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Product Review: Maine Shave & Other Great Skin Care Products For Men

Uncategorized, all-natural, all-natural men's skin care, best men's toner, General Cosmetic Dermatology, ingredients men should look for in skin care, maine shave, men's facial cleanser, men's moisturizer, men's shaving cream, men's skin care, men's skin care sales, men's skincare, Product Reviews, Product Types, skin care for men

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With men's skin care products at an all-times sales high and the "all-natural" craze hitting the U.S. at the same time, it's of little surprise that there is already an all-natural men's skin care line out there, Maine Shave. A 4-step system consisting of a Facial Cleanser, Shaving Cream, Facial Toner, and Facial Moisturizer, Maine Shave features a plethora of soothing ingredients and antioxidants to get a man's skin looking optimal. For more information about each product, read on.

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Maine Shave Natural Daily Face Cleanser

Maine Shave Natural Daily Cleanser ($19.00, MaineShave.com) contains a fairly high concentration of antioxidant olive oil and citrus extract, hydrating wheat protein and glycerin, and soothing witch hazel, aloe vera, cucumber, linden, and rose extracts. One particular benefit to Maine Shave Natural Daily Cleanser over ordinary drugstore soaps and cleansers for men is the addition of witch hazel, which has been reported in this 1998 review in Archives in Dermatology to reduce itching and skin inflammation, which commonly occur from shaving. The product has a more masculine-type scent, so women probably would not want to purchase this product for their own use.

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Maine Shave All-Natural Intensive Moisturizing Shaving Cream

Maine Shave All-Natural Intensive Moisturizing Shaving Cream ($20.00, MaineShave.com) consists of a vegetable soap base combined with hydrating shea butter, soothing jojoba seed oil, and a diverse mix of plant extracts. According to LoveToKnow.com, a good shaving cream for men does NOT contain alcohol, menthol, mint, camphor, or high levels of potassium or sodium hydroxide, and Maine Shave All-Natural Intensive Moisturizing Shaving Cream contains none of the above. Additional good news is that the product is highly moisturizing, which is great for men with dry or very skin. The unfortunate news is that, because the product is "all-natural," it does not contain chemically-derived, proven anti-aging ingredients that are found in other shaving creams, like the retinol and antioxidant vitamin E in Kiss My Face Moisture Shave ($5.39, Drugstore.com). The product has a more masculine-type scent, so women probably would not want to purchase this product for their own use.

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Maine Shave Natural Facial Toner

Of all the products, the Maine Shave Natural Facial Toner ($18.00, MaineShave.com) is my favorite, based on ingredients. The product contains a very high concentration of witch hazel, which should soothe post-shave itching and irritation. The product also contains a high concentration of birch sap, which has been found in this exciting 2006 study from Japan to accelerate epidermal differentiation (skin cell turnover) and skin moisture effect on cosmetic usage. In the study, application of birch sap not only accelerated the production of filaggrin (a precursor protein of natural moisturizing factors in the skin) and involucrin (a precursor protein of related to barrier function) within the skin, but also increased these mRNA expression levels. Maine Shave Natural Facial Toner finishes off the ingredients list with soothing aloe, cucumber and rose extracts, and a small concentration of antioxidant grapefruit oil. I love it!

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Maine Shave Natural Gentle Daily Facial Moisturizer

Maine Shave Natural Gentle Daily Facial Moisturizer ($25.00, MaineShave.com) contains hydrators (sweet almond oil, glycerin, squalane, shea butter, hydrolyzed oats, dimethicone), as well as soothing ingredients (aloe, allantoin, chamomile) and antioxidants (grapefruit seed extract, vitamin E). Unfortunately, the product is better used at night than during the day, because it does not contain sunscreen. Dermatologists advise men and women to use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every day. The sun is responsible for up to 80 percent of skin aging, according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and even through the clouds, up to 80 percent of the sun's rays can shine through. It is thereby imperative that men and women choose a moisturizer with sunscreen or apply a sunscreen over their moisturizer.

Maine Shave Update: March 05, 2008

After two weeks of using the line, my father says that it has left his face feeling "soft and smooth."  He raves about the Maine Shave line, and thinks that it is "great for his skin."  His skin looks more even and vibrant! 

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With that said, a great moisturizer with sunscreen for men is Neutrogena Triple Protect SPF 20 ($5.99, Amazon.com). The product contains soybean extract to stimulate the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid in human fibroblasts cultured in vitro, which together increase the firmness, elasticity, and suppleness of skin. It has been reported in this 2000 study in the journal Dermatology that human trials demonstrate lightening of hyperpigmentation after use of soybean extract for two weeks. For men who are concerned about reports that soybean extract has hormonal effects in men, Johnson and Johnson (owners of Neutrogena) manufactures a non-hormonal form of soybean extract known as “active soy,” in which the estrogenic compounds have been extracted. Neutrogena Triple Protect SPF 20 also contains soothing allantoin and bisabolol, hydrating dimethicone, and antioxidants vitamin E and green tea.

Does "all-natural" matter in men's skin care products?

No peer-reviewed scientific studies (at least that I am aware of) have established that natural ingredients are more beneficial to the skin. Marketing reasons for "all-natural" range from the quirky ("delivering live plant energy") to the cautious (will not clog pores). However, all skin care products that are marketed as "non-comedogenic" should be dermatologist-tested to not clog the pores. Some consumers claim that natural products "just feel better" on their skin. If that's the case for you, that's great. However, at this time, there just doesn't seem to be a scientific study verifying that natural products are any more efficacious than the other variety. If you are aware of a peer-reviewed scientific study that establishes natural skin care products are better, please let me know!

What are some other great skin care products for men?

All men can benefit from visiting a dermatologist, who can recommend skin care products specifically for their skin. In general, men can benefit from virtually the same twice-daily routine with antioxidants and sunscreen in the morning to prevent free radical- and UV-induced damage. A great one-two punch is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($103.70, Amazon.com) followed by Neutrogena Triple Protect SPF 20 ($5.99, Amazon.com). For night, men can benefit from antioxidants, peptides, retinol or AHAs (if their skin is not too sensitive), just like women. Two great treatments are Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 ($35.70, Amazon.com) with 0.5% retinol and RevaléSkin Night Cream ($110.00, SkinCareRx.com) with the most potent antioxidant based on ORAC score, CoffeeBerry. Other concerns, such as hyperpigmentation or acne, are also treated with regimes similar to that of female patients. If you have concerns, please ask your dermatologist.

In Summary...

Maine Shave products consist of a quality all-natural facial cleanser and shaving cream, a phenomenal toner, and a hydrating moisturizer without sunscreen for men. If you can only pick up one item from this line, don't miss the Maine Shave Natural Facial Toner, with witch hazel and birch sap. Another great, albeit not all-natural, skin care product for men Neutrogena Triple Protect SPF 20. Men's skin care is consistently evolving, as is the all-natural skin care market, so I will make additional posts about both in the future!

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