With the rapid growth in the traditional wet shaving industry, men are taking better care of their face and skin than they have for the past forty years or so. I would argue that men were taking better care of their faces in the 50s and 60s when they were still using single blade razors and simpler aftershaves and soaps with fewer additives. Through the 70s until today, chemicals and multi-blade cartridges have taken over. Men in this era, let’s call it the “goo-in-a-can” era, gave little thought to what they were doing to their faces (or skin in general for that matter). Thankfully that trend is reversing. With the growth in traditional barbershops and incredible growth in traditional shaving, more men are intentionally looking after their appearance than ever before. We still aren’t even close to the level during the 40s, 50s and 60s, but that’s only because back then, there were no quick, chemical-laden alternatives.
Bear in mind, this isn’t about vanity. Sure, you will look better, but it’s about proper care for your body and skin. It’s about taking care of yourself, which is more important than just about anything else. My challenge to you is to take your personal care regimen a step further. I think a lot of guys out there are afraid to go further with their grooming because they think it will make them less manly or something. Well, stop it! This is about taking care of yourself, which is manly. Below I plan on laying out a few different types of products, discussing the benefits of these products for men and offering a few suggestions in each category, including the specific product or products I use. I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have as well as any other suggestions for products you love using!
Hand moisturizers are not about having silky, smooth hands with no masculine feel whatsoever. Hand creams are about skin hydration and skin protection. My exercise routine consists of four to five kettlebell workouts a week. If you’ve ever used a kettlebell, you know your hands can get chewed up pretty easily (or at least you will develop some significant callouses). I rely on my L’Occitane Hand Cream to keep my hands healthy so I can continue to work out and write.
Tweezers aren’t just a beauty product. They’re also a first aid necessity. Every man should own a pair. I’ve used tweezers on blisters from hiking, splinter extraction, etc. However, I’ve also used them for an errant eyebrow hair, cleaning up the space between my eyebrows and removing ingrown hairs. I’m not saying you need to have your eyebrows sculpted like this guy! But it is important to look groomed and cleaned up. Tweezerman has a great return and re-sharpen policy, so those are always my go-to tweezers.
Do you work late? Do you have kids? Do you stay out late drinking? Are you up late studying? Then eye cream is going to be your best friend. No one looks great with dark circles under their eyes. Well, a little dab at night before bed (or in the morning) is all you need to add years back to your face. Peter Thomas Roth makes a fantastic eye cream that last months. While a little on the pricier side, I think it performs better than some products twice the price. If you want something quick and easy, I highly recommend the Bulldog Eye Roll-On.
Okay, so this is probably where I lose a lot of you, but I swear by my weekly face mask. My wife and I have a nice routine. Once a week, we hang out, watch some trashy reality TV, read some magazines and do our face masks. It’s one of my favorite nights of the week. It brings us closer together. My skin looks better. I work through the pile of reading that built up over the week. I’ve been using the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Mask for years, but my biggest suggestion is to look for a mask that applies easily. Sometimes, the masks that are too thick become too much trouble to use, and you end up falling out of the routine.
If this article is about skin protection as much as anything else, sunscreen is the most important item on the list. Nothing is more damaging to your skin than the sun, and nothing is more easy to protect against than the sun. On top of that, it’s important to realize that the sun in the winter can be just as caustic as the sun in the summer. Just because you’re not getting hot, doesn’t mean the sun isn’t affecting you. The Anthony Oil Free Face Lotion with SPF 30 doubles as moisturizer with the added effect of protecting your pretty face from the sun.
Remember, these aren’t just grooming products; they’re protective products too. They serve a function higher than just looks. Of course looking great is an added bonus, and, trust me, everyone will notice.