Originally launched in October of last year, Vitruvian Man is the kind of men’s skincare brand that seems tailor-made for Hong Kong. The impetus behind all of the brand’s products is to take a step back to grooming’s ‘first principles’ — focusing on cleansing the skin and calming the senses. Currently, the core range confines itself to two products: a daily cleanser with toning properties; and a moisturiser that provides broad spectrum SPF. Both are formulated using active natural ingredients — oftentimes the sort which have a proven track record in TCM — and eschew the alcoholic, silicone or petrochemical additives that are commonplace in over-the-counter skincare.Indeed, if modern grooming has become a murky landscape polluted by its own superfluousness — do you honestly need three kinds of face mask, each to suit a different mood? — then Vitruvian Man is like a tidal wave, washing away all but the most indispensable elements of the skincare routine.
Such a ‘back to basics’ approach has its fair share of antecedents, but between the wallet-friendly pricepoint and conceptual simplicity, it’s a good bet that the brand will resonant with its intended audience. For the vast majority of young men living in Hong Kong — even those who know their way around five viscosities of face caviar — it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the motto is ‘cleanse, tone, moisturise’ — something that Vitruvian Man is all about.
There’s a guiding influence throughout the range that teases the brand’s potential for future development. For starters, founder Vivian Lau is deeply passionate about what goes into her products: after quitting a 9-to-5 gig in the local pharmaceuticals industry, the Hong Kong-born chemist travelled throughout Europe and Australasia, where she spent several years supplementing her background in science with a deeper understanding of botanical ingredients and natural remedies.
The resulting approach to skincare development — that oscillates comfortably between nature and the scientific method — manifests itself in several interesting ways: beyond the conspicuous absence of synthetics and petrochemicals, around 50 percent of what does go into the brand’s products is eco-certified, sourced in a way that dovetails with Lau’s own rigorous requirements for environmental sustainability.
Cubicle farmers are likely to gravitate towards the anti-pollution cleanser/toner (HK$310) — a 2-in-1 face wash that refreshes the skin and insulates it against urban environments. This gel-based face wash utilises organic coconut in order to clear away surface dirt, and thanks to the use of South Asian nutgrass and ginger root works equally well as an energising post-shave treatment.
Having inadvertently covered the toning phase of the daily routine via the anti-pollution cleanser, men can then turn their attention directly to priming their faces throughout the day. The Resurrection moisturiser (HK$465) is an all-day cream-based formulation, loaded with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E — ingredients that firm and tighten respectively. While the aforementioned are common across a range of more readily available men’s skincare, to this Vitruvian Man adds zinc oxide and resurrection plant extract. Classified as a ‘mineral filter’, zinc oxide forms a natural physical barrier on the skin, boosting your ability to block out UV rays and better resist environmental pollution.
Together with the combined cleanser/toner, Vitruvian Man have put together the building blocks for a smart and efficient skincare routine — one that most men will be able to manage twice a day, without ever having to schedule a calendar alert.
The anti-pollution cleanser/toner and Resurrection cream are also available to purchase as a bundle (HK$770). To learn more, visit Vitruvian Man online.