Given how much more flesh we #swoldiers are flashing on Instagram, Snapchat and dating apps today, it’s hardly surprising that body-sculpting creams, serums and gels are muscling their way into men’s grooming regimes.
These items – promising to nip and tuck those 塑身衣 while enhancing muscular definition – seem a godsend for most people feeling the temperature from impossibly-ripped men on billboards and also in Hollywood blockbusters, along with those obligatory shirtless moments in BBC costume dramas.
“Fit, healthy, toned and tanned models set the mood for several fragrance and skincare campaigns,” says Teresa Fisher, Senior Account Manager of UK Beauty for research company The NPD Group. (Face of Paco Rabanne’s Invictus fragrance, Nick Youngquest, is only one man fomenting ab envy.) “Men start with improving their physique and then still boost their traditional grooming rituals with good-tech skincare products to smooth, refine and tone your skin,” she says. “Hence why we carry on and notice a strong increase in sales of body products.”
It’s little wonder then that there’s a Spartan army’s amount of skin-firming and the body-toning products targeted specifically at men. “Great pecs and abs are what guys focus on in the gym as well as any product which will help them achieve an enviable, photogenic body will likely be popular,” says James Green, founding father of the FIT Skincare range, including a sculpting product in its line-up.
“I included Pec & Ab Sculpt from the FIT range on account of my background in weight training exercise: I used to train around nine times weekly in the gym and my obsession with exercising was the location where the whole idea for FIT skincare came from,” he explains. “Any products that I really could create that would enhance both my own, personal and my customer’s training routines were absolutely essential-have.”
But let’s get one thing straight here: to have any success using these products you need some decent foundations in the first place. Body-firming products are enhancement tools, not miracle workers. They are meant to firm and tighten skin to better flaunt what you already have, as an alternative to magic mounds of muscle from thin air.
It makes sense then that guys who’ve already invest their time in the club and mastered the ability of resisting the large Mac will find the greatest results. (Should your unwanted fat isn’t 10 per cent or lower, it is likely you won’t be able to see your abs anyway.)
“Nothing lacking the surgeon’s knife can keep skin tight, but you will find useful, non-surgical options, too,” says skincare expert Liz Earle, author of Skin Secrets. “With regular use, certain skin-tightening gels and serums have been shown to tighten slackened skin and ingredients like kigelia Africana (sausage tree extract), quince and mangosteen are typical proven skin-firmers.”
Most products also contain ingredients which, it’s claimed, help breakdown fat deposits, while all attempt to retain the skin’s natural collagen. “This is vital protein in the skin that offers its characteristic flexible strength,” says Candice Gardner from the International Dermal Institute. “By boosting collagen production, skin will be firmer and smoother.”
These are the basic ingredients to watch out for:
Found in anything from anti-cellulite creams to eye creams, caffeine boasts antioxidant properties and is considered to reduce puffiness by constricting arteries.
A paper published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology also suggests it may break down fat cells, but the jury’s still out because of a deficiency of firm findings.
As outlined by research published inside the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, creatine – a nitrogenous organic acid which helps supply energy to cells (along with a supplement you could already be taking to acquire mass) – may help in the synthesis of collagen when applied topically, hence its inclusion in lots of skin-firming creams.
So you could say it’s deserving of a place in your bath room cabinet as well as your gym bag.
“Vitamin C is vital in the creation of collagen,” says Gardner. “And without good degrees of Vitamin C, collagen production is reduced and skin can become slack and more fragile dexrpky29 time.”
A potent antioxidant, soy protein is utilized in skincare products primarily for its anti-inflammatory benefits, but additionally as it contains genistein – a compound which, like creatine, supports collagen production.
FIT’s Pec & Ab Sculpt features an ingredient called levan. “This is 男性塑身衣 comprised of fructose molecules that forms a firming film onto the skin,” explains Green.
Cleverly – or craftily – most body-sculpting products feature things that instantly cool, refresh and energise your skin so that it feels different whenever you apply the products. Make of this what you should.