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Facial hair expert Allan Peterkin gives tips on grooming this Valentine's Day

The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face
The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face
Arsenal Pulp Press

“Beard scholar” and facial hair expert, Allan Peterkin opens up about how to groom for the big night surrounding Valentine's Day. He currently works with the Dove Men+Care face range which includes wash, lotion, shave gel and post-shave balms and shared some advice on how to look your best. Allan has written the books; ‘1000 Beards – A Cultural History of Facial Hair’ and also ‘The Bearded Gentleman – The Style Guide to Shaving Face’. Read the full interview with Peterkin below:

Examiner: How are you?

Allan Peterkin: “I am fine, thank you for asking!

Examiner: Can you share with us your Valentine’s Day plans?

Allan Peterkin: “I will be in Turks and Caicos with my sweetie.”

Examiner: You are a grooming guru, so what is the biggest mistake that men make when grooming themselves?

Allan Peterkin: “Guys think that once they grow facial hair, they’re done. Au contraire—that’s when it needs the most effort. Cleansing, moisturizing, shaving and shaping are all part of this. I recommend “stepping” into the grooming pond with a full range from a brand. Mixing and matching everything is beyond confusing, so find a line that works best for you, like Dove Men+Care, who now offer a solid range of reliable products for different skin types, from face lotion to cleansers, to shave products.”

Examiner: If a guy is contemplating growing out his beard, what is the one thing that he should consider?

Allan Peterkin: “I would advise someone who would like to grow a beard to be sure to take all of the necessary steps that accompany caring for facial hair. Bearded or not, men need to care for their skin by cleansing and moisturizing, I’d recommend using a cleanser like the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Wash, followed by a lightweight moisturizer like the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face lotion with SPF. As a bonus, the Face Wash works great for washing your beard and a bit of Face Lotion or Post- shave balm will keep it conditioned. The easiest beard to grow and maintain is the short length trimmed beard. You can care for this beard simply by keeping the margins clean (shaving outside the natural growth) and regularly trimming your beard to maintain a uniform length.”

Examiner: Some girls enjoy facial hair and some don’t, how do you make your facial hair pleasurable when in the heat of the moment, especially with Valentine’s Day approaching?

Allan Peterkin: Keep your face and beard clean, tidy and soften it with conditioner so it’s less prickly No “snog-burn” allowed when kissing!. Moisturizing your skin is also an important step—so if you haven’t started yet…start now! This is especially important for older guys, who are most susceptible to dryness and wrinkles. You do not want to kiss that special someone, and have them patchy, flakey skin that’s for sure!”

Examiner: For younger guys, what type of facial hair style do you think is more fitting for them?

Allan Peterkin: “For me, it is not necessarily about the age. Face size and shape are key factors when deciding what type of facial hair you’d like to grow. Consider how various styles will enhance or magnify your own features and overall appearance. For example, men with narrow faces are best suited with beards that add fullness and create an oval perimeter whereas men with round faces should try narrow beards that accentuate vertical planes – drawing the eye down the length of the face. My books The Bearded Gentleman-The Style Guide To Shaving Face (written with Nick Burns) and One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair provide some great tips on how to choose the facial hair that’s best for you.

Examiner: What style of facial hair do you find that women enjoy the most?

Allan Peterkin: “One would think that most women prefer a clean shaven guy, since facial hair can sometimes be irritating to a woman’s skin. However, recent studies have shown that women are actually most attracted to a man with heavy stubble.* In the study both men and women rated full beards highest for parenting ability and healthiness, and masculinity ratings increased linearly as facial hair increased.”

Examiner: When it comes to chest hair, should men shave it completely off or groom it for the big night this Valentine’s Day?

Allan Peterkin: “The main thing is no sudden moves, surprises or drastic changes! A tidy-up is fine or keeping things au naturel.”

Examiner: Shaving is an essential part of having facial hair, so how has Dove Men+Care made it easier for men?

Allan Peterkin: “The Dove Men+Care Face Range is designed to care specifically for men’s skin in three easy steps, 1. Cleanse, 2. Shave, and 3. Finish. They have a variety of variants of face washes, shave gels, and post-shave balms to compliment this process, in addition to a variety of face lotions. Each individual product works to benefit men’s specific skincare needs. To find out more information about the range, visit”

Examiner: Lastly, what are your overall tips for men this Valentine’s Day?

Allan Peterkin: “Go with your strengths! There are definitely other facial hair options besides a beard that I would recommend for guys with less facial hair. For example, guys with little facial hair could try sporting sideburns, a soul patch or stubble. Focus on what type of facial hair you can grow best and what will compliment your features. As long as you are comfortable, and properly groomed, make sure you pay full attention to your date for the evening, so that to make them feel special! No cheap chocolates or last-minute cards. Oh and have fun!”