In the previous decade, businesses capitalized on men’s vanity, birthing the metrosexual fad, which quickly died down. Now, almost ten years later, men are once again investing in skincare products as they graduate from their soap and water routine and seek proper men’s grooming tips.
What is Personal Grooming?
Personal grooming is simply how people care for themselves. For men, the process may include using products to minimize dry skin, their body odors, making their skin and hair soft and healthy, and shaving or styling their facial hair. Aside from using an all-in-one shower gel, more specific-targeting products are included, like anti-aging sunscreens, moisturizers, concealers, and more.
Although some guys spend hours looking flawless, everyone can easily incorporate this into their lifestyle on almost all budgets. This guide shows the basic concepts that most people already know and some tips you probably don't.
Is a Grooming Routine Essential?
Before white-collar jobs in air-conditioned offices, men were working hands-on jobs that got them all rugged, sweaty, and dirty after a long day. Hence, why women may be attracted to the most worn-out man as his testosterone level shoots up.
But as the times change and a more corporate world emerges, so do a man’s personal care needs. The chances of you going into an interview drenched in sweat, wearing an unkempt beard and unruly hair, and getting the job are highly unlikely. Do not even get started with finding a date.
Aside from looking good, having a grooming routine is essential as it was clinically proven to prevent and inhibit stress, anxiety, and anger, by increasing concentration and happiness. The same research also mentions that it can also reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
May it be the economic or mating demands, today’s modern men are becoming more accepting in tackling grooming, seeing it beyond a form of vanity and instead as an investment to keep themselves young and healthy for their survival in modern dating and corporate roles. After all, clean-looking men end up having better opportunities.
Mastering Grooming Shows Confidence & Respect
Taking care of one’s self involves a certain level of discipline. Having a daily routine helps hone and mold your personal and career growth, giving you the upper hand in life. When you have mastered the art of grooming, you exude a different standard of confidence and respect that will elevate people’s perceptions of you.
Good-looking or more attractive people get better first impressions due to what social scientists call the “halo effect.” Taking care of yourself allows you to put your best face forward, making people think you are smarter and have more positive personality traits. It is as if there is a non-visible halo above your head, saving you from appearance discrimination and earning more respect.
Depriving yourself with things and habits that nurture your mental and physical health decreases your sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. In the end, you’ll find yourself shying away from better opportunities as you may think you don’t deserve them. But when you indulge in a self-care routine, people will notice the difference and help boost your confidence by affirming your skills and capabilities.
Do not forget you are what you feed your body.
Cleanse Thy Self Beyond Soap and Water
The most basic way to take care of yourself is by taking a bath at least twice daily. Although there is nothing wrong with using just shampoo, a bar of soap, and water in your pre-adolescent years, you may start to reconsider your grooming routine as a grown man.
It can be hard to transition from your two-step skincare routine to using products targeting your problem areas and beyond. Hence, here are...
The Basic Foundations of Impeccable Grooming
1. Look Good. Smell good. Feel good
Feeling good is the ultimate goal you need to envision before partaking in your personal care routine, and then find ways to achieve it by planning how to smell and look good.
Start by leveling up your fragrance game. Familiarize yourself with the different fragrance families to find your signature scent from the fragrance wheel. It does not have to be complicated. Choose from the basic ones—woody, floral, amber, and fresh.
Woods: smells warm and powdery, reminiscent of woods and moss (example: Patchouli, Vetiver, and Sandalwood).
Floral notes: reminiscent of fresh fruity flowers (example: Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, and Rose).
Amber: smells herbal and spicy (example: Allspice, Benzoin, Vanilla)
Fresh: bright, clean, and citrusy notes (example: Citrus, Bergamot, White flowers).
Men’s colognes, aftershaves, and other skincare essentials often include natural oils and have notes from the fresh fragrance family with subtle notes of spicy amber.
2. Your beard and hair are your biggest assets
Having a beard creates a drastic change in your look, which is why many jests that it is like makeup for men. And with your hair celebrated as your crowning glory, it holds so much power over you.
Do not only invest in products that work for your skin, but also remember to consider the items you use on your face and hair. Take time to choose a hairstyle and beard style that will suit your face shape and work requirements.
3. Learn how to take care of your beard
Some think that growing a beard does not require much maintenance as keeping a clean-shaven face daily. The truth is both require a certain kind of care that still involve a list of products and tools.
Beard trimmers are a great way to freshen any untamed beastly beards. To take care of your beard, you need a beard trimmer, a beard kit that includes a comb, barber’s shears, beard oil and balm, and a beard template to keep your edges sharp and straight. You may also use a single-blade razor like a shavette to create clean cuts for achieving the beard style.
4. Your barber and your shampoo and styling
Different professions require specific hairstyles and lengths; the shorter it is, the harder to see any signs of damage. Barbersrecommend visiting them every 3-6 weeks for a trim and to get rid of split ends. Meanwhile, those with longer hair or who are growing out their hair can get away with getting a haircut every 2-6 months since hairs only grow an inch per month.
Regularly going to the salon or barbershop will help you maintain your crowning glory. Your barber has the right expertise to recommend the best men's grooming products that are right for you. Keep in mind frequent shampooing creates very dry hair, so condition daily and shampoo less frequently, especially if you have an oily scalp. The goal here is to cleanse your hair, remove the daily grime and excess sebum, protect your hair from damage by split ends and pollution, keep it shiny by improving the cuticles, and promote healthier hair growth.
5. Banish Your Dead Skin Cells With Exfoliation
You wash your face every day, but it still looks dull, and there are unexplainable textures on your skin, like blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores. A build-up of dead skin cells may be what is causing this.
According to dermatologists, our bodies shed 30,000-40,000 skin cells daily. If you do not remove it, it can stay on your skin for months! Prevent dead skin cell build-up by mildly exfoliating two to three times per week using a washcloth or a natural scrub.
Grown Man Tips for Grooming & Trimming
Whether you have a beard or a clean-shaven face, a true grown man does not look past the need to groom and trim his facial hair. Trimming is essential to keeping your desired beard length while grooming guarantees each hair strand and even the skin underneath is healthy, ensuring you can properly style your beard without overlooking damage.
Here are our grown-man tips for grooming and trimming:
Trim nose/ear hair
Out of sight, out of mind—but not for your nose and ear hair! You may not see them, but the people around you can! So, look in the mirror and see how far out these hairs have gone from their caves. Then grab the smallest pair of trimming scissors you can find and start snipping away. Don’t forget to sanitize them with some alcohol first.
Trim that beard
The easiest way to trim a beard as if a barber had done so is to get a complete beard kit. Look for one that already has a template, oil, shears, and a compact straight-edge razor inside. It is more convenient than doing a DIY.
Trim your body hair
Although body hair can be seen as an amorous allure, there is a thin border between looking sexy and looking dirty. Anything in excess is never good. If you have not considered trimming your body hair, ever, then it is time to snip some away before you lose that opportunity for a second date and especially if your career has strict requirements against hair.
Trim your nails
Whether you are dating or not, unemployed or employed, there is no excuse not to trim your nails! There are 32 different bacteria and 28 kinds of fungi that can thrive on your nails, and the longer your nails are, the more surface there is for these microorganisms to stick to, making them harder to get rid of through handwashing.
Different Ways to Shave Facial Hair Correctly
Men have been finding ways to tame their facial hair since caveman days, having only clams and stones as razors and tweezers. Today, you have a lot of different kinds of razors, with new ones coming up each day catering to the needs of modern men.
Do note that you will need the right razor to get the best results according to your skin and beard type and shaving requirements. Here are the different ways to shave facial hair correctly:
Cover your face with a warm towel or take a bath with hot water to soften the hair and skin and clear the pores.
Use a clean washcloth to remove excess moisture on the skin and mildly exfoliate dead skin cells.
Apply pre-shave oil to prevent the skin from dehydration.
Create a lather traditionally using a puck of shaving soap, scuttle, and brush. You can also use shaving cream or shaving foam.
Apply the lather on the face in a circular motion to lift the hair off the skin.
Map your face by creating a guide on the lather using your fingers.
Straight Razor Shaving
To shave with a straight razor, follow these steps:
Lay the edge of your straight razor at a 30° angle and hold it with the scales between your middle and index finger and thumb under the jimp.
Shave with the grain on your first pass while pulling the skin towards the opposite side.
Wipe the blade clean with a washcloth at each pass.
Do a second pass against the grain if needed.
Wash off any lather and hair debris with cold water.
Soothe skin irritation with aftershave lotion, balm, or cologne.
Traditional Double Edge Safety Razor Shaving
Hold the base of the razor with minimal pressure.
Hold the razor at a 30° to 45° angle to open the safety bar and expose the blade.
Shave following the grain using short, steady, and careful strokes with gentle pressure.
When you feel the blade clogging, flip the razor to use a clean edge.
Wash and rinse your face to remove lather and hair debris.
Apply an aftershave to soothe the skin.
Trim the beard to a stubble or at least less than an inch to avoid clogging the layers of the razor.
Apply shaving cream or lather.
Shave following the grain using minimal pressure and short, steady strokes.
Rinse with water and tap the razor head to remove hair debris and lather.
Wash the face once done.
Apply an aftershave to soothe the skin.
Wet or Dry Shave?
Given the availability of different shaving gears, there are now two ways to go about your shaving routine—wet and dry shaving. For years, wet shaving was the classic and traditional way of shaving, indulged by aristocrats and commoners of the past. Today, the conveniences of the modern age lead to the trend of dry shaving, which is perfect for those who are always on the go.
Wet shaving is a complete shaving routine that many professional barbers follow. It is a 15-35 minute process that starts with a relaxing pre-shave ritual, then masterfully creating a warm lather before wielding a sharp cutthroat blade on the skin and finishing it with a soothing and healing aftershave.
On the other hand, dry shaving is a significantly quicker option. The process includes combing the hair, trimming it to the right length, and shaving away. It can get lengthy if there is styling involved.
Although shaving without cream or water is easier, it can give more damage to the skin. Dermatologists say that shaving when the hair is soft reduces the risks of post-shave irritations. Hence, one of their top skin care tips for men is to wet shave.
Shaving Cream or Shaving Soap?
Shaving cream and soaps are both skin lubricants that protect the skin from the sharp edge of the blade while allowing the blade to glide smoothly. However, they are not the same, but they are great alternatives for each other.
The consistency of these products is what makes shaving cream different from shaving soap. Shaving soaps create a thicker and longer-lasting lather, while shaving creams lather thinly. Hence, if you are after that signature lather that looks like Santa’s beard, opt for a natural shave soap. Not to mention, a tin or a puck of soap lasts up to more shaves than a cream. Nonetheless, look for an organic and natural product to avoid irritations.
Have Cold and Warm Showers, Not Hot Showers
Do not believe those who say that hot water opens pores—it’s a myth! So, save yourself from burning pain and use only warm and cold water when showering or shaving. Warm water clears the pores of sebum and gunk, making them appear more ‘open.’ It also helps the hair soften, making it easier to shave.
Meanwhile, cold water is best for cleaning after a shave as it helps constrict blood cells to tighten the skin and soothe razor burn. It also makes your hair look shiny and healthy. Plus, nothing is more refreshing than splashing cold water on a freshly-shaven face.
If your eyes are the window to your soul, then the mouth is the window to your whole body. Your mouth also houses the millions of germs and bacteria that lead to chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases.
Taking note of that, dental and oral care is a must for personal care—not only to look good. For dentists, the best way to keep your oral hygiene top-notch is to brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day. Do not forget to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Regular oral check-ups and dental cleaning are necessary to watch out for any complications, even without symptoms.
Repair & Moisturize Your Skin Every Day
Pollution and levels of harmful UV rays are on the rise. Going out and about without taking care of your skin can lead to adverse health conditions and early signs of aging. Skincare is not only about looks anymore. It is an essential part of men’s grooming as well.
The key to healthy skin is keeping it moisturized and protected from the sun, so look for products that are highly moisturizing, natural, and have great amounts of SPF. If you have not taken care of your skin–ever–you can start by learning your skin type. Is it dry, sensitive, oily, or normal? Then read the label to ensure that the products you use are compatible with your skin.
Opt for products that have natural sources of moisture and vitamins, like plant oils and extracts with antioxidant, anti-aging, and regenerative properties. Drink water and exercise daily to sweat out toxins that cause your skin to look dull and age quickly. Do not forget to apply sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Don't forget a great facial cleanser to keep your skin healthy. Look for facial cleansers that are mild, hypoallergenic, and contain organic natural materials if you have sensitive skin to avoid an allergic reaction. If you have elevated skin problems, oily skin, or acne-prone skin, go for a day of self-care and search for safe and effective chemical peels or microabrasion treatments; they will do wonders for your pores and blackheads.
Your Eyes are the Window to Your Soul
Unless you grew up with some kind of eye problem, you might have little to no idea about vision care. It is often overlooked, but it is as important as the other forms of personal care. Without your eyes, you will navigate blindly through life, affecting your quality of life, which can cause your overall health to deteriorate.
Take care of your eyes by eating healthy foods, having a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, wearing sunglasses, and resting your eyes by sleeping or looking away from your gadgets. Too much sun exposure, lack of nutrients, and screen exposure on gadgets greatly affect your vision.
It is wrong to place stereotypes against men’s grooming and call it hyper-feminine because it is not only about looking good. A grown man’s journey into impeccable grooming goes beyond what is on the surface.
The products you put on your body and the habits you create betters your health holistically and even help those who are facing difficulties in establishing self-esteem and those battling mental challenges. But most importantly, looking good leads to feeling good, which gives you a better lifestyle and relationships with others and yourself.