Earlier this year, we published part one of our Male Grooming Manifesto – a list of easy to keep grooming resolutions that you can adopt on a one-a-month basis (or all at once if you’re feeling especially motivated).
Now that we’re almost halfway through the year, it’s time to add another six simple grooming resolutions to keep you looking your best for the remainder of 2015.
Don’t Skimp On The Sunscreen
Most men are now aware of the importance of using a sunscreen in the summer. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a lot of us simply aren’t using them correctly. “Most people don’t apply enough product and do not re-apply frequently enough,” warns Sally Penford of The International Dermal Institute.
The SPF rating on a sunscreen is calculated based on the application of a generous layer – apply too thinly and you lower the level of protection significantly. “As a rule, you should use a teaspoon of product for the face, continuing to re-apply every two hours when outdoors, and a one-ounce, shot glass-sized squirt for the body,” says Penford.
It’s worth getting the application right because sun damage doesn’t just cause DNA damage, increasing your risk of skin cancer, it also affects the skin’s collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkling and the increased likelihood of developing dilated capillaries too. Not a good look.
- Riemann P20 Sun Filter 200ml Spf20
- Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Spray Lotion Spf 20 Medium 200ml
- Ultrasun Sun Cream Spf 30 150ml
- Garnier Ambre Solaire Clear Spray Spf20 200ml
- Piz Buin In Sun Moisturising Ultra Light Sun Spray Spf30 200ml
- Nivea Sun Moisturising Sun Lotion Spf 50+ – 1 X 200ml
Look After Your Gums
In the last few years, gum disease has been linked to everything from heart disease and diabetes to strokes and – particularly concerning for men – erectile dysfunction.
What’s more, a study published in the journal Immunity showed that the bacteria linked to gum disease, fusobacterium nucleatum, could interfere with the body’s ability to fight off cancer. Gum disease is also the major cause of tooth loss in adults, so 2015 really is the year to make good gum health your priority.
Healthy gums look firm and pink and shouldn’t bleed when you brush. If yours don’t fit this description, then it’s time to take action. “You need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day to prevent gum disease,” says Dr Nigel Carter of the Dental Health Foundation.
“This is done by brushing for two minutes twice a day, as well as using interdental brushes or floss to clean in between teeth where gum disease starts.” Sounds ridiculously simple right? Then how come gum disease is thought to affect over half of us? Just a thought.
- Oral-b Pro 2000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush – Powered By Braun
- Philips Sonicare Hx9331/04 Diamondclean Rechargeable Toothbrush White
- Braun Oral-b Trizone 6000 Power Electric Toothbrush
- Colgate Total Pro Gum Health Interdental Brushes Multi-pack
- Oral B Essential Floss Mint
- Dentek Complete Clean Y Floss Picks – 60 Picks
We’ve all seen the responsible drinking campaigns urging us to drink alcohol sensibly, but spraying your fragrance in moderation is also important – especially if you’re wearing it at work, in the gym or on a plane where an overpowering eau de toilette is a definite faux pas.
The problem is, our nasal receptors quickly tire of smells, meaning that we often don’t realise we’ve gone too far with our scent spraying.
Because fragrances differ widely in terms of sillage (the technical term for the scent trail left by a fragrance when worn on the skin) and punchiness (in terms of ingredients), there are no hard and fast rules about how much is too much. But if someone can smell your fragrance beyond your own arm’s length, chances are you’ve overdone it.
To avoid mistakes, use no more than two to three sprays and apply from a distance of at least six inches so the fragrance doesn’t form a concentrated puddle in one area. Remember, fragrance is one of those things where you really can have too much of a good thing.
Recommended Summer Scents
- Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau De Parfum Spray 50ml
- Acqua Di Parma Colonia Eau De Cologne Spray
- Balmain Monsieur Balmain Eau De Toilette 100ml
- Issey Miyake Leau Dissey Pour Homme Eau De Toilette
- Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme Eau De Toilette Spray 50ml
- Burberry Brit Splash Eau De Toilette
- Davidoff Cool Water Man Summer Seas Edition Eau De Toilette 125ml
- Comme Des Garcons Fragrance Series 4 Cologne Citrico
- Muelhens 4711 Original Eau De Cologne Splash 100ml
Ease Off On the Facial Scrub
Twenty or so years ago, exfoliation was a relatively exotic adjunct to the average man’s daily grooming routine. But these days plenty of us count products like Wellman’s Face Scrub and Clinique For Men’s Face Scrub among our grooming armoury. And with good reason: by removing dead skin cells and speeding up cell turnover, exfoliation is the perfect way to improve the look of the skin, minimise blocked pores and prevent ingrown hairs.
Unfortunately, men often go wrong when it comes to the application of scrubs, using them too frequently (twice a week is usually enough) and using way too much pressure when working them into the skin.
“Rubbing harder won’t increase the product’s benefits,” points out Noella Gabriel, the brains behind Elemis’ Time For Men Energising Skin Scrub. “In fact, if you’re too aggressive, you can irritate and sensitise the skin.”
Instead, she suggests applying scrubs with your fingertips, using gentle circular motions, avoiding the delicate eye area. The takeaway? We men might be thick-skinned (literally as it happens), but we’re not that thick-skinned.
- Clinique For Men Face Scrub 100ml
- Wellman Skin Technology For Men Facial Scrub 75ml
- Elemis Energising Skin Scrub
Look After Skin From Within
So much is written about how to look after your skin by slapping on masks, creams and serums that it’s sometimes easy to forget that it benefits from being cared for from the inside too. This is especially important in the winter when skin comes under attack from harsh weather and is forced to draw upon moisture reserves (from deep inside the dermis) to replace moisture sucked out by central heating.
What’s more, we tend to put starchy comfort foods ahead of antioxidant-rich fruit and veg in the winter, so try tackling moisture loss and supporting your skin nutrient-wise simultaneously by upping your fruit and veg intake throughout the colder months.
Blueberries, kiwis and broccoli are particularly good for skin. Or consider adding a good supplement to your diet. “However good your diet (and most men I know eat plenty but not necessarily that well), research has shown that virtually everyone is deficient in one or more nutrients,” says skincare expert Liz Earle. “So it makes sense to take a good multi-nutrient supplement.”
Supplements created especially for skin and hair health include Vitabiotics Perfectil Plus Skin Extra Support, Imedeen For Men Man-Age-Ment Skin Performance Formula and Mazorin Face Value Optimal Skin Nourishment.
- Perfectil Plus Skin Extra Support Dual Pack 56 Tablets/capsules
- Imedeen Man-age-ment 60 Tablets
- Mazorin Face Value Optimal Skin Nourishment Supplement
Spend Less Time In The Shower
It might be the thing you want to do the most on a frosty December morning but languishing under a hot shower isn’t just bad news for your energy bill, it wreaks havoc on your skin too.
Hot water can strip away the naturally protective oils that coat our skin, causing it to become dry, tight and prone to tiny micro-fissures. “Dry skin is certainly made worse by frequent bathing, along with using shower gels and bubble baths,” says Consultant Dermatologist Andrew Ilchyshyn.
As well as recommending you turn down the temperature, Ilchyshyn also suggests using a shower oil or an emollient shower gel – like E45 Emollient Shower Cream – to help combat the drying effects of hot water. “These products stop water from evaporating from the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.”
And while you’re at it, why not fit a water-saving showerhead like the Pulse Eco Showerhead, which can cut the amount of water needed for a decent shower by up to 60 per cent? Not only will you be saving your skin by turning down the heat, you’ll also be doing your bit to save the planet – and there’s no better resolution to end the year on than that.
Have you made any changes to your grooming routine this year that have made a significant difference to how you look?
Let us know about them using the comments box below.