A Modern Lad’s Guide to Skin

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I’ve been using Bulldog Skincare products for about two years now, which is certified by Cruelty Free International, meaning no animal products, no plastic microbeads, synthetic fragrances or artificial colours, just all the raw goodness healthy skin needs.

I don’t know about you, but as a personal trainer like many of you lads that enjoy the outdoors, there’s alot of strain that’s put on the skin when leading a super active lifestyle. 

“A man’s skin is about 20% thicker than a woman’s, with larger pores and greater sebum production. The extent of wrinkling also varies between men and women and may be due to differences in hormones, such as testosterone.” says Fellow of the Australian College of Dermatologists,  Dr. Deshan Sebaratnam, “Interestingly, young men have more wrinkles than women, but as people get older, this reverses – possibly mirroring changes in hormone profiles that happen as we age.”

The more outdoorsy we are, the more likely to look older when we don’t put the same time in to our skin like I’ve taught you with your own training recovery.

“Depending on where you are in Australia, often your skin needs are different. For example in Brisbane I might need to scrub my skin more, whereas someone in a colder location might find their skin gets dry, and needs to wear more moisturiser. ” adds Bulldog Ambassador, Hairdressing Educator and Men’s Grooming expert, Jules Tognini, “Typically guys are looking for a simple routine that they enjoy and stick to, but that doesn’t take up too much time. Cleansing and moisturising are the two main elements, coupled with an exfoliator every couple of days. The more guys get to understand their body, and the cause and effect of things like weather, the better they can select a treatment.”

The team discussed some of the latest research around differences between men and women’s skin and I got some major insights from specialists and some cutting edge research out there. I’ll never look at personal grooming the same again!

REVIEW: The Bulldog Facial Scrub is an exfoliator derived from oat kernel, shea butter and olive seed removing worn skin cells while promoting cell regeneration. I only use it max every two weeks, though depending on your skin type and lifestyle factors, they typically recommend a weekly scrub.  Oat kernel comes from phenols, an organ compound, used to make synthetic fibres and are toxic to consume, but integrated into a scrub this way, they actually maintain the balance of natural bacteria that lives on our skin in order for it to sooth the protective barrier we need against all the natural elements. Its antioxidant properties are super charged with the olive seed which works in much the same way while the shea butter keeps skin texture soft and smooth.

How sun, surf and barbecues wreck your skin:

It was a real eye-opener realising some of my favorite things to do have a massive impact on skin. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking older, but there’s research that says the condition of our skin can be an indicator of a person’s overall health, but I’ll save that one for another day.  

Ohio State University, USA identified lower levels of catalase, an antioxidant protein, that disables the body’s protective defenses when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light, a major catalyst in sunburn and cancer driven skin damage.  Genetically, they observe women have more natural antioxidant protection in the skin in comparison to men making them less prone to oxidative stress. A skin regime couldn’t be more important for today’s well informed bloke.  When out and about in the sun, repeated UVB exposure can trigger anti-suppressors from the bone marrow to hinder our immune defenses. This creates the perfect environment for new tumors to develop and existing cancers to progress. 

Over at Jinan University, China, they studied the absorption of BBQ smoke, as many of us don’t think about the impact of its composition full of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. When exposed to it repeatedly, it can cause DNA mutations, cataracts, kidney, liver and lung damage. In their tests, smoke still managed to make its way through clothes and face masks! I’ll never look at a barbie or cook grilled meat the same again!

Dead skin cells are on your face:

Yeh it’s old news, and even for many of us who have no idea when it comes to skin grooming, at the very least we do know exfoliation is key to removing dead skin cells that affect the absorption of healthy nutrients we put on to those areas of skin. It can also help even out the appearance of patchy tones. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. are working on uniforms based on such skin research blending it with nanotechnology for use in the armed forces’ uniforms of the future. Imagine, uniform material and fabrics with built-in carbon nanotube membranes that can respond to chemical hazards and other threats entering skin pores! Or even the application of a ‘second skin’ to protect from harmful biological agents! This kind of technology will often trickle down into advancements in skin regimes much later. So many exicing things which is another reason why today’s man needs to stay informed and keep up with their skin regime.

Somtimes I wish I could grow a beard, but I couldn’t resist trying out the Beard balm that was sent through from our friends at We are Different PR, i just like that smell of freshness as it uses the same ingredients in the face products. If you’ve never paid much attention to beard focused products or beard care, one thing to know is that the hair on your face is much thicker than what grows on your head. The skin underneath is also naturally less oily compared to the scalp and when not taken care off, whole lot of festiness can start to develop.

Waxing, Shaving, Plucking and Threading can lead to ingrown hairs:

True story. Another reason why exfoliating and moisturising help reduce the occurence of ingrown hairs. If you ever do find yourself with a razor bump after a good shave, leave it alone. Poking and tweezing is definitely not the way to go as it invites bacteria into the follicle forming a recipe for new problems. Time heals all ‘wounds’ as they say. NYU Ladone Medical Centre suggests reducing the number of shaves you normally do for a while and letting that beard grow for a bit. When you do shave – shave along the direction of growth, don’t go over the same skin area too many times, watch the closeness of the blade and in addition to the usual shaving gels / foams or creams, hair removing creams or the use of clippers instead of blades might help kerb the unwanted ingrown pests.

The darker your skin tone, the more Vitamin D you need:

Vitamin D deficiency causes weak bone structure and has been associated with prostate cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis as well as premature skin ageing.  This can indirectly impact our ability to weight bear at the gym and our overall endurance and fitness performance!

According to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA, the darker the skin tone, the higher the presence of melanin which is what creates the shades of our skin complexion. It also protects against harmful ultraviolet damage.  The darker you are, the more protection you have from radiation. However those same guys have been found to have a lower levelsof Vitamin D.  Lack of Vitamin D among other things compromises the regulation of the hair follicle cycle and can impair immune defense cell reproductions against infections and disease. In terms of diet, mushrooms are a good natural food source for this in tandem with supplements and the right balance of sunlight.  

The condition of your skin affects how fast those bumps and scratches heal:

It’s all connected. It’s not just about fashion and beauty anymore as you can see there’s a wide range of science forcing us to look at this in so many new ways that are literally a part of our everyday lives and looking at eco friendly options too! Nanyang Technological Unviersity, Singapore extracted collagen from fish scales and were able to cost effectively modify it into a compound that superboosts tissue repair and cell regeneration which they’re hoping to use in wound dressings.

REVIEW: The outermost layer of the epidermis (the stratum corneum) is also known as the ‘horny layer’ of skin, because its cells are tough like animal horns. During winter, this layer is susceptible to the cold, leading to dry and dull skin. When applying Bulldog Original moisturiser, into easily clogged skin areas of the face, it feels light on the skin, so ideal for use both day and night. My skin feels clear and I know it’s super effective as there’s no artificial fragrances in this and i can only describe the natural scent of this as fresh air, with the natural scents from the green tea, camelina and aloevera coming through without being overpowering. Green Tea is a healthy bioactive compound that’s been linked to improved cognitive function, increasing fat burning and hydration as a beverage so it’s only got great antioxidant properties to add to this cream. After a day in the sun, the aloe vera offers a wave of relaxation at the end of the day with its cooling effect..

Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean the wrinkles aren’t there!

There’s a thing called microwrinkles! In hot environments, the most outer layer of the skin becomes stiff from the dryness of the soaring temperatures of the outdoors, salt from ocean water, long sessions in steam rooms or saunas for example.

University of Southampton, UK led a collaborative study with the University of Capetown in running 3D computer models to delve into the inner workers of micro-wrinkles which operate at the cellular level within the unexposed surfaces of the skin.  This is the level of ageing that starts internally long before they start appearing on the skin.  You’ve heard me tell you to keep hydrated during training, and the pros tell us, it’s just as important for these reasons too.

Why your anti-wrinkle cream isn’t working:

When drilling deep into the molecular scaffolding of our skin there’s a microscopic battle occurring in our bodies against free radicals as our skin fends off the effects of bacterial exposure, radiation and chemicals.  Unstable atoms, free radicals, interfere with that process obliterating tissue and skin cells enabling those contaminants to progress into disease and infection.  In the skin, the damage it propagates causes wrinkles to appear. 

Antioxidants boost those line of defenses.  How you store your moisturisers and how you keep them seals affects their effectiveness.   In University of Jerusalem‘s preliminary research they found Vitamin C, EGCG in green tea and Vitamin E oxidise quite quickly when exposed to heat and the effectiveness of your moisturiser is compromised over time when forgetting to put the cap back on.


So at the time of writing, we were alerted of new products which are going to be added to the weekly shopping list. Bulldog’s new line of environmentally conscious and vegan-friendly shower gels use gentle, naturally derived cleansers, natural fragrances and bottles made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.  What’s more, these shower gels come in oversized 500ml bottles to cut down on the amount of packaging per wash.  Top notes of citrus are the flavour of the day and keeping to their natural scents of freshness.

Other Random facts you might not know about the importance of having healthy skin:

  • In trying to understand the relationship between skin and other body systems, University of Cambridge UK and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden found lifestyle factors like pollution exposure, smoking, obesity affects oxygenic circulation in the skin and found this to increase blood pressure in mice
  • The European Society of Endocrinology found that corticosteroids used in some skin lightning, acne and repair creams impacts the adrenal glands and cortisol functions impairing our body’s stress, metabolism and immune regulation systems with prolonged use!

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