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KISS RAZOR BUMPS GOODBYE WITH SMART SKINCARE FOR HIM

How a physician-founded skincare line targets shaving-related issues for men with the curliest beards – and makes skin look younger, too.
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Canadian physician-founded skincare line for men Blair + Jack banishes razor bumps and spotlights his best skin

Canadian physician-founded skincare line for men Blair + Jack banishes razor bumps and spotlights his best skin

Razor bumps are, for many men who shave, an unavoidable curse, a kind of sadistic spectre unleashed at the bathroom sink with the first stroke of blade against skin. Also called shaving bumps, they're ingrown hairs, post-shave follicle regrowth that fails to penetrate the skin's surface; the hair coils back on itself, trapped underneath. They're a particular challenge for men with thick, curly beards.

As curses do, ingrowns bring with them unpleasant gifts ranging from itching and inflammation to painful pustules and potential infection, as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, scars and keloids.

The medical term is pseudofolliculitis barbaefor the love of Pete, don't say it out loud! Okay, joking, but not joking: mentioning the affliction by any name can elicit shudders from anyone who has ever used a razor on a sensitive area. But for curly-haired men who prefer (or are required) to present a clean-shaven face to the world, razor bumps are quite simply The Worst.

SKINCARE THAT HELPS K.I.S.S. RAZOR BUMPS GOODBYE

Razor-bump prevention and treatment advice from experts includes warm-towels skin prep, exfoliating cleansers, glide-boosting razors and shave gels, acne spot treatments and soothing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory agents. And they do really work, once the user gets the hang of all the things. Sounds a bit daunting in terms of steps, ingredient research and knowledge, though, doesn't it? There's an easier way.

A Canadian physician-founded men's skincare line called Blair + Jack tackles chronic shaving bumps – and more – with a smart, streamlined approach that ticks key skincare-nerd boxes without overwhelming the user with a bajillion steps and ingredient details. For the curly-haired guy who wants good skin but doesn't care what hyaluronic acid is or how to pronounce it, Blair + Jack delivers. You might say Blair & Jack is skincare for him that keeps it simple, sweetheart. 😉

Blair + Jack founder Dr. Bimpe Ayeni with husband Ade and their twins Blair and Jack.

Blair + Jack founder Dr. Bimpe Ayeni with husband Ade and their twins Blair and Jack.

BLAIR + JACK: AN ORIGIN-STORY TWIST

Several brand stories begin with a doctor/ pharmacist/ scientist who created a skincare or makeup line for his wife's sensitive skin. (Biologique Recherche, Physician's Formula and Marcelle spring immediately to mind.)

Blair + Jack is a twist on ye-olde origin tale. The board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon behind the brand is Dr. Bimpe Ayeni, who earned degrees from Yale, Columbia, Ottawa and McMaster, plus a Harvard fellowship. She created a men's skincare line to help her husband, Ade Adjayi, deal with the shaving-related issues that plagued him. "He had itchy, painful raised bumps that led to scarring, and couldn't find anything that helped," she says. "I assumed there'd be many over-the-counter or online options; I was wrong."

With the compounding expertise of a pharmacist friend and colleague, Dr. Ayeni developed a complete regimen to address what she sees as a lack in current men's skincare: treating the skin before and after shaving to prevent bumps.

SOLUTION-BASED MINIMAL STEPS WITH EFFICACIOUS INGREDIENTS

A simple, gentle foaming face wash called Cleanse ($29 at blairandjack.com) and a lightly emollient Moisturizer ($29 at blairandjack.com) form the regimen basics for all skin types. Heavy-lifting treatment add-ons are easy, just a middle step in the AM and PM, based on the user's issues: shaving bumps or dark spots.

The Blair + Jack lineup has only three – 3! – possible treatments. Each of them is formulated with specific active ingredients with demonstrated efficacy in treating and reducing razor bumps and fading hyperpigmentation as well as tempering signs of premature aging. However, unlike many skincare releases today, those ingredients and the reasons for their inclusion do not shout from the packaging. Instead, the three treatments are simply labelled Day Formula, Night Formula and Correct. You know, like a skincare line.

Blair + Jack treats men's skin before and after shaving to prevent razor bumps.

Blair + Jack treats men's skin before and after shaving to prevent razor bumps.

"I labelled the formulas that way because skincare doesn't have to be complex," says Dr. Ayeni. "I want men at different levels of skincare familiarity to have access to our products without feeling confused or intimidated by jargon – this is how I explain procedures and results to my patients."

To address chronic razor bumps, the Day Formula ($49 at blairandjack.com) employs benzoyl peroxide, a proven anti-bacterial acne-fighter that reduces mild to moderate visible pimples, and 1% hydrocortisone, a topical steroid that efficiently calms irritation, inflammation and redness. 

Hydrocortisone in a low dose like this one is common in razor-bump treatments designed for use as directed over one or two weeks at most. When it comes to men's thicker, oilier skin, says Dr. Ayeni, once-daily use "won't cause appreciable thinning of the skin or any other side-effects associated with hydrocortisone." 

Alert: Although Blair + Jack does not stock a brand-developed sunscreen, daily application of at least 1/4 tsp of high SPF is non-negotiable if hydrocortisone is in play; it makes skin more susceptible to UVA and UVB damage, especially sunburn.

In the evening, the Night Formula ($49 at blairandjack.com) becomes the second step. A blend of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids in mild concentrations encourages natural exfoliation to evict old surface-cells that can clog pores and lead to pimples and bumps, and with regular use gives skin a smoother, younger appearance, too. (Can't stress this enough: high-SPF sunscreen applied after moisturizer daily – and re-applied per package directions if it's an outdoors day – is essential to protect and maintain results, as well as compensate for hydrocortisone-related UV sensitivity.)

Blair + Jack solution-based add-ons to banish razor burn, then fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Blair + Jack solution-based add-ons to banish razor burn, then fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

For dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, the Dark Spot Corrector ($29 at blairandjack.com) with kojic acid and niacinamide, replaces or alternates with the Day Formula as the second step once razor bumps are under control. Kojic acid at 2% restricts the production of an enzyme called tyrosinase (the start button of the pigmentation process that ends in dark spots) and provides antioxidant benefits, such as improved repair of skin damage from environmental exposure. Niacinamide, a recently buzzy skincare MVP (it's been in face-care products for decades) and an antioxidant, too, provides support in a variety of areas including moisture retention, dark-spot and redness reduction, even a measure of wrinkle-resistance.

Overall, Blair + Jack spins on the understanding that many of the ingredients that treat and prevent razor bumps – exfoliating acids, brightening antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents – are regular players in skincare designed to reduce the appearance of skin aging.

And in case he is interested after all, hyaluronic (hi-ya-lure-onic) acid appears on the Blair + Jack ingredient lists as sodium hyaluronate (hi-ya-lure-on-ate); its role is to help keep his skin from feeling dry and tight.

NO STORE VISIT REQUIRED

Developed and made in Canada – Dr. Ayeni is based in Newmarket, just north of Toronto, Ontario – Blair + Jack makes re-stocking easy as well, with a select-it-and-forget-it monthly subscription service that saves your wallet 10% upon sign-up. The company ships across Canada and to the USA.

So hey – do you know a guy who serves up blank looks when you mention skincare ingredients (even as he regularly dips into your favourites)?

SHOPPITY SHOP-SHOP 🛒

Blair + Jack ships to 🇨🇦 and 🇺🇸 via blairandjack.com (non-affiliate links)

Blair + Jack Cleanse Foaming Facial Cleanser with decyl glucoside (a mild cleansing agent), $29 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Cleanse Foaming Facial Cleanser with decyl glucoside (a mild cleansing agent), $29 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Day Formula with benzoyl peroxide and 1% hydrocortisone, $49 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Day Formula with benzoyl peroxide and 1% hydrocortisone, $49 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Night Formula with glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids, $49 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Night Formula with glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids, $49 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Correct Blemish Correcting Serum with kojic acid and niacinamide, $29 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Correct Blemish Correcting Serum with kojic acid and niacinamide, $29 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, shea butter and jojoba oil, $29 at blairandjack.com

Blair + Jack Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, shea butter and jojoba oil, $29 at blairandjack.com

Visit blairandjack.com for subscription-service information.

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