Thursday 12 December 2013

Liz Earle Mens' Skincare Range (Part 1)

Recently I was chatting on facebook with several other folk and we all admitted to having issues with personal hygiene products causing us rashes and/or itchiness. A discussion ensued about products to avoid and ones to try. Even some certified 'organic' products still contain nasties such as SLS, sodium lauryl sulphate (sulfate). Two brands were mentioned as being beneficial, one of which was Liz Earle. I facetiously enquired whether the products were unisex or whether I had to embarrass myself and purchase wimmin's toiletries. Thankfully it transpired that there is in actuality a men's range. A weekend or so ago I was given a gift of a Men's everyday skincare set selection of the male products to try out.

[Image description: men's everyday skincare set; courtesy & © Liz Earle]

I have eczema in my ears and can develop patches on my feet, hands, knees and especially around my eyes. I am skin-sensitive to feathers and some wools. Hay-fever is another ailment from which I suffer. Some food-sensitivities and one full-blown food allergy also cause me hassle.

It should be made quite clear that neither have I received nor do I expect any kind of remuneration nor benefit-in-kind for this review.

My day-by-day account of the try-outs follows.

Day 0

Other than deodorant, I used no other personal hygiene product.

Several hours after my shower I experienced typical levels of rashes and concomitant itchiness.

Day 1

Utilising the face & body wash, I showered my body and hair, but used no other products.

Several hours later I experienced the worst itching sensation of my adult life. The irritation was so intense that it became painful especially around my lumber and coccyx.

Day 2

I again showered my hair and body using the relevant product, but again used no shampoo nor conditioner.

Several hours later I succumbed to my habitual skin rashes at typical levels.

Day 3

I ran the bath with no oils, bubbles or salts: just clean hot water.

As I intended to try the shaving cream and face-scrub, I opted not to wash by body or hair in anything other than the water with a clean face-cloth.

I had not shaved for a week, so before stepping into the tub, I trimmed the lengthy hairs with an electronic hair-trimmer, but not too close. The tiniest amount of the shaving cream with a little hot water lathered up to a surprisingly light creamy foam. (It should be noted that I reside in area that receives very soft water.) The razor simply slid over my skin. No clagging of the blades. No cuts. And no bleeding. As soon as I rinsed my face, I could not only sense but quite literally feel the difference. My skin was smooth and not a hint of razor-burn.

Next I applied the face-scrub all over my face, throat and neck but avoiding the eye area. Whilst the pumice gives the texture a grittiness the emollient was still creamy. After gently massaging my skin I rinsed off the detritus. My skin had a very soft warm glow and had retained its newly released softness.

After towelling off, I then applied the post-shave moisturiser. Normally after shaving at this time of the year (late Autumn cum Winter) my skin dries out rapidly and appears unsightly as if it has a dandruff problem. This time my skin found itself in better shape than before shaving.

Several hours later I experienced my normal skin rashes at usual levels. Additionally my face - especially my forehead, cheeks and around my mouth - was irritated more than I am used to.

Day 4

Another shower cleaning my body and hair with the face & body wash, but again used no shampoo nor conditioner. After drying I did also apply deodorant.

Several hours later I succumbed to my habitual skin rashes at typical levels, though my thighs, forehead and cheeks were itchier than normal.

Day 5

I used no products at all: just water.

I experienced typical levels of rashes and itchiness, with just my face itchier than usual.

Day 6

In the morning I showered using the face & body wash. Despite having access to some of the softest water in the UK, I noted that the liquid does not lather up especially well. It makes me wonder how well or not it does so in hard-water areas of the country. The aroma is pleasantly and subtly masculine: although, to my admittedly less than perfect olfactory senses, it does have a vague hint of cannabis. Whilst washing I did not feel the product was cleansing me; after I had towelled myself dry, however, my skin felt soft and glowy. Furthermore, whilst not specifically formulated for hair, my coiff also felt silky to the touch.

In the early evening I repeated the regimen from Day 3.

Several hours later I had not experienced anything other than my normal skin rashes at usual levels.

Day 7

A repeat of Day 5's regimen, i.e. just hot water.

I experienced usual levels of rashes and itchiness and nothing more.

Day 8

I again showered using the face & body wash. Also again I noted the lack of foaming. I decided on a second wash. During the follow-up the liquid lathered up much better. Furthermore my skin was quite literally squeaky-clean. Whilst not specifically meant for hair, my hair was left feeling soft and silky, an effect that had not completely worn off by next morning.

I experienced less than typical levels of rashes and itchiness.

Day 9

Today I felt happy enough with the product to try consecutive days of using it. Once again I showered, although found on a first wash the liquid lathered up quite well - which rather suggests my skin's dirt and oils were adversely affecting it. Again my hair felt light & smooth to the touch.

I experienced typical levels of rashes and itchiness.

Day 10

Using the same amount of face & body wash I would have used in the shower, I ran the liquid under the tap for a bathe. I did not use any other product on my hair, but found my hair still soften by repeated immersion in the scented waters.

A few hours later I experienced my usual levels of rashes and itchiness.

Day 11

As I had no unexpected re-actions, I decided on a third consecutive day of using the face & body wash in the shower. Again I noted that it foamed up really well (although not as much as some products). My hide was left with a smooth texture and felt clean and cleansed.

A few hours later I experienced normal levels of rashes and itchiness.

Day 12

As in day 6, I repeated day 3's regimen. My skin felt more supple than ever and softer too. In fact, my skin has begun to retain that feel of softness and smoothness.

A few hours later I experienced less than normal levels of rashes and itchiness.

Day 13

I washed in hot water and then moisturised using the Liz Earle men's moisturiser. I then went off to Manchester's Christmas markets, going constantly into warmth and then back out into cold. My skin did not dry out, let alone crack whatsoever. My skin began to produce more oils but did not become greasy.

Additionally my house-mate tried the shaving foam plus the moisturiser. He too considers that it permits the smoothest shave he has ever known. Additionally, he used the moisturiser. Despite having much oilier skin than my own, his also did not turn greasy nor did it dry out. We both commented on how clean our respective skins felt after applying a layer of the moisturiser - no greasiness whatsoever.

A few hours later I experienced less than typical levels of rashes and itchiness.


The shaving-cream is the best I and my house-mate have ever tried. It does not clog up the blades of one's razor. A small amount is all that is needed for a single shave. It permits such a close shave, that a second round is not necessary.

The face & body wash has a subtle manly aroma, but more importantly cleanses without drying out the skin. Whilst not a shampoo, it leaves hair glossy, soft and silken to the touch.

The face-scrub is much less harsh than many and genuinely leaves one's hide with a sense of having been deep-cleansed and awakened.

The men's moisturiser is a must: a quantum degree better than products one can purchase on the high street or supermarket.

From a personal perspective, my skin issues were not aggravated by these products, save for initial usage. Ongoing use has actually seen my skin calm down.


[In part 2, I shall be using and reviewing Liz Earle for Men Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser]

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