic cleanser before massaging my face, shoulders and arms. Next she spread on Osmium’s Detoxify and Polish cream, a product that mixes clay mask with walnut exfoliant, and which felt warm and luxurious. While that set Xanthi used reflexology and a peppermint gel to massage my feet, and all but sent me into a trance.
After washing away the mask and scrub, it was on with a cool hydrating alo gel mask and collagen patches to smooth my eye bags.
Leaving mask and patches in place I got a scalp massage, including ear reflexology that was blissful. Next, Xanthi massaged collagen serum into my face to hydrate and freshen it. A bit of moisturiser and a shoulder massage (with more of that peppermint gel) later, and I was little more than gel myself. A perfect treatment – as well as relaxing e deeply, my skin was left smoother, softer and less blemished than it had been in aaeons. TB