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Match Your Cologne To Your Skin Type

When it comes to buying cologne, most men take one of two routes:

1. They restock bottles of the same cologne they've been using since high school.
2. They mix it up, changing their cologne based on what smells good to them at the department store counter.

The latter route is obviously preferable, but choosing the right cologne isn't just a matter of what suits your nose -- it's a matter of what suits your skin. The way a particular fragrance smells will change from guy to guy, as a cologne's scent is the product of chemical reactions between your skin and the cologne's ingredients.

So read on and learn how to find the best types of cologne for your skin.

how to test cologne

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of matching cologne with skin type, here are some basics for picking out cologne:

Play the right notes
Each cologne is comprised of three "notes," or fragrances. While you're at the store, pick your favorite colognes, and spray a sample of each onto a blotter card (practically every fragrance counter provides these for free). Smell the cologne; this is the first note, or "top note"; essentially, it's your first impression of a scent.

Wait 10 to 15 minutes and smell the card again. This is the middle note: it's the scent that takes over after the top note dissipates.

Now, wait 45 minutes to an hour, and smell again. This is the "dry-down note" -- the longest-lasting scent and one that will hang on for three to four hours. If all three notes meet your olfactory standards, you're good to go.

Cologne ingredients to avoid
Many types of cologne contain synthetic compounds. Some common ones that have been known to cause skin problems like rashes, hives, dermatitis, or eczema, as well as respiratory problems, include:

  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Benzyl acetate
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • A-pinene
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Acetone

    Unfortunately, cologne makers are not required to list their ingredients. You can, however, assume that most colognes' primary ingredient is ethyl alcohol (a.k.a. ethanol). This keeps the fragrance's oils together and serves as their delivery base.

    how to match cologne and skin type

    Both cologne quality and effectiveness are tied to a great range of factors, such as diet, environment, genetics, and behavior (stress, smoking, etc.). But the biggest x-factors are your skin type and PH levels. And the oilier (or dryer) skin is, the more potent (or weak) cologne can smell.

    Oily Skin
    Skins high in natural oil represent more active body chemistry. This extra oil at the skin's surface can interact with cologne to create longer-lasting, more powerful scents. Alternately, too many natural skin oils (or perspiration) can merge with cologne to form an unwelcome odor.

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