We hate to break it to you, but clothes can only do so much for your appearance. At some point you’re going to have to sort your grooming regime out.
For most men, that point is their 30th birthday, a watershed moment for all the wrong reasons when it comes to appearance. Lines appear. Your skin sags. Hairlines sound the retreat while unwanted body hair mounts an advance. We’re sorry, but it’s science.
“At this age, the rate of new skin cells being produced within the epidermis starts to slow down,” explains grooming expert Andy Millward. “Without the right skincare routine, old ‘dead’ skin cells that would otherwise naturally shed can build up on the surface. This can lead to dryness, an impaired skin barrier and ultimately make the skin look dull and old before its time.”
The good news is that it’s not too late to up your epidermal defences and fend off every grooming issue, big and small, the next decade will bring.
The Problem: Raisin Face
The Fix: Do Damage Control
While most of us are in possession of a fairly low-maintenance mug in our twenties, come 30 it’s time to throw your skin a safety net. Because wrinkles, as distinguished as they may be, are now inevitable.
“Introducing a skincare regime that is proven to combat ageing is a no-brainer,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Mervyn Patterson. “But don’t just plump for the next gimmick or the slick marketing – ask yourself does this really work?”
To make the answer ‘yes’, up the anti-oxidant ante with age-defence moisturiser packed with heavy-hitting ingredients like retinol and Vitamin C, which act to replenish your falling collagen levels. So you won’t go full Iggy Pop before your 40th.
The Problem: Rogue Body Hair
The Fix: Get Rid (Like, Now)
As we get older, we tend to lose hair in places we actually want it (like our head) and gain it in places we’d really rather not (like our back, ears and nose). As a general rule, if you can see them, so can everyone else.
You can’t stop them from sprouting, so to evict Tom Selleck from your snout (or Leo Sayer from your lugs), you could use facial hair scissors with a rounded tip to prune back the growth or let an electric detail trimmer do the hard work for you. Up until your thirties, manscaping is purely cosmetic. Now it’s practically essential.
“Alternatively, leave it to the pros,” says Lloyd Hughes, founder of male grooming brand Men-ü. “Next time you’re in the barbers, ask what they can do to help. It can be much easier than struggling by yourself in the mirror.”
The Problem: Your Hairline Is Retreating
The Fix: Lose It Gracefully
Finding a flattering haircut or growing out a patchy beard is a time-intensive process, so it can be especially upsetting when that hair decides to jump ship; something that happens to half of men over the age of 30.
But don’t lose all follicular faith just yet. “If you still have an even distribution of hair, but it’s thinning, a cropped haircut works to disguise this,” says Denis Robinson, creative director of award-winning barber chain Ruffians.
If your receding hairline can’t be salvaged with a strategically chopped mop or over-the-counter treatment, take the lead of Jason Statham and Pep Guardiola and embrace the bald.
The Problem: Your Skin Lowers Its Defences
The Fix: Shave Smarter
You may have been able to get away with hurriedly dragging a razor-sharp piece of metal across your skin in your twenties, but with time now working against you, it’s wise to adopt slower strokes to minimise damage.
Elevate your grooming game by incorporating both pre- and post-shave steps into your routine, including a tonic that clears debris from the skin to reduce drag, and a reparative treatment to alleviate redness and irritation.
The Problem: Looking Dead Around The Eyes
The Fix: Relieve The Sress
Your thirties are when the excesses of your twenties comes back to haunt you. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life looking like an extra from The Hills Have Eyes.
Speaking of which, dark circles, veiny streaks and crow’s feet around your peepers are all signs you need to slow down, get a good night’s sleep and invest in some optical aids.
“The skin around your eyes is delicate, so it needs targeted care,” says Simon Duffy, founder of Bulldog Skincare For Men. “An eye-roll massages the skin underneath, stimulating lymphatic drainage to help de-puff and reduce dark circles. It also hydrates the skin, which should be part of any proper regime.”
The Problem: You Smell Like The Intern
The Fix: Develop A Signature Scent
In your twenties you (hopefully) put down the overpowering body spray and upgraded to adult fragrances, but you probably went through the entire fragrance counter and applied it all a bit too liberally. For a sensory way to amplify your style, find one you like and stick with it.
“Having a signature fragrance is a bit like having a signature hairstyle: it’s an instant way of explaining who you are and what you’re about,” says FashionBeans grooming editor Lee Kynaston. “If you’re not sure what to go for, make a list of the fragrances you like and see if there are any common notes.”
When selecting an olfactory calling card, you could do a lot worse than the classics that are already proven to have staying power (both on your skin and the shelves). “Dior’s Eau Sauvage, Givenchy’s Gentleman and Acqua di Parma’s Colonia have been around for decades and are unlikely to disappear any time soon,” says Kynaston.
The Problem: Cheese Grater Palms
The Fix: A Heavy Handed Approach
Unless you’re a male gigolo, chances are your hands are the appendage other people see more than anything else. They’re also the body part that gives away your age the most, so use a heavy duty hand cream to keep them in check.
“You wash your hands more than any other part of your body, so you should moisturise them at least twice a day to keep the skin plump and hydrated,” says Duffy. “Most hand creams are thicker than body lotions, so they will do they job more efficiently.”
Alongside this, help keep saggy skin and brittle nails at bay by stocking up on the tools of the trade – including a clippers, a cuticle cutter and nail file – and consider booking in for a manicure.
The Problem: Burnout
The Fix: De-Stress Yourself
In a blur of office all-nighters and stag do weekenders, free time and good sleep face extinction. According to the World Health Organisation, ‘burnout’ will be the world’s most prevalent health issue by 2020 and that’s bad news for more than just your mental state.
“During times of high stress, the body releases a hormone known as cortisol,” says Dr Al-Niaimi, group medical director at Sk:n Clinics. “This slows the production of skin cells and depletes collagen, which in turn can leave your skin looking dull and lifeless.”
To counteract the effects of stress, stay active to encourage healthy blood and oxygen flow, and consider taking up yoga or mindfulness to boost endorphins (which, in turn, reduces stress hormones) and claw back some zen.