For the last forever and a day, I have been sitting on a rather generous package from Jane Scrivner. There is literally no excuse I can come up with to justify not digging into it sooner — I work from home and on some days, I wash my face up to three times a day. Now that we’re spending most of our time indoors, I have found even more time to devote to self care. Just last week, I used a clinical grade peel, Baby Foot treatment, cut my own hair (not hating the look either), and most recently, have been indulging in a full on 5-step skin care routine courtesy of Scrivner for Men.
Jane Scrivner, the British aesthetician and clean skincare cult leader is probably best known for her delightfully bright yellow hued Nourishing Cleanser and OO (Over Oil) Cream. These plant oil packed formulas are the ultimate comforting duo I most appreciated during the brutal northeast winters. So when the Scrivner for Men system arrived, more than anything, I was curious how the brand evolved it’s philosophy to incorporate this new gender specific angle. After a few days, I’m sharing my initial thoughts.
At first, I wondered what guy would implement five steps to take care of his skin? And is five a lot or a little? Me: where are the mask, eye cream, and sunscreen? Most others: why do I need a hydrating serum, face oil, and a moisturizer?
Scrivner for Men includes Nourish Enrich Cleansing Balm, Daily Resurfacing AHA/BHA Acid Exfoliator, Smoothing Hyaluronic Hydrating Gel, Calm Nourish Enrich Face Oil, and Oat & Argan Moisturising Cream. Yes, there is a cleansing balm. For men. Every jar and bottle displays a number in the recommended application sequence so you’re never confused or frustrated about what to apply when.
CLEAN – Nourish Enrich Cleansing Balm
The sleek jar houses a golden balm with a perfect happy-medium melting point. It doesn’t liquify completely in the jar and has a soft enough texture to glide on the skin. It does melt on contact and while its primary job is to remove excess oil, dirt, and stubborn SPF, it can also be used as a pre-shave balm-to-oil to soften facial hair, as an actual shaving solution, or as a post-shave soothing treatment. Does it work as intended? Absolutely. A chic grey mitt is included so that you can easily remove it. And speaking of…
If you’re a guy, there is a chance you haven’t yet used a cleansing balm. Most men reach for a foaming gel that rinses clean in the shower, while makeup wearers obsess over balms or oils. The concept may be new to you, so apply the cleansing balm on dry skin. Massage it in for a minute and follow with a foaming cleanser or cloth (a mitt in this case) to remove it. Since the Scrivner for Men formula includes Rice Bran Wax (in addition to Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E), it does not liquify with water. Here’s what I do with balms that are not water-loving: soak the mitt in hot water and then use it to remove the bam. No need to apply crazy pressure, just use swiping motions across the whole face and you’ll feel clean in seconds. If you follow this simple step, there will be no greasy residue left behind, I promise. Major perks for the light aroma — loving the notes of lime, mandarin, and sandalwood. And a gold star for including a wooden spatula. Plastic is so not in. $46 (50ml)
RESURFACE – Daily Resurfacing AHA/BHA Acid Exfoliator
This may be my favorite in the Scrivner for Men five step product line up. Circling back to the stereotypical dude and his skin care habits: most men tend to exfoliate their skin using physical methods (scrubs with granules). Which is great. I do that, too. But I also incorporate acid exfoliants and an acid toner is just that—a fantastic way to remove dead cell build up and make the skin glow.
After cleansing, you apply this liquid solution over your entire face with a patting motion. I use reusable cotton rounds but you can use regular cotton rounds or squares from the drugstore. I just don’t like pieces of lint left behind on my facial hair and I’m trying to do my part for the environment. This Scrivner for Men formula uses a plant-derived AHA/BHA blend to promote cell turnover and penetrate deep within the pore for smoother, more even looking skin. Don’t be taken aback by its scent. (It contains Cider Vinegar.) For acid toner addicts, I find the aroma to hover on the mild side, somewhere between BR P50 1970 and Vintner’s Daughter Essence. $36 (150ml)
HYDRATE – Smoothing Hyaluronic Hydrating Gel
Loving everything about this great gel-like serum that hydrates stressed, parched skin on contact. I feel like it literally wakes up my skin. It’s fast-absorbing and layers great under your moisturizer (because while it delivers hydration aka water, your skin also needs moisture aka oil). If you prefer lightweight treatment products, this blend of bio-fermented Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, Willow Bark Extract, and a touch of Phytic Acid will plump and firm dull skin. I find myself overindulging in this user-friendly formula and will run out of this step first. Were it available in a pump size bottle similar to that of Bioluronic Buzz 2000 I’d be ecstatic. Also, I am 99% sure these two are one and the same. P.S. in spite of the Frankincense Extract, I detect absolutely no scent. $45 (50ml)
DEFENCE – Calm Nourish Enrich Face Oil
Without trying to sound too judgmental, I am pretty sure most guys lack the interest to incorporate a face oil into their grooming regimen. And this is why they should reconsider. Face oils are formulated with some of the purest ingredients that undergo minimal processing to remain at their most potent. This particular Scrivner for Men formula is a blend of organic plant oils: Jojoba, Oat Kernel, and Tigernut. Infused with Chamomile and Turmeric Extracts, it delivers soothing and calming benefits for those prone to post-shave irritation. This will help regulate oil production in your T-zone and help you avoid the shiny nose by lunchtime. As for long term results, I am looking forward to its skin strengthening and firming benefits. Curious about its scent? I pick up a subtle Sandalwood note. $40 (30ml)
Tips for first time oil users:
- Start at night time
- Apply to damp skin for quicker absorption and an overall non-greasy experience
- For daytime, I have had great results mixing 2 pumps of the Hyaluronic Hydrating Gel with 1 pump of the Face Oil
PROTECT – Oat & Argan Moisturising Cream
Another generalization: guys are the worst with moisturizers. And a truth bomb: everybody needs to use one. As someone whose T-zone gets easily congested, I will be the first to admit that with the exception of my nose, my face craves moisture day and night. The Scrivner for Men Moisturising Cream is packed with anti-inflammatory Oat Kernel Oil and antioxidant-rich Argan Oil to soothe and protect compromised skin. Other well-deserved ingredient call outs go to: Birch Bark Extract (clears and strengthens), Aloe Vera (restores and tones), Colloidal Oatmeal (regenerates), and Eyebright Extract (de-puffs and counteracts inflammation). Since the cream also includes Shea Butter and Rosehip Oil (the latter of which I find to be one of the heaviest oils on my combination skin), I can only wear this one at night. $38 (50ml)
Application tip: don’t get discouraged when you see the moisturiser turn even more white and creamy as you apply it. This one definitely does not sink into the skin immediately. Take a minute and give yourself a facial massage. It will absorb completely. Just not immediately.