In this photo: A.E. Kieren Artwork
The last thing you
want to tell yourself when you’re much older is how much you should have taken care of yourself when you were much younger, right? It’s probably going to cost more to correct or “look younger” sometime in the future than investing (both time and money) in grooming care now. But there’s a lot on the market, especially now with the trend in all things menswear on the rise; so it can certainly become overwhelming to tackle aisles of product when you don’t even know where to start. My rule of thumb? Keep it simple — use as much as necessary, but as little as possible (pretty much my go-to mantra for many things in life… like… wine). That’s why I partnered up with Neutrogena Men as they offer a simple, effective approach to men’s grooming. But even before we get to addressing the issues us men have when it comes to skin and hair care, you have to understand what your needs and problem areas are. And if you don’t (it’s OK), just get a full consultation from your dermatologist and hair stylist.
In this photo: TY-LR Trousers
Here’s what I’m concerned with: dry hair and scalp; overall dry skin (face and body); early signs of aging and wrinkles; dark circles and rings around my eyes; clogged pores (especially my nose); clean, white teeth; razor irritation (since I shave just above my adam’s apple); and bumps on my skin (the dreaded “back-ne” or “upper-arm-ne”). Simply put, you have to be honest with yourself. Identifying problem areas doesn’t mean that anything’s wrong with you, but where there’s a will to address an issue you’re concerned with, there’s a way to help fix it and make you feel that much better about yourself. If you’re cool with a little self-criticism (it’s how we all get better and succeed), then I’d love to share seven ways us men can easily upgrade our grooming routine.
1. Make your bathroom into something you actually want to be in.
You know that expression you are what you eat? Well, you are where you groom. If your bathroom is remotely dirty or, more boldly, looks likes something out of Tales from the Crypt, well — to reiterate — you are where you groom. Let’s make that a good thing, shall we?
In this photo: A. FOREO Electronic Toothbrush (on sale) // B. FOREO Replacement Brush Head // C. Marvis Toothpaste // D. Cedes Milano Toothpaste Squeezer // E. WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie Dopp Kit // F. Parachute Home Towels // G. ODIN Candle // H. Derek Rose Bath Robe // I. Clarisonic Alpha Fit Face Brush (on sale) // J. Neutrogena Men Razor Defence Face Scrub // K. Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion with SPF 20
2. Use the right face scrub for the right season (and purpose).
New York has a lot to offer — including dirty air that whips across your face on the daily. This is no different from other metropolitan areas. Regardless, I need a deep clean, so I use Neutrogena Men Face Scrub to really get the dirt and grime out of my skin. Since I shave just above my Adam’s apple (to keep my 5 o’clock shadow) where it can really get irritated due to the movement of my neck, the inherent Razor Defense formula helps a lot here to limit such problems. During the winter months when it’s dryer, you might want to consider switching over to the Neutrogena Men Invigorating Face Wash, which will help deeply clean without over-drying the skin.
3. Properly protect and nourish the skin around your eyes.
Protecting your eyes in the sun is critical not only for your eyes, but also for the sensitive skin beneath your eyes. Too much sun and these areas get the earliest signs of aging (and trust me, you don’t want that). So, always wear sunglasses and use a good serum or eye cream (you’ll need to invest a bit here — upwards of $60 to $80, but a little goes a very long way). When you do apply that eye cream, make sure you use your ring finger to apply, since the natural pressure from that finger will be the lightest. Also, tap along the outer circles of your eyes with that index finger quickly and lightly; this helps move the cells around that create such darkness.
4. Beard oil’s a thing. Use it.
… if you have some sort of a beard, of course (otherwise, skip to 5). I have much less reason to use it compared to some of bearded friends, but I still use it because it makes my 5 o’clock shadow feel nice and it keeps the skin beneath the beard moisturized. Note: a “don’t care” kind of grooming look should actually take time and care to create. Go ahead, get that stubble. But don’t let that dry skin come with it and use some kind of oil so that people don’t second guess your reptile ancestry.
5. Moisturize with a lotion that has sunscreen in it.
This one’s critical: one, for dry skin; and two, to protect yourself from sun damage. Consider Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion with SPF 20. You don’t need a ton of protection here (hey, a little tan’s great, right?), but you will need to reapply every couple of hours. So make sure you keep a bottle of it every where you go along with the rest of your day’s adventure goodies.
6. Do whatever to your hair. Just hydrate it first.
A properly hydrated base is the key to whatever you do to your hair style-wise. Find a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that offers premium hydration, and wash your hair about three times a week (not every day). Washing it out too much will ultimately cause your hair to become dry naturally and an added benefit to not washing your hair every day is that you’re hair will style much better. So remember: hydration, hydration, hydration.
7. Get a facial routinely.
Treat yourself to a quality facial at least once a month. There’s only so much that new spiffy bathroom will do, but everything listed above should keep you in tip top shape between professional treatments/consultations. (If you’re in New York City, check out Hey Day.)
In partnership with Neutrogena Men. Photography by yours truly.