We love a good life hack (or 50). They’re a dime a dozen, but the best ones pack a punch as the epitome of cleverness and usefulness combined. Such tips and tricks may be small but they are mighty when it comes to saving time and money, simplifying life, and providing the ultimate easy-button solutions for the pesky hurtles of everyday life. However, leave the groovy hacks for everything but your grooming routine. When it comes to caring for your skin, face, and hair, the shortcut life won’t always serve you well.
1. The dry shave
You’ve just finished a solid hill sprint workout, but now you’re racing the clock to shower and make it to that sales meeting. Stop right there. Before you decide to eliminate that scruff with shave gel, foam, or even at bare minimum, plain old H20, step away from the razor. Dry shaving can cause a world of hurt, from skin burns, cuts, and rashes, to ingrown hairs and shaving bumps — none of which are a good look with that post-workout afterglow.
Proper shaving products, including oils, gels, creams, and foams, are designed to help soften the skin and ensure that the blade glides smoothly and safely minimizing the chance for inflammation and irritation. Some formulas even incorporate natural ingredients, such as glycerin and aloe, for an extra gentle, nourishing touch thus allowing for the closest shave possible. So, if time isn’t on your side, save face and just rock the scruff for a day and wear it well. Your skin will thank you.
2. The comb-over
It goes without saying that the comb-over is not making a comeback — not that it ever really was an appropriate hairstyle. The Donald Trump-esque ’do may seem like a quick and easy hack for a thinning patch. But no one — absolutely no one — will be fooled by your mane magic act. The cover-up fix is never really a good idea. If you have been dealt the balding card, play it handsomely by abiding by this general rule: Keep it short and sweet.
A short trim minimizes the appearance of a receding hairline, so go for a buzz cut or a short Caesar cut (à la George Clooney). You could also shave it all off — or what’s left of it anyway. The added benefit of a clean shave is a cool new look that packs plenty of attitude. The other option is to just throw in the towel and embrace that bald spot in its au naturel glory with a power donut. Just make sure the sides are well trimmed.
And, if you’re in the early stage of hair loss, you may want to make the most of your remaining strands by investing in a few products designed to combat thinning hair. Some treatments claim to stimulate the scalp and encourage hair growth while others, such as thickening, vitamin-rich shampoos, help maximize the quality of the hair you still have, for a fuller, more robust appearance.
3. The self trim
If you’re sporting anything other than a straightforward buzz cut or a clean-shaven head, then you need to have your local barber on speed dial. While you may think you’re rather skilled at wielding the scissors or the razor, this is not the time for DIY. A solid haircut is better left to the professionals. No sense risking patchy areas, unevenness, and missing spots when a trip to the salon is fast, easy, and accessible. It’s the only surefire way to ensure your strands are looking their finest. Generally, a professional trim every four to six weeks is a good benchmark to follow.
4. The one-size-fits-all moisturizer
You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by using moisturizing lotion — and you are, as long as you’re not taking the easy route and using a one-stop-shop product for everything. Your body and face need distinctly different treatments. That body moisturizer you slather on haphazardly to prevent dry, flaky skin will not be formulated to fit the needs of your face, especially since skin on your face is far more sensitive and susceptible to the elements.
Use a daily facial lotion — only on your face — that has SPF properties to protect your skin from the sun’s rays while it moisturizes. Go a step further, and add a night cream that has an antioxidant-rich, anti-aging formula with high doses of ingredients like resveratrol, as well as vitamins A, C, and E to restore vibrancy and youthful elasticity. You may even want to seek out an eye cream to help remedy any under-eye circles and fine lines. If you have oily skin, look for a non-oil-based product.
And, remember, the prime time to apply lotion is right after you take a shower, when the skin’s pores are more susceptible to absorption.
5. The razor double-play
Just as your moisturizing skin care regimen cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach, neither can your razor set. Facial razors and body razors are not always created equally, so don’t scrimp or try to save time by using them interchangeably. If you’re into manscaping, invest in an electric body razor or a manual razor designed with specific comfort guards and strips for a clean shave across your body. When it comes to your face, there are several different options including the straight razor, the safety razor, the cartridge razor, and the electric razor. And, if you have a beard, it is best to invest in a beard trimmer, as well.