In our dermatology and plastic surgery practice and skincare boutique in DC we see more men than the national average (the 2016 American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery cites that men account for 9% of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures) and find that men want products that are efficient and effective. These are five of our favorites products for handsome grooming with best quality ingredients.

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Blind Barber Watermint Gin Shave Cream

This protective lather was developed by expert barbers who know how to get the best shave possible. It acts as a cushion between the razor blade and the skin to prevent irritation and razor burn, leaving the skin exceptionally smooth, and providing a comfortable shave. Dr. Rad recommends using this with the FOREO Pro to soften beard stubble before shaving.



Shaving cream is a staple in many men’s routine, and choosing one with top quality hydrating and moisturizing ingredients both ensures a close shave and prevents skin irritation.  This barbershop brand originated in Manhattan and has developed an intensely loyal following due to the its cutting edge formulations.  This contains hydrating glycerin and moisturizing shea butter, as well as allow to soothe.  Plastic surgeon Dr. Ariel Rad shaves daily with this cream and shares this tip: “I recommend applying this product immediately after a shower.  The heat, steam, and shave cream work together to has soften skin and stubble to ensure a smooth shave without razor burn.”

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SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

This water-light fluid contains 90% Pitera™ and is SK-II's signature product. A Japanese elixir is derived from sake fermentation, it gently promotes increased skin cell turnover.  The active ingredient was discovered when researchers noted that Japanese sake brewers’ hands had an exceptionally youthful appearance.  Clinical studies show that in 14 days of use morning and night: spots are less visible, appearance of wrinkles is reduced, skin texture is more refined, firmness is improved, and radiance is increased. Dr. Sherber has many patients with sensitive skin and acne or shaving bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae) who started using this on her recommendation and now swear by it for keeping skin clear without harsh active ingredients.  Especially for those who have difficulty tolerating retinoids or glycolic acid, this is an ideal way to keep skin cell turnover primed with 30 seconds morning and night.

Men’s skin differs from women’s because it is thicker, and it has more oil production due to higher oil gland density and testosterone activation of oil production.  This can mean that skin is be more prone to breakouts and shaving bumps, and that it develops shine throughout the day.  SK-II’s famed Treatment Essence contains 90% Pitera, which is the ingredient they found addresses these these issues, making it popular with men since it delivers rapid results with a water-light texture.   Makeup artist Enrique Valentino recommends this product for post-shaving application and explains, “after shaving I gently press a few drops of the SK-II Essence into my skin, I love how this lightweight fluid instantly hydrates and soothes. It also keeps future shaving bumps at bay by increasing skin cell turnover with Pitera, SK-II’s legendary proprietary ingredient sourced from sake fermentation in Japan.” 

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Thank You Farmer Light Sun Essence Broad Spectrum SPF50 PA+++

South Korean "SoKo" beauty brands are becoming global leaders in innovation, and this sunscreen is proof that the products can deliver beyond hype.  It provides the highest level of UVA and UVB protection in a vanishingly light formulation, disappearing into the skin with a water-light texture while providing serious protection from environmental damage.  The semi-matte finish on the skin suits men and women both, and it works well as a hydrating serum-textured sunscreen for those with oilier skin or layered over other skincare steps or under makeup.

Daily sunscreen is essential to skin protecting against skin cancer, and to preventing skin aging from UV exposure.  A recent study demonstrated that 100% of subjects showed improvement in skin texture and pigmentation after a year of daily sunscreen use, in the absence of any other anti-aging treatments, so shielding your skin from environmental damage will make a significant impact.  Dermatologist Dr. Noëlle Sherber advises,”men often find heavy sunscreen texture to be a deterrent, and so this vanishingly light fluid sunscreen is popular with my patients who want to be able to forget that they applied their SPF.  I discovered this product from a South Korean company, and it’s no surprise that this innovation is coming from a country in which the average skincare regimen is 11 steps, putting a premium on light textures: you can streamline and apply on its own or on top of moisturizer.”

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TOM FORD Hydrating Lip Balm

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One of the quickest ways to look well-groomed is to have smooth lips, and most lip balms geared towards men (i.e. not overly glossy) are wax-based and don’t confer meaningful moisture.  Some also have camphor and actually worsen chapped lips and rough texture.  This blend of natural oils and vitamin-rich butters conditions lips to improve smoothness, and seals in moisture in any weather conditions.  True to Tom Ford’s style, the packaging is designed to be stashed in a suit pocket or jeans pocket for on the go reapplication.

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TOM FORD Vert D’Encens

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Winner of the 2017 Fragrance Foundation Award in the Men’s Luxury category, this scent is a new classic.  Inspired by the coast of Corsica, known as “the perfumed isle” for its aromatic air, it is a versatile fragrance owing to its sophisticated and rugged balance which we see men appreciating in their increasingly multifacetedly lives.  It blends smoky notes of incense, woody notes of pine resin and fir balsam, and fresh notes of lavender and lemon into a blend that Tom Ford describes as at once “distinguished” and “delectable.”