In the first instalment of our series, we visit the home of ANIA co-creator Mehdi Elaichouni to discover his grooming regimen
What better person to learn grooming secrets from than Moroccan-born, Singapore-based Mehdi Elaichouni? A strategic planner by day and co-founder of local skincare brand ANIA at all other hours, Elaichouni is a proud proponent of traditional African remedies, secrets and ingredients. His eclectic regimen — that includes everything from traditional Moroccan oils and exfoliating gloves to his own brand's multi-purpose products to hardworking cleansers — reflects his refined tastes and international upbringing.
I cleanse my skin with either the foaming facial cleanser from Sukin, or a charcoal men's facial bar from Creamys. I like the charcoal bar because it contains Moroccan Ghassoul Clay and Volcanic Ash, both effective for improving skin tone, removing waste and cleansing pores.
My shaving ritual is basic on most days — I just use my Philips electric shaver. When I have time for a proper shaving ritual, I start by lightly scenting my bathroom (right now I have a Peppermint Orange scented soy candle from Hush Candle); then I use a traditional shaving set, using the brush to create a thick lather — I use Old Fashioned Shave Cream by Triumph & Disaster —then shaving with a razor. I always finish my shave with a few spritz of ANIA's Moroccan Rose Water to soothe the skin.
One shaving tip I've learnt for a better shave is to use a shaving brush, as traditional barbers do. It helps to lift up individual strands of hair so that a closer shave is possible. It also creates a rich creamy lather with shaving cream that stays close to the skin.
One grooming secret I've learned from Morocco is to visit a hammam at least once a week — to relax, cleanse, and exfoliate the entire body. It is a bit hard to find a Moroccan hammam in Singapore, so I try to recreate that experience at home by using an exfoliating Kessa glove, Moroccan Black Soap and some Rhassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains.
My signature scent is Arpege pour homme by Lanvin. It is a masterpiece and one of the best designer fragrances ever made in my opinion. It is an homage to the past with a vanilla that beautifully envelops the iris, and there's a good dose of spice to keep things fresh. The only issue is that Arpege is not ideal for hot and humid weather, so I wear it only on cooler evenings.
The fragrance I wear in Singapore is Hugo Boss Orange. It is a blend of vanilla and apple notes, with a hint of spice that is versatile and safe for the office.
I get my haircut at a barbershop in Geylang — it's cheap, he knows exactly how I like my haircut, and convenient as it's just five minutes from where I live.
My favourite shampoo is Clear Men Cool Sport Menthol. The cool feel of menthol is the perfect refreshment for the humid weather.
One skincare product I recommend to all my friends is ANIA Argan Oil, because it is an all-round beauty superhero you can use on your hair, face and beard.
My fitness regimen consists of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have been training and competing for the past five years and I don't think I can live without it. I train at Fight G Singapore, under World Champion Shane Suzuki. Our gym is a collection of people from all walks of life who enter the academy every day to improve their health, learning ability, and stress levels.
Back home my favourite indulgence is my mum's cooking. She is the best cook in the whole world. She is wildly creative, inventive, and so passionate about food. From the finest Moroccan cuisine to the best Italian dishes, my fondest memories are of sitting at the kitchen table watching her prepare amazing meals.
I use my face oils for hydration on my face and skin.
The secret to good skin is a happy and healthy life, plus a simple but effective skincare regimen.