Common Supplement Linked to Cancer

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

Health Alert 12

There is recent evidence linking chondroitin sulfate – a popular arthritis supplement — and prostate cancer.

I’m writing today to clarify the issue.

The thinking for taking chondroitin for arthritis goes something like this. When you have arthritis your joints get inflamed. The inflammation damages the cartilage in your joints. When the cartilage (normally smooth) is roughed up by inflammation, friction is caused and pain ensues. Chondroitin is a basic building block of cartilage. So maybe taking it will help your body to repair the damaged cartilage.

This line of reasoning seems to make sense. But in medicine, we need more than a line of reasoning. It makes sense to start with a reasonable proposition. But then you need evidence. More on the evidence for chondroitin in arthritis later. But first, the problem with chondroitin.

* The Link *

The problem with chondroitin was articulated in the July 2002 issue of Health Science International. In an article titled “Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Harmless: Arthritis Supplement Could Lead to the Spread of Prostate Cancer” cancer specialist Charles E. Myers Jr. reports that (1) chondroitin is often found in prostatic tumors and that (2) when tissue levels of chondroitin are high the likelihood of prostate cancer spreading is greater.

One study in particular followed men who had their prostate glands removed due to cancer. The level of chondroitin sulfate was measured in the tissues around the prostate for 5 years. In the group with low chondroitin levels, the reoccurrence of cancer was low at 14%. What happened if the tissue chondroitin was high? The cancer returned in 47 % of those men. Cancer Research 1999 May 15; 59 (10): 2324-8)

Another study published in the Journal of Urology reported elevated levels of chondroitin in the tissues of not only prostate cancer but also in men with benign swelling of the prostate or BPH.

None of this proves that taking chondroitin sulfate supplements will give you cancer. It is however, suspicious.

* Safe Alternatives for Damaged Joints*

I have never been a proponent of chondroitin supplements because I have not been able to find substantial evidence that chondroitin is effective in eliminating arthritic symptoms. Since there are other safer and more effective alternatives to chondroitin, I recommend you do not take it.

Alternatives I DO recommend include glucosamine and MSM.

Glucosamine is a natural component of cartilage. I have read several studies that demonstrate its value in reducing symptoms of arthritis. Glucosamine is often paired with chondroitin in supplement form. But, there is no evidence that glucosamine with chondroitin works any better than glucosamine alone.

Patients at the Integrative Medical Clinic at the University of Arizona have reported success against arthritic pain by taking glucosamine — regardless of whether or not it was paired with chondroitin! (Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self Healing, August 1999)

Two recommendations:

(1) Take 500mg of glucosamine twice a day (with food, as a few of my patients have reported stomach upset if they took it on an empty stomach.)

(2) Take one gram (1000 mg) of MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) daily – also with food.

MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in very small amounts in vegetables, fruits, fish and meats. Research indicates that sulfur is required to repair injured cartilage.

A double-blinded study at the UCLA School of Medicine found that arthritic patients who were given MSM for 6 weeks had an 82% reduction in pain. And further, in contrast to chondroitin, MSM seems to reduce the risks of some types of cancers in laboratory animals.

I have seen dramatic reductions in arthritic symptoms with MSM. In fact, it is our first choice at the wellness center.

Al Sears, MD

How Much Do You Need?

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

Health Alert 15

You are faced with a dilemma every time you shop for an herb, vitamin or nutritional supplement. You find what you are looking for and there on the shelf sets bottle after bottle of different amounts of the same supplement. How much do you need?

I encountered this problem recently. Imagine what you would do if it happened to you. Let’s say you are on vacation in the mountains of Colorado and your friend begins to suffer from mild altitude sickness. You know the best solution for this is the herb gingko biloba. You want to give her a dose of 200mg with plenty of water every 4 to 6 hours until she fells better.

You call the hotel convenient store to ask if they had gingko. Yea they have it. How much? The clerk doesn’t know. You walk down to the lobby and find the supplement packaged as six capsules in a plastic pouch for $5.95. The amount of gingko per serving is 10 mg. A serving has two capsules.

So to give 200 mg, you would have to give 20 servings or 40 capsules. Four times a day would be 160 capsules or about $160 per day. Of course even if you are willing to pay that much you wouldn’t want or expect anyone to swallow that many.

The point is that even if you know the correct remedy and can find it on hand you can’t use it for the desired effect unless you also know and can find the correct dose. Even at a high altitude store, the remedy that was on hand to treat altitude sickness could not be used in doses needed to be effective.

Adding to the problem, the labels can be hard to read and the choices daunting.

Even worse, sometimes the label won’t tell you the amount contained but has something like “proprietary blend”

Today’s Health Alert will provide you with a few simple rules you may find helpful. They have helped my patients.

* What You Need to Know about Nutrients with Known Requirements*

• The FDA is responsible for setting labeling requirements for vitamins and dietary supplements.

• The FDA has changed their system of naming several times and has created some confusion. What used to be called recommended daily allowance (RDA) was changed to minimum daily allowance. Recently it has been changed again to simply daily value (DV).

• All supplements that have a known minimum requirement are required to list their amount as a percentage of that minimum. Here is a list of the daily values of common nutrients.

RDA

Vitamin A 5,000 IU

Vitamin B6 2.0 mg.

Vitamin C 6O mg.

Vitamin D 400 IU

Vitamin E 30 IU

Calcium 1000 mg.

Phosphorus 1000 mg.

Zinc 15 mg.

Niacin 20 mg.

Magnesium 400 mg.

You should use this Daily Value as a reference point. It tells you how much of a nutrient is necessary to prevent symptoms of deficiency. It is important to note, however, that some nutrients have additional roles beyond preventing deficiencies see Health Alert #11

* How to Handle Supplements without Established Requirements *

• Realize that amounts are still important.

• If a supplement has any active ingredient without the amount specified, don’t take it.

• Know the amount of a supplement you want to take before you enter the store. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on the sales clerk.

Al Sears, MD

Building Your Dream Body

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

Health Alert 18

Today is the first in a series of letters designed to teach you what I know about transforming your body into a healthier and more attractive shape.

You probably have a certain image of yourself you would like to attain. You would like to transform your physique. Perhaps it’s a masculine chest and arms, perhaps shapely hips. If you’re like most of my patients, you would like a trimmer waist. It’s what gives men that V-taper we associate with manly health and vitality. And it gives women the ultimate in sexy figures, that hourglass shape.

We all know we look better when we have a lean waist but don’t let anyone tell you that leanness is an issue of vanity. Quite to the contrary, it is probably the biggest single predictor of good health I can assess in my patients.

And that’s exactly what I do. We measure the leanness of all new patients. It’s non-invasive, fast and inexpensive. The information is very valuable. I really don’t understand why physicians don’t do it. But you can do it yourself.

All science starts with measurement. If we want to be scientific about changing your body, we have to accurately measure what we are striving to change.

* What You Should Measure *

There are several ways you can measure your leanness. The best is by measuring your body composition. The easiest way to do this is with skin calipers. You can get them at exercise equipment stores or you can order them online at (www.bodytrends.com). They come with simple instruction manuals. They really are quite easy to use.

Another method is to measure your waist and hip girths. Simply wrap a tape measure around your waist at your navel and record the number in inches. Next measure the circumference around your hips at their widest point.

Another even easier way is to grab your skin between your finger and thumb just to the side of your navel and measure the thickness of the skin fold.

* What You Should Do with Your Measurement *

Now that you have your measurement, you need to know what it means. Here is a general overview for each technique.

Body composition for men should be 10-20 % fat and for women 15-25% fat.

Waist girth should be less than your hip girth for both men and women. Even better is a waist girth 1 inch or more smaller than hips for men and 3 inches or more for women.

Lastly, when you pinch your skin beside your navel it should measure less than 1 inch in both men and women.

If you passed the test for leanness, congratulations! If you didn’t, record the measurements with today’s date and commit to changing it. With the right tools, it may be easier than you think.

Next time, we will talk about the second step toward building your dream body.

Al Sears, MD

Who’s Health Is It?

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

No one cares about your health and the health of your loved ones more than you do. We at the Wellness Research Foundation believe that the best way to ensure quality in healthcare is to allow you to be in control. We believe you have an inherent right to decide on quality, expertise, respect and alternative treatments for your own health.

Unfortunately, the modern medical system all too often robs you of this natural right. Drug company marketing incentives directly conflict with your need for honest information. Hospitals and insurance companies make decisions concerning your health care options without your consent. Your own doctor has seen his authority eroded, and worse, has become increasingly dependent on medical information biased by economic influences beyond his control.

John Stewart Mill said, “A man’s (or woman’s) autonomy over his (or her) own body is absolute.” We are committed to joining you in reclaiming this right as we proclaim the following principles.

Your Health Emancipation Proclamation

1) You should be free to choose, according to your own standards.

2) You must have absolute “veto power” over any medical treatment option.

3) You should have access to medical research done by independent companies who will not benefit financially from the results.

4) You should be informed of potential side effects of any treatment option proposed.

5) You should have public education programs focused on wellness.

6) You should have equal and uncensored access to natural alternatives to conventional medical procedures and treatments.

To support you as a partner in these collaborate efforts, the WELLNESS RESEARCH FOUNDATION proclaims our commitment to provide research, education, publishing and an unbiased wellness information forum.

The Wellness Research Foundation Promises To:

Conduct new research to determine the effectiveness of more natural treatments.

  • Collate neglected international research data for a broader base of options.
  • Develop and support not-for-profit wellness programs.
  • Hold public seminars to disseminate health improvement strategies.
  • Cooperate with public institutions to share wellness findings.
  • Publish original, primary research articles.
  • Publish not-for-profit books, pamphlets, and reports on wellness and disease.
  • Provide a monthly wellness letter.
  • Discuss representative health concerns of all ages and groups.
  • Provide a medium for the developing, expressing and interacting of diverse views.

Proclaimed by the Board of Directors of the WELLNESS RESEARCH FOUNDATION.

Empower Yourself … And Keep Your Most Valuable Possession

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

“Every man is born with one possession which out values all others…His last breath”

–Mark Twain

Deep down, we all know there is nothing more important than our health. But sometimes we need reminding. We get distracted by our busy daily routines. It’s easy to neglect your health when it’s good.

It’s my job to remind you. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to taking care of yourself. Don’t take your health for granted. Take preventative action now, before things go bad.

In ancient China, they paid their doctors when they were well and stopped if they got sick. Sounds like a good system.

In today’s installment, you’ll find out why you have to take more responsibility for managing your own health than ever before.

* What Was Current Yesterday Is Outdated Today *

? The incredible speed of medical progress is a double-edged sword. A wise professor in medical school once told me that 50% of everything I learned in medical school would become obsolete within 10 years. Since graduating, the pace of change has only accelerated further.

• Publishing industry experts estimate that more than 6000 pages of new medical information are published every day. Even if your doctor reads 300 pages of new medical information per day, he is only skimming 5%. This overwhelming volume has lead to further and further specialization in medicine.

• Meanwhile, medicine has become big business. The insurance industry is taking control of decision making from your doctor. Their demands are forcing a hectic day-to-day lifestyle on doctors. The average workload is 150 patients per week.

• A recent issue of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that Americans headed to their doctors’ offices 697,082,000 times last year. After waiting to see the doctor, the average time spent face-to-face was to less than 10 minutes.

• The average time to ask the doctor questions is less than 60 seconds.

• According to April 2002, issue of US News & World Report, “This assembly line approach to medicine leaves patients frustrated and doctors disillusioned.”

* Power to the Patient *

These conditions call for a new approach … a system that empowers patients to become better equipped to manage their own health. Twenty-first century technology can help offer solutions. Ask your doctor if he has an E-mail address. E-mail correspondence can be an efficient way to improve communication with your doctor. Your doctor may even have his own web site. You should ask.

Plan for your next visit in advance by scanning the internet for information on your health concerns. Jot down notes and questions to take with you when you see your doctor. Take a friend or a spouse to help you remember. And as always, if he gives you a drug ask about alternatives – and ask about side effects.

I have maintained for years that the highest ethical role for a doctor is to inform and advise. Now with the power of Internet communication, I can accomplish this with far greater efficiency than ever before. Now you can have the option of considering health matters from a different point of view – The perspective that drugs should be minimized and natural alternatives preferred.

In the next installment, I will look at the most important supplement you should be taking. Hint: It’s not a vitamin.

Al Sears, MD

Drug Danger Hits Home

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

 

I had a narrow escape with danger last month. LM, a 68 year-old retired teacher living in Boca Raton came to see if I would help her lower cholesterol without drugs. She had heard through a friend that I specialized in natural alternatives.

LM had been given Zocor, one of the “statin” drugs. Soon after taking it, she began to feel tired and sore. “I told my doctor that I was aching all over and I had no energy. He said it couldn’t be the medication and I needed to keep taking it. He prescribed Celebrex for the pain but it didn’t help. I’m not supposed to see him again for three months.”

“It got so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. So … I don’t know if I should tell you this, but … I stopped the Zocor on my own, against his advice. I felt so much better. The next day, my energy came back. I haven’t taken any for a week. My muscles are still a little sore but that’s getting better too. I know it was the drug and I’ll never take it again.”

I reassured LM that she had done the right thing. She could use natural alternatives that would be safe. I checked her blood to make sure her kidneys were recovering. They were. But her cholesterol was a whopping 290. And it was mostly the unhealthy kind, LDL cholesterol. This combination makes having a heart attack or a stroke more likely.

* A Clear Case for a Natural Alternative *

So did I tell her to take a drug? Absolutely not! Natural alternates work as well without the dangers. I informed her about a little known natural supplement called policosanol.

Policosanol is an organic alcohol derived from plants. I know of at least 15 studies proving its effectiveness and safety. I’ve never seen any side effects and no serious side effects have been reported. I gave it to LM and in just one month, her total cholesterol plummeted to 208. Even better, that important ratio of good to bad cholesterol has already normalized.

You can get policosanol at any of the nutrition chain stores. I’ve seen it at GNC, Wild Oats, Nutrition World and others. I’ve used multiple brands with equally good results. I usually recommend starting with 20 milligrams per day and measure a cholesterol blood test in 3 months. You can take it any time of day, with or without food.

We made one other important change with LM. We stopped several other drugs and replaced them with natural alternatives – including what she had been told was HRT. That’s the subject I want to bring up in your next letter.

Al Sears, MD

Furnished versus Unfurnished

Renters will often be faced with the decision of whether to opt for a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment. The majority of apartments available for rent are likely to be unfurnished apartments but there are some apartments which are available with furnishings. There are some situations in which it makes sense to choose a furnished apartment. Likewise there are situations in which a furnished apartment is not a good idea. This article will discuss these situations in an effort to assist the reader in determining whether or not it is better to rent a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment.

iqmatics_ss2What Does Furnished Mean?

A furnished apartment may mean different things to different people. Some renters may expect a furnished apartment to have each and every room completely furnished with every possible piece of furniture. Typical furnishings may include a bed, a dresser, nightstands, alarm clock with built in radio, a television, stereo equipment, DVD player, an entertainment center, couch, coffee table, end tables, kitchen table and kitchen chairs. It may also include dining room furniture such as a dining room table, chairs and a curial cabinet. Others may assume a furnished apartment includes only the necessary furnishings such as a bed, couch, kitchen table and chairs. This essentially eliminates all electrical equipment as well as furniture deemed to be decorative in nature such as a coffee table, end tables or nightstands.

When is a Furnished Apartment a Good Idea?

A furnished apartment is a good idea for recent college graduates who lived on campus in a dorm room prior to graduation. These students likely have very little furniture of their own. In this case, renting a furnished apartment may be more economical than purchasing enough furniture to live comfortably in the apartment.

The overall cost of a furnished apartment may be higher in the long run because the renter may pay more but those who are unable to pay a great deal of money upfront to furnish an apartment might not mind paying this additional amount. For these renters, they are not likely to notice the impact of a slightly higher monthly rent payment but they would definitely feel the impact of significant purchases such as a bed, couch or dining room set.

When is an Unfurnished Apartment a Good Idea?

There are certain situations in which an unfurnished apartment is a good idea. This includes a situation where the renter has already accumulated enough furniture to furnish the entire apartment. In this case, selecting a furnished apartment would not make sense because the renter would have to find a location to store either his own furniture or the furniture supplied by the apartment complex. The cost of storage can add up very quickly. Additionally, the renter probably pays a higher rent to stay in a furnished apartment.

An unfurnished apartment is also a good idea when the renter currently does not have any furniture but is looking forward to purchasing furniture and has already saved up enough money to make these purchases. In this situation the renter will likely select an unfurnished apartment and plan on shopping for furniture almost immediately after taking possession of the rental property.

Storing Extra Furniture

Renters who opt for a fully furnished apartment when they already have a sufficient amount of furniture have to determine what they will do with their furniture while they are staying in the rental apartment. The options are basically as follows:furniture

* Sell or give away all currently owned furniture
* Store your own furniture
* Store the furniture which comes with the apartment

While each of the above options is certainly valid, the renter should seriously consider whether or not they want to pay additional storage fees just to rent a furnished apartment. Renters who plan to sell or donate their current furniture do not face this dilemma but those who plan to store one set of furniture should carefully consider the price of storage. They should also consult with the leasing agent to determine if there are any contract items which prohibit placing furniture owned by the apartment complex in an offsite storage facility. There may be provisions which allow for these items to be stored but require them to be stored onsite.

Online Shopping During Festive Season

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shoppingShopping online during the holidays is quickly becoming one of the most popular options for shoppers. Although many shoppers still enjoy the hustle and bustle of doing their holiday shopping in traditional stores and may also enjoy the festive decorations festooning stores during the holiday season, many shoppers are glad to have the option to do at least part of their holiday shopping online. This is because there are a myriad of benefits to shopping online during the holiday season. Two of the most common benefits include the ability to do last minute shopping online and the convenience of avoiding overcrowded stores during the holiday season. This article will discuss these two advantages in greater detail and will also provide information on some of the other advantages to online shopping which are also important to holiday shoppers.

Last Minute Shopping for Holiday Gifts

Although there are some shoppers who are well prepared and do their holiday shopping in advance, many shoppers find themselves scrambling to purchase gifts at the last minute. These last minute shoppers far outnumber the well organized individuals who complete their holiday shopping months in advance. This category also includes not only chronic procrastinators who put off holiday shopping until the last minute but also includes well intentioned shoppers who were caught by surprise with a need to purchase gifts for a few extra people at the last minute. Fortunately for these last minute shoppers, online shopping take a great deal of the stress out of last minute shopping.

One of the greatest benefits of last minute shopping is the ability to ship gifts to friends and relatives. The available shipping options may even make it possible for shoppers to have these gifts arrive within 24 hours after making the purchase. Shoppers may pay a premium for these express shipping services but it can be a worthwhile investment for last minute shoppers who would otherwise be caught empty handed.

Avoiding Holiday Crowds by Shopping Onlinemakeup_colletion_set

The crowds at traditional stores can unbelievable during the holiday season. Finding a parking space often becomes a stressful situation and simply navigating stores can be chaotic. While some shoppers thrive in this type of environment most shoppers find this to be stressful. Furthermore some shoppers may enjoy this type of environment for brief periods of time but may have difficulty completing their holiday shopping with so much chaos surrounding them. Fortunately, online shopping provides a welcomed escape to much of the shopping chaos of traditional stores.

Online shoppers can shop when it is most convenient for them and typically the most troubling crowd related problems they experience is slow loading of websites which are overloaded by website visitors. Waiting for a few extra moments for a website to reload may be somewhat frustrating but it is significantly less stressful than standing in line at a crowded store for long periods of time.

Added Benefits to Shopping Online During the Holidays

There are also other benefits to shopping online during the holidays which do not necessarily pertain to the holiday season but certainly simplify the process of shopping online for holiday gifts. One of these benefits is the ability to comparison shop with ease. When shopping online comparison shopping is as easy as opening two different websites from competitors and comparing the products they have available and the prices they are charging for these products. This is much simpler than running around from one store to another to find out which stores have a particular item available and how much each store is currently charging for this item.

Another benefit to shopping online is the ability to purchase items from stores located far away. Holiday shoppers who limit themselves to traditional stores are also limiting the products which are available to them. These traditional shoppers can only purchase items which they physically find in a store while online shoppers can search stores around the world for a particular item. This can be particular useful for shoppers who are looking for a specific item which is hard to locate.

Finding A Real Estate Agent

Whenever you buy or sell real estate, you may be like millions of other people out there, in thinking that you don’t need a real estate agent.  Most people who buy or sell homes, generally think that a real estate agent is a waste of money.  Those who choose to buy a new home, think that real estate agents only add to the cost of purchasing the home.

What most people aren’t aware of, is the fact that real estate agents are normally paid by the seller, not by the buyer.  As a buyer, you’ll get to work with a professional real estate agent without really having to pay for it yourself.  The policies can vary greatly from state to state and company to company, which is why you should always check any paperwork or contracts that are provided to you to ensure this is the case.  When you are interviewing agents, make certain to ask about any type of fees as well.

A lot of real estate agents out there may work with both buyers and sellers, although most specialize in working with either the buyer or the seller.  If you are buying a home, make sure that the agent you choose has prior experience of working with buyers and transactions that involve no money down.  This way, you can count on your agent to be there when you need him the most – especially if you don’t have a down payment.

If you are interviewing a real estate agent and he or she isn’t familiar with down payment assistance programs, you shouldn’t hire their services.  Agents who aren’t familiar with these types of programs generally aren’t on the level, or they may lack the experience necessary to help you purchase the home of your dreams.
You can also make a list of real estate agents that you can interview based on referrals from friends, lenders, and even family. Lender referrals are normally a great choice as most lenders have worked with their recommendations in the past and both are already familiar with each other.  Choosing a lenders referral can also prevent you from encountering any obstacles or surprises.

When you interview a real estate agent, make sure that you have the agent explain his fees.  This way, you’ll know exactly how much he will be getting from the purchase.  You should also find out how much experience he has in the field, and how long he has been working with real estate.  You can also ask about sample contracts as well.  If you are buying a home, you should make sure that the agent works with buyers.  If you happen to be selling your home, then you’ll want to make sure that the agent works with sellers. Agents that are dedicated to one or the other are the best to choose, as they will have more experience than agents who work with both buyers and sellers.

Find a real estate agent is an easy task – providing you know what to look for.  If you take things one step at a time and carefully make a decision, chances are that you’ll end up with an agent who has the experience you want.  You should always be careful when you choose, and never rush the process.  Real estate agents are easy to find, although finding one who fits your needs and has your budget in mind is a little tougher to locate.  When you make that final decision, you should always choose an agent who has your best interest in mind – and isn’t just after the money.

Holiday Beauty and Grooming Gift For him


Your man should have an established daily hygiene routine that keeps his skin fresh, his beard in style and his body smelling good. Treat him with a practical gift with a personal and pampering touch that he’ll enjoy for the everyday and extraordinary!

Rev him up to face every day with this collection of classic Kiehl’s formulas for men featuring limited-edition packaging by designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra.

kiehls Ultimate Man Full Body Refueling SetKiehl’s Ultimate Man Full Body Refueling Set($59, kiehls.com)

The perfect gift for any man, The Jack Pack set contains a bounty of Jack Black customer favorites to leave skin healthy, hydrated and protected so you look and feel your best.

Jack Black The Jack Pack Set Limited EditionJack Black The Jack Pack Set Limited Edition, ($49,nordstrom.com)

A limited-edition set featuring a LUNA™ for Men, a gel cleanser, and Proraso shaving and grooming products to provide a luxurious skincare and grooming experience.

Foreo LUNA™ for Men Ultimate Grooming Collection with PRORASOForeo LUNA™ for Men Ultimate Grooming Collection with PRORASO, ($199, sephora.com)

The Full Size Kit includes all four elements of The Perfect Shave®, Pre-Shave Oil, Shaving Cream, a Shaving Brush, and our After-Shave Balm. The combination of these quality ingredients, handcrafted accessories, and expert shaving technique provides optimal closeness while helping ward against ingrown hairs, razor burn, and nicks and cuts, while leaving behind a soft and smooth face.

theartofshavingThe Art of Shaving The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ – Unscented Full Size, ($120, theartofshaving.com)

The pure, clean floral woodiness of Lacoste’s White Edition wraps the skin in a clean, crisp, fresh scent that makes you feel elegantly audacious, light, and cool. The bottle echoes the timeless simplicity and understated sophistication of the Lacoste polo shirt itself—and the elegant audaciousness of the fragrance inside.

Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 White Gift SetLacoste Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 White Gift Set, ($75, sephora.com)

Designed specifically for men’s skin, MAX LS by Lab Series Skincare for Men is a premium anti-aging skincare regimen. The products help maximize skin’s performance with advanced technology that promotes natural cellular repair and delivers both immediate and long-term benefits, for younger-looking skin.

Lab Series Skincare for Men 'MAX LS' Deluxe SetLab Series Skincare for Men ‘MAX LS’ Deluxe Set, ($120, nordstrom.com)

Wake up winter showers and deeply cleanse your skin with this limited-edition set for him by MOLTON BROWN London. Dynamic, hearty and invigorating.

MOLTON BROWN LondonMOLTON BROWN London ‘Signature Washes for Him’ Set, (£45.00,johnlewis.com)

Customised formulas meet the daily needs of his skin. It’s the science behind smooth, comfortable, revitalized skin.

Clinique-For-Men-Essentials-KitClinique For Men Essentials Kit, (£30.00, boots.com)

This Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Pure Badger and Shaving Cream Bowl Set is the perfect package for the discerning gentleman. Formulated without any parabens making it suitable for even the most sensitive skin, this set contains a handmade pure badger shaving brush, which helps to produce a really creamy lather that lifts the hairs from the face, and a bowl of luxury shaving cream from the Jermyn Street range.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Badger Shaving Brush SetTaylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Badger Shaving Brush Set, ($55, mankind.co.uk)

A seductive fragrance for men, Armani Code is a sexy blend of fresh lemon and bergamot softened with hints of orange tree blossom and warmed with soothing guaiac wood and tonka bean.

3614271202000_Code-Men-Gift-Set_01Giorgio Armani Armani Code Gift Set($84, giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com)



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