Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which our editors and contributors endorse something they’ve tried and loved—and think will change your life for the better. If you purchase a product or service through a link in this story, we may receive a small commission.
If your hair is naturally wavy or curly—or if you insist on using one of those multi-blade razors that dominate men’s grooming—chances are you’ve gotten an ingrown hair or two. And one way to help prevent them is by making sure to lift your scruff away from your face before you shave.
My favorite way of doing this is with a facial scrub, a product that generally features tiny particles of something or other to actually do the work of scrubbing dead skin cells off your face. Depending on where you shop, these particles can include everything from brown rice to bits of apricot seeds. In recent years, there’s been no shortage of debate about whether these products are good or bad for your face, but if you use them sparingly—and you don’t have sensitive skin—they can’t do that much harm.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve fallen bad for a face scrub from the Australian-based, American-made men’s grooming brand Patricks. Its star ingredient is crushed diamonds, which is so far removed from the exfoliators most other companies use that its inclusion feels like a stunt designed to trick trust-funders out of their lazily earned discretionary income.
The truth is this stuff is not only an effective pre-shave beard lifter, it’s also made my skin feel smoother than almost any other scrub I’ve tested in the recent past. And that’s because the diamonds in it are carefully pulverized to a size that would liquefy almost any other organic material. The result is that I spend less time shaving because my razor glides over my face much more smoothly, and my complexion feels less dull to boot.
“Being an ex-tradesman, I knew that if you wanted a smooth surface, you use a fine-grit sandpaper—and I wanted a smooth face,” said Patrick Kidd, the eponymous founder of Patricks, in an email to Robb Report. “The finest and hardest materials we could find were crushed diamond and volcanic sand (much finer than normal beach sand). It wasn’t marketing bullshit using diamonds, it was just the best material for the job.”
This effectiveness is boosted by the addition of Floraesters K-20W Jojoba, a deeply moisturizing jojoba oil derivative, as well as alpha-hydroxy acid for improved cell turnover and the anti-irritant Symrelief 100. It also happens to smell really, really good—like leather and vetiver decided to skip the fragrance department and head over to skincare for a fact-finding mission. If I’m being honest, it’s been a struggle not to use this stuff every chance I get.
If you think you can exercise some restraint—and if you don’t mind shelling out more for a scrub than you would for some of the better anti-aging serums—this might be the thing your medicine cabinet is missing.