Introducing West Skincare
Grooming Essentials for the Active Man
If you want to build a low-level, baseline skincare regimen, you’ll pick a cleanser and moisturizer. It’s a good start, but it’s not exactly going to help you slow down signs of aging, or reverse damage from environmental exposure (like UV rays, smoke and smog, or cold, dry winters). Hopefully, you’ll want a broader foundation, for magnified protection and youthful results.
That broader foundation can be made of West Skincare’s five-product core assortment, launching June 12. Their regimen is an elevated baseline that centers on “active performance, active recovery.” The “active” is twofold, both for the wearer of West Skincare products and for the active ingredients that comprise each recipe. Sure, they’ve got the cleanser and the moisturizer — more on those later — but they expand the line with an overnight recovery cream, a hydrating and cleansing mask, and a gentle exfoliant.
West’s products combine plant-based formulas with specific moisturizing and balancing active ingredients like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), sodium hyaluronate (similar to hyaluronic acid), squalane, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and dexpanthenol (d-panthenol). Founder and former Gear Patrol deputy managing editor Matthew Ankeny proudly promotes these formulas, and their function, citing the lack of transparency that many brands show their customers: “I’m guessing most consumers aren’t up on the [International Nomenclature] names of skincare ingredients or what those ingredients actually do for the skin. And there’s also a lot of misinformation and fear mongering and contrasting opinions out there. These are safe, efficacious formulas, largely based in plants. We haven’t skimped on active ingredients and we’re not shy to champion good chemistry.”
And you need not be an athlete to enjoy the core benefits of this regimen. Ankeny says it’s as much about consumers taking a proactive approach to keeping their largest organ healthy. (That’s your skin, FYI.) “I want to be active and then give my body what it needs to recover as quickly as possible. Taking care of your skin feels good. It improves appearance. It’s gratifying in both immediate and long-term ways.”
Keep an eye on West Skincare’s assortment, which Ankeny plans to expand beyond this foundational lineup. (Think serums and retinol-based products.) You can also purchase bundles of the core three products or the complete roster, or even get a travel-friendly kit of the core cleanser, moisturizer and recovery cream.
Natural AHAs from lemon and passionflower help remove dead skin and excess oil while kola, mate and guarana soothe. Gentle enough for twice-daily use, morning and night, to start any regimen.
Sodium hyaluronate absorbs moisture and preserves the skin’s hydration levels. Squalane defends against toxins. Use in the morning, post cleanser and exfoliator, for all-day hydration and defense.
Ideal as an overnight moisturizer or wintertime hydrator, this lipid-rich recovery cream uses sea whip extract and beta-glucans to soothe irritation, promote healing and restore the skin’s moisture barrier (which in turn preserves moisture levels and improves defensiveness).
While many skin buffers use either physical or chemical exfoliants, West uses both. The physical are palm seed powder and volcanic microcrystals, to remove dead skin and keep pores clear, while salicylic acid doubles down on the efforts by dissolving dead skin. Use it once or twice a week.
A dual hydrating and cleansing mask. Mineral-rich black mud and activated coconut charcoal work together to pull toxins and sebum from deep within the skin. Meanwhile, sunflower and saffron oils preserve moisture levels in the skin. Apply to face for five minutes, once a week after cleansing and exfoliating. Follow with moisturizer or recovery cream.
If a hair product isn’t giving you exactly what you want, then you need to toss it and find a replacement. To help you navigate this matrix of options, here is a rundown of the products as they fall onto the hold-vs-shine grid. Read the Story