10 December 2009

Men’s grooming products: October ’09 reviews

For the last month our dedicated testers have put their bodies on the line for you - all in the search for the perfect male grooming product. Here is what they came back with...


For the last month our squad of dedicated testers here at the ManZone have put their bodies on the line for you - all in the search for the perfect male grooming product. Here is what they came back with...

L’Oreal Men Expert Pure & Matte Deep Exfoliating Gel Wash, R89.95
Reviewer: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

I used to think exfoliation was a grunge group. Then I learnt that it really meant washing your face - and more importantly washing it, um, properly. So that meant dispensing with my old student way of reaching for the nearest, ubiquitous slab of hand soap to do the job: fatal in my case, given that I have sensitive skin and was probably doing the kind of cumulative damage akin to chain-smoking. This product has a genuinely pleasing texture for my needs - the exfoliating micro-beads are not so delicate as to evaporate in my hands even before they’ve reached my nose, but nor are they overly chunky and abrasive and likely to cause irksome inflammation. Dead skin cells quickly get the back-door treatment. I find I can apply it morning and night with warm water to leave my skin feeling calm, smooth and suitably irritation-free. The active defence system touted on the back of the deftly-packaged tube (it stands sturdily and effortlessly on the lid, which I like) helps shield your skin from “daily aggressions”. Certainly no-one has kicked sand in my face since my discovery of this gel wash.

Vo5 2 in 1 Elixir Shampoo & Conditioner, R19.99 for 200ml
Reviewer: Ridwaan Willemse, pharmacist

I’ve never really had time for using conditioner on my hair - it just seemed to be an unnecessary hassle without much of a benefit. But with Vo5’s 2 in 1 Elixir shampoo and conditioner combination I can wash and condition my hair in one easy step. I guess this is not exactly a new invention, but I’m pretty new to it and I have to say, it works really well. The smooth white gel works into my hair with ease and washes out easily as well, leaving my hair not only clean, but shiny and feeling light and airy. This product contains a veritable treasure trove of fancy ingredients, including avocado and jojoba oil for nourishment, apricot and almond oil for strength and grape seed oil for shine. After just a couple of weeks of using it, I can actually feel the difference in my hair and I would highly recommend it to any other man.

Garnier Pure Active Spot Fighting 24hr Moisturiser, R79.95
Reviewer: Sipho Matiwane, graphic design student

I haven’t ever used a moisturiser before in my life. It always seemed a bit too metro-sexual for me, but after giving this Garnier product a try recently, I don’t think I’ll be starting my days without it in the future. I guess you could say I have temperamental skin. On some days my face seems spotlessly smooth and 24 hours later it’ll break out into an irritable and blotchy mess. Garnier Pure Active has really made a difference in giving me soft and spotless skin all of the time. A tiny little drop spreads nicely across my entire face and leaves it feeling fresh and invigorated. The small blue dispenser delivers just enough for one application. According to the package this moisturiser contains salicyclic acid and something called “HerbaSoothe”. Well, whatever it is that the good people at Garnier have put into this, it sure works for me and my skin. A big thumbs up!

Babor Men Ultra Comfort Shaving Foam, R280.00
Reviewer: Andreas Späth, freelance journalist

This is the Rolls Royce of shaving creams! It has the creamy consistency of a perfect white chocolate mousse (yes, I did have to resist the temptation to taste it) and gives you a perfectly smooth and effortless shave. A little goes a long way and to top it all, it smells really great. At least that’s what my wife says! I have quite sensitive skin, but with this shaving foam, a decent razor and a good after-shave balm (LINK TO,52636.asp), I’ve actually been enjoying shaving lately. Apparently the active agent complex in this product, called Taurec, consists of hops, taurine and Siberian ginseng and it eases minor cuts and revitalizes the skin. All I can say is shaving has never been as comfortable and enjoyable. With this stuff, I’ve kissed that just-shaved irritable skin feeling good bye for good.

Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Gel Toothpaste, R12.99
Reviewer: Michael Knoetze, IT Specialist

Have you seen that new toothpaste ad on TV? The one where that woman gets some scan in a shop to show her how bacteria have been building up inside of her mouth? That’s Colgate Total and I got to try its ‘Whitening’ version. It claims to be the only toothpaste on the shelf that can offer a full 12 hours of antibacterial protection while brightening up your smile. Apparently this is because it contains a special ingredient that bonds triclosan, (a broad spectrum antibacterial agent) to your teeth. (I’m not too sure how it whitens. Probably the same way other whitening toothpastes do). Anyway, having used it for almost a month, I can tell you it really does leave your mouth feeling squeaky clean. As far as the bleaching bit goes, I haven’t noticed any dramatic lightening up. However, perhaps it’s ‘maintaining’ more than anything else - I do love a good curry and drink a fair amount of red wine, but you’d never know it looking at my teeth. So, because it does the job, tastes minty and fresh and offers a full day’s worth of protection, I reckon that’s enough for me to switch to the brand.

Vichy Homme Purifying Cleansing Gel, R165.00
Reviewer: Frank Sander, Creative Director, Be Frank - New Media Agency

“Does it really make a difference?” I asked myself before testing this new cleansing gel from Vichy Homme. Having travelled through life without one of these for many years, I was sceptical. But now, I don’t want to miss a day without it. Apply a small, walnut sized amount of this summery-smelling gel, rinse it off with some water and you feel an immediate freshness and readiness to start the day. The deep-cleansing effect makes you feel “PURE”, not just superficially on the outside of your skin, but deep down - a feeling that stays with you throughout the day. No car pollution, corrosive wind-blown dust or your boss’ bad karma will be able to challenge it. Even for sensitive skin this gel works like a charm. This product contains Vichy thermal spa water and its rare minerals and unique fortifying and soothing qualities will agree with even the most sensitive skin. It can be used in the mornings and/or evenings and the gentle softness of your skin will not only please you but your partner, too. But that’s a story for another day/night…

More men's grooming product reviews:
• December '09
November '09
September '09
August '09


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