Facials for the modern gentleman

face mask
A therapist applying face mask to a man in a spa. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH  

Facials are not an all-women’s affair, men too need to tend to their faces. Not the quick scrub and rinse after getting a shave at the barber shop, but proper care for the skin. This includes exfoliation, masking and moisturizing to help the skin regenerate.

This is particularly important for the areas around the cheeks, chin and neck which are constantly exposed to razors and shavers. The area is the most sensitive and raw on a man’s face and requires the most care for to help along the healing and renewal process.

“For men, we focus around the areas with the beard and neck and also spend more time on the neck and shoulder massage,” says Ashton Bester, Terres d’Afrique Trainer. She states that a man’s facial has less of the serums and oils as men do not appreciate the fussing as women would, but all the same care is given with fewer products and for shorter sessions. The length of a facial at Hemingways Nairobi usually ranges between 60 minutes and 90 minutes for ladies, however, men have a mini facial option that lasts for half an hour. This fits within the tolerance levels for pampering by the clients. The spa has partnered with Terres d’Afrique, brand whose name directly translated means land of Africa that uses plant based ingredients for its products, for its spa packages.

“All plants are from Africa. They are organic so no pesticides, chemical fertilizer or stimulants are used on the plant,” Says Bester. They are then packaged in recyclable packaging such as brown glass and aluminum and the labels made from sugar paper.

She was in the country to train Hemingways spa attendants on the brand which is debuting in Kenya through the partnership. With increased demand for organic, plant based and reduced chemicals in beauty products, brands such as Terre d’Afrique are finding their niche in markets across the globe.They offer alternatives for the discerning consumer who has become extra keen on what they eat and drink as well as apply to their body. The scrub for instance is made of rooibos and castor sugar, all of which are plant based and sourced locally. The preservatives are sugar based, which is a healthier alternative, however, means a shorter shelf life compared to those with chemical preservatives.


To complete the facials, the brand incorporates techniques and tools including wooden sticks of different lengths and thickness and crystals in addition to the beauty products. Depending on the choice of facial: either detoxing, rejuvenating, sun kissed or crystal hydrating, the tools are used to massage the face. For instance, the wooden sticks are moved around the face in long strokes and rolling motions, to improve blood flow applied at pressure points of the face to drain the lymphatic system. Similarly, the crystals which are cool are applied to the face to reduce inflammation and redness.