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I tried Huron Men's Skincare for a Month. As a guy who has struggled for 20+ years with skin issues of all sorts, I was skeptical. But, now I'm a believer. Read my story below.
Huron’s skincare and cleansing lineup may look basic from the packaging, but the experience is anything but. The line has a premium feel, while being an exceedingly good value. No over the top smell, no absurd macho man packaging, and no gimmicks. It’s just high quality ingredient blends for face, hair, and body.
Body Products: Body Wash ($14)
Kits and jumbo size options available
Co-founder Matt Teri spent decades developing products at Estee Lauder, Lab Series and Tom Ford
All Huron products are manufactured in the US
Vegan and cruelty-free
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After trying Huron for several weeks, I had the fortunate opportunity to chat with the co-founders, Matt Mullenax and Matt Teri. Three Matts – on a zoom – chatting about men’s skincare. What could be better? After a few minutes of hearing both their backstories, I was taken by how perfectly this duo fits with The Fascination’s mantra of holistically viewing both the science and the soul of a brand.
Matt Mullenax, Huron’s CEO, represents the soul of Huron; and much like me, he battled with his own skin issues growing up. An athlete, he struggled with acne, redness, and complexion woes, until finally getting his skin under control thanks to premium, yet expensive options. His plight was the driving force behind building an accessible, premium-yet-no-frills brand for men who want to take their skincare to the next level. He solved for his own problem and thousands of others (like me), who’ve suffered similar issues.
His counterpart, Matt Teri, perfectly embodies the science of the brand. A multi-decade veteran of the industry, Matt cut his teeth at some of the world’s top skincare brands, including Estee Launder, Tom Ford and Lab Series for Men. Matt has a deep technical understanding of what’s needed to manufacture premium products that are gentle, effective and affordable.
After a few minutes on our zoom, I was sold on Huron’s origin story. The Matts launched Huron back in July, and have been slowly expanding their product assortment ever since, introducing a line of hair care products most recently. Having learned why Huron exists and all the knowledge and expertise that has gone into making these products, I feel even better about being a Huron customer.
I’ve tried hundreds of face washes, cleansers and scrubs over the years. And let me start by saying I’m genuinely impressed with Huron’s Face Wash. I’ll tell you why in a minute, but first let me walk you through what I’ve tried over the years that hasn’t worked for me, leading me ultimately to just sticking with Cetaphil – until now.
Acne washes and cleansers – you know, from Clearasil, Noxema, Murad, Proactiv, etc. They use an active ingredient that almost always either salicylic acid (around 2% concentration) or benzoyl peroxide (usually 2.5% up to 10% on the high end). These can be effective for clearing up acne, if used delicately and with care. But they usually come with a host of side effects, from burning and tingling, to redness, to overly drying out your face, causing a downward spiral of trying to get it back into proper moisture balance. And don’t forget that benzoyl peroxide bleaches fabrics. Can’t tell you know many shirts I’ve thrown away that have been bleached after one wear. Probably over a hundred now.
So, as much as I needed them, I began to steer clear of acne washes.
Exfoliating cleansers for ‘enlarged pores, blackheads, etc. – Again, these can be great and effective in moderation. But 1) feels like you’re wet-sanding your face with course sandpaper. The exfoliating beads are massive! Not fun or appealing. They also strip away the moisture barrier from your skin if overused, which throws your pH balance out of whack.
Most off-the-shelf ‘skincare for men’ – The garish, bold / loud “manly” packaging. The overpowering faux-cologne scents. Unnecessary colorings to imply “cooling” or “soothing” properties. These visual and olfactory queues are incredibly off-putting to me. It feels like overcompensation for a lack of thoughtful quality.
My thoughts on Cetaphil – Look, it’s very soft and moisturizing. It’s odorless. genderless, and often used in clinical situations, so I trust its efficacy. It’s affordable in abundance. Cetaphil has been a solid staple on my bathroom counter. But, it could be much better. It’s not particularly exfoliating. I don’t know who made it, but I know it’s from Big Pharma. It’s designed for the mass, mass market. It’s not tackling any one demographic’s explicit needs. It’s pretty blah.
It’s the perfect consistency. It deep cleans and gently “polishes.” In other words, it has an almost imperceptible amount of tiny exfoliating beads mixed in with a thick, odorless white cream. It goes on smooth, combines easily with water and gently massages in so you can polish away the dirt and oil of the day without harshly stripping away the protective moisture barrier that’s crucial to complexion consistency.
All-natural ingredients including Aloe, Fruit Enzymes and Bamboo – No harsh chemicals here. Aloe is so incredibly soothing, especially for freshly-shaved skin. And the fruit enzymes and bamboo help to calm and cool.
An oh-so-subtle, refreshing scent, with hints of peppermint, citrus and juniper that invigorates, but doesn’t overpower.
Beautiful, standout packaging and generous sizing. $80 for a 3 oz. cleanser? Not here.
It works, period. After washing, your skin feels clean and refreshed, but not harshly stripped. The scent is subtle and welcoming, not stinging and overpowering. The feel is hard to describe. The best analogy I can think of is like the last polish on when detailing a classic car. Your ever-so-gently buffing away tiny imperfections, all the while being very careful not to strip away the glossy clear coat. Maybe that’s why I’ve been digging it so much. My love of classic cars. Yep.
As you might have gathered by now, lotions aren’t exempt from the trials and tribulations of my troubled, pre-pubescent skin. I’ve tried countless varieties, from acne-fighting, salicylic acid-based lotions, to mattifying lotions meant to fight oily complexions, to SPF-heavy, oil-free moisturizers meant to help combat the dryness that comes with acne fighting topicals. Before Huron, my daily moisturizer of choice was Cetaphil’s Oil Control Moisturizer for Acne-prone Skin with SPF 30. While it’s served my well in staying moisturized throughout the seasons, it has many downsides: its greasy, it has a heavy white residue, it’s hard to absorb, and despite its claims, it doesn’t do much in the way of absorbing oil or making you look less “shiny.”
Needless to say, I was skeptical that Huron’s Face Lotion would be different. But again – I have been thoroughly impressed. After having used it for ~2 weeks: no breakouts to speak of; it goes on light and feels gel-like, absorbing in much easier than the Cetaphil; rather than a thick, creamy lotion, Huron’s lotion is a light, semi-translucent gel that glides across your skin as you apply it. The only downside I can see (and I need to verify this) is that the lotion doesn’t seem to have an SPF for sun exposure. As a beach guy who is out all day at the water, in the yard or on the course, having my moisturizer double as a light sunscreen is a definitely plus I’d like to see Huron look at tackling. But all in all, it’s my new go-to, and I love the way it makes my skin look.
In the shower, the same principles Huron applies to their Skin care line is carried through to the Body and Hair products. Although I’m not as picky about my body wash, I still value simple, high-quality, a subtle scent and amazing feel. Huron’s body wash delivers on all these amazingly well. With a bit more effervescence than the face wash or lotion, the subtle hints of menthol and eucalyptus are more apparent in the body wash, and in the early morning offers a nice, refreshing pick-me-up to start the day. Not overpowering or so strong it stings. Just nice. The wash goes on easily, isn’t too thick and washes off easily. It contains witch hazel to help clear dirt and oil from the your pores, and the coconut oil and Vitamin E infusion helps to retain your body’s natural moisture.
If you read my Keeps Hair Loss Treatment Review, you’ll know that I’ve got some pretty epic flow now. I’ve always kept my hair at a crew cut length or shorter, and honestly never paid much attention to shampoo and conditioner. But after noticing the male pattern baldness I had going on, I started to educate myself about what causes it and how to counteract its effects. In addition to amazing high-quality ingredients like Vitamin E and Argan Oil to moisturize your lovely locks, Huron’s conditioner also contains Biotin, which has been shown to reduce hair loss for those suffering from androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). The shampoo-conditioner, like the Body Wash, has a refreshing effervescence that’s smell’s amazing and feels amazingly nourishing.
I was understandably skeptical going into my trial of Huron. I’ve only had years and years of failure and frustration in coping with my unfortunate genetics. But like Huron’s co-founder Matt Mullenax, I’ve started to figure out that the right regimen, combined with high-quality products can go a long way in your fight against what God blessed you with in the Skin Department.
In that regard, I can’t recommend Huron more highly. The co-founders embody the science and soul that makes brands on The Fascination so special. When I met and chatted with them, I was sold. It helps that their products can back it up. They’ve managed to design some of the highest-quality men’s skincare I’ve ever tried – at a tremendous value to customers. The subtleties in all of their decisions may go unnoticed by someone who pays less attention to the nuances of their lotions and lathers. But for better or worse, I’m that guy. And I’m here to tell you, this shit is the real deal. Go get ya some at the links below 👇