Grooming

Will This Charcoal-Packed Range from Nivea Men Make You Cleaner?

Nivea Men Deep range cleans you up from head to toe.
IMAGE Nivea Men, Unsplash
ILLUSTRATOR Bianca Papa
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Your introduction to dedicated grooming products might have been an anti-acne facial foam by Nivea Men. A cluster of angry volcanoes was threatening to erupt on your weird teenage face so you threw the silver squeeze bottle from the familiar brand into the grocery cart and hoped for the best.

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It was a step up from using a soap bar on your face (the same soap you used to wash your butt), and the bubbly foam, along with prayers, proved to be instrumental in the death of the angry dots. Because of the successful experiment—and because you were growing into an enlightened man—you added more things to the cart like moisturizer, sunscreen, conditioner, and the often misunderstood toner. Who knew you were allowed to not use the things that Mom bought?

As your grooming game evolved, you reached for things found, not on the crowded shelf of a supermarket or drugstore, but inside the shops of fancy brands. But that’s not to say the silver squeeze bottle didn’t work. You just wanted to try stuff.

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Recently, Nivea Men introduced a new line of grooming products so now would be a good time to revisit the brand that first introduced you to washing your face properly. Its Nivea Men Deep range is a complete system—face wash, shampoo, shower gel, and deodorants—packed with “black carbon.” That’s charcoal, by the way, “a powerful anti-bacterial agent that provides deep cleansing and protection,” according to the brand.

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The Nivea Men Deep range includes purifying charcoal. 

We’re not arguing with that. Charcoal acts like a magnet that attracts toxins, oil, dirt, and other baddies from the skin. In short, the black stuff eliminates impurities. It was a trendy ingredient in the world of skincare a few years back, with companies, including fancy labels, putting out charcoal masks, cleansers, soaps, shampoos, pore strips, and more.

Nivea Men Deep Shampoo

Photo by Nivea Men.
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When you put this black magic (science, really) in a complete line, Nivea Men says it will help you not become a “sweaty, unfresh, and oily” mess soon after you step out of the door. And thus, you will get a “kick of confidence.” These are two things all men want.

The bath products do many good things.

On to the products: The face cleanser is called a mud foam. When squeezed out of the tube, it appears as a thick goo in a slick gunmetal color. This also doesn’t bubble and froth wildly, which is just fine, as it performs as expected.

Nivea Men Deep Mud Foam

Photo by Nivea Men.
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Nivea Men says, apart from cleaning skin, the foam provides 12-hour oil control, refreshes with a cooling sensation, and also brightens. We're down with not being shiny and feeling fresh but about the last bit: On the tube appears the word “white,” and we're guessing the company hasn’t received the memo yet about how the world is now phasing out this idea.  

The more important thing to observe is how this feels. Face cleansers shouldn’t strip away moisture, and you’ll know when they go overboard when you get that squeaky feeling—a constriction of skin on the face—after washing. We wouldn’t say this results in tightness.

Nivea Men Deep Shower Gel

Photo by Nivea Men.
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Elsewhere, thanks to charcoal, the shower gel and shampoo removes gunk down to the pores. That is to say, they do the job. The gel is marked as a body, face, and hair solution, and while it’s a welcome proposition to bring one do-it-all bottle (instead of three) when you’re heading to, say, the gym, we’re stuck at home right now. This can be dedicated to cleaning a dirty body. You have the complete line anyway. 

There is fragrance and it is strong.

One thing to note about all the Nivea Men Deep products is how they have fragrance—a very strong fragrance. For the bath products, it’s a dark, boozy scent, which may appeal to some but not all men.

Nivea Men Deep Anti-Perspirant Roll-On

Photo by Nivea Men.
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Fragrance is least apparent in the face wash and appears strongest in the deodorants, which come in three variants and therefore three smells: Original (dark wood), Espresso (espresso and cedar), and Amazonia (clary sage and ginger). There’s nothing subtle about these scents, which may be the point? To mask other smells.

A system makes it easier to commit to grooming.

As a full system, it’s certainly convenient to find all your needs from one brand. Men are easy creatures. They won’t hop from shop to shop to hunt for the different parts of the bath puzzle. They also tend to stick to the brands that have already worked for them. The challenge, of course, is parting them with the tried-and-true and enticing them to try a new line like, say, something packed with carbon.

Nivea Men Deep Anti-Perspirant Body Spray

Photo by Nivea Men.
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As well, having everything lined up on the bathroom shelf will encourage them to just do it. When everything is within reach, men will wash the face with the mud foam, wash the body with the gel, wash the hair with the shampoo, and spray the pits with the deodorant, if they like the scent.

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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