Grooming is a game of inches, where little and often brings the biggest rewards. Cleansing and moisturising first thing might keep you looking fresh through breakfast, but smog and sweat soon collude to dull vibrant skin.
Instead, you need to microdose with products that bring the brightness back. Follow our guide below to look good from dawn ’till dusk.
7am – Scrub Away Yesterday
Alarm snoozed, strength mustered, you need to wipe the slate clean.
Clinique’s two-step cleanser and toning exfoliator scrubs off dead cells and softens your overnight beard. Its oil control formula also counters those extra sebaceous glands god gifted us men (cheers, pal), so your matte skin stays that way. And leaves you ready to carpe the diem.
7.30am – Quench Your Thirst
Green juice for you, something equally nourishing for your skin. A serum dives deeper than moisturisers, feeding your skin from the inside out.
Malin + Goetz’s deploys sodium hyaluronate to draw water into skin cells, which leaves the surface looking plump and even, while chamomile and lavender reduce any redness from your razor.
Malin+Goetz Replenishing Face Serum, available at Niven and Joshua, priced £53.50.
7.40am – Come Back To Life
While the serum gets to work, perk up with an espresso. Then do the same for your complexion. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel is as peppy as it sounds, infused with caffeine to reinvigorate lifeless skin.
If late nights have taken their toll, look for the same ingredient in your eye cream. Zirh’s Under-Eye Repair delivers a double-shot to puffiness.
Restore by Zirh Herbal Under Eye Cream, available at Amazon, priced £31.50.
9am – Clean Up Spills
Shifts in temperature – like going from your air conditioned car to an overheated office – keep your skin guessing. And its default response is usually ‘pump out oil’.
Rewashing dries skin out now and means more grease later. Instead, dab shine away with blotter sheets, then double-down with Men-ü’s mattifying gel, which also boasts salicylic acid to see off spots before they pop up.
1.30pm – Make More Scents
Unless you bathed in it, your fragrance should have worn off by lunch. Store a travel sized version in your desk drawer to reapply (once everyone’s finished eating, please).
The citrus notes in Bleu de Chanel will counter Pret A Manger’s sleepy carbs, without fumigating the office.
Bleu de Chanel, available at Boots, priced £56.
3pm – Eyes Right
You blink around 15 times per minute. When you’re staring at a screen, that halves.
Because you can’t switch it off just yet, counter scratchy eyes with Optrex’s Eye Drops, which eradicate redness and naturally restore the brightness of the eyes thanks to a special whitening agent.
Optrex Brightening Eye Drops, available at Boots, priced £3.79.
6pm – Shut Down, Brighten Up
Switch off your computer, switch on your skin. The nine-till-late is no friend of date night, so wipe away the day – ie dead skin and blackheads – with Anthony Logistics’ Exfoliating Wipes, which are packed with glycolic acid.
The smart man also stows Bulldog’s eye roll-on in the fridge, for the coolest way to refresh tired eyes. Now’s also a good time to re-spritz.
11pm – Tuck Your Skin Up
Don’t use your day cream at night. After hours, your skin doesn’t battle UV rays or pollution, so there’s no need for protective products. Darkness gives it a chance to recuperate, especially if helped along with heavy-duty moisturisers.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate works hard on the night shift, as squalane and omega-6 fix what your to-do list has wrecked.
ClarinsMen’s Line Control Balm does the same job on your crow’s feet, with natural ingredients like maritime pine and paracress papering over any cracks by morning.