Cardiff Half Marathon

Men’s skincare founder running Cardiff Half for Mind to help highlight the importance of overall wellbeing

A 23-year-old man from Newport, who set up his own skincare brand after suffering with his mental health, will be taking on the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon to raise money for Mind.

Louis Watkins started working on Clear For Men in 2021 because he wanted to make a difference. After suffering mentally during the Covid-19 lockdowns, he wanted to provide a safe space for men to speak about their wellbeing without fear of the stigma of appearing ‘weak’ or being told to ‘man-up’.  

Louis said: “At the end of 2020 my mental health wasn’t in a good place. I was very anxious and felt like I was stuck between the same four walls. I started to listen to what my mind and body needed and it made me realise that self-care, and just stopping to take five minutes and breathe, is really important for my wellbeing.

“As it was lockdown, I had extra time on my hands and thought, why not create a wellbeing experience that aims to encourage men to speak more openly about how they feel, and achieve great skin in the process?”

Within a few months he went from having the idea of creating a facial cleanser, to seeing it slowly come to life. And, after countless hours of research and months of samples and testing, Clear For Men was born.

He said: “The ingredients are very important to me. It’s why our cleanser is free of any silicones, parabens, sulphates and is also vegan and cruelty-free.”

Louis established the Take Five Community, named after his cleanser, which aims to encourage men to ‘take five’ for themselves and to be present in the moment.

He said: “It’s something I talk a lot about on my TikTok channel. Whenever I go live, I have many people join who tell me that they resonate with the message that Clear For Men conveys.

“I also have ‘the five fundamentals of selfcare’ on my packaging too. These encourage people to connect, move, be present, expand and grow and practice kindness.”

For each sale made, Clear For Men, donates a percentage to Mind, which is something Louis said was extremely important to him from the start.

This is why he is also running for the charity at the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 6th October.

He said: “I am so proud to run this half marathon in support of Mind, as it’s a charity that helps with such an important cause.

“It will be my first half marathon, but after seeing my brother run the last one, I had extreme FOMO watching him and knew I wanted to take part for 2024.”

Mind is associate charity partner of the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon.

Poppy Bostock, Senior Officer for Events at Mind, said: “On behalf of Mind, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Louis for taking on this challenge for Mind, as well as all the other runners that will be hitting the streets of Cardiff to raise money for mental health next year.

“The money that you all raise is going to make a huge difference to people with a mental health problem in England and Wales and we couldn’t do it without wonderful people like Louis on our side.”

Matt Newman, Chief Executive at event organisers Run 4 Wales, added: “We never fail to be inspired by the incredible runners, like Louis, taking part in our events.

“His story shows the importance of looking after our mental health and overall wellbeing. Being active and moving your body with an activity like running can really help and releases those feel-good endorphins, and we hope many more people will be inspired to get moving and talking.”

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