In this first instalment, celebrity makeup artist and grooming specialist, Larry Yeo tackles excessive showering and how to smell great at and after the gym.
Q1: I shower and shampoo 2-3 times a day – early in the morning, after my gym session, and before I sleep. Is that excessive? What should I do and use to keep my skin and hair looking fresh and clean without damaging them.
Larry: Bravo for the excellent hygiene standards! To me, it’s great to keep yourself fresh all day, especially in Singapore’s hot and humid weather. Showering 2-3 times a day isn’t excessive, but if there’s a feeling of tightness in your complexion, and if the skin on your body and your hair starts to get scaly and dry respectively, maybe even a little irritated, these are a few tips for you:
- Shower in cooler than lukewarm-temperature water. Room temperature is ideal, but if you find that too chilly, adjust it to just a tad “warmer”. Frequent showering in lukewarm to hot water strips the skin of moisture and can leave your skin scaly and dry.
- Skip showering with body wash/shampoo after a gym session. A thorough rinse with water should be refreshing enough (before and after the gym). If you really need to shower because you want to feel/smell fresher, use Lush Singapore Bohemian Soap – it cleanses thoroughly without stripping your skin of moisture.
- Or use a well-formulated micellar water like Bioderma Hydrabio Micellar Water. To do: pour it over a piece of baby wipe and use this to clean your face of sebum and sweat build-up. Rinse off with room temperature water. This is great in the morning (if your face isn’t oily), or before/after a gym session.
- Use a good cleanser like Senka Perfect Whip Facial Cleanser. Foam up a pea-size amount on wet hands and massage this onto your face to cleanse it. Do not leave facial wash on your face for longer than 30-45 seconds, and you don’t need anti-bacterial face washes for oily skin either.
- If you don’t use much hair product, a good rinse through your scalp and hair should do. For an extra cleanliness boost, you could also spray your hair roots with dry shampoo. IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo, S$20 for a travel size bottle, and S$48 for a full-size bottle does the job well. To do: spray product onto hair roots and use your fingers to rub it through your scalp — this will rapidly absorb the grease.
Q2) Some guys really stink at the gym, and I don’t want to be one of them. How do I remain fresh and odourless without smelling like a perfume counter on the gym floor?
Larry: My all-important tip to you is to shower before gym time.
I have been there (at weight-lifting gyms) and done that (smelt my fair share of odourous people). Enough is enough. That’s why I’ve stopped going to gyms that are big on weight lifting. It’s hard to believe that people, both men and women, cannot smell themselves, especially when they are emitting such strong odours. But no matter.
What you wear can affect how you smell. You need to know that sweat on synthetic clothes is a formidably odourous combination, unless the fabric is fused with silver nano particles, which prevent bacterial growth and sweat molecules from causing undesirable smells. I’ve found that material marketed as Dry-Fit can smell foul when it is dense with dry sweat molecules.
Another brilliant odour-prevention option I’ve tried and that works is a wipe called “Once a week, weekly deodorant” One wipe to the armpit and bacterial growth is amazingly halted for 6-7 days, leaving no chance for body odour to develop.
Or just spritz a fragrance mist like Lush’s Dad’s Garden Lemon Tree onto your workout clothes before you put them on. As it is a body spray, it is subtle and just right, not overpowering like some deodorants out there.