Written by: Dean Smith

Our first ever men’s grooming edit covers all bases; from haircare and skincare, to tools and body care. But although many of us have become accustomed to pretty complex routines, for some (maybe the men amongst us), it can be overwhelming. While getting the basics right should be the main priority, there are extra things we can include to up our routine game.

Here we offer the low down on mastering the perfect grooming routine.

MUST-HAVE BASICS

These are the steps any solid routine should contain. Getting the basics right will set the stage for looking and feeling your best, and also make room for extras when you feel you want or need it.

Cleansing
Cleansing (washing) the face is critical. At the end of each day we have dirt and product build up on our skin, so an evening cleanse will show improvements immediately. It also clears the way for the products we apply after. The Perricone MD Blemish Relief Gentle & Soothing Cleanser is almost perfect. Gentle, effective and high quality, this will fit seamlessly into your routine.

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Exfoliation
Exfoliation and clearing the pores has become a basic in many routines. A good exfoliation regularly will remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture and smoothness immediately and over time. The Garnier – Pure Active 3 in 1 Charcoal Anti-Blackhead Wash Scrub Mask is a serious time saver for a no-nonsense cleansing, exfoliating experience and can be left on as a mask. Lovely.

The perfect shave
Not all shaving products are made equal. For those of us who shave regularly, it can often irritate the skin and also lead to cuts, sores and bumps. The MONU SKIN – Mens Fresh Shave will offer a smooth easy experience that will also leave the skin feeling soft. The unique formulation also means you can see where you are going. WIN.

Hydration hydration hydration
Almost all skins will benefit from extra hydration (water) in the skin. It will improve the overall health of the skin in the long term, but also show immediate results, softening lines, wrinkles, plumping the skin and making the skin appear more radiant and youthful as water reflects the light. The BARBER PRO – Hydrating Daily Serum is perfect for this step.

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Moisture is critical
While adding hydration to the skin is beneficial, a moisturiser is fundamental, no matter what your “skin type”. A good moisturiser will soften the skin, help lock in moisture and keep the skin healthy. The Bulldog – Original Moisturiser is a great option, while also being a brand that is kind to the planet.

A natural hair hold
It may not be a critical step, but for those of us who do light styling, a great option is a product that will hold your style without it looking either dry and crispy, or greasy… Fish – Shape Defining Wax Mini effortlessly creates a natural-looking defined style that lasts all day and is neither drying or greasy.

Handy
Much like lips (see below), the hands can often be overlooked, and also be a dead give away of our age (if you mind that). A simple and effective hand cream is an easy addition. Jack Black – Intense Therapy Hand Cream is a great choice as its’ soft, subtle and not greasy at all.

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Keeping it fresh
This one is simple. A good deodoriser is defined much like a good SPF (IMO); One you want to use. You need a product you can rely on, that will last, but WON’T ruin your clothes. Nivea Men – Black & White Max Protect Anti-Perspirant Roll On gives you lasting protection with no marks, no stains.

 

RAMPING UP THE ROUTINE

Once the basics are out of the way, it’s a good time to look at the individual steps and perhaps swap the products out every now and then for something different, or, add a little something extra in to make you feel good and look your best.

Next level cleansing
Spending money on a cleanser is a divisive one. While a basic (but effective) cleanser is a critical inclusion, you should see extra benefits if you up your cleansing game to one of a higher quality. Luxury and quality is delivered with the with ARgENTUM – Le Savon Illuminating Hydration Bar, where powerful ingredients will purify and nourish any skin.

Moisture AND protection
Moisturising tick. BUT, protecting your skin from UV and pollution is a sure fire way to improve your skin. It’s considered the most critical step by many after all. The Super Facialist – Hyaluronic Acid SPF10 Protect Day Moisturiser offers a superior moisturising experience while also offering some protection to your skin. Although I would advise a separate SPF if you are outside for sustained duration.

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Exfoliation with class
Gently exfoliation is beneficial but there is also the option to polish your skin. A polish tends to be a more finely milled, higher concentration formula to REALLY buff away skin cells. Origins – Checks and Balances Polishing Face Scrub gives smoother and clearer skin with no irritation. Tip? Focus on stubborn areas (i.e around the nose) and avoid the sensitive ones.

The new normal in lip care
Lips are under cared for, that’s a fact. Dry and rough lips are not a good look for anyone; improving that will lead to a more youthful overall appearance. The Shakeup Cosmetics – Lip Life To The Full – Volumising & Moisturising Lip Gel is a great addition and we are loving this brand.

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Hair bar raised
Ingredients matter, and so does formulation, even in hair styling products. After all, they are on your hair for a sustained period of time. If you fancy an elevated luxury hair experience, for long lasting, yet flexible hold that does not dry out your hair, look at the Fudge Professional – Matte Hed Mouldable.

Smell your best the subtle way
Aftershave, EDP… men’s fragrance is HUGE. BUT, a more subtle approach to smelling your best is also an option, especially if you find yourself back in the office, or in the company of colleagues at close quarters. Rabot Beauty – London Body Mist is a refined yet subtle body mist for a new take on fragrance.

A classic inclusion
Combing the hair seems a thing of the past, but it really isn’t. For those of us who want a smooth glossy frizz free finish to the hair, a comp works wanderers. If you want a product free finish, simply comb through the hair several times while it’s damp and leave to dry. Hey Presto. Or before applying the product, comb through to smooth and detangle the hair, and then after styling, use the comp to smooth down the hair and put it into place . Which one? The Daimon Barber – Double Tooth Comb is a thing of beauty. Another reason? Combing the hair activates your sebaceous glands and helps to keep your scalp, head and hair healthy.

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All of the products mentioned are available in our The Times X Ultimate Men’s Grooming Edit while stocks last.

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