Male grooming has become a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide and men are becoming more and more open to the idea of men’s care products beyond a bar of soap. Some are even embracing the use of makeup.
While you may not be keen on the idea of putting on concealer, it is still important for you to pay attention to the basics of grooming and hygiene. Stocking up on men’s hygiene essentials can really make a difference in your appearance and, consequently, your confidence and the way you carry yourself.
There’s no need to disrupt your spartan morning routine; the more complicated you make it, the less likely you’ll stick to it. So just add—and use—these classic men’s grooming products to your bathroom shelf and you’re good to go.
1 Moisturizer/sunscreen. Many men can’t be bothered with a skin-care routine other than scrubbing their face with some soap. But making one simple tweak can greatly improve your skin’s texture and can make you look fresher and younger. There’s no need to go for a 10-step Korean skin-care routine or anything complicated—just adding a moisturizer to your arsenal can do wonders for your skin.
The moisturizer you choose will depend on your skin type: dry, oily, combination, sensitive. If you have oily skin and are prone to breakouts then you might think you can do without moisturizing but, in fact, a moisturizer may just be what your skin needs to help it calm down: When you dry out your skin by, say, washing it vigorously with bath soap, the tendency is for it to overcompensate by producing more oil, thus leading to acne. If you’ve got oily skin, just select an oil-free moisturizer to give your skin some hydration without the grease.
While some people say that men merely look more distinguished as they grow older, most would probably prefer not to suffer from premature aging. You can stave off wrinkles, lines, and discoloration by choosing a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen for daily use—UV damage from the sun is the number one cause of aging skin.
2 Anti-perspirant/deodorant. Some people use the words “anti-perspirant” and “deodorant” interchangeably but they are actually two different things.
An anti-perspirant keeps the sweat away while a deodorant keeps bad odors at bay by killing off odor-causing bacteria. If your main problem is sweaty armpits that leave embarrassing marks on your shirt, then anti-perspirant is the way to go. If you’re concerned about body odor, then deodorants are your friend. Fortunately, there are many anti-perspirant/deodorant combinations these days if you’d like to hit two birds with one stone.
If you’re concerned about the potential side effects of using anti-perspirants and deodorants, then consider using natural deodorants that don’t contain harsh chemicals like aluminium, parabens, artificial fragrance, and phthalates.
3 Razor/clipper. A clean-shaven face or well-groomed facial hair, if you have it, can really elevate your look and make you appear more polished and presentable. Invest in a good razor or clipper instead of something cheap that you’ll have to keep replacing. And make sure you take care of your grooming tools (keep them clean and dry, for starters) to ensure that they will last. Clippers with detachable heads are easier to maintain.
4 Beard balm. If you have full facial hair, having beard balm is essential. This product can keep it from looking scraggly and unkempt. A thumbnail-sized amount, rubbed into your palms and into your beard from roots to tips, should be enough to make it look and feel smooth, soft, and healthy. It will also help keep you from getting unsightly dandruff in your beard.
5 Hair product. Beyond the basic shampoo and conditioner, consider adding a hair styling product to your bathroom shelf. There are quite a few types to choose from, from wax to clay to gel. The product you choose will depend on the texture of your hair and your needs—do you want more volume? Hold? Softness?—and may thus require a bit of research or trial and error.
If hair styling products seem like too much for your day-to-day routine, then you can save these men’s care products for special occasions or for days when you need that added oomph, say, when you have a date, a job interview, or a client presentation. It’s just something that’s nice to have on hand so you can level up your look in an instant.