The more acceptable it comes for men to avail themselves of beauty products and treatments, the more crowded the marketplace becomes. Shelves in high street pharmacies are barely able to contain the weight of all the new merchandise, some of which is exactly the same as the women’s but just repackaged in grey to lure the kind of men who are frightened of compromising their masculinity. Gay Massage has often led the way, experimenting with moisturisers and night creams years before other men plucked up the courage. Now, however, the advice for men is much the same as for women; everyone should be moisturising by – at the latest – their late teens. Certainly, if you’re not doing by the age of twenty-one, you’ll pay the price later when you begin to resemble a withered prune. Limiting your access to the sun or wearing an SPF even in winter is another rule of thumb.
Never slow on the uptake, gay men were often first in the queue when it came to seeking youthful, refreshed looks via injectables, the non-surgical treatments including Botox and fillers. The former works by relaxing facial muscles, working particularly well on frown lines. Fillers, which include such favourites as Restylane and Juvederm, work by plumping out deep crevices, including the nose-to-mouth laughter lines. As well as serving that purpose, they can also be injected to create an appearance of more prominent cheek bones. Together, Botox and fillers can lift five years off a man’s face, even when used moderately. For more pronounced results, people can ask their doctor or beautician for the ‘frozen’ look, which means greater doses of Botox leaving certain facial muscles completely immobile. This has a more dramatic end result, but it also gives itself away much more, so it’s not a great choice if you want people to think your dewy looks are down to healthy living and good genes. Both Botox and fillers metabolise over a period of months, which means that repeat treatments are necessary. However, by having these treatments, you will also gradually train your face not to use the line-creating muscles quite so aggressively, so you will retain some permanent benefit. Another filler treatment, Sculptra, is slightly different in that the results gain pace over time. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of a filler that increases in size within their face, others swear by it.