From the acclaimed psychological-thriller novel and film "American Psycho", we've listed the skincare products that replicate Patrick Bateman's morning regimen

1980s was a decade of decadence not only for women (who wore big bouffant hairdos at the time) but also for the debonaire men who strived to look good—beyond perfect, even. One movie that encapsulated that distinct style sensibility is American Psycho, based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel of the same name. One of the film's most iconic scenes is protagonist Patrick Bateman's excessive morning grooming routine—a simplified version of its detailed description in the novel. However lavish it may seem for many, the Tatler Man may think otherwise.

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Above Screencap from "American Psycho" / Lions Gate Films

“I tie a plastic ice pack around my face and commence with the morning’s stretching exercises.”

Mornings for Patrick Bateman begin with checking if his eyes are puffy from over or under sleeping. One easy (and affordable) way to solve this is by wrapping your eyes with a gel beads eye mask that was refrigerated overnight. This helps to constrict your capillaries and blood vessels in your skin around your eyes thus lessening its puffiness and gradually eliminating the dark circles. Another recommendation also is to drink plenty of water upon waking as dehydration is the main cause of your eyes' puffiness.

In the novel, right after Patrick's morning exercises (if that's how you call 1000 stomach crunches daily), he then takes a mouthwash with anti-plaque formula for half a minute, brushes his teeth with a faux-tortoiseshell toothbrush, then rinses with mouthwash. Still with his ice pack on, he then inspects his hands and cleans his nails with a brush.

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Above Photo: Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk / Aesop
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Above Photo: In Two Minds Facial Cleanser / Aesop

“I take the ice-pack mask off and use a deep-pore cleanser lotion.”

Using ice packs for prolonged periods of time dries out the skin so keep in mind to moisturise. However, Patrick has an elaborate way of cleaning and moisturising his skin that we also recommend you try. 

Here are two different types of cleansers both from Aesop. One is a gentle facial cleansing milk that is safe for sensitive skin and enhanced with organic botanicals. You have to shake this before use and put a small amount onto your hands then massage over your face and neck. You may rinse this with either water or just a clean, damp cloth. The other one is a gel-based foaming cleanser that works for combination skin type (dry and oily). Rinse this thoroughly with water. Both cleansers remove excess oil, dirt, and build-up on the skin and lightly exfoliate without removing moisture.

Read also: Skincare Secrets: Aesop Co-Founder Suzanne Santos on Why Twice-Daily Cleansing is Important


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Above Screencap from "American Psycho" / Lions Gate Films

“Then an herb-mint facial masque which I leave on for ten minutes while I check my toenails.”

Next on Patrick's routine, based on the novel, is using a facial masque. However, in the film version, this was moved to the very last and modified to a peel-off kind of masque to give this scene an iconic haunting ending.

Patrick recommends an herb-mint facial masque and there's no other crazier craze nowadays than aloe vera masks. Aloe vera extract has been a wonder ingredient since time immemorial as it treats a wide variety of skin ailments and conditions. It does not help fight acne-causing bacteria and moisturise, it also helps your skin to recover from scars, burns, and scratches. 

Patrick's routine in the novel then continues with him using tooth polishers to clean between teeth and massage the gums. He rinses again with mouthwash and then washes away the masque and the cleanser before with a spearmint face scrub.

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Above Photo: L'Occitan Gel Douche / L'Occitane

“In the shower I use first a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub.”

Now let's look at those products individually, first with the shower gel cleanser for the body. You may remember from the film that he uses L'Occitane and Clinique products, among many, in this shower scene. Unfortunately, L'Occitane no longer produces the specific gel cleanser used in the film. However, this is the closest to that (or perhaps the same, just with a more contemporary packaging). This L'Occitane Shower Gel has lavender aroma blended with peppery, nutmeg scent of burnt wood. Not only does it purifies the body but it also cleanses and shines hair.

Read also: Beauty Spotlight: L'Occitane Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum


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Above Photo: Amande Douche Gommante / L'Occitane

“In the shower I use first a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub.”

Next we recommend the almond shower scrub that is enriched with almond oil and crushed shells. This melts into the skin, softly cleansing and exfoliating to remove impurities and dead skin cells. After using it, your skin would feel as if you've just used a body cream. Unfortunately, this has no honey ingredient but it's likely you won't need any after using this amazing scrub.

Read also: 8 Luxurious Body Scrubs for Glowing Summer Skin


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Above Photo: Shiseido MEN Deep Cleansing Scrub / Shiseido

“In the shower I use first a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub.”

Lastly is using an exfoliating gel scrub for the face and one of the best products for men out there is this deep cleansing scrub from Shiseido MEN. It helps resist visible signs of ageing and eliminates dryness, roughness, dullness, and excess oil. It definitely solves the facial problems of a hardworking man exposed to dust, dirt and filth. Okay, so maybe now you understand why Patrick needs a tough scrub.

Meanwhile, the novel further goes into detail with Patrick's haircare. Ellis mentions in this chapter the iconic Vidal Sassoon shampoo which was the craze in the '70s for its spectacular job in getting rid of coating in the hair due to dried perspiration, salts, oils, airborne pollutants, and dirt. Alternatively, Patrick uses Greune Natural Revitalizing Shampoo on date nights and weekends. And of course, Patrick is not immune to thinning hair, so he mentions his plan to buy a Foltene European Supplement and Shampoo, Redken Vivagen Hair Enrichment Treatment, and Aramis Nutriplexx system for the scalp.

Read also: 7 Best Dry Shampoos


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“Once out of the shower and towelled dry I put the Ralph Lauren boxers back on and before applying the Mousse A Raiser, a shaving cream by Pour Hommes, I press a hot towel against my face for two minutes to soften abrasive beard hair.”

“Then I always slather on a moisturiser (to my taste, Clinique) and let it soak in for a minute. You can rinse it off or keep it on and apply a shaving cream over it – preferably with a brush, which softens the beard as it lifts the whiskers – which I’ve found makes removing the hair easier. Leave the sideburns and chin for last, since these whiskers are tougher and need more time to soften. Rinse the razor and shake off any excess water before starting.”

This part of the novel did not make it to the film but rather merely hinted at with Patrick's advise of using “aftershave lotion with little or no alcohol”. Patrick elaborates on this further in the novel by advising “never to use cologne on your face, since the high alcohol content dries your face out and makes you look older. One should use an alcohol-free antibacterial toner with a water-moistened cotton ball to normalise the skin.” Here are products you may use before, during, and after shaving.

Read more: Blade Runners: 7 Shaving Essentials For Men


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Above Photo: Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men / Kiehl's

“Applying a moisturiser is the final step. Splash on water before applying an emollient lotion to soften the skin and seal in the moisture.”

It is really important to keep your skin moisturised to avoid pores clogged with dirt and grime, not to mention excessive oil production due to dryness and dehydration. This step comes after applying aftershave, so look for an aftershave lotion that also acts as a moisturising treatment. Check out Kiehl's Facial Fuel which uplifts fatigued skin while keeping it moisturised.

Read more: Tatler Tests: 10 After Shave Balms For Movember

In the novel, Patrick further recommends applying an excellent, soothing skin lotion for the face that removes flakes and uncovers fine skin.


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Above Photo: ClarinsMen Line-Control Eye Balm / Clarins

“Then apply an anti-ageing eye balm (Baume Des Yeux) followed by a final moisturising 'protective' lotion.”

Going back to products for your eyes, check out Clarins Men's Line-Control Eye Balm that smoothens out wrinkles and crow's feet and firms eye contours. It is recommended that this be applied in the evening before sleep. Do not fret because it is non-greasy and has a fresh matte finish.


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Above Photo: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion / Shiseido

“Then apply an anti-ageing eye balm (Baume Des Yeux) followed by a final moisturizing “protective” lotion.”

The regimen ends with the application of a protective lotion to avoid the dangers of sun and harsh wind exposure. Check out Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen. It has not much SPF but only the perfect amount for active and outdoor activities.

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Now if you are wondering on how Patrick Bateman does it for his soft, slick back, wavy hair, here's the final paragraph to this excerpt in the novel about Patrick Bateman's intense skincare routine:

“A scalp-programming lotion is used after I towel my hair dry. I also lightly blow-dry the hair to give it body and control (but without stickiness) and then add more of the lotion, shaping it with a Kent natural-bristle brush, and finally slick it back with a wide-tooth comb.”

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