Meet Lucas Dennington, our forty-something fearless tester of men’s spa beauty products. A native of Southern Oregon, Lucas served as a Blackhawk Helicopter Specialist with the 82nd Airborne Division after graduating the US Army Aviation Logistics School. There, Lucas shares, he learned the values of military bearing and esprit de corps.
Returning to his hometown in Southern Oregon, Lucas entered the hospitality industry as a wine curator for a West Coast distributor, eventually co-designing and opening high-end cocktail bars and restaurants.
He currently works as a consultant, designing steam systems for the healthcare industry, including spas and health clubs.
A self-described “connoisseur of all things timelessly masculine,” you can usually find Lucas renovating his home, a 1910 schoolhouse nestled into the woods next to the Oregon Vortex, or enjoying the Rogue Valley’s 60-plus wineries.
Insider’s gave Lucas five guy products to try—here’s what he had to say.
Beard Guyz Original Grooming Company
Based in Illinois, Beard Guyz uses all-natural products to design a fantastic line of men’s care products.
My initial impressions: Let’s talk about scent. I tried the Beard Wash, Beard Conditioner, and Beard Balm, and the products had a very neutral smell to them—think a well-milled French soap. Personally, I find that refreshing. Most men’s products try very hard to be noticed and in doing so can often be very overpowering. These products are very understated and fresh.
Beard Wash and Conditioner: I’ll review these in combination as they’re meant to be used in tandem. The wash is potent, but its viscosity is very light. It runs like water in the palm, making control and application a little loose. You could waste some product in the shower if you aren’t careful, it’s that thin. That being said, it lathers well and does an amazing job of stripping loose the dirt and product that builds up during the day. The scent doesn’t last much past the rinse (which is a plus for me) but the deep clean you get with this product is fantastic. Now, about the conditioner… The ingredients? Perfectly balanced. The formulation? The perfect thickness to cling to your beard for the recommended 30 seconds. It rinses clean with no residual waxes or chemicals and leaves your facial hair soft, clean and easily managed. Again, the scent is clean but very light and fades shortly after your shower. It’s a phenomenal daily conditioner.
Beard Balm: I normally don’t use balm, preferring oils (I have a shorter beard, so balms can get a little heavy for me). However, the wash and conditioner were so good, I had to give the balm a try and I wasn’t disappointed. It melts really well, rubs into the hair of the beard with ease and, although heavier than a beard oil, isn’t as waxy or thick as many of the other balms I’ve tried. My only complaint? Where the wash and conditioners scent faded quickly, the scent in the balm has some serious staying power. Be forewarned. Otherwise? A fantastic product and a great finish to the cleaning duo.
Poseidon Men’s Collection
Produced in Snellville, Georgia, this is another all-natural men’s product line.
Oakmoss Shave Soap: This was a fantastic find, a solid tinned shaving soap made with coconut, olive, and palm oils. The scent is light but masculine, almost a green tea smell, that rinses clean and fades entirely. It lathers quickly with a thick creamy foam and clings to the skin and stubble very well, its proprietary blend of natural clays form an excellent barrier between your skin and the blade. It’s a great pick for a mug soap and, although I used a softer badger brush, I think it would be best applied with a stiffer boar bristle brush.
Oakmoss Body Butter: Let me open with the fact that I don’t use a lot of moisturizing products. I don’t have dry skin so its never really been an issue for me. That being said, the shave soap was excellent, so I decided to give the “Body Butter” a fair shot. First, it didn’t absorb well. And by well, I mean almost not at all. I had a very nice, very slick layer on the surface of my skin for hours. That is probably due to my skin, but it was actually uncomfortable after a while. Second? The scent on my skin was TOTALLY different than the scent in the package. Again, most likely my particular chemistry, but it was markedly different and not nearly as pleasant. And it did not fade. It stayed around even after I showered, lighter but still discernible. Although I’ve already moved the tin of shave soap to my Dopp kit, I won’t be using the body butter again anytime soon.
Lucas’s Grooming Advice for Guys with Beards
• When choosing products for your beard, remember there really is no “one size fits all” solution. What’s your skin type? How thick is your beard? How long? Do you want a good scented beard oil or would you rather go unscented and let your cologne stand out? With hundreds of products on the market and new ones being added almost daily, the sky’s the limit. Grab a few things that interest you and give ’em a shot!
• If you think it’s not that important to give your beard some extra love in the wash and condition department, think again. Lucas believes washing your beard is even more important than how often you wash your hair. Lucas has a good point: After the age of five, how often do you get food in your hair? It’ll happen every day with your beard. Best to keep things clean.
• Bought a beard balm and don’t know where to begin? Try this for starters: Take the amount you think you should use–then cut it down by a third. Start with that and adjust accordingly. You can always add a little more product if you need to. But trying to remove some after you’ve used too much? That kind of thing can ruin your morning schedule.
• Not sure how often you should wash your beard? Learn from Lucas, who shares: It all depends on what fits into your current routine. Start with how you wash your hair and match that. For example, I shampoo my hair and beard every night before bed to get rid of the days dirt and any product that left. Then in the morning I’ll do a quick rinse and condition. A little bit of beard oil and you’re good to go!