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Don’t keep mum when it comes to your dad’s skin

Male grooming expert Lee Kynaston explains why he believes it’s every man’s duty to educate his dad about skincare.

As someone who writes about skincare for a living I’m acutely aware of my role in passing on important information about looking after skin to my fellow men. I spend the bulk of my time advising guys on how to shave, deal with assorted lumps, bumps and rashes and how protect skin from the daily assault of pollution, stress and adverse weather.

My dad taught me lots of things (amongst them how to clay pigeon shoot and write a killer complaint letter) but he taught me absolutely nothing about how to look after my skin or how to shave. Which is not as trivial a gap in my education as it sounds because nearly 1,500 men die of skin cancer in the UK every year and a good shaving technique can spare a man a lifetime of razor bumps and redneck.

I can’t really blame my dad, though, because he was a teenager in the Sixties and his own grooming routine consisted of nothing more than a razor and a bottle Old Spice. Even when I was a teenager, back in the Eighties, the male skincare market had yet to become the behemoth it is today. Relatively few products were available and very little was written about skincare for men.

Today’s men, especially those who’ve grown up in the Nineties and Noughties, are uniquely placed to be gatekeepers of male skincare. Enlightened and educated thanks to men’s mags, blogs and YouTube videos, young men are more savvy about skincare than ever before. So much so that research by Mintel shows that 60% of 16-24 year old men now use a moisturiser and this is set to increase as more an more teenagers emerge into adulthood with skincare as an integral part of their lives. That’s the good news – especially for skin. The bad news is that this impressive figure declines to just 41% of 45-64 year olds (i.e. those men most likely to be dads).

This is where sons come in. You are in a unique position to explain the benefits of a decent skincare routine to your old man. You understand how much better skin can look with the help of scrubs and masks and eye serums and how much of a confidence boost great-looking skin can provide. Because you’re clued up about skincare you can back up your product recommendations with facts and with personal tips and tricks. And he’ll listen to you because, according to a survey by brand strategy company Two by Two, 35% of men still get their information about skincare from friends and family (i.e. you!). And don’t let him fire back that it’s too late for him to start using skincare: in the same way that it’s never too late for a man to start working out, it’s never too late for him to start looking after his skin. A moisturiser or serum can still make an impact on skin, whether a man’s 16 or 60. And whilst special occasions might be the perfect time to introduce your dad to some key grooming products, anytime is a good time to give the gift of good grooming (I recommend Stoer’s Firm & Protect Serum and Energising Eye Serum as key products for older skin if you’re looking for somewhere to start).

Keep in mind, too, that investing in your old man’s looks won’t just reap rewards for him – it’ll have real benefits for you as well. After all, the younger he looks the more people will question how old you really are too. ‘Result!’ as they like to say at Stoer.