Given how much more flesh we #swoldiers are flashing on Instagram, Snapchat and dating apps these days, it’s hardly surprising that body-sculpting creams, serums and gels are muscling their way into men’s grooming regimes.
These kinds of products – promising to nip and tuck those 塑身衣 while enhancing muscular definition – seem a godsend for many of us feeling the heat from impossibly-ripped men on billboards as well as in Hollywood blockbusters, as well as 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 simply one man fomenting ab envy.) “Men start with improving their physique then continue to enhance their traditional grooming rituals with high-tech skincare products to smooth, refine and tone the skin,” she says. “Hence why we consistently view a strong surge in sales of body products.”
It’s little wonder then that there’s a Spartan army’s worth of skin-firming and body-toning products targeted specifically at men. “Great pecs and abs are what guys shoot for in the fitness center and then any product that can help them achieve an enviable, photogenic body will be popular,” says James Green, founding father of the FIT Skincare range, including a sculpting product in their line-up.
“I included Pec & Ab Sculpt from the FIT range as a result of my background in weight training: I accustomed to train as much as nine times a week in the gym and my obsession with exercising was where whole idea for FIT skincare came from,” he explains. “Any products which I could create that might enhance both my own, personal and my customer’s training routines were essential-have.”
But let’s get one thing straight here: to obtain any success using these products you require some decent foundations from the beginning. Body-firming items are enhancement tools, not miracle workers. They are made to firm and tighten skin to improve flaunt what you already possess, as opposed to magic mounds of muscle out from thin air.
It makes sense then that guys who’ve already put in their time at the gym and mastered the art of resisting the Big Mac will find the best results. (When your excess fat isn’t 10 per cent or lower, you probably won’t have the capacity to watch your abs anyway.)
“Nothing short of the surgeon’s knife will keep skin tight, but there are actually 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 keep the skin’s natural collagen. “This is key protein from the skin that provides its characteristic flexible strength,” says Candice Gardner in the International Dermal Institute. “By boosting collagen production, skin is going to be firmer and smoother.”
These are the basic ingredients to consider:
Located in everything from anti-cellulite creams to eye creams, caffeine boasts antioxidant properties and is believed to reduce puffiness by constricting arteries.
A paper published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology also suggests it might break down fat cells, however the jury’s still out as a result of lack of firm findings.
In accordance with a report published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, creatine – a nitrogenous organic acid that helps supply energy to cells (along with a supplement you may already be taking to achieve mass) – will help within the synthesis of collagen when applied topically, hence its inclusion in several skin-firming creams.
So that you could say it’s deserving of a devote your bath room cabinet as well as your gym bag.
“Vitamin C is crucial in the creation of collagen,” says Gardner. “And without good amounts of Ascorbic Acid, collagen production is reduced and skin will become slack plus more fragile dexrpky29 time.”
A potent antioxidant, soy protein is used in skincare products primarily because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, but also 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 ingredients that instantly cool, refresh and energise your skin layer so it feels different if you apply the merchandise. Make of that what you will.