Lee Kynaston is one of the UK’s best-known and most experienced male grooming experts, having previously spent eight years on Men’s Health as Grooming Editor. An award-winning journalist and former magazine Editor with over 20 years’ experience, his work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and he is currently the Online Grooming Editor for menshealth.co.uk, Grooming Editor of online retailer Niven & Joshua and has his own blog groomingguru.co.uk.
Why do you think there has been a growth in the male grooming market?
In many respects, magazines, websites and (increasingly) blogs have fuelled the huge interest in male grooming simply by discussing it, raising awareness and by taking the stigma out of it. Nowadays, all men – be they builders or ballet dancers – are interested in looking after their appearance.
Certainly, men have been liberated from the kind of preconceptions about masculinity that my dad had (though there’s still a long way to go) and people like David Beckham have definitely helped with that. The biggest shift though, is that men now want to look good for themselves rather than just for women.
How has the industry changed since you started over 20 years ago?
Beyond recognition! I actually wrote my very first article about male grooming back in 1987 when using a moisturiser seemed terribly outré, even to me! These days, of course, men think nothing of using bronzers, toners and depilatory creams. Moisturisers are basics!
The amount of information about grooming available to men is astonishing now, too, as is the array of products. In every way, the industry has come of age.
What trends and/or changes do you predict in this market?
Well, with times as they are men are certainly demanding more bang for their buck when it comes to products. I think there’s an increasing move to performance products – ones that deliver real results – and multi-functional ones too. Increasingly, time-poor men want fewer products that do more. Anti-ageing continues to be a big story in men’s grooming too and I expect to see an interest in anti-ageing bodycare products in the men’s market too. Brands like NYR have proved that ‘ethical grooming’ has a future too.
What do you think are the benefits are of following an organic skincare routine, as offered by the NYR organic Men Grooming range?
Well, if you care about what you put into your body, it’s obvious that you should care about what you put on to it too. Skin is the body’s largest organ so it goes without saying that you should treat it with the utmost respect. I think this is especially important when it comes to cleansing – the bedrock of any good grooming routine. I’m very fussy about cleansers and really like NYR Men’s Purifying Face Wash which is packed full of beneficial essential oils and smells fantastic too.
What are your top tips to look your best?
I actually think the best grooming routines are the simplest. Use a good cleanser, a scrub twice a week to remove dead skin cells and to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving, and moisturise twice daily. It really doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that – unless you want it to be, of course. As for top tips, my best advice is to protect skin against its two biggest enemies – the sun (with a sunscreen) and sugar (by not eating those doughnuts!). Sugar binds with collagen and weakens it, leading to wrinkles.
And finally, will you be taking part in ‘Movember’?
Well, I have a problem in that I already have a moustache (and beard) and look faintly ridiculous now without one. So I tend to do my bit each year by promoting Movember as much as I can through writing about it and by offering ‘tache tips. As one of the few charity initiatives that directly involves (and benefits) men I think it’s brilliant, though, and urge any men out there to give a ‘Mo’ a go!