Life on the flip side

It’s been a tough few days… You see, in a desperate personal bid to unlock my masculinity, I used only men’s products for a week.

Published: 01st August 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2018 11:09 PM   |  A+A-

It’s been a tough few days… You see, in a desperate personal bid to unlock my masculinity, I used only men’s products for a week. After going through aisles of products at the local departmental store, and scouring through an unsuspecting brothers’ and dad’s stash, I was ready. My thievery doesn’t stop here, and I found myself stealing a couple of old t-shirts from them while I was all up in their business, because why not. (Sorry, not sorry.)

I had a hard time living. In the interest of editorial integrity (sigh) I even ditched all my skin care products. It was the bit that worried me most, because while the men’s variant might be all for that squeaky-clean feeling, I’m not. Send some gentle soap-free cleansers, a few serums and a water-based moisturiser and I’m a happy girl. I gave up all that for something that had “Oil Eliminator” plastered on it. While my skin didn’t get crazy oily (obviously) or super dry, I missed my night-time ritual dearly.

I found a bottle of Fiji Old Spice, which — no jokes — claims that “your body is about to be marooned on a pristine tropical island filled with scents of palm trees, exotic females, one dune buggy…” And wait what? I already feel like I’m the only exotic female here, and still cannot quite believe that marketing like this actually works.

This is when I learned one of the major takeaways from my little experiment: Men love two-in-ones, and three-in-ones and four-in-ones, more than any woman ever can. It’s either that or they just really hate having a shower. Excuse me but I don’t even apologise — I simply don’t believe that a lotion can be for your body, face and hands. It’s called “overreaching” with good reason. Look it up!

Of all the super-fragranced products I tried, I think the shampoo was the least jarring. Or perhaps I feel this way because I didn’t have to use it everyday. My hair got dry and frizzy the second I popped out of the shower, I missed hydrating conditioners and serums, and was counting down days until I could get back to my Lush shampoo bars and conditioners.

My other big takeaway: Men’s shower products don’t care. They don’t care if you are stumbling into the shower at eight am and are really not a morning person. They don’t care if your senses cannot handle anything overpowering until (at least) 11 am. It’s going to smell overpoweringly like musk, oak and cedar, and you’re well, simply, going to have to deal with it.

So are men’s products and the female variant really that different? Apart from the (huge) fragrance factor, the only other difference I could tell were the ingredients. There were definitely more products with sulfates, parabens and more icky stuff that are harder to come by if you’re shopping in the women’s aisle. Maybe men’s products will catch up, maybe not. Till then I’ll stick to my serums and masks, thank you!

saumya R chawla


The writer loves to over-share, drink wine & watch period dramas

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