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Men’s essential grooming guide

men's grooming

Just like women have their beauty routine, men must have their grooming routine. And no I’m not saying you should have five or six different specialty cremes and spend as much time grooming yourself as a woman, but you should have a few key basics things that you do on a daily or weekly basis that will keep you a well groomed gentleman.

Taking care of your skin is the single most important thing you can do for your appearance. Sure, a sense of style helps, but the best clothing in the world can’t cover-up dry flaky skins or unsightly bumps and blemishes. Even if you think you’re a skin care expert — and chances are you don’t — this refresher course from the basic to the advanced will remind you of what you should be including in your skin care arsenal.

Face wash

Back twenty years ago, it was a miracle if men’s grooming including anything more than a toothbrush and a bar of soap. Unfortunately, and a lack of knowledge, using a simple soap is about as bad as doing nothing at all: It can leave your skin taut and screaming for some moisture. Swap the simple soap for a soft cleanser, but one that strikes a delicate balance between tough and tender. Look for a fragrance-free gel face wash suitable for all skin types that is strong enough to cut through those overactive male sebaceous glands yet gentle enough to be used everyday.

Face scrub

A two to three times weekly face scrub is essential in a grooming regime. Men’s skin is naturally thicker than women’s and has larger pores that roll out the red carpet for nasty debris. A granular scrub will exfoliate and dislodge dirt deep down. No one likes to look at bumps and blackheads, and the scrub will help smooth your complexion for a clearer, cleaner appearance. It also softens the skin as a first step toward a less gruesome shaving experience.


The truth is that every guy, yes even the ones that say they have oily skin, needs to replenish the moisture content of their skin. Even the mildest facial cleansers can leave your skin feeling a little parched. Something as routine as showering or washing your face with hot water can open pores and allow valuable moisture to escape. A basic moisturiser with SPF will restore this and protect your skin from the sun, reduce razor burn, and even prevent against premature ageing.

Eye cream

Women spend a small fortune on eye creams to protect the delicate skin around the eyes and men aren’t immune to damage of the soft, thin layer of skin here either.  The skin around the eyes is prone to developing fine lines and almost every man neglects to treat this area and it is the first place where men first start to show the visible signs of ageing. That’s why everyone — even twenty-somethings without a care or wrinkle in the world — should be using something specially formulated for this fickle facial region. Try an eye cream with Q10 (a coenzyme used to fight fine lines) and swelling reducers like caffeine and cucumber.

Clay mask

Despite the air of mystique and femininity surrounding a clay mask, it can be an important part of a man’s skin care regimen. This isn’t an intense spa facial, but rather a quick 10 minute commitment once a week to deepclean your face. The clay removes dead skin and promotes cellular regeneration. It also unclogs pores while reducing excess oil and shine. Pop on the mask, kick back and read The Retiree for 10 minutes.

Lip balm

 Like the skin around the eyes, lips also tend to get forgotten in a sea of sloughing and scrubbing. Skin on the lips is thin and lacks oil glands to regulate moisture content as well as melanin to shield the sun — this makes them particularly prone to dryness, burning and subsequent cracking and bleeding. All these problems can lead to occasional sores and the development of fine lines over time. With all the challenges here, it’s a wonder how anyone arrives in lip-lock land; simply use a balm with SPF on a regular basis and you’ll be provided supple safety. A quick tip, when using your face scrub, also rub your lips softly to give them a quick little exfoliate.

Shaving cream

Stop with the shaving rash and invest in a good shaving cream, it’s the only way to get a razor close enough to wipe away a five o’clock shadow. But not all shaving creams are created equal. A cooling gel that develops into a thick lather is best for almost all skin types. Gel-based formulas tend to be denser and provide better cushion and glide for a pain-free shave. If your skin irritates easily, shave during or after a shower while pores are wide open. Also, if you can, give your skin a few days rest between shaving sessions.


Aftershaves have come a long way since Old Spice was first released and was a burning alcohol-based concoctions splashed on by your grandfather. Today’s post-shaving balms can actually provide soothing relief. Most formulas use a hint of menthol to cool the skin, but if you’re prone to irritation, make sure to steer clear: Menthol can sometimes aggravate super sensitive skin. Extra ingredients like aloe and vitamin E are also helpful to promote healing.

Scalp scrub

The scalp is just skin covered — in most cases, at least partially — by hair. Yet, that small barrier of hair prevents men from ever dedicating the necessary time to clean it properly. The scalp excretes pore-clogging sebum just like the skin on the face and is likewise susceptible to the development of nasty blemishes. A scrubbing shampoo that exfoliates the scalp will prevent oil build-up and even protect against hair loss.

Body wash

So much attention is given to the complex skin on your face that it’s easy to forget about the other 90% of your body and a bar soap won’t do here, either. A shower gel is both more effective and sanitary than a cracked, germ-laden bar of soap. Granular scrubs are also important to use (in place of a basic gel) one to two times a week for exfoliation and deep-cleaning. Go for one enriched with menthol or caffeine to leave your skin feeling fresh and tingly.

Now, it might sound like a lot of hard work, but trust me, your loved ones will thank you when they are nestling into your freshly shaven, soft-to-touch skin.

About the author

Alana Lowes

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