I’ve long been proclaiming about the lack of decent (read: cool-looking, fast-working) products available for teenage boys. With a 15-year-old boy in our house, who thinks most mass market products are ‘sad’ or ‘lame’, I identified the gap a few years ago when he became a teenager, and have been on the lookout for something that fits the bill, ever since.
I was delighted, therefore, to come across 31st State, which claims to be UK’s first skincare line designed specifically for teenage boys, It’s true that while there are mountains of pretty, covetable products for girls of this age – boys have been rather left in the dark, with only the odd Lynx spray or Clearasil face-wash to choose from. So, the laid-back, clean-looking design of the range certainly ticks the box while it is evident a lot of thought and consideration has gone into what teen boys really want from their grooming routine.
While teenagers are certainly more worried about looks (their own and the products they use), as a parent I’m also concerned about what the products actually contain and the potential harm they can do to young skin. Pleasingly, as well as its restrained, inoffensive design ethos, 31st State has been formulated with powerful, active yet, most importantly, naturally-derived ingredients so they are kind to the skin and are a real antidote to the chemically pumped products on the market. A real bonus for kids who suffer from eczema or troubled skin.
Launched by Stephanie Capuano, who was born and raised in California and now lives in London with her two teenage boys – the feel of the products is the laid-back cool of the West Coast.
While living in the UK, Stephanie soon realised there was a lack of products to help combat her teenage son’s hair, skin and body hang ups. After talking to friends and realising that there was a gap in the market, Stephanie decided to create a product range for teens that would really work, taking inspiration from the Cali lifestyle.
“31st State was inspired by the beaches, deserts and forests of California,” says Stephanie. “Where life just seems a little less complicated, a clean and effortless existence. A sense of not trying too hard that seems to come naturally to the guys who live there. We wanted to deliver that simplicity and possibility to guys everywhere.”
So, we’ve been experimenting with the Overnight Clearing Pads, £15.99. These actually produced an enthusiastic ‘Ooh’ from my son, who has begun to suffer from the odd break out (for those without teens, this is big). They have been designed to combat congested skin, helping to tackle existing spots and prevent future breakouts. Lactic Acid, Manuka and Tea Tree work to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and remove surface dirt and oil. You swipe them over a clean face and the ingredients get to work while you sleep. They seem to clear and refine the skin and have got a big thumbs-up from my son. I must admit that I have been ‘borrowing’ the odd one, too, as they are perfect for when skin needs a bit of a detox!
Meanwhile, the Foaming Face Wash, £12.99, has become a daily essential to clean skin of dirt, oil and bacteria. Tea tree works to prevent blemishes and spots while antibacterial manuka works to target spots by helping to get rid of oil. The foam formula has been popular as it gives a bit of a ‘novelty’ factor. I also love the fact it contains magnesium, copper and zinc (the metal has an all-boy appeal, too) as I’ve found that products containing these metals do really help to combat breakouts (especially silver). It goes on the skin easy – requiring minimal effort (big tick from the boys) – and swipes off clean in a jiffy.
For individual blemishes, meanwhile, the Spot Control Gel, £12.99, is a little ‘power tool’ to rid skin of spots and acne. Combining antibacterial manuka with tea tree to help calm redness and irritation. The gel also contains witch hazel, renowned for its use in acne products because of its antiseptic, anti-irritant, antibacterial and potent anti-inflammatory properties. It zaps away the nasties and zeroes in on anything lurking under the skin. Best to use overnight, but you can also pop it on in the morning so it works to combat bacteria during the day. I noticed the other day, that my son had also popped this into the pocket of his blazer for any emergency ‘break-outs’ during the day.
Lastly, the 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash, £8.99, is just the thing for coaxing the boys into the shower. Not only does it smell fresh and clean with citrus-aquatic notes (and not too overpowering like many other ‘boy’ products are), it also contains silver to help fight spots and bacteria. What’s more, it has been designed to help teens stay (and smell) fresh all day long, as the zinc works to control body odour.
Also in the range is a roll-on deodorant and two hair styling product (a gel and a putty), giving a 360° comprehensive collection for boys. It’s so refreshing (in more ways than one) to find a range which takes into account what works for our young men and which not only has appeal but actually gives the results they so want (clear, clean skin) with little effort. Great design, a spot-on scent and fast-working remedies mean that it is all too tempting for me (and others in the family) to start borrowing the products, but as my son says: “Hand’s off, this is my thing.” Quite right, too.
The 31st State range is available from 31st-state.com/ but I am sure it won’t be long before you see it on the shelves of the big-hitting stores. As my son says: “It’s sick” – which apparently means good. Very good.