You take pride in your work, your car, and maybe even your home. But for too many men, the temptation to let a few things slide with your grooming routine becomes a habit. Whether you’re trying to save time, money, or you just don’t feel like being one of those guys who actually has a grooming routine, perhaps you know there are a few things you’ve been neglecting.
This doesn’t have to be the hour-long production your significant other has — nobody’s asking you for that. But there are a few common shaving and grooming mistakes men make in their daily lives that only take a few minutes to fix, and make a world of difference. The special someone in your life will appreciate it, and if you’re still looking for “the one,” you’ll increase your odds of finding that person.
We promise these tricks won’t change your routine that much. They will, however, make subtle differences that you’re sure to notice. Check out these five mistakes, and see how many you can take out of your repertoire.
1. Dry shaving
Come on. This one is common sense, and pretty much everyone knows dry shaving is bad for your razor and your skin. The real issue here is razor burn. According to men-u, taking a shower first is idea. If this isn’t a possibility, at least rinse your face.
If you’re looking to save a buck on shaving cream, try saving that money elsewhere. (OK, so it’s actually $2.37 at your local CVS. But really, you can find that laying around in change.) If it’s a time crunch you’re up against, Marinello suggests using a trimmer until you have the time for a full shave. And next time someone’s checking you out, you won’t have to worry about the razor burn on the sides of your face.
2. Not using moisturizer
Nothing says “I know how to take care of myself” quite like dry, flaky skin. If you’re shaving regularly, you should also be incorporating moisturizer into your daily routine. It’s not just for girls, and while using it will reduce the chances of premature wrinkles, you don’t have to use your grandmother’s anti-wrinkle cream to benefit your skin.
You might have to try a product or two to find one that works well for you, but this small addition will make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. The Art of Shaving suggests moisturizing right after washing your face in the morning and before you go to bed, and choosing a moisturizer that has more natural ingredients that are likely to work well with your body’s natural oils and functions.
3. Using too much cologne
A subtle spritz or two of your favorite scent is a good call — people will start to associate that cologne with you if you wear it regularly. But going overboard on cologne is one of the easiest mistakes to make, and also one of the most offensive, especially if the people you’re around are particularly sensitive to colognes and perfumes. To avoid giving everyone around you a headache — or just being known as the guy who bathes in the stuff, take precautions when applying. Of Iron & Oak advises applying a little bit to your chest at the base of your neck right after a shower, when your pores are still open and will absorb the scent best. If you have a more oily complexion, less is more, because the scent will stick around longer.
We all have friends who don’t notice their house smells like dog, which goes to show how we can all become nose blind over time. The same is true with cologne. This means your brain starts blocking the smell of your own cologne, because it has too many other scents to pay attention to. After about two inhalations of the cologne, the receptors in your brain sort of switch off, explains Pamela Dalton, a cognitive psychologist at Monell Chemical Senses Center. In other words, you might want to spritz a little extra cologne on before a big date, because you can’t seem to smell it very much. Your date will be able to smell it, so resist the temptation to over-apply. If you seem to keep scaring people away with the amount you put on, try one of these great alternatives to wearing cologne.
4. Using too much hair product
The Jersey Shore fascination is long over, so you don’t have to attempt to look like “The Situation” to be cool anymore. (Trust us, it wasn’t actually ever that cool.) Lose the extra hair products that make it look like an oil slick, and you’ll be in much better shape. In almost every case, less is more. “One of the biggest mistakes men make when it comes to hair styling is using too much product,” says barber Lachlan Watson, from the Covent Garden branch of Murdock in London.
The type of hair you have should guide your product selections. Thin hair starts to look greasy and ‘crunchy’ much faster with heavy gels or other products, so go for lighter formulas if that’s the case for you. Substances like pomades and waxes should be used in extreme moderation for thin hair, but do offer good styling abilities when used appropriately. Guy Style Guide writes that nine out of 10 problems with styling come from product overuse, and a pea-sized amount will always be sufficient, unless you have extremely long or thick hair. Plus, applying product to damp or dry hair (never wet) will ensure that you’re retaining a more natural look.
5. Ignoring ear and nose hair
It’s a fact of life that nose and ear hair exists, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. And you should acknowledge it, because the hair’s only going to keep growing, and will start to become little clumps as you grow older. Nice, right? This means you have to take care of it before it gets out of control.
Details Style Syndicate advises against using a tweezers because it can cause inflammation, especially inside the ears. The hairs in both places protect against outside contaminants, so you want to keep some — just not the ones you can see on the outside. Trimming with a small pair of grooming scissors is Details’ go-to advice, though shaving is also an option. (Regular razors are a big no-no, though. If this is the route you want to take, invest in a nasal trimmer or an attachment for your electric razor.) Grooming Lounge suggests taking care of unwanted follicles once a week.
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