Clinical Grooming for Men
Serious skin care needn’t only be formulated for women.
By Joanna Cosgrove
Men have unique skin care needs, according to the formulators of New York-based a[MEN]ity, which focuses its efforts exclusively on solving men’s skincare problems. The company’s products are tagged as “Simple, effective and developed for men,” because men not only want products that deliver on their promises, they also want products that require minimal mirror time. Amenity’s products address a variety of male skincare concerns such as razor burn, acne, wrinkles and dry skin. The products are hallmarked by the use of Pro-Form 6, a patent-pending ingredient complex developed specifically for men’s skin. They are said to contain ingredients at “active efficacy” levels and are packaged in sleek airless pump packages with measured dosed dispensers and locking caps.
The idea behind the line was inspired when the three company founders, amassing 20 years of collective industry experience, noticed a void in the industry for “clinically proven products” formulated to address men’s specific grooming grievances.
“We sought out a team of medical professionals to help with this mission [and] formed a team of leading medical doctors and experts called the Amenity Authority - the team developed a product line using patented ingredients and ingredients that had proven efficacy in their medical practices – ingredients that actually work,” explained Dwight Schultheis, vice president of business development and co-founder of Amenity. “We did clinical testing and sure enough, we had compelling evidence in front of us that men would see visible improvement in their skin when using our products daily.”
|The Amenity line includes a wide range of products that are tailored to men's unique skin care problems.|
Mr. Schultheis noted that some of the top skin concerns unique to men include painful shaves, unsightly red/razor bumps on the beard area, pronounced aging lines on the forehead that accentuate receding hair lines, various types of skin irritation stemming from shaving, in-grown hairs on the neck, adult acne related to male sebum production and severe skin dryness (for example, eyebrow dandruff).
“The two unique aspect of a guy’s skin is that his glands are larger and therefore produce more sebum (oil) and his skin is thicker,” he said, adding that the excess oil often results in men having a disproportionate amount of visible acne in comparison to women. “The thicker skin wreaks havoc on the beard area both with hair growth and developing anti-aging products that can actually penetrate the layers of the dermis.”
Amenity products are formulated with a variety of ingredients that can address those needs, 90% of which are plant-derived. The company uses the natural alternatives “whenever it works as well or better than synthetic ingredients.”
The keystone ingredient in each of the products is Pro-Form 6, a proprietary and patent-pending ingredient complex that “works to solve the most common problems men face.” Pro-Form 6 is composed of six ingredients: willow bark extract, rutin, provitamin B5 (Panthenol), bisabolol, hyaluronic acid and liposomal vitamins A, C and E.
Willow bark extract is a natural form of salicylic acid. “We use it at aggressive percentages without being drying to offer gentle exfoliation and oil control,” said Mr. Schultheis. “This ingredient is at active levels in all products to prevent breakouts and ingrown hairs.”
Rutin, which is derived from buckwheat, is used for its ability to treats and aid rosacea-plagued skin. “Traditionally, rutin was used to treat pooling of blood in varicose veins. In the same manner, rutin pulls the redness away in rosacea [and] also strengthens the capillaries,” said Mr. Schultheis.
Provitamin B5 (panthenol) is considered to be the pre-eminent hair care vitamin due to its humectant-like properties that promote moisture absorption. “Think of Panthenol as the hair care vitamin because it provides long lasting moisturizing, imparts luster and conditions the beard hair,” said Mr. Schultheis. “We use it because Panthenol aids in moisture retention, conditions, nourishes, heals and helps repair and is great for men’s skin.”
Bisabolol is a chamomile-derived anti-inflammatory that soothes and calms the skin. In fact, it is the strain of chamomile with the highest concentration of the biological active, chamazulene alpha-bisabol.
Hyaluronic acid has earned a reputation in the skincare industry for being an unparalleled moisturizing ingredient that attracts and binds moisture to increase hydration in the skin, imparting a plumper dermis and at the same time, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines. “As we age, our skin’s overall water content, which plumps skin and makes lines less visible, and its hyaluronic acid levels both decline,” says Mr. Schultheis. “Application results in increased firmness and elasticity, and improvement in the appearance of fine lines.”
And finally, Pro-Form 6’s liposomal vitamins A, C and E synergistically work together in a liposome delivery system that’s best suited for the thicker skin of men. Vitamin A (also known as retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinoic acid) is employed for its anti-aging, anti-oxidant and moisturizing capabilities. Mr. Schultheis said its purpose in the Amenity formulations is to accelerate cell renewal and stimulates the fibroblast and collagen in the skin, thereby reducing wrinkle and fine lines. “Due to its anti-oxidant properties, it is also a great anti-aging ingredient, and helps promote a softer smoother skin,” he said.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant vitamin necessary for tissue growth and repair, as well as collagen formation. One of the most proven free radical scavengers, Mr. Schultheis said in his formulations it works synergistically with vitamin E as a pH adjuster, skin conditioning agent, and an antioxidant that helps fight free-radical damage.
And vitamin E (tocopherol), a fat-soluble antioxidant, has a long history of usage in skin care.” It is one of the most potent antioxidants, particularly good at defending against and disabling free radicals made by the body,” Mr. Schultheis pointed out. “It is essential to tissue repair from shaving and works synergistically with vitamin C.”
The Amenity line is comprised of total six products: Gel Face Cleanser (3.25 oz., $27.00), Shave Cream (5.5 oz., $25.00), After Shave & Face Moisturizer (3.25 oz., $37.00), Anti-Breakout Gel (0.25 oz., $28.00), The Balm moisturizer (5.5 oz., $35.00), and Foot Spray (6.5 oz., $32.00). A new eye cream is set to debut later this month. Prior to launching, each product is clinically tested on men, not on women or even animals.
Amenity was originally launched in dermatologist offices but now the brand is available at high-end spas, department stores, urban men’s grooming lounges and specialty stores world-wide including Nordstrom, Space.NK, Ritz Carlton Hotels, The Phoenician, Boulders Resort, Sports Club LA, Grooming Lounge, Skinstore.com and Mirbeau Spa.