Just when I thought the trick to being completely happy was learning to give myself a satisfactory shave, I learn from my 12-year-old-know-it-all daughter that what I’m really missing out on is a decent facial massage.
I look at some of these Hollywood stars and wonder how they do it. Nary a wrinkle. Is the skin on their face pulled back really tight and tied in a knot behind their head? Is it the surgeon’s knife? A lot of famous and not so famous individuals swear by the wonders of a facial massage.
I’m kind of skeptical but what the heck, if George Clooney can do it so can I.
Men’s skin has turned into serious business. The rugged look is no longer in vogue. Wrinkles used to make a man look distinct. Now wrinkles just make a man look old. The solution? A facial massage, baby. Creams, oils, mud packs, electronic skin stimulators. Slices of Kiwi on your eyelids. A niche market this is not. Nope, a facial massage for men that works is a coveted experience. Kind of like knowing the right guy to purchase a new car from.
My daughter was the first one toput the idea of getting a facial massage in my head. My daughter does not exaggerate. So when she tells me I remind her a little bit of a turkey when she sees me first thing in the morning, I take it to heart. Lord only knows what my wife thinks I look like. But that’s o-k; she’s no prize either at 7:00 am. But I digress. I figured I’d do some research on the art of facial massage first.
According to statistics published by www.Redhotcurry.com, between the ages of 30 and 50 years, a man’s skin loses 25 per cent of its firmness and the daily irritating effects of shaving make a mans skin more fragile than a woman’s. I’ll agree with that. I’ve passed 2/3’s of my life shaving with disposable razors and I could probably grate cheese on my cheeks, that’s how rough my skin has become. All the more reason for a facial massage. To make matters worse, a man’s skin is also 20 per cent oilier than a woman’s and more prone to dehydration, so an effective skincare routine including facial massage is essential to keep it in tip top condition.
Well, that’s all well and good, and statistics like that are more than enough to scare me into doing something about the skin on my face. The question is — what do I do about it?
I’ve returned back to the United States enough in the last few years to know that a man can go to a health or beauty salon and get everything from a mudpack to T-bone steak placed on their face. In Italy and other European locations it’s not quite so cut and dried. You need to go to a spa. And that means booking yourself for at least two days. At least that is the hope. I’ve written about spas before (check out the AC archive) but not facial massages. To my knowledge it’s only been recently — like in the last 7 years or so that men can start taking advantage of the same massage therapy techniques as women. Even more recently, you can get a facial massage at a tanning salon. Problem is, in Southern Italy there aren’t a whole lot of tanning salons.
A visit to a health Spa was not an option this time out, so I opted to order some high quality facial scrubs and whatnot off the internet. I also was tempted to purchase an electronic facial massage unit.
According to www.bodyworkformen.com, facial massagers generate ultrasonic signals of 1 MHz frequency which make tissues change their density with the same frequency. This effect is called high-frequency micro-massage and has a soft stimulating influence upon facial and muscle cells. This reminded me automatically of a crazy muscle-stimulator gizmo that my wife purchased last year and was supposed to build muscles and help you lose weight without going to the gym. You know what I’m talking about — those kits that come with four or six rubber disks that you attach to your biceps. Then you turn the dial on whatever intensity of “workout” you want to emulate and ultrasonic waves vibrate the heck out of your muscles and make them bigger.
Well, I don’t know if those vibrating rubber disks make your biceps any bigger but try attaching those things to your cheeks and forehead. The skin on my face was twitching all over the place. In fact I switched that thing off and my checks were still dancing around on their own like they were auditioning for a spot on Dancing with the Stars.
So much for an electrical facial massage unit.
At the end of the day I settled for decent men’s skin care products. If you do a Google check you’ll probably find that there are about 24,000 links to men’s skin care products so I’m not even going to venture a guess as to which one is suitable for you. I found that www.menessentials.com offered a wide range of products — including the apparently much sought after “Scented Scrotum Talc for Men” ($15.00 a bottle). Another decent site was www.maleface.com and yet another was www.naturallyman.com. I’m not entirely sure what impressed me about these sites. They all have really rugged looking guys leaping out of the water with droplets spraying all over the place or doing manly things like chopping wood. Not only do these guys not sweat but they don’t have wrinkles.
Most of the products like “Invigorator Scrub” run about $20.00 a tube. For that kind of money I better not have any wrinkles either. Hell, a bar of Irish Spring is only $1.25!
Which brings me to my conclusion — with all due respect to my daughter, I think I’ll start with baby steps: I will wash my face, shave with a decent razor and liberally apply Noxema Cream to my skin. My wife swears by it. Says it makes her skin softer than a baby’s behind. And in fact, sometimes I kiss my wife on the cheek and for just a second I feel like I’m smooching the ass of a two-year old.
Which means there must be some truth to the old adage “a massaged face is a happy face” because I don’t know many unhappy two-year olds.