I was in between jobs when I developed a penchant for men’s care products. I moved back in with my parents, and I couldn’t afford luxuries like beauty products. Any other woman would try to use their mother’s products, but oddly enough, my mom didn’t have any. My dad, however, had quite a few at home.
I had always associated men’s products with being “industrial strength,” and I had heard people say that men’s products might be too harsh for women. However, I have extremely oily skin, and I genuinely just wanted to try my dad’s stuff since we both deal with it.
I vividly remember the first time I used my dad’s Nivea Men Oil Control Volcanic Mud Foam. It was the description on the bottle that got me, as it had the words “pore minimiser” and “Volcanic Mud Technology.” I thought that it wouldn’t be so bad, since I’d probably use a similar product with the same ingredients anyway. And yes, it wasn’t bad at all – it actually worked like a dream. I barely had any oil on my face during the entire day without it feeling parched, and I never had any product that had done the same.
This was the start of my journey in the world of men’s care products.
When you live in the Philippines, you get creative with the ways you can cool down. The facial wash has menthol in it, which was so incredibly refreshing on the face. I honestly wish that more women’s products had the same ingredient. This is also why I regularly purchase Head and Shoulders Cool Blast Shampoo for Men. I don’t exactly understand why menthol is somewhat exclusive to men in this department. Women deserve to have cool scalps too, especially now that it’s summertime.
I also tried aftershave. My dad had a lot of these lying around since he got a bunch of gift sets last Christmas. I read somewhere that aftershave could be used as a primer, and like I mentioned, I was broke but I still wanted to have properly applied makeup. I found a bottle of Marks and Spencer Autograph Moisturising Aftershave Balm and it surprisingly worked. I didn’t use it religiously, but it was a viable option.
Then I started to used men’s perfumes like Basique Scent’s 02, which my boyfriend and I share. When it comes to scents, I think that I’ve always leaned towards woody, spicy, and musky notes rather than floral and fruity. I didn’t necessarily want to smell like a man – whatever that even means – I just always had that preference.
Here’s the thing, I’ve never been clocked for using men’s products. I don’t think anybody ever noticed, and I was the only one who knew I wore perfume made for men every day or I used aftershave on a particular day. Maybe it shouldn’t matter if people knew or not.
I’ve never believed in categorizing anything by gender, and this also applies to beauty products. While I do believe that men and women both have very different hair and skin types, I do think that such conditions aren’t exclusive to one gender. It makes me think if having “for men” on the label or making the products pink or blue bears any meaning.
Are these little marketing ploys simply there to feed the machismo in men? I don’t think I’m in the right position to assume so, but gone are the days where skincare is seen as something exclusively feminine. Using men’s products won’t make a woman any less of a woman, and the same goes for men using women’s products.
While I won’t promise to another woman that using these products, especially the facial care ones, will work just as well as they did for me, I would recommend to give them a try. Just always keep your skin type and conditions in mind.
Also, it’s always nice to share skincare tips with one another, regardless of sex and gender.