With the success of their female skincare line, and the throngs of die-hard fans who swear by the Facial Treatment Essence - touting it as a “miracle water” of sorts - the timing seems just about right for SK-II to launch their men’s line of products, SK-II Men.
The face they chose to front their new line is none other than Taiwanese-born supermodel/actor, Godfrey Gao.
We met the very suave 28-year old Gao, who is in town for the launch of the new line for a quick chat.
Besides being Amazonian-like-tall (he’s a strapping 1.95m) and with a full face of sexy stubble, we were bowled away by his very laid-back demeanour. He tells us in perfectly fluent English, with a slight Canadian lilt that he likes girls with perfect skin, learnt all about skincare from his 60-year old Mother and still loves playing basketball.
HWP: How old were you when you first started using skincare products?
Godfrey Gao: I was about 10 or 11 years old, and my first product was a PH Balance Moisturiser. My mum was very into skincare and whenever I get home from school, I would find her doing a facial mask or trying out new products. I was very intrigued by what she was doing.
She made me try the PH Balance, just to keep my face moisturised and then it led to cleansers and other products.
HWP: Were you not in the least put off by skincare products, because they were associated with being more effeminate?
GG: To make my skin better, I didn’t think of anything negative. I just thought it was pretty cool. I even tried on green facial mud masks with my mother when I was younger, so that we could look like the Incredible Hulk together. It’s actually pretty fun, because after 10 minutes, your face becomes really firm, and you have difficulty talking. When it gets all dried up, then it becomes all crusty and is quite hilarious.
HWP: Now do you give your mum advice, when it comes to beauty?
GG: [laughs] No, she still gives me advice. With beauty, she is still my mentor and she taught me everything I needed to know about protecting my skin. I’ve learnt a lot from her and since I was a child, I’ve already known the importance of cleansing properly.
Of course, when I was a teenager, I still had breakouts when I was playing sports and didn’t have time to take care of my skin, but since then, I’ve always paid attention to cleansing and moisturising my skin.
HWP: What’s the toughest part about grooming from a guy’s point of view?
GG: I think the toughest part would be taking the time. I think guys have no patience when it comes to facial products. I would suggest taking just 10 – 15 minutes just to wash your face thoroughly, especially if you’re living in a humid place like Singapore. Be sure to moisturise as well, as it will help your skin to retain moisture, keeping it radiant.
Women pay attention to our faces, and are attracted to guys with clean faces and healthy-looking skin, so with that in mind, there are only three products in the range, so you should definitely use them.
HWP: Do you have any bad grooming habits that you’d like to break?
GG: I used to wash my face real quick. All it took was 30 seconds – rub it in, splash on some clean water and that was it.
At that time I used to play a lot of basketball (which I still do now), and I didn’t really care about my face. I also wanted to appear tough in front of my friends, so I don’t use anything in front of them. But I did remember telling them to take better care of their skin, so that when they grow up, they don’t get acne scars or clogged pores that will affect the way they look.
HWP: What do you do to convince guys to use skincare products?
GG: In fact, every single one of my friends come to me for beauty advice. They are constantly asking me what they should put on their faces and how they should use it, so I help them out. It’s tough to actually teach them all this stuff, because sometimes they can get really lazy. [Laughs]
HWP: Would you use any other skincare products besides cleansers and moisturisers?
GG: Definitely. When I’m feeling fatigued, after a long day of filming, I use a revitalising product, like a serum, to make my face appear more radiant.
HWP: In your opinion, what makes a woman beautiful?
GG: Perfect skin, of course. For me, it’s more about personality than looks. I am more into how we communicate with each other. That’s the most important skin. Good skin, big eyes help too.
HWP: Have you used SKII before this?
GG: Yes, I tried some of the products in the women’s line before this was launched, more than a year ago, and I’ve concluded that this stuff is really good as it doesn’t irritate your skin like other products. It really gives you really healthy and supple skin.
HWP: Your beauty regime must be pretty extensive as well. Has this ever been a point of contention in any of your past relationships?
GG: No, previous girlfriends actually learn from me. They will ask me, “oh, so what’s that stuff you’re using?” They even ask me to introduce products to them as I am more exposed to beauty products in my line of work.
The SK-II Men’s line consists of SKII Men Facial Treatment Essence, $99, SK-II Men Age Revitalize Moisturizer, $149 and SK-II Men Moisturizing Cleanser, $89.
SK-II Men will be available in stores from August 1, 2012. Look out for the pre-launch, available at Isetan stores from July 1, 2012.
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