I write most of my grooming articles based on the fundamental principles of male grooming – skin care, shaving and the like – but occasionally I experience things within my own grooming regime that prompt ideas. Well…
I’ve recently started going to the gym again after about a year lay off, and I’ve stumbled upon something that I suspect many of you guys will have come across too. How on earth can I transfer my extensive ‘at home’ grooming regime (seriously, you should see how many products I have floating around my flat) into something that a) will fit in a modest sized wash bag, and b) will enable me to get in and out of the changing rooms in under an hour?
Lets assume that at the very least your regime consists of a shampoo, a styling product, a face wash, a moisturiser, a body wash, a deodorant and a fragrance – and you start to see where the problem arises. Because it’s not the ‘done’ thing to arrive at the gym with a suitcase on wheels I’ve spent the last 2 weeks compiling a compact, but still effective gym grooming wash bag without the any unnecessary baggage. Here are my findings…
When dissecting my products I had to be ruthless. Anything bigger than 300ml was out the door, while added extras like serums and boosters had to be left at home. This left me with a number of key principles that your gym grooming wash bag has to embrace.
This first one is fairly obviously, yet potentially tricky to get around. When it comes to travel grooming you have two choices; buy ‘travel sized’ empties and decant (which, FYI speaking from personal experience is VERY messy and may result in you wasting most of your shampoo) or pick up a tailor made travel pack, which if you hunt hard enough, are readily available from most top brands.
The TIGI B For Men Travelling Man Mini Pack is the perfect hair care travel companion and a firm favourite from my weekend bag. Containing a mini shampoo and conditioner in a refreshing mint scent (more on that later) plus a firm hold styling gel it gives you everything your hair needs, in a fraction of the space. I wouldn’t normally use a gel but I found this one to be really versatile and not what you’d expect from a traditional ‘firm hold gel’.
Another travel sized favourite of mine comes from a range I recommend time and time again – men-u. Their full sized, highly concentrated products are only a 100ml and offer (give or take) 100 applications, but if you’re really looking to cut down, they do handy ‘buddy’ tubes of their amazing Healthy Facial Wash and Facial Moisture Lift which grant you up to 30 applications (I kid you not!).
One thing that you come across more in the men’s market than you do the women’s is ‘2 in 1’ products (maybe because everyone thinks we’re all so lazy we simply don’t have the time to bother with TWO products), which makes it great for when you’re trying to save some bag space. The first thing I added to my gym bag list was A’Kin pureMan Double Action Face Wash & Scrub, not only because it was a firm favourite of mine, but because at only 75ml its powerful, double action formula takes up barely any room.
Another gym bag staple of mine is the ClarinsMen Total Shampoo For Hair & Body. Traditionally hair care experts will tell you that a hair and body wash isn’t great for your hair, and while on a long term basis I tend to agree, for occasional gym use and a massive increase in practicality I think we’ll be forgiven – just don’t forget to keep your hair well conditioned at all other times.
The last thing you want after a tough work out is a woody heavy scent to your products – as the added heat coming from your body will make these fragrances far too over powering. Opt for something light and citrus or mint based to lift your senses and re-awaken your skin and you’ll avoid that post-workout lull.
There are products I’ve already mentioned/am about to mention in this article that have a mint or citrus twist, but here are a few more refreshing wonders from the market:
One of THE BIGGEST downsides to life as a gym goer is sweating and generally looking fairly unattractive when hitting the weights or pounding the treadmill. It’s a real surprise that gym’s are a good place to pick up a partner because I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not at my most attractive when I’m mid-workout. Obviously we can’t stop this natural inevitability completely, but these deodorants are some of the best around to fight patches and odour.
While your muscles will take the brunt of your hard work, your skin takes quite a hammering during a heated workout. It’s obvious that you need to put moisture back into your skin, but sometimes you need a product that gives your skin a boost, and an extra hit or revitalisation to stop you looking tired and drained for the rest of your day. These products are designed to do just that;
Hopefully with a few of these tips, your gym grooming routine will run smoothly, and you’ll avoid making the same wash bag mistakes I did during my first week back as a gym goer. Keep it compact, keep it refreshing and your transition from un-groomed couch potato to a well groomed Adonis will be complete (well, maybe!).
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