*This is a guest post from Nathan*
It’s an objective truth that women have better skin than us guys.
Against their soft, supple and blemish-free faces, our leathery hides stand no chance. So it’s perhaps not surprising that some of us have made a habit of delving into their apparently super-powered skincare products in search of a better deal.
Luckily, in our modern, metrosexual world, no-one bats an eyelid if you moisturize. Unfortunately, if said moisturizer comes in a tasteful white tub or has any sort of feminine wordplay attached to it, it’s still not something you can openly boast about.
So how does an ostensibly manly man go about ‘borrowing’ his significant other’s skin cream on the sly?
Here’s where we come in. Below is our guide to using your girlfriend’s skincare products and getting the most out of your lady-friend’s products, while still retaining a faint veneer of rugged manliness:
Don’t be Cheeky
OK, let’s get this out of the way: don’t overdo it. Not because excessive grooming is unmanly or will make you smell like a girl, but because too much may lead to a premature breakup on financial grounds.
According to a recent survey, British men cost their girlfriends an average of £230 per year simply by stealing their beauty products. In effect, your need to have flawless skin becomes a tax on your relationship – and that’s a guaranteed turn off.
So trust us on this one: take too much and she will know. And she will not be happy.
Understand Your Differences
You may have noticed that you and your girlfriend are not identical. It’s OK, there’s nothing to be ashamed of: in fact, getting it on with your clone might be considered kind of gross.
One of the key differences between you is in your skin: as a rugged, chest-beating cowboy of a man, you have naturally tougher skin and lose collagen at a lower rate.
But you’re also a boiling cauldron of testosterone; and that can have some unfortunate side effects. Specifically, if it sends your sebaceous gland into overdrive, you can expect acne.
Now, women obviously deal with acne too, but anti-oiliness ingredients aren’t such a big part of their products (since they instead suffer the joys of estrogen and semi-regular mood-swings. No offence ladies!).
So you need to keep an eye out for ingredients like Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Salicylic acid, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Niacinamide and alpha bisabolol (we know: mouthful, right?).
If you can’t find any of them, well… you need to consider pushing her in the direction of ‘unisex’ products – but beware that if you push too hard it’s going to seem like you’re making a big deal over nothing, bro.
Women’s products usually come with a distinctly unmanly scent. If you don’t mind smelling a bit fey or work from home or something, this obviously isn’t a problem – but for those of us who commute or, more importantly, don’t want our girlfriend’s to know we’re swiping their products; a bit of cover-up is essential.
So we suggest investing in one bottle of uber-manly cologne; something that reeks of spices and burning wood and three weeks hard-labour at the bottom of a mineshaft.
The more powerful the better – ideally you want something that will strip paint and burn nostril hairs. Anything, in other words, that will hide all traces of your penchant for draining her wallet.
Finally, if Caught…
Inevitably, the day will come: she notices she’s now using 3 tubs of moisturizer a week, or that your face has gone from being rougher than sandpaper to smoother than a baby’s bottom.
When this reckoning comes, you have two options. You can confess and offer to start buying your own products; or you can lie through your teeth.
It all depends on what’s more important to you: retaining that veneer of manliness and robbing your girlfriend; or being an honest partner.
Hey, it’s your choice – we’re not going to tell what to do. Only be aware that the first option may well lead her to the conclusion that you’re a genuine idiot and she’d be better off with someone else. Then where will you get your lady-products from?
Nathan Parsons is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in London. Having graduated in ’96 and after working for various agencies, he decided to go freelance in 2009. He specializes in working closely with brands, companies and individuals in order to utilize a massive range of expertise that would otherwise be unavailable to the public.
Nathan is currently producing a series of articles in partnership with SpaceNK.