Could former England rugby union star Ben Cohen be any busier? There aren’t many men who can juggle work, sport, twin daughters and a national anti-bullying foundation! His rugby career started in his hometown with the Northampton Saints in 1996 and has moved onwards and upwards ever since…who could forget his Rugby World Cup win with the England team in 2003?! In 2011, Ben decided to hang up his rugby boots and salsa’d onto our screens as a contestant in the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Here at the Grooming Guide we appreciate a guy with a big heart and Ben’s outgoing and compassionate personality saw him launch the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation in 2011, raising awareness for the long-term effects of bullying and homophobia. As Cohen says: ‘Every person on this planet has a right to be true to themselves, to love and be loved, and to be happy’ – hear hear! Thanks Ben for dropping by to talk women’s deodorants, chest hair and why hyper grooming just isn’t rugby.
Nick Cox with contributions from Imogen Orchard
Do you have a daily grooming routine?
Not specifically, I’m really not a vain person so for me it centres on staying clean and fresh, with the occasional trim of my chest hair, usually when it’s long enough for the kids to start tugging at it! I also borrow my wife’s deodorant every now and then…I find it works better than mens’!
What are your thoughts on men and skincare?
I spent my whole career training and competing outdoors in all kinds of weather but as I was never really educated about skincare so I did very little to protect myself from environmental damage. Now I always use a moisturiser with SPF like Kiehl’s Cross-Terrain UV Face Protector – it’s broad spectrum and water resistant. Their lip balm is also great and all their products do what they say on the tin. What’s more they have a great philanthropic ethos, they even donated 80 000 dollars to StandUp.
How much time do you spend on your hair?
I have to be careful as I suffer from dandruff, but that’s easily sorted with an anti-dandruff shampoo. In terms of maintenance, I get my hair cut every 3-4 weeks by Cristiano at Richard Ward.
Do you have a signature fragrance?
Not really, when it comes to scent I like to mix it about a bit. Currently I’m hooked on classic fragrances like the Davidoff Cool Water and others from Paul Smith and Hugo Boss. I also really like the smell of CK1…but only on other people!
Do you think more men are making an effort with their appearance?
For sure! The younger generation seem to take a lot more care with their grooming. Nowadays it’s perfectly acceptable to be well turned out and take pride in your appearance, after all it doesn’t make you any less of a man!
Do you have any grooming icons?
That’s easy, none that spring to mind.
Has your appearance changed since you’ve been in the public eye?
There’s a huge difference from when I played rugby to how I take care of myself now. To be honest I’ve spent the past three years re-educating myself. In terms of grooming, rugby isn’t football, I reckon rugby players are generally more casual about how they look, could you ever say that about footballers?!
1. Ben On The Pitch
2. Davidoff Cool Water, £39.60 for 100ml available from Selfridges
3. Ben On The Cover Of Attitude Magazine
4. Kiehl's Cross-Terrain UV Face Protector SPF 50, £21.50 for 40g, available from http://www.kiehls.co.uk
5. Hugo Boss, Boss Eau De Toilette, £45.83 for 100ml available from John Lewis
6. Ben And The Family
7. Dove Women's Deodorant, £2.79 for 40ml available at Boots