Looks, as they say, aren’t everything – but making the effort to cultivate a smart and well-groomed appearance is important, nonetheless. First impressions count, and whether you’re heading to a business meeting or out to a special occasion, it pays to look your best.
Male grooming is no longer the taboo it once was, and nowadays, it’s something you can’t afford to ignore. In 2019, it is somewhat expected that men will make the effort to keep themselves looking sharp and tidy – but if you’re new to it, then where exactly do you start?
Once you open your eyes to the big, wide world of men’s grooming, there is no turning back. Suddenly, there are dapper-looking guys all around you: Your cousin’s incredible hair, your coworker’s glowing complexion, even your old geometry teacher is rocking a swoon-worthy beard that would make any grown man sigh with envy.
How do they achieve it? That’s where we come in. We’ve worked with the male grooming experts over at Tiege Henley to round up eight secrets of well-groomed men that you can adopt for yourself – starting now.
1. Wear SPF daily
Nobody wants to deal with premature ageing, but premature lines and wrinkles can easily become a reality if you don’t take care of your skin. First up, it’s time to get serious about sun protection, so apply sunscreen every day to achieve age-defying skin and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
If you want to speed your morning routine up a little, then use a daily moisturiser with SPF on your face. You can reap the hydrating benefits while simultaneously protecting your handsome mug from the sun’s UV rays. How’s that for a win-win?
In addition to applying a daily moisturiser with SPF, be sure to follow other sun safety practices as well. A 2014 study published in Nature suggests that sunscreen alone may not be enough to protect your skin from skin cancer.
2. Use conditioner every time you shampoo
Want to have great hair days every day? It could be as simple as using conditioner after every time you shampoo.
Although shampoo is effective at clearing away dirt and grime from the scalp, it’s a little too good at its job. Shampoo can strip away the natural oils from your scalp—oils that your hair needs to remain healthy and strong.
To replace some of the moisture that your hair loses from shampoo, make sure that you’re following it up with conditioner. Before you know it, you’ll have sexy, run-your-fingers-through-it hair that nobody will be able to resist. And isn’t that the ultimate goal?
3. Apply beard oil like it’s your job
If there is one beard care product you need to have in your grooming arsenal, it’s definitely beard oil. A nourishing nectar from the grooming gods themselves, a high-quality beard oil can take your scraggly scruff and magically transform it into a lush, refined-looking beard in no time.
Beard oils are basically a conditioner for your beard that double as a moisturiser for the skin underneath your facial hair. Find one that hydrates without adding greasiness and boom—you’ll finally have lush and soft whiskers that won’t give your girl a rash after she kisses you.
4. Adopt a three-step skin care regimen
Every well-groomed gentleman has an absolute minimum of three steps to his skin care regime: cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize – and this three-step routine is key to achieving and maintaining healthy skin.
Best of all, it’s ridiculously easy to adopt for yourself. Start by swapping out your old bar soap (you know, the one that’s actually meant for your body) for a gentle facial cleanser formulated especially to treat the skin on your face. Cleanse once in the morning and once at night, followed by a daily moisturiser to stay hydrated.
Don’t forget to exfoliate twice a week, too. Exfoliating removes excess oil and dead skin cells that can build up and cause pesky skin problems such as acne around the mouth or blackheads on your nose – both concerns you’ll want to avoid.
5. Weather-proof your look
Mother Nature has a nasty habit of foiling our best efforts to look presentable. How do other guys manage to look perfectly groomed despite the heavy rain and wind?
Turns out, they just know a few simple tricks to outsmart Mother Nature. For example, is the rain ruining your perfectly-coiffed ’do? Then pick up a rain-resistant pomade to keep your carefully-styled locks in place.
Is your face breaking out all of a sudden due to the heat and humidity? Battle excess oil with topical Salicylic Acid and wash your face immediately after a sweat session.
Tired of embarrassing sweat stains in the summer? Find a good antiperspirant and rock a shirt with a bold print to help disguise pit stains.
See? With a few tricks, you can look incredibly dapper no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
6. Disguise under-eye circles with eye cream
Whether you had a poor night’s sleep or you’re genetically prone to under-eye bags, dark circles under can be a real pain to have to contend with. But well-groomed guys get under-eye bags, too – they just know how to fix them fast.
The key to combating dark circles is using an eye cream for men that contains potent ingredients such as vitamin B3 and caffeine. Both ingredients help improve blood flow around the eyes and tighten the skin to give you a younger, more awake-looking appearance.
Even if your eye circles aren’t that bad, it doesn’t hurt to get into the habit of applying a cream twice daily. Although you might not be stressing about wrinkles right now, it’s always wise to be proactive with your anti-aging skin care routine.
7. Make time for exercise
You probably know that exercise does your body good, but did you know that working out can also improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin? With just a single sweat session, you can increase blood flow to the skin and achieve a healthy glow that others will find irresistible.
Exercising regularly also reduces stress by boosting endorphin levels. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, feeling stressed can negatively affect our hair, skin and nails, so anything you can do to alleviate your anxieties is sure to help improve your overall appearance.
8. Don’t rush through your routine
We get it: You want to save some precious time in the morning by zipping through your shave routine. The only problem with rushing through your daily grooming schedule is that you’re bound to make mistakes – usually, of the painful variety.
Going fast will only result in nicks, cuts and red razor bumps, which generally aren’t a good look on a professional. Just go slowly and accept that you might need to set your alarm for five minutes earlier in the morning. We promise, the confidence you’ll gain from keeping up your new grooming routine will be well worth it.
Remember: Even the most polished of men started with zero grooming knowledge, and just by taking the initiative to learn their grooming secrets, you’re already one step ahead of the pack. Before you know it, everyone will be stealing your well-kept grooming secrets – so why not start today?