There aren’t too many people in the free world who can put their hands on President Barack Obama’s face without receiving a swift choke hold from the Secret Service. But makeup artist and skin care expert Karen Lynn Accattato is one of the select few who can get away with it. Accattato began working with Obama when he was a junior senator from Illinois and is still called in to apply her touch and adjust his tie before he makes appearances in Chicago.
She may also be the only person in the world who can say she’s applied makeup to the leader of the free world and Freddy Krueger. Her credits as a makeup artist in film and TV includes the 2010 reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the recent sci-fi movie Jupiter Ascending, and Fox’s breakout hit Empire. She also worked for Playboy for 23 years, so you can thank her for making all those women in the college issues girls look so great.
Accattato has seen a lot of different faces and a lot of different skin types during her career, and she knows that most guys—celebrities, politicians, or otherwise—don’t have the patience or the inclination to go through an elaborate process involving a medicine cabinet’s worth of “product” (a word that rightly induces a gag reflex in most men.)
Accattato, who is a resident expert for the Dove Men+Care line, also knows those same guys don’t want to go into a meeting or a date with zits or greasy skin. So we asked her to come up with a simple, 3-step plan that even the laziest of dudes could follow. It’s also the routine that Obama uses. Accattato recommends going through this ritual twice a day, but even doing it once will help your skin dramatically.
“Only about 50% of men was their faces—ever,” Accattato says. I don’t know where that data comes from, but now I will look at every other guy I see as an unclean beast. It seems like a no-brainer, but washing your face gets gross bacteria out of your pores and hair follicles. If you don’t get rid of that bacteria, it will turn to acne.
According to Accattato, “Many guys aren’t using the right shaving cream, and they most likely don’t even know it.” The key is to find one that locks in moisture. Accattato uses Dove Men+Care pro-moisture shave cream with her male clients because she feels they do the best job of keeping the skin hydrated even against a razor blade and also because they prevent redness. (The fact that they’re sold at drug stores and food stores where one might also be able to pick up say, a 6-pack of beer, is an added bonus.)
For men with beards, this second step is more about trimming versus shaving. But the objective of keeping your face hydrated remains the same.
Since “locking in moisture is the number one rule when trying to maintain healthy skin,” Accattato places a huge emphasis on applying lotion to your face after you wash and shave it. “People don’t realize oily skin is a result of dry skin. When your skin is dry it produces more oil in order to combat the dehydration,” she says. A hydrating lotion or post-shave balm will keep moisture in and prevent razor burn. Using one with sun protection built in will also prevent UV ray damage and keep your skin looking good when you get older.