Can’t make it to Los Angeles or New York City for the best in-person spa solutions for your mug? Well, thanks to Face Gym’s online workouts, you’ve run out of excuses, my friend! Whether you try out a couple of sessions in a Zoom group or become a solo die-hard, a one-on-one calisthenics training session will leave you with popping facial muscles you didn’t know you had. The specific how-to movements using FaceGym.com’s PT Kit of Gua Shua Beauty Restorer, FaceGym Balls, and Gold Derma Rollers will inform habits you can take with you all the way to your golden years. Seriously. (The Olivia Newton-John-ish “Physical” 1980s-inspired headband will surely seal the deal!) Face Gym’s Training Sticks are genius as glide on skin treatments, heat-activated during your real gym workouts. This is next-level vanity. (Yes, please, Daddy wants more of that.)
For most people, being limber (not “buff”) requires constant effort with attention to overall wellness and exercise. But did you know that cardio also oxygenates your skin from the inside out? So what about the outside? Cell turnover, Botox, microdermabrasion, enzyme scrubs, layers of “active” skin care, LED light therapy, and a whole slew of regimens, doctor visits, DIY tools, and gadgets do the trick. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m the type of gay man who has been proactive about anti-aging, looking younger, and feeling better—professionally—for the better part of three decades.
Skin spots and uneven complexion— hyperpigmentation—affects a lot of us and can squash self-confidence just as much as loose skin, bad hair, or unseemly teeth. I know this firsthand, whether it be surfacing age spots (liver detox), hormonal changes (which impacts a lot of Gen-X women), acne or the inevitable annual mammoth pimple, sunburn from 1990, or the effects of continuous direct sunlight. Most common is the breakage of skin from blemishes, ingrown hairs, or shaving cuts that are exposed to sunlight or blue light from computers and digital devices—which is much worse than you know. Spraying cologne under the Adam’s apple or on the chest is another culprit (so only spritz behind your ears and wrists, people).
Brightening serums are meant to lessen redness at the surface. This is a good time to acquire a galvanic or microcurrent device that pushes your new brightening bestie deep into the skin. For marbled, bumpy, or multitextured skin in a state of code red repair, microneedling, a varying peel, or an “oxy-geneo” service provides a rapid smooth canvas to implement a new skin care regimen. Geneo is a “facial of the future” service that touches on the most important tenets of face rehab: oxygenation, exfoliation, and nourishment.
Outside of professional services, I’ve selected a few amazing, MVP-caliber product options and essential tools that will ensure you see the results you want (provided you adhere to your regimen, wear sunscreen, and, I hope, commit to a facial device).
Enter BeautyBio’s GloPro microneedling wand. I own a doctor-grade device but recently, I’ve seen amazing line-smoothing, spot-diminishing results from three minutes, three nights a week from GloPro’s DIY handheld microneedling device with integrated LED red light therapy. It feels exactly like you just had Botox when it’s actually your own body’s collagen stimulation firming and pushing dark spots up and out.
Want another viable option for facial stimulation and circulation? Lure Essentials has gained a lot of consumer traction with “cupping,” and so has the use of a Gua Sha Stone. Both dramatically improve circulation and skin tone, reduce puffiness, and smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The healing stone promotes lymphatic drainage to help eliminate toxins and improve the penetration of creams, serums, and oils—naturally. Avoid bruising with Lure’s Glam Chic Face & Eyes Cupping Set (watch the videos first—fascinating).
If this home practice isn’t a sacrifice you choose to make, then facial salon spa it is. Top-shelf luxe spas enlist big name brands to maximize results and enhance their reputation. Orveda translates to the origins of Ayurveda, the ancient science of mind-body balance. As it’s both aesthetically luxurious and scientifically powerful (and vegan), you might just be sold on its rare, gender-neutral scent, Galbanum. Orveda’s Healing Sap is destined for cult status while the Prebiotic Emulsion deeply treats, hydrates, and feeds our healthy strains of skin bacteria using plant-power absorption—rather than merely inserting a “probiotic.” Both the Visibly Brightening & Skin Perfecting Masque and Botanical Poultice Imperfections Minimizer fulfill their promises. I also love how Orveda has replaced night creams altogether with active, concentrated, targeted treatments. If Orveda doesn’t open your eyes, its Eye Unveiler 422 will have your brows lifted, your batting (eye) lashes fed, and your eyes taut with contour. Definitely check out Orveda.com for much more.
Repêchage translates to “beauty from the sea,” and fittingly, company founder Lydia Sarfati is the queen of seaweed. Long before mega-marketing brands, so-called “natural” skin care lines, and vitamin-C everything, Sarfati was harnessing the benefits of her own eco-cert manufacturing facility that produces one of the most potent, purest forms of vitamin C (from sustainable, 100 percent seaweed). At the core of this “sea-intific” skin care brand lies a powerful infusion at a cellular level. One of the first to incorporate “actives” into every step of the skin care routine, its Biolight line is affordable luxury that stomps out uneven skin tones and spots, while still uplifting the appearance of your overall face. Biolight Brightening Miracle Mask has made the national media rounds with appearances on most television networks. If you don’t want to commit to the entire line, Repêchage’s Hydra Blue series has pieces that are easy lifetime staples—take its C-Serum Seaweed Filtrate Face Serum, Essential Oil of Seaweed, or One-Minute Exfoliating Mask. It’s essentially skin ICU. Seaweed has never been more vital.
The Kansa Wand’s curative metal predates the ancient jade roller. Now lead-free, the penetrating copper and tin tip of the roller was first used to de-alkalinize food and water. Then, later, it became a tool to tone and contour skin. No wires, USB, or batteries, just pure energy and your oil or serum of choice.
Serum-only brand Overt Skincare pledges 10 percent of its profits to Anti-Slavery International’s mission to end the enslavement of an estimated 40.3 million people globally. Aloe vera, exotic Centella asiatica, copper peptides, and EFG (epidermal growth factor) are a few titans that make up the five targeted serum heroes. Start with the Restorer, the Smoother, or the Renewer. And help the world a little bit in the process.
Vegan and cruelty-free, Leland Francis is a small-batch luxury purveyor of effective, bohemian glamour. It all started with notables on the street touting Luxe Face Oil. My personal faves? Twenty-Nine Botanical Serum’s proprietary blend of the world’s most active botanicals is jam-packed with anti-inflammatory, balancing, hydrating, renewing, and nourishing ingredients that protect and brighten continuously. While the Lip & Eye Balm performs matte double duty (no easy feat), the Luxe Lotion is a new offering boasting coconut fruit extract, bakuchiol, calendula, and chamomile to help calm and relax your skin. Late summer sees the launch of the Rich Cream with inchi oils, kakadau plum, vitamin C, and ceramides. The product was developed by celebrity makeup artist Dillon Peña, who certainly knows what’s what.
A way to bring pharmaceutical-strength superfoods and antioxidants home is via Apothékary.co’s Full Home Farmacy Set. With complete recipe support and smoothie additions, jarred nutrients are where it’s at! Many of them promise to improve sexual performance as well. Whether you’re a Gen Zer, Gen Xer or Boomer, you could Chill the F* Out or Seal the Deal, or choose the Immunity Set or the Anti-Aging Beauty Trio. Apothékary has made achieving virility and strength fun.
After decades spearheading many major brands and serving as a rock star resident beauty expert at Allure and Refinery 29, the natural progression for Ron Robinson was to co-develop BeautyStat, a super potent skin care line that wallops skin imperfections like a measured MMA fighter. I spot-treated a dime-size imperfection on my chin, first with BeautyStat’s Universal C Skin Refiner. It felt exactly like a luxury microcrystal cream that quickly disappeared. Honestly, it was like a magic trick—abracadabra!—and just like that, the dark spot I’ve been hammering for a month with myriad products diminished greatly. Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream and the patented Universal C Eye Perfector with CBD also firm and correct the skin without any visible irritation.
So here’s the thing: Haters can hate while you happily anti-age (and look fierce) everywhere you are. The Mineral Air Serum Atomizer houses the compact Renewal Serum Skincare System cartridge elixir that provides “rapid response hydration” ingredients with clean, touchless, vegan luxury. So fancy. So necessary. So damn good. You’re welcome.
All product images appear courtesy of maker.