Hal Lightman is executive vice president of the Irma Shorell skin-care company and president of Shorell for Men. In 1961, his wife, Irma Shorell, founded the company based on research and development done by her father, Dr. I. Daniel Shorell, a plastic surgeon. Both the men's and women's lines are available at May Co., Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus and Robinson's.
Question: Suddenly men's skin care seems to be catching on. Why now?
Answer: Starting in the '60s, when we had a young President in the White House, people began to take an interest in their bodies. First it was touch football or tennis, then natural foods, then hair transplants a la Sen. Proxmire. And in the last five or six years, jogging. Now men look trimmer. They get their hair styled. The face is the last frontier.
I think the high divorce rate is also contributing to men's interest in their appearance. We're all living longer and marrying more often. We look one age, but mentally we're another. Now, we want to bring the two closer together.
Q: At what age do men start thinking about skin care?
A: Teen-agers start when they get acne. Men over 30 become involved when they see the lines forming around their eyes. And men at 40 start thinking about skin care, especially if they're single, when they see themselves aging--particularly if they've never taken care of themselves. The biggest group concerned about skin care falls between ages 30 and 45. However, in the last two or three years, there's been a tremendous interest by men 50 and older who want to look younger. Again, part of the reason, I think, is that they're dating younger women.
Q: What do most men want to correct about their skin?
A: The same thing as women--the lines, crow's-feet, wrinkles and puffiness under their eyes and the general appearance of their skin. Most men have never learned to take care of their skin. They wash their faces once a day when they take a shower in the morning. If a man happens to shave at night, he'll wash it again. A woman has to wash her face twice a day to remove her makeup, which is why women generally have better complexions as they get older.
Q: What basic skin-care regimen do you recommend for men?
A: No man has to spend more than three to four minutes in the morning and three to four minutes at night to completely take care of his skin. He should clean his face in the morning with a liquid cleanser, such as our Formula for Cleansing, and water.
Formula for Cleansing, which can be used by men and women, used to be Shorell's surgical scrub. It thoroughly cleanses the skin and won't dry it. Once the skin is clean, a man should shave and then apply a moisturizer. Since men don't like the word moisturizer, we call ours Conditionizer. This product was based on a prescription that Shorell used on his patients to help restore the skin's color and tone after surgery.
At night, all a man has to do is clean his face again with Formula for Cleansing and then apply Contour/35, our night cream. It's the same prescription Shorell applied right after removing the sutures following surgery. We still supply Contour/35 to a number of plastic surgeons.
Q: Do men resist certain products?
A: Yes. Night creams and eye creams have a bad connotation. That's why we call our night cream Contour/35. As far as eye cream is concerned, we don't believe it's necessary. A night cream can be applied both to the face and eye area.
Men's attitudes are changing though, because they have to. They have to keep looking better and younger because of the society we live in.
Q: What is the primary difference between a man's skin and a woman's skin?
A: Actually, men's skin is not that much different from women's skin. It's just slightly thicker. Men seem to be more prone to crow's-feet and wrinkles around the eyes because they don't use makeup, which protects the face. Except for those products that are highly fragranced and colored, most products on the market today can be used by either sex. That's why sun products are unisex.
Q: What is the most common mistake men make with their skin?
A: They use after-shave lotion and cologne on their faces after shaving. After years of this, the skin will dry out and lines will appear. Both products are loaded with alcohol--the worst thing in the world for the skin because it's drying. If a man wants to use cologne, he should use it the way a woman does, on pulse points.