It wasn’t too long ago that the bathroom was a room predominantly utilised by women. A place to preen, trim, pluck and scrub, where cupboards were filled with colourful makeup and scented perfumes, while deep conditioners promising to revitalise ends and various creams that lift, smooth and moisturise decorated the shelves.
However, nowadays women all over the world are giving up valuable bathroom real estate, as modern men are stepping up their grooming game. In 2017, men’s skin care routines require more attention than a one-minute shower, a brief introduction to a bar of soap and quick splash of aftershave.
Men now strive to look better, neater, fresher and trimmer and razor rash is a thing of the past, as it’s not only men themselves who are grooming with more care but the quality of the tools available have also improved. Beard oil, pre-shaving gel, men’s moisturisers and double-edged razors now line the shop shelves rather than hiding away in a dusty corner and flossing, haircare and manscaping are not only acceptable but are almost expected.
Do you want to know how to take your grooming game to the next level?
We’ve put together a handy guide that lets you in on some of the best-kept grooming secrets for modern men to get stuck into, leaving you looking and feeling better in no time.
If you’re a man who likes to shave his facial fuzz, you need to ensure that you properly prepare your skin before taking a razor to it and getting a close shave should be basic part of any men’s skin care routine.
Here are some basic tips on how to achieve a super-smooth shave:
These tips will help to reduce irritation and of course, if you don’t have the patience to do the above every time you shave – book an appointment with an expert once a week for a professional shave and make this part of your regular men’s skin care routine.
Manicuring your nails and moisturising your hands are vital if you want to ensure the second most visible part of your body makes a good impression. Modern male grooming tips include going back-to-basics like cleaning your nails to make sure they look fresh but it is important to also do the following:
Non-scented moisturisers are readily available in high street stores and are perfect for men who want to soften their skin without smelling like a florist shop for the entire day.
Nailing a good routine that is quick, easy and very effective will have your hands and nails looking good in no time at all.
The dangers of sun exposure are well advertised and we all know that the sun’s UV rays will damage our skin, which is why sun protection should be part of any men’s skin care routine.
According to co-author of ‘Vitamin A Skin Science – A Scientific Guide to Healthy Skin’ Dr. Des Fernandes, the best type of sunscreen to use is one that has both UVB and UVA, along with the following antioxidants:
Even on dreary days in the middle of winter, the sun’s harmful rays can still pose a danger to your skin, so avoid the trap of only applying protection on sunny days and get into the habit of using it every morning as part of your men’s skin care regime.
“I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man”.
American poet & naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862).
Everyday I’m guzz-le-ing – or at least you should be!
Water hydrates your skin, so not only is it important to drink lots of water to be healthy but it will also help your skin to look clear and fresh.
Here’s the science bit: Water feeds the enzymes that regulate the shedding of dead skin cells, which is why dehydrated skin looks dry and dull.
Just ask Diane von Furstenberg, author of ‘Book of Beauty’, who understands that constantly replenishing lost water in the body is essential: “You cannot have a healthy body without drinking a great deal of water. But remember, you can’t just drink a glass of water and tell a glass of water to please go straight to your skin and moisturize your complexion. Water has to be there all the time, doing what it does naturally in a healthy body.”
Drink up lads!
While it’s imperative to have a good men’s skin care routine if you want to look and feel great, it is also important to set aside some valuable me-time to do nothing but… relax.
Yes guys, chill-axing is not only good for the gals!
Take some time to chill out every week with an hour of yoga, sit on the sofa and read a book, take a bath or do any activity that you find relaxing. You can even take a break in a spa and relieve some tension by enjoying a massage, unwind in a jacuzzi or let off some steam in a sauna and if you are worried about missing out on your “guy-time” – take a friend with you.
Your face is the one part of your body that is visible to everyone all the time, so any good male grooming tips have to include a section on how to keep your face looking sharp. You can cover wayward armpit hair with a long-sleeved t-shirt, put shoes on un-kept toenails and even wear a hat if your hair is having an unruly off-day but you can’t hide your face.
Face scrubs are great for removing dead skin and dirt with their textured microbeads and these should be used every Monday to wash the weekend off your skin, followed by Wednesday and Friday to avoid over-scrubbing.
And don’t forget to slather on a good moisturiser morning and night and your facial skin care regime is complete!
We’ll let you into a little secret… The key to getting younger looking skin that really glows is to establish a routine, as exfoliating and moisturising once a week simply won’t give you the same results.
One major faux pas that many men make is dousing themselves in enough aftershave to go around 10 Chippendales. Your scent should be subtle, not overpowering, and no girl or guy likes to be hit by a pungent attack of cologne - no matter how pleasant the pong!
Here are some ideas about when to wear which scents:
Spritzing is better than splashing and don’t just stick to your ol’ favourite that you’ve been using since the 1990s – add a new bottle or two to your aftershave shelf every season and you’ll soon see the ‘wow, you smell good’ compliments start pouring in.
Before you skip this section in sheer fear, the term ‘manscaping’ is often misunderstood.
Myth Busting: Manscaping is nota routine solely practiced in the world of porn and it’s not only about shaving the hair in your nether regions. It’s about the maintenance of all your body hair – trim it, sculpt it, cut it, spruce it up, shave it, create some edges, define the borders – however you choose to landscape your body hair, you will be cleaner for it.
Manscaping is definitely a novel approach to grooming for many menand no male grooming tipswould be complete without some teachings on what this actually involves. While you still need to do the basics like plucking the occasional out-of-control eyebrow strand, trimming unsightly nose and blossoming ear hair and maybe even get a back wax to stop you looking like King Kong – trimming the hair in your more private areas is also essential when it comes to good hygiene.
From your armpits and your chest to your beard and pubic hair, manscaping will make you feel cleaner and lighter, and it’s likely that your partner will also appreciate you trimming, clipping and generally tidying up your more intimate zones.
Long gone are the days when oral hygiene only involves brushing your teeth twice a day.
Below are some modern male grooming tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene to avoid everything from gum disease and tooth loss to heart disease and even diabetes:
Don’t worry if your gums bleed when you floss, as the red stuff is simply a sign that they are inflamed and that you need you to floss more regularly.
From moisturising, spritzing and trimming, to exfoliating, cleaning and scrubbing; the modern man’s grooming ritual has certainly come a long way in recent years. It will take a little extra time and effort but it will be well worth it.
After all, while the exteriors of the male and female forms may look different, we all have skin, hair and nails that need to be cared for, so when you think about it - it’s somewhat surprising that it has taken quite so long for men to start upping their grooming game! But it’s certainly a welcome change and one that we should all embrace.