H.I.M-istry grooming products were created by Darnell Love Henderson in 2004. Throughout life he faced skin care needs that he felt were being ignored by many companies. So he derived a line of products that would focus on the basic needs in men's skincare and would provide professional quality skincare products to men of all skin types and racial backgrounds.
H.I.M-istry, which stands for "Healthy Image Man", tackles many distinct needs like skin discoloration, ingrown facial hairs, anti aging, and more.
We were able to review a few of the products…
Blackberry Salicylic Cleanser: This cleansing gel provides an exhilarating, berry-clean freshness to help produce fresh looking clear complexion. An advanced deep pore resurfacing action increases cell turnover and help diminish the appearance of razor bump, acne break-outs and other negative affects on the skin. Ideal for normal/oily skin types.
Urban Gent Review: Smells great… like blackberries. Leaves my skin feeling cleansed and fresh.
Black Tea Bamboo Scrub: A mix of a Micro dermabrasion and light moisturizing cream. The effects of this scrubs natural ingredients provides a boost in skin cell shedding by manual exfoliation to give an all over healthy tone. The natural fruit ingredients causes mild skin peeling and are used on the face and body to treat acne, smooth the surface of the skin and diminish superficial signs of aging and negative effects on the skin (peels off dead skin).
Urban Gent Review: This product works well and definitely gives the skin a scrubbing. The scrubbing crystals are a little harsh, but no different from most scrubs.
OC-10 Serum: A lightweight serum that protects and revitalizes the skin with CoQ10 and Vitamin E to regenerate and defend the cellular matrix form environmental stress and premature aging.
Urban Gent Review: Feels sort of like a light-lotion. And very lightly moisturizes the skin, I still opt to use another moisturizer after/with this one.
AHA Clearing Pads: Deep strength exfoliator with combination of Alpha Hydroxy Glycolic, Lactic and Pyruvic Acids with Kojic, Bearberry and Licorice to exfoliate, inhibit skin discoloration, razor bumps. Use 2 to 3 times per week before bed.
Alpha Premier Fragrance: (Our Review): A nice everyday cologne. The woody scent makes it a perfect winter fragrance to try, purchase, here.
Purchase the above products, HERE.
OVERALL REVIEW: A good line of products that are scientifically created for every type of guy, with men of color in mind– so the product line gets a few extra points off back. It's very important to use these products in the proper order. I was initially using the scrub, then cleanser, then serum and I found my skin very lightly peeling in the middle of the day. But once I changed to cleanser, then scrub, then serum this went away. If you're in need of new products, then I'd give HIMistry a try.
Random Fact: HIMistry caught the attention of higher US officials (US government)– in a good way. The H.I.M.-istry (Healthy Image Man) line, including cleansers, toners, and scrubs, will be in 150 Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores across the country…. pretty cool. I guess that's what happens when you are able to specifically create products that are meant for a range of ethnicity groups.
More from Himistry:
More and more men are looking for skin care products that cater to their needs. Men have thicker skin which tends to be oily and show signs of aging as testosterone levels decrease. Factors such as sun damage, lifestyle choices and nutrition play a significant role in skin condition. H.I.M-istry offers natural based Facial Care products formulated with cutting edge ingredients that moisturize, purify, repair and fight visible signs of aging and negative effect of the skin .
A man's skin is approximately 15% thicker than a woman's. Active sebaceous glands cause men's skin to be oilier with larger pores and a richer blood supply. Regular deep cleansing is a necessity to maintain a healthy complexion. Men’s skin is also more prone to be dehydrated due to daily or frequent shaving. No matter your skin type, it is important to maintain a regular skin care regimen to keep pores clear, and healthy looking.
We've mentioned MenScience several times in the past, but since our last mention they've gone and improved upon a few of the products–mainly the award winning Microfine Face Scrub.
Here's the technical details:
The new Microfine Face Scrub formula contains a higher concentration of emollients like allantoin and natural botanicals like aloe to make it even gentler on the skin, as well as more moisturizing. The formula is now free of paraben-based preservatives, and features an improved consistency that makes the scrub smoother and easier to apply to the face. It still features the award-winning combination of 5% glycolic acid, 1% salicylic acid, and three types of microfine exfoliating particles to loosen dirt, oil and dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. The combined action of these ingredients promotes cellular turnover and preps skin for a closer, smoother shave without the risk of ingrown.
Urban Gent Review: Though the smell could be more inviting, I can definitely see why it's a best seller. The finer exfoliating particles make for a much better, gentler, nicer feeling scrub. I hate when products have those huge sugar scrub particles that seem to be scratching your face. Most importantly, it doesn't dry my skin, and it leaves it feeling pretty soft.
Purchase MenScience Microfine Face Scrub, here.
Other MenScience products to try: Advanced Body Scrub and Advanced Shave Formula, here.
This week we're going to mainly focus on grooming. We'll be reviewing 1-2 products per day starting with the more attainable brands to the luxury brands. We'll also try to review a few colognes as well (though they may have to wait until next week). So be sure to be ready with your opinions on the products we cover. (3 Urban Gent with similar skintypes have reviewed the products).
Axe Music is from Axe's latest line-up of products. We've reviewed much of their stuff in the past and as everyone can tell each set has a different theme… this time Music, particularly Rock Music.
Urban Gent Review: The main thing that changes in different AXE collections is the fragrance which is inspired by the theme. In AXE Music you'll smell scents of leather and wood, two typical rocker scents (atleast the leather is). If you're an avid AXE product user, it doesn't hurt to try out their new deodorant bodyspray and revitalizing shower gel. You can get the Axe Music Line, here.
Neutrogena has a men's skincare line, and recently they've released a sensitive skincare line that has "Pro-soothe Technology". Pro-Soothe technology is a unique combination of naturally derived ingredients, soothes, heals, and moisturizes dry, sensitive skin.
3 Main products in this line:
Shave Creme: Helps prevent irritation as a result of shaving
Oil-Free Moisture: Oil free non-greasy formula protects and heals with SPF 30.
Post Shave Balm: Heals and protects sensitive skin
Urban Gent Review: Neutrogena is a trusted brand anyway, so its no surprise that the products works pretty good. The soothing and calming, and the products "healing powers" are pretty much felt. If you have sensitive skin and are on the market for a new line of shaving products, it's worth giving Neutrogena Sensitive Skin a whirl. Also, If you are one of those guys that just uses plain soap to shave (I know there's some of you out there) then this is a nice product to start with (they also have a line for regular skin). You can get the Neutrogena for Men, here.
So imagine this… I pull up to a nice semi-exclusive neighborhood, get out the car, glance over at my friend’s black on black Porsche Cayenne as I walked up the driveway (I’ve always loved that car). I get to the door and am met with happy salutations by this friend, and of course he looks nice as always. Fresh shape-up, sea-sick waves, he has on part of his ensemble… well, just the shirt… I believe it was some sort of unique Burberry or Ralph Lauren jean button-up with a club collar. He says to me, “I have to get finished getting dressed”, and just as he turns to go upstairs I glanced down at his feet, and was Highly disturbed at what I saw. Long chipped toenails and ashy semi-crusty feet. I thought to myself, it should be a crime to look good on the surface of things, but then have major grooming flaws underneath it all.
He later came downstairs smelling of YSL, looking dapper from head to toe… he had completed his ensemble with slim fit jeans, desert boots, a custom jacket, and vintage eyewear… but I still couldn’t erase the image of before.
Being stylish, fashionable, wearing well-tailored clothing and all things alike are indeed muy importante, but it almost means nothing when the underneath isn’t matching. Just like women have their beauty routine men must have their grooming routine. And no I’m not saying you should have five or six different specialty cremes and spend as much time grooming yourself as a woman, but you should have a few key basics things that you do on a daily or weekly basis that will keep you a well groomed urban gentleman.
When I first thought of creating the outline for the urban gentleman’s grooming routine I couldn’t help but get constant flashes of Christian Bale in American Psycho. I haven’t seen that movie in years and I only saw it once, but for some reason it stands out as one of the most specific and detailed grooming routines I’ve seen in a film. Though admirable, such a detailed routine may turn some men into narcissists– and no one likes a narcissist. So this routine will be well-balanced, not over the top or bare minimum.
Let’s get started….
The Grooming Basics will always be the same: hair, nails, skin, teeth. Every gentleman must deal with these four key areas.
The hair routine for each man will greatly differ, depending on the hair texture and chosen hair style.
Men with STRAIGHT HAIR, WAVY HAIR, or a LOOSER CURL PATTERN (European-American/Caucasian, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Mixed-Race):
– Should wash their hair on a daily basis or every other day if the hair stays clean and there isn’t a large amount of oil build-up.
– It’s been a long-standing tradition for men with this hair texture to get their hair cut once a month, but it all boils down to the rate at which your hair grows back, the chosen hair style, and the budget you set aside for hair care. I find that many men with straight hair need a cut after about 3 weeks. *It’s very important that your barber knows how to cut your hair so it grows out evenly and looks great for the entire month between cuts.
Shampoos & conditioners:
Axe 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioners, Patene Pro-V, MenScience Daily Shampoo, Billy Jealousy Fuzzy Logic Hair Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner, American Crew shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Redken for men, Baxter of California, there’s so many to choose from.
Men with CURLY HAIR/TIGHT CURL PATTERN (Men of Color/Black Men, Mixed-Race, Hispanic/Latino):
– Should generally wash their hair every couple of days or once a week. It is important for men of color to maintain the moisture in their hair so shampooing/conditioning once a week, then washing the hair with a conditioner twice a week is a good routine to acquire. For example: Shampoo/condition your hair Thursday morning while in the shower then get a haircut or shape-up later that evening. Wash your hair with a conditioner Sunday and once again on Tuesday. (If you’re maintaining a certain hairstyle, like if you’re trying to process your waves for the first time then you may want to wait a week and half between washes until your waves process).
– Hair should be lightly moisturized on a daily basis to keep hair from becoming dry and breaking off.
– Again, the frequency at which you cut your hair depends on the hairstyle, rate at which your hair grows back, and budget. I generally recommend a hair cut every two weeks and a shape-up the week between getting your hair cut. So basically, if it’s in your budget, you should be visiting the barber every week: hair cut, shape-up, hair cut, shape-up. Most guys I know have a specific day they go on each week (the more routine your visits are the better).
Shampoos & conditioners:
Patene Pro-V for Natural Hair shampoo and conditioners (in the bronze bottle), ORS (Organic Root Stimulator) Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner, Creme of Nature shampoos and conditioners.
Xotics Sweet Jamila, Nairobi Essentials Botanical oils (purchase at a high-end black/of color american salon, online, or in some beauty supply stores), Softee Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hair & Scalp Conditioner, and ORS (Organic Root Stimulator) has a great line of carrot and olive oil hair moisturizers, and of course Bronner Brothers (BB) makes great products for extra curly hair (purchase the last three at most major stores or at a local beauty supply store). Basically look for natural hair conditioners and lotions that have natural ingredients.
Also, consider a sheen spray, especially if you have braids, dreads, or a thick head of hair. Mizani, Bronner Bros, Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil, and Palmer’s Olive Oil hair spray are great choices. Lightly spray your hair each morning.
For more tips on hair styles for different hair types go here.
There really isn’t too much to say here, but to just get in the routine of cutting your nails every week. It literally takes no more than 5 minutes to cut both your finger nails and toenails, so this can be easily fit into a Sunday morning, Monday evening, or even a Friday night before hitting the town.
I’ve been meeting a plethora of guys who have cut nails, but maintain the preferred nail length by biting them off instead of cutting them off. This is a habit that many men and women share alike, it’s more common than I realized and is quite unpleasant. The best way to stifle this habit is to simply keep your nails cut so that there isn’t any nail to bite.
If you have the budget, getting a professional manicure and pedicure may be an option. If you do have the budget this should be bi-monthly, weekly if you’re a nail biter.
Skin is such a broad topic to cover. There’s the face and the body and both areas need to be washed and moisturized. This means every man should have a cleanser and moisturizer for the face and soap/cleanser/wash and moisturizer for the body. The type of product you use depends on your skin type, and each person’s skin type varies of course.
A basic routine for normal skin could be: Noxzema or Cetaphil as the facial cleanser and moisturizer, Dove Men + Care or AXE bodywash, and Nivea for Men lotion or Palmer’s cocoa butter as body moisturizers.
Another routine for normal skin might be: L’Oreal for Mens Expert Power Clean face wash, Jack Black Double Duty facial moisturizer, Billy Jealousy Ocean Front body wash, and Kiehl’s Deluxe Hand & Body lotion.
(MenScience Daily face wash and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel moisture treatment are also popular choices.)
Raw african black soap is also a popular natural product to use on your skin (thanks YH for the info), especially those with extremely dry skin, eczema, or come in contact with harsh chemicals on a daily basis.
Choosing the correct product can be difficult because there’s not a shortage on choices. You can start with recommendations from friends or our website then pay close attention to how your skin feels and reacts immediately after using the product(s) and 7-10 after using the product(s). This is usually enough time to see whether a product is making your skin better, smoother, clearer, etc.
Body scrubs, exfoliating gels, facial masks, etc go beyond the basics, but there are many of those type products for those that are interested in a more detailed routine. You can usually find products that are a combination of many types of products ie. a moisturizing and exfoliating body wash. As a man the less product you have the better, so a combination grooming product is usually the best way to go.
It is recommended that you exfoliate your skin up to twice a week (so atleast once). A few scrubs many men love: LAB Invigorating Face Scrub, MenScience Face Scrub, Anthony Logistics Facial Scrub, Anthony Logistics Sea Salt Body Scrub.
There’s no big guidelines to keeping your grill fresh. Brush twice a day or after every meal, floss atleast once a day, and use mouthwash (listerine) everyday. If your teeth are dull, stained, or just out right yellow use a whitening kit. Check out one of our previous ‘whitening’ post.
We’ve had plenty of articles on manscaping, and our main one breaks down each section: the Face (head, mustache, beard, nose hair) and Body (chest, armpits, groin, leg/arms, back, and rear) as well as options on whether to wax, trim, or shave.
We’ve technically covered hands and feet since they would be included in nails and body, but it doesn’t hurt to go a little more into detail.
Let me first get the point across that men shouldn’t have extra extra extra soft hands, your hands shouldn’t feel like a woman’s hand, but it should be smooth and well-moisturized.
Firstly, be sure to moisturize from top to bottom when you lotion-up each day, that means from your chest to the soles of your feet.
If you have calluses on your hands, depending on the severity, a simple hand creme may work: Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer, Nivea Hand Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream, Kiehl’s Body Care Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream.
If your hand calluses are very hard and tough use a callus shaver or pumice stone. Just be sure to be careful when using a callus shaver on your hand– focus on removing the hard callus not the softer skin around it.
Heal Tastic Intensive Heel Therapy will quickly smooth out rough cracked feet.
One of the quickest ways to soften/smooth out/heal dry cracked feet is to simply moisturize your feet each night before going to bed. Generously apply vaseline/petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, or natural shea butter (raw, pure, or organic) to both feet then promptly put on socks. When you take the socks off in the morning you’ll notice how much better your feet look. This is a very “old-school” method, but it really does work.
So now that we’ve dished it all out, lets organize our thoughts. We know what is needed and included in The Grooming Routine, but what will the actual routine be. There’s millions of urban gentlemen out there, different schedules and lifestyles so it would indeed be hard to customize the routine for each and every person. We will however provide a rough draft that will aid and guide you as you customize your own.
Brush teeth, floss, rinse with mouthwash
Wash & Moisturize Body
*Wash & Condition Hair
(if you have straight/wavy/loosely curly hair)
Wash & Moisturize Face
*Lightly moisturize hair
(men of color/black men)
Brush/Comb/Style Hair (including facial hair)
2-3 dabs of cologne
Brush any dirt from underneath nails
(men of color/black men):
Hair cut or shape-up
Manscape (trim excessive body hair if desired)
Exfoliate face and body
Notes: Men with straight/wavy/loose curly hair should wash hair daily or every other day. Hair cuts every 3-6 weeks.
The Grooming Routine is all about discipline and efficiency. Having a set routine saves you time, sharpens your organization skills, and most of all makes you more of an urban gentleman.
Lastly, grooming goes beyond the products but extends into having a healthy diet and exercise routine. Having an at minimum quickie calisthenics workout each morning and/or night will go a long way. To maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails eat foods or take vitamin supplements with Vitamin E. Most importantly drink lots and lots of water.
Feel free to share your grooming routine and favorite products below.