Some men love their purifying face washes, beard softeners and anti-blemish masks. Me? I scrub up with whatever soap scraps happen to be in the shower. I tend to my lips only when they turn a cracked, clownish shade of red. Shampoo comes in minibottles palmed from the last casino where I overnighted. As for face scrubs: Say what?
Apparently, I’m the kind of guy Ryan Seacrest and high-toned Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer are gunning for with their recently released Polished by Dr. Lancer line of skin-care products — which includes facial scrub, shaving cream, sunscreen, lip balm and a $55 anti-aging serum.
“Many men don’t prioritize their skin in the same way women do,” Seacrest says via e-mail. “We both saw a void in the market for accessible, science-driven skin care developed specifically for men.”
While Lancer has had a line of women’s skin-care products since 2011, this is his first dude-specific range — after all, he insists that facial skin differs dramatically from one sex to the other.
“Male skin is prone to hyperactive oil,” says Lancer, who tends to famous faces such as those of Kim Kardashian, Michelle Williams and yes, Seacrest. “It influences pore size, blood flow and radiance. You want to turn male skin into the equivalent of a fine suit. You don’t want it to look like a Filene’s Basement reject.”
Hoping to gain the luster that Seacrest shows off on TV each morning — or, more realistically, to not be the dermatological version of an outlet-store throwaway — I give the goods a whirl for seven days.
For starters, the Daily Micro-Scrub ($35) is white and grainy and truly works. I had dry skin around my nose and using it just once resolved the issue. I call it dead skin but Lancer tells me that’s a misnomer. “The skin is not dead,” he says. “When [the flaky stuff] builds up, the entire machinery of skin repair comes to a screeching halt. Our microscrub is designed to oil the machinery of skin repair.”
Lancer’s Dual Cleanse & Shave ($20) and Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen ($35) apparently enhance my skin as I use them. Despite ingredients such as sunflower seed extract, rosemary and coconut alcohol, I assume that they are for topical use only and proceed accordingly. They both have an encouragingly medicinal undertone.
The shaving cream smells musty yet fresh, and its results are subtler than those of the face scrub — still, my skin does feel softer. But I’m happy to keep trying. Both seem posher than the catch-as-catch-can stuff I usually go for.
If you’re slim and trim and your complexion sucks, the whole game is over. You have to look good inside and out to give that conveyance to the audience.
As for the Daily Lip Care SPF 15 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen ($10), Lancer promises that it will trigger blood flow, presumably plumping my lips, and block the kind of sun damage that can result in skin cancer. (Whatever you do, don’t call it ChapStick in front of Lancer; he likens that stuff to “motor oil.”)
Just one problem: He needs me to apply it three to four times per day. That probably won’t happen for me, a guy who can barely remember to take a multivitamin every morning and once lost his glasses for a month (they were under the bed). Seacrest, of course, has his pout procedure down pat: “I keep it in my pocket and re-apply throughout the day.”
Clearly, my current strategy is no way for me to gain a guest-host spot alongside Kelly Ripa, or to even attain a fraction of the Seacrest glow.
“I have a high opinion of Ryan’s skin,” says Lancer. “Ryan knows that success is linked to appearance as well as skill. If you’re slim and trim and your complexion sucks, the whole game is over. You have to look good inside and out to give that conveyance to the audience.”
I’m still working on the slim and trim part. We’ll get there....Read more