If you’re like most of us, then you probably don’t look anywhere near your best when you first get up in the morning. And it’s for this reason that a good morning grooming routine is so important. You want to ensure that you step out of the front door looking immaculate – but you don’t want to have to spend hours in front of the mirror each morning to do so.
Happily, the right grooming routine needn’t be all that demanding. You can think of the job in terms of five distinct components, which can be rattled through in order to produce reliable results. Let’s take a look at each of them in turn.
To begin with, you’re going to want to actually wash your face. It’s this stage that’ll remove all of the grime and harmful microbes from the previous day’s exploits, and from your pillow. At a bare minimum, you should be using soap of the sort that you’ve washed the rest of your body with. But ideally, you need a soap that’s more attuned to the sensitive skin on your face. After all, you want to remove dirt and grime, but you don’t want to be damaging the surrounding skin cells as you do so.
Look for a cleanser that promotes the natural oil-production mechanisms of your skin. There are myriad cleansers on the market, and the one that’s right for you will vary depending on what sort of skin you have. If you’ve got naturally oily skin, then go for something dryer; if you’ve got naturally dry sin, you can get away with something that’s more oil-rich.
Naturally, you should try out several different alternatives in order to get an idea of which one best matches your skin. Once you’ve gotten the right results, you can then stick with the cleanser that helped achieve them.
Your skin is being constantly replenished with new cells from beneath, which replace the old ones on the top. When skin cells die, they remain on the top layer until you brush against something and they come off. But this doesn’t always happen right away – and thus those dead skin cells can hang around for awhile, blocking up pores and causing other skin complications. Happily, there’s a simple way to get around this: scrub those excess skin cells away. This can be done with a soft-bristled brush, but exfoliant pastes will do the job at a more close-up level.
There are a raft of exfoliating products out there, incorporating abrasive grains that will scrub away dead cells without causing undue damage to the surrounding, healthy tissue. Note that not all exfoliants are created equally: some come with environmentally-catastrophic grains of plastic called micro-beads. These take thousands of years to biodegrade, and can end up inside the lungs of the ocean’s wildlife within a few days of you flushing them down the plughole. So look for a biodegradable alternative. Charcoal based exfoliants, for example, come with tiny black specks that’ll chip away at the top layer of your skin and then dissolve once they’ve been flushed.
At certain times of year, the air around your face is naturally going to be dryer than at others. And the simple act of washing can interfere with the skin’s natural balance of oils, leaving visible puffiness and causing irritation. This effect might be particularly obvious in the aftermath of a shaving session, particularly if the razor is less than sharp and the soap is less than ideal. In order to counteract this effect, we need to apply a regular moisturiser.
A good moisturiser is one that’s as natural as possible, and that will encourage the body to produce natural oils of its own. A bad one, by contrast, will simply cover the skin in an impermeable layer of goop, preventing it from breathing and making the problem even worse.
As a general rule, the former category tend to be the natural sort. Again, you’ll want to try a few alternatives before you settle on the one that’s right for you. Remember when applying moisturiser that less is often more – and that it’s better to go for a little of something effective than a lot of something cheap and nasty.
The first thing we should say here is that we’re not talking about the eyes themselves, but the protective shield they come with. Of all the areas of skin on the human body, it’s the eyelid that’s the thinnest and most fragile. That’s why they get so puffy and wrinkly as the years go by. If you’d like to combat this effect, then you’ll need to incorporate an eye-care component into your morning grooming ritual.
This is an area of skincare that many men overlook – but it doesn’t take much care and attention to give your eyes a much better chance of staying healthy-looking for longer. Invest in a specialist eye cream and dab a drop or two onto your eyelids each morning. You’re sure to notice the difference after a few weeks!
Before you can declare the job finished, you need to ensure that you smell good. Choosing the right fragrance, aftershave or cologne is a matter of personal taste, but generally you want something airy during the summer months and muskier when things get colder. Again, less is almost always more. You don’t want to overpower everyone you meet with cologne. Better to apply just a spray or two from an expensive bottle.
If you’ve gotten each of the five stages we’ve discussed here right, then there stands a good chance that you’ve gotten your grooming routine right. And if this sounds like a lot of effort to go to, then bear in mind that each of these steps need only take a few seconds – and if you’re performing them on a regular basis, you should be able to get the entire procedure down to a fine three-minute performance. Now all that’s left is for you to get your shaving routine that’s just as polished! For more guidance visit our 10 indispensable grooming tips for men.