In previous generations, all it took was some hair gel and a nice suit for a man to look and feel good. In fact, it was frowned upon for men to do self-care beyond haircuts and shaves. Unless, of course, you were James Bond. Then it was all slicked back hair, trimmed facial hair, smooth skin, and trimmed cuticles (the better to hold that martini!).
Thankfully times have changed, and we can all channel our inner James Bond, inside and out.
Today's savvier, modern man is more educated, not timid to try anything that might help him look and feel his best, and he has access to better quality products. That's right, the best face wash out there is not that blue scrub you got for Christmas in high school.
Yet unfortunately there's still some old-school legacy of feeling like skincare is for women, and that there's something inherently un-manly about using face products. Well, we are here to assure you that looking after yourself is not something that you should be embarrassed about. Being too manly to use sunscreen (to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer!) doesn't even begin to make sense.
Maybe you already have an A-game when it comes to grooming, and want to take your game to the next level. Or maybe you want to start taking better care of your appearance, but don't know where to start.
This is why we put together the top 12 must-do grooming habits for men. Our list is sorted into the four most important categories: Skincare, Haircare, Facial Hair Care, and Dental Hygiene.
Give That Mug A Healthy Glow
Most men these days have some kind of skincare routine, but they’re still far behind our female counterparts. We always wonder why men are all about their hair and shaving but sometimes neglect their faces, when it's actually the most important thing about them.
Throughout our teens and twenties, we see little change in our skin, and we don’t worry too much about our skin. Then our thirties hit, and all of a sudden, we see an aged face with sun spots and fine lines – what a shock, right? Wrong – if you don’t look after your skin, don’t expect to see great results.
So, what can you do now? It is never too late to start a skincare routine, and a regular routine can make you look and feel better, reduce your chances of skin cancer and begin to alleviate the signs of aging. A solid routine will help you look your finest, now and for the future. Here are the 3 most important steps to add to your skincare routine:
Wear SPF Every Day
If you just do one thing, make it wearing SPF every single day. No men’s skincare routine is complete without it. Using a high SPF on your face helps stop those pesky sun damage dark spots, reduces fine lines and increases your skin health. It's simple, just add a high SPF sunscreen as the last step of your routine every morning. Whether the sun is splitting the sky outside or whether it's the middle of winter, it is important to keep up the routine as UV rays can penetrate even the darkest of skies. Plus, snow reflects sunlight back up and causes sun damage.
Our 2x award winning Rain Or Shine Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen checks all the boxes. It's a super light, non-greasy product that doesn’t clog pores or leave a sticky white film on the face. Suitable for all skin tones, this SPF 50+ moisturizer protects from both UVA and UVB rays, which is critical to prevent the signs of aging. On top of this, it includes a number of great nourishing ingredients, including Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea, Licorice Root and Ginseng.
Wash with a Proper Face Wash
Before applying the SPF, it's important to make sure your face is clean and clear. Every morning before applying sunscreen, and every night, cleanse your face to help remove any dirt, pollution, sweat, oil or dead skin cells. Without this vital step, dirt can build up on the face, clogging your pores and leading to breakouts. When cleansing your skin, it's important to use a proper face wash that is both gentle and effective in clearing your skin. Why not body wash or bar soap? These are too harsh and overstrip skin of its natural oils, kicking skin into oil over production to compensate. Sometimes these soaps are alkaline and disrupt the pH balance of your skin, leading to dryness and irritation. A good face wash is pH balanced and cleanses without overstripping skin.
Our Shake And Wake Enzyme Powder Face Wash is a standout product that won the Valet Mag Grooming Awards for the Best Face Wash. It contains natural papaya and pineapple enzymes that naturally exfoliate the skin without harsh, scrubbing exfoliants that damage skin's barrier. To use, pour a dime size amount into wet hands and rub together to create a foam. Massage on to the face, and rinse off – it couldn’t be easier to get healthy, smooth, glowing skin.
Consistency Is Key
When it come so to skincare, consistency is key. It's like going to the gym on a regular basis instead of crash dieting and working out when you need to lose a few pounds. Maintenance of health is easier than fixing problems. So instead of only reacting to breakouts or wrinkles, it is better to be proactive, and treat your skin with great skincare products all the time. This improves the overall texture and look of your skin, making you look both younger and healthier, and will reduce the frequency of breakouts and pace of aging.
Dental Hygiene Is Your Best Friend
Sure, you brush your teeth twice a day, but are you sure that you have minty fresh breath every time you talk to someone? Every time you eat, no matter how careful that you are, some food will remain stuck in your teeth, even if you can’t see it. Bacteria then stays in the mouth, which, in turn, can lead to bad breath. To help combat this, there are many solutions to keep on top of things. Here is how to have great dental hygiene and prevent bad breath.
Replace Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush goes inside that dirty mouth twice a day, and sits there wet afterwards (blech!). Your toothbrush head should be replaced every three months in order to stay in good condition. On top of this, to keep it sanitary, run it through the dishwasher every couple of weeks.
Bring Floss with You
We've all had those moments running from lunch to a meeting, only to realize afterwards that a piece of green spinach was stuck in a front tooth the whole time. The only solution is to keep floss handy at all times. This is absolutely non-negotiable for any well-groomed man, to feel confident and clean.
SHOP TRAVEL FLOSS
We love Quip travel floss because it does the job and it's stylish. The refillable floss pack contains disposable picks that are ready to grab when you need them, and the case includes a mirror so that you can check your teeth after each meal. No more spinach teeth!
Use A Tongue Scraper
Do you ever worry about your breath when you're having a closer conversation with someone? One of the main causes of bad breath (in fact, around 90% of it) is from the bacteria that is left on your tongue. To combat this, use a tongue scraper after brushing your teeth to help remove bacteria and residue from the surface of the tongue. Just like your toothbrush, your tongue scraper has to be replaced every few months, and also thrown in the dishwasher for a clean periodically.
SHOP TONGUE SCRAPER
Hair Care Is Key
Covid’s really taken a hit on our trips to the barber, but there’s no excuse for having bad hair. While many believe that men’s haircuts are very similar, they can make or break your look – aging you or making you look immature. There are some steps to consider when trying to get that Instagram worthy cut that will leave you feeling both well-groomed and fashionable.
Get to Know Your Barber
The more your barber knows about you and your hair, the easier it is to communicate with them. When you go to them for a haircut, be clear on exactly what you want and what you are looking for. Every barber has an individual style, and it is important to check if you are happy with them. If not, consider going somewhere else that will fulfil your needs.
If you have an idea of the exact type of hair cut that you want, then come prepared. Ideally, come with a picture or two of the styles that you want, as this will give the barber a clear and concrete example of your exact requirements.
Check out this hairstyles guide for every type of haircut, what looks good with your face and body type, so you can feel confident when discussing hairstyles with your barber.
Touch Up That Cut Once a Month
This will allow you to keep that ‘just groomed’ look for longer. Make sure that your barber pays attention to the nape of your neck, as this is where your hair will grow the fastest and begin to look untidy. If you have a tight fade, then you may need to get a trim even more often. As always, if you aren’t sure, ask your barber for advice.
Keep Facial Hair Tidy
The shipwrecked beard look is not in and will never be in. Whether you prefer clean shaven or a beard, it is important to know how to manage your beard and facial hair to ensure that you look handsome at all times. Take a look at our best shaving tips.
Keep the Beard Neat
Over the past couple of years, beards have become big business in the beauty industry. In fact, our Bro Mask is cut in 2 pieces to accommodate men with beards. The secret to having a beard that enhances rather than detracts from your looks is how tidy you keep it. No one looks groomed with a wiry and straggly beard. To help maintain your beard, use a beard trimmer to cut the hair down to the appropriate length, and fade it down to your neck and into your hairline regularly.
Check out the GQ best beard trimmer list that gives you a number of suggestions of the best beard trimmers in each individual category. This can help you choose the beard trimmer that is right for you.
SHOP BEARD TRIMMER
Trim Other Hair on Your Face
The more we age, the more our hairs grow in unwanted places like our noses and ears – and trust us, no person in the world thinks this is the sign of great grooming. Rectifying this takes just a few minutes each week, but makes a huge difference to your appearance. Most beard trimmers today have attachments for trimming the inside of the nostrils, and contrary to popular belief, trimming these hairs will not make them grow back quicker.
Don't forget to pluck the errant hairs between your eyebrows and growing out of random places like the tip of your nose. Get a good pair of tweezers and get real up close and personal to a mirror, in direct sunlight, to spot all the offending hairs.
Replace Razor Shave Cartridges Regularly
Never shave with a dull razor on your skin. A blunt blade is likely to cause razor burn and ingrown hairs. Experts recommend replacing razor blades every time if they are safety razor blades, or at least every four to six shaves if you are using cartridge blades. After each shave, to help prolong the life of your blades, store the razor upright, with the blades facing upwards. Keep the razor in a space that is both dry and has good ventilation to let it dry out and stay useable for as long as possible.