Summer smooth skin


Our skin can take a beating during these long days of summer heat, but Q&C's beauty guru is here with the latest moisturisers and creams from Temple Spa. Chris Parkes explains what products suit different skin types and how best to keep your skin feeling smooth, hydrated and ready for action.

Guys, let’s face it, we all care about how we look. If you want to make a good impression, great looking skin is a good place to start. The grooming world has come a long way since cheap disposable razors, a bar of soap and some Old Spice. The average man’s skin needs a bit more attention. From controlling acne, to moisturizing and sunscreen, here is my inside scoop on happy, healthy skin.

Is it true that men generally care less about their skin than women? We moisturise less, put less sunscreen on and don’t buy as many skincare products as women do but skincare for men is essential.

Whether you love or hate it, social media is currently all ablaze about Love Island, where highly groomed handsome men sporting tanned, toned torsos all vying for the attention of cutely contoured and perfectly polished ladies is having a knock-on effect on the beauty industry. It's no exaggeration but having bad skin can impact your social status and confidence.

Healthy looking skin meanwhile helps you look younger as it signifies vitality and vigour. The skin is the largest organ on the human body, accounting for around 15 percent of your total body weight. It’s two square metres in size and one key fact is that it replaces itself every 28 days. It’s a signifier of health and yet we pay it the least attention. 

This is an anti-aging not an anti-wrinkle article. Wrinkles are inevitable unless you go for Botox for the rest of your life. This is an article on how to love and take care of the skin we are in. Here are my best skincare tips and product techniques, direct from the Spa. You can adopt these within your own routine, helping keep a healthy complexion regardless of age.

My main advice is to know your skin type. It’s really important to understand what kind of skin you have and skin analysis is the first thing I do as part of my role at Temple Spa. Just like a well-fitting suit, skincare for men requires a bespoke approach. Understanding the needs of your skin type will allow you to tailor your regime and the products you use so you can see the difference.

Skin types:

Oily – You look shiny, pores enlarged mostly around the nose and forehead. You're no stranger to breakouts and blackheads.

Combination – Your skin has a split personality! The classic oily T-Zone with dryer cheeks, visible pores around nose, cheeks and chin. Skin can be smooth, uneven texture or dry.

Sensitive – You often have red or irritated patches, delicate skin with fine pores. You may have broken capillaries around the nose and cheeks. Using the wrong products on your skin can lead to rashes or skin irritation.

Dry – You appear scaly and flaky. You feel tight after washing and can experience red patches.

Normal – Your skin is normally smooth, even and trouble-free. You feel lucky you don’t have many issues and like to keep it that way!

You're now on the fast track to better looking skin. It all starts with cleansing, whether it’s in the shower or over the sink. Cleansing is the foundation to great skincare. Lots of guys come to me with continued skin issues such as breakouts and congestion. When asked what they use to wash their skin they'll always say shower gel. Shower gels use sulphates which strip the skin of natural oils, making the skin work over time to reproduce more oil, which clog the pores and cause blackheads and breakouts.

What’s the diagnosis? For oily and combination skin I recommend Temple Spa’s Way To Go cleansing gel wash. This lightweight, non-sticky facial gel removes excess sebum and is both antiseptic and antibacterial. Containing Vitamin E and A to nourish the skin, pomegranate for clarity, extracts of lemon balm and bergamot, you will feel clean, fragrant and fresh. And best of all, there's not a sulphate or paraben in sight. Results - happier skin! Way To Go - £21.00

If you're lucky enough to have normal, fuss free skin that has fewer issues then opt for Good to Go, this is a foam cleanser, developed for people on the go who need a quick yet effective wash-off cleanser that leaves the skin soft and nourished. This is the only foam cleanser that doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight. This is due to the Aloe Vera, cucumber, Vitamin E, and especially shea butter. The extract of resurrection plant is sure to have your skin looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. Good to Go £21.00

To tone or not to tone? I say tone all day long! Don’t be scared, and think of toning simply as water to wash off soap. Water can be one the most aging element because it dries the skin. A non alcohol toner is the way to go and will restore your natural PH balance, cool, soothe and hydrate the skin. Toning Essence from Temple Spa is just the tonic. Top Tip: Keep it in your office and use throughout the day if you need to control your skin or re-hydrate. Taking inspiration from our favourite Mediterranean juice and salad recipes such as tomato, basil, orange, lime, lemon, mandarin, ginger, lavender and melon, this fragrance sends me off to sunnier climes. Toning Essence - £16.00

I’ve been using face scrubs for years and it’s helped me maintain good facial skin into my thirties. Once or twice a week will soften and exfoliate your skin allowing the newer, younger, brighter skin cells to thrive. Scrubs helps clear up acne (a scrub usually contains salicylic acid which also helps fight acne scarring). You will have a better shave after doing it as it will lift and plump the hair follicles ready for your razor. I use The Power Breakfast Mask as a one-minute scrub but it can be used as a 20-minute mask. The Power Breakfast - £28.00

Use a facial moisturiser daily. A moisturiser is your final layer to your daily skincare routine, it will keep your skin hydrated which will help prevent wrinkles from appearing. When choosing a moisturiser, you need to be led by your skin type. Here are my top three recommendations:

Oily Skin - Use a moisturiser that is a light weight gel or oil free – Try Temple Spa's Moisture Matte.

Combination Skin - Use a lotion feel moisturiser with a low oil content – Try Temple Spa's Moisture to go.

Dry / Mature Skin – Use a moisturiser that’s a thicker higher oil-based cream – Try Temple Spa's Double Cream.

When I am feeling oily, usually under air conditioning, I always reach for Temple Spa's Moisture Matte which targets oily and super-shiny patches whilst keeping me hydrated all day long. Using botanicals of bergamot is a natural antiseptic and bacterial growth inhibitor making it great for oily and blemish prone skin. It also helps kill blackhead and spot creating bacteria and also helps control excess oil production.

This state of the art light-weight moisturiser has a cashmere-soft texture. Formulated with micro sponges that work throughout the day to absorb excess sebum, giving you a soft, cool, fresh, and shine free complexion. Moisture Matte is the great pretender for that all-important presentation at work or oh so hot date, when shining up due to nerves is not an option. Can you tell I love it? Moisture Matte - £38

For a great all-rounder – Moisture To Go is liquid velvet for the skin. It's the ultimate multi-tasking moisturiser that takes care of skin that can’t make its mind up if it’s oily or dry. It contains Combiderm™ complex to support a split personality complexion, absorbs excess oil and rehydrates the dry areas at the same time. Olive fruit extract deeply penetrates the skin, locking in moisture and softens and smooths. Olives are packed with antioxidants which protect the skin against free radicals and environmental damage which causes premature ageing. No wonder Dirty Martinis are so popular with the international jet set. Moisture To Go - £38

Is your skin feeling parched? Double cream is true salvation for seriously dry and dehydrated skin. Perfect for those with active and outdoor lifestyles, Double Cream is an intensely nourishing, rich and revitalising day or night cream. PhirmadermTM complex and Mediterranean botanicals of olive, avocado, red pepper, horse chestnut and blackberry help rehydrate and firm up. Using Avocado Oil contain skin nourishing vitamins A, D and E, and fatty acids including oleic acid which maintain moisture for long lasting hydration. Double Cream £38

We are told that beauty is only skin deep, however if having a healthier, happier skin improves your confidence and self-esteem then shaking up your daily routine to meet your needs can only be a good thing, right? My motto is “Embrace the skin you’re in and love who you are!” If you have any questions about skincare or grooming advice then please get in touch or check out my website.

Follow Chris on Instagram: @chrisparkestemplespa