As a man, you need to know that looking the best you can possibly look in going to be great for you. It is going to skyrocket your self-esteem and your body is going to love you for it. Being well-groomed has its health benefits. For instance, healthy non-dry skin is going to reduce the amount of bacterium that can penetrate the skin and play havoc on your body.
In this article, I will outline my top tips on male grooming. My steps are simple to follow and they will not ruin you financially. I will not expect you to pay for expensive pectoral or calf implants that could possibly rupture. My tips are going to be cheap and quick to implement.
1. Keep your Fingernails Well Cleaned and Groomed
Having clean fingernails is something that many men overlook. Some of us are just lazy and we do not see the point. Nevertheless, having nasty fingernails can really turn someone off when you first meet them.
If you are wondering how often you should wash your hands, I usually wash mine after being out in public. Not only is this going to ensure that you wash them often, but you also will be washing bacteria and other germs that you had picked up unknowingly.
Ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water. Dig your fingernails into a bar of soap and then rub them on the palm of your hands. This is going to clean out the dirt and grime and also it will whiten underneath your nails to some degree.
You also need to trim often your fingernails. This will reduce the chance that dirt will get trapped underneath your nails. Trim each nail without thrusting the clippers too far up the nail. Also, simply follow the contour of the nail so that it looks more natural.
Cuticles should be groomed also. Push back to the point where they connect to the skin. Having ugly stringy cuticles can create a roughness on your fingernails.
If you notice any cracks at the end of a nail, trim it down. Cracks can increase in size the same way that spider cracks grow on a windshield.
2. Shave the Back of your Neck you Werewolf
I know that we have all seen an older man in his sixties that sports a fluffy neck that needs to be tamed. I guess that most of us do not realize how quickly neck hair can get out of control. Testosterone can instruct your neck hair follicles to push out extra long hairs.
I do have some good news for you. You do not have to run to the nearest barber to have a quick neck shave that could cost as much as $20. You can shave your neck yourself.
What I tend to do is to shave it in the shower. The steam and moisture will make the job simple. Add some shaving cream to your neck and shave your neck using downward strokes first and then with upward strokes to finish. I recommend using the Gillette Fusion5 Proglide Razor (see pricing on Amazon). You can tell where to stop because your hairline feels different. Head hair is thicker than neck hair.
There is another quick fix for a hairy neck. Just put a trimmer on its lowest setting and trim your neck. The problem with this option is that you will need to trim more often your neck. Also, the cut will not be a smooth one to the touch.
Also, if your significant other is willing, have them shave down your neck once a week or so. Nevertheless, no reason to stress about creating a crooked hairline by trimming your neck, you will know right away when you have reached the hairline. Furthermore, you can quickly grow in a slightly off neckline.
3. Cleaning Out your Waxy Ears
I know what you are thinking. Many of us realize that fooling around with the inside of the ear is a big health no-no. Sticking a Qtip into the ear could burst an eardrum or even push bacteria into the ear canal.
Nevertheless, a dirty ear is not appealing and it is easily noticeable if someone is close by. You should take a more hands-off approach when cleaning your ears.
Micheal Smith, a WebMD medical editor, states that you need to view your ears like self-cleaning ovens.
Your ears will release the wax at some point and it will fall out. You can some maintenance work on your ears with a small amount of soap and water while in the shower. This will clean off the wax that is visible at the entrance of your ears.
Never stick anything into your ears! I once had a friend that picked up a cotton swab off of his apartment floor and tried to clean out his itchy ear with it. The cotton detached from the end of it and stayed in his ear for days!
If you are genetically predisposed to have excessive ear wax, I suggest that you chew gum often. Gum chewing causes movement in the ear canal and this will help to release some of the buildups.
Also, there are irrigation kits that you can purchase that help to clean out your ears. The kits include hydrogen peroxide that has been diluted.
4. Shaving Down Your Armpits
I will discuss the pros and cons and then it will be left up to you if you do so. I personally do not bother since most people never see my armpits and I am OK with the unruly hair.
Some researchers feel that the armpit hair acts as a diffuser for the scent that attracts sexual partners. That makes sense, but it is pushing the concept of pheromone transmission a little far. Whatever happened to chatting someone up instead?
Personally, I have a fear of creating ingrown hairs or other problems for my underarm skin. For instance, you may have to deal with inflamed follicles if you shave too quickly. Sore follicles can make some daily tasks irritating to complete.
Nevertheless, if you do not tend to have a problem with ingrown hairs and you have a steady hand, shaving down your armpits might be fine for you. Also, it is easier to apply deodorant on a smooth hairless surface instead of having to deal with a mass of hair.
Use a razor that can pivot so that you do not cut into your skin and also use shaving cream. Shaving under your arms in the shower is a great plan since the humidity and streaming water will make armpit shaving a breeze.
5. Deal with Bad Breath
When I first wake up, I know that I will need to breathe my teeth and quick. I do wait until after I dealt with my hungry cat. Then I will use my electric toothbrush and Listerine to calm down my gorilla breath.
You need to have a breath freshening routine set-up so that you do not knock someone over during your hectic day just by simply breathing in their direction.
I have read about people that say that they find it hard to get rid of their morning breath and that it tends to linger throughout the day.
You have morning breath because of having dryness in your mouth. During the day, your saliva is able to wash down the bacteria that is in your mouth. While you are asleep, bacteria has the freedom to multiply because it not being washed away.
Nevertheless, do not worry, I am not going to suggest that you swallow bottled water every hour while in bed. I suggest that you try to eliminate most of the bacteria from your mouth just before going to bed. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, preferably with an electric toothbrush that will vibrate like crazy, knocking off food particles and other tasty substances that bacteria love.
Also, you will need to brush off your tongue. I just drag my toothbrush along my tongue 20 times or so. You will know when to stop when your tongue no longer has a white film on its surface.
Now swish mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds. If you sing happy birthday to yourself 3 times, you will have the half minute covered. Then gargle for another 30 seconds.
Personally, I repeat this cleaning process 4 times a day even though many dentists suggest that brushing 2 times a day is fine.
6. Grooming your Chapped Lips
Have you ever stared at someone’s lips because they were chapped and practically bleeding? I have and I know that I was probably making them feel self-conscious. Even though this grooming tip might seem minor, it is important.
When the moisture in your lips is lacking, the skin dries and flakes away and even cracks may form. Personally, I have noticed that a visit to the dentist dries out my lips because you have to keep your mouth open for 20-30 minutes.
You need to maintain a healthy level of moisture in your lips by using lip balms. There are actually lip balms that are designed for men that ensure that you will not end having glossy colorful lips.
If your lips are presently chapped, you will need to exfoliate them to remove the dead skin cells before greasing them up with lip balm. Make sure to use a mild exfoliating cream that contains natural fruit acids.
Also, you should be using a balm that is also a sunscreen. Even during winter, the sun can affect your lips. The rays from the sun can damage your lip skin cells and age them prematurely.
7. Stinky Feet
You may feel as if you do not need to worry about the freshness of your feet because they are hidden and covered up most of the day. At some point, someone is going to be exposed to your feet and you want that experience to be a pleasant one for them.
- There are some simple things you can do to deal with your sweaty, stinky feet. Diet does have an impact on your feet. If you are deficient in magnesium and zinc, your feet will not push out a fresh smell. With your doctor’s approval, try a multi-vitamin that include these nutrients.
- Also, try to avoid wearing socks that have fibers that are synthetic. Cotton or wool socks will not trap in the odors from your feet. Synthetic socks can cause the bacteria on your feet to multiply. I recommend the cotton socks by Enerwear ( link to Amazon).
- Add some baby p0wder insides your socks and footwear. I am not suggesting that you add a lot of powder, just enough to coat your skin. The powder will soak up the moisture on your feet making the environment less appetizing to bacteria.
- Change your socks twice a day. I know that most people state that changing your socks each day is fine. I personally change my socks several times a day. Sweat tends to linger in footwear and socks. Also, just the fact that your footwear is smothering your feet all day in the dark, bacteria and fungi can reproduce easily.
- If you have a major problem with foot odor, you might want to invest in anti-bacterial soap to use on your feet. You do not need to wash your whole body with the soap, just lather up your feet. Also, make sure to wash between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet.
8. Apply Visine to a Nose Pimple
The other day, I woke up feeling refreshed until I look into my bathroom mirror. I have a zit on the front of my nose that was super red. I knew that I should not pick away at it since that could cause an infection or even spread the redness.
There is a way to reduce the redness of a pimple without needing to squeeze it to death. Just pat a few drops of Visine onto a pimple. Most of us have Visine in our medicine cabinets so you probably will not need to rush to the nearest pharmacy to buy it.
Visine is mild enough to use on the human eye; rubbing some onto your pimple will probably be an ok activity. It is designed to reduce swollen blood vessels that cause redness in the eye. Your pimple will become less noticeable after using Visine on its surface since the blood vessels that are creating the redness will shrink.
Nevertheless, Visine is not going to get rid of your pimple. You need to dry it up. You can start the drying process by using a touch of toothpaste on the pimple. Toothpaste usually contains baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. These ingredients will help to dry up a juicy zit.
9. Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
When I wake up, I drink 1 liter of water almost right away. I find that I have more energy when I do so. While doing the research for this tip, I discovered that there is a lot of benefits of drinking lots of water each day.
- For instance, your skin will love you for it. Your face will glow and clear up. Water removes toxins from the body and will help your skin to look healthier. Also, drinking water early in the morning seems to speed up the toxin removal process since your body is not preoccupied digesting the food that you had consumed throughout the day.
- Water consumption early in the day will also make you less bloaty looking. Water aids constipation by improving your bowel movements and it helps to break down food before it gets a chance to enter into your intestines.
- Drinking water that is warm will help with weight loss. Your body temperature will increase slightly which increases your metabolic rate. Also, your gastrointestinal tract will become less blocked and your kidneys will work more effectively.
- Water will slow down the aging process in the skin. Your skin cells will become more elastic and expansive with adequate water intake. Skin cells that are well-lubricated will cause less wrinkling of the skin.
- Water is also great for the brain. It gives your brain electrical energy that helps to keep nerve synapses firing and also cause glands that produce hormones such as testosterone to work more effectively. Testosterone production is great for muscle growth.
10. Wash Your Towels More Often
I used to be guilty of using unclean towels. My towels are white and I was assuming that if they stayed white, I could re-use them for 4-5 days for drying my complete body after showering. I was mistaken. It is not a good policy.
Just doing a quick sniff test of a towel will not tell you if it is free or not of bacteria.
Personally, I wash my towels daily. If I had used a towel during the day, I wash it the next morning and I always use a fresh towel for drying off. I know that it’s more work and it will increase your laundry detergent bill, but you do not want to rub bacteria all over your freshly showered body. That would be counter-productive.
If you are wondering how to wash the towels. I suggest that you have the washer set to use hot water in order to kill the bacteria.
Another issue with bath towels is that if they are not soft, you will increase the chances of developing back acne. If you were to rub your back with a stiff towel, you are going to cause microscopic tears in your back skin that will allow bacteria to easily enter and to multiple within your skin.
There is a simple way to soften your towels. Use fabric softener to make your towels nice and fluffy. Just add some of it to your fabric softener holder in your washer before turning it on.
11. Male Grooming and Dirty Sheets
Ok, you might think that I am out to lunch if I believe that dirty sheets can influence male grooming. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is true! Dirty Sheets are breeding grounds for lots of tiny critters that can cause numerous skin problems for males that are trying to remain well-groomed.
Dust mites love to chow down on skin cells that rub off of your body while you are tossing around in your sheets. Your sweat is creating a damp environment that will aid in the dust mite breeding ceremonies.
Apparently, 10 percent of the population is allergic to dust mites.
Another problem with having dirty bed sheets is bacteria. You might only have minute traces of bacteria on your skin before sleeping. Nevertheless, as you sweat, the bacteria are able to lodge into your sheets and to multiply. If they continue to multiply, they may be able to cause rashes to appear on your well-groomed body.
Mold can also appear between your stinky sheets. For instance, you could develop a toenail problem due to onychomycosis. This fungus enters into the beds of your toenails and causes yellowing that will ruin your toenails.
How often should you wash your sheets to reduce these above problems? Once a week is a good protocol. Use hot water and make sure that your newly-washed sheets are completely dry before making your bed.
12. Sunblock for Exposed Facial Skin
A lot of men feel that using sunscreens is for wimps. The skin cells of a rugged alpha male are basically the same as the skin cells of a computer geek. As men, we all need to use sunblock at least on our faces.
You should actually use sunscreen every day of the year. The harmful UVs still are present during the wintertime. Plus, even if it is super cloudy, about 80 percent of the rays can penetrate the clouds.
Nevertheless, you do not need to add tons of cream to your face to protect it. Just rub it into the skin ensuring that you cover every inch of your face and neck area. I personally add sunscreen to the back of my neck and also around the perimeter of my ears.
It is also advisable to add some protective cream under your chin. If you live in an area that has snow on the ground, the ultraviolet rays can reflect off of the surface of the snow allowing the rays to land on the upper part of your neck.
If you are wondering which type of cream to use, I would suggest that you use sunscreen that is designed for facial skin. The sunscreen is that is for the whole body tends to be stronger than the facial creams. Your facial skin is more delicate than the skin on other areas of your body, such as the thick skin on your back.
Also, I would avoid using the spray type of sunscreen. It tends to contain a lot of alcohol which could irritate your face.
13. How to Make Your Teeth Whiter
As we age, the pearly whites that we once had are going to stain. I noticed that at the age of around 45 years old, that staining was apparent around the edges of my teeth.
I had not changed my diet, was brushing my teeth 3 times a day and I had always flossed. My dentist had advised me to use an electric toothpaste, brushing 4 times daily. I have reviewed my top electric toothbrush picks, click here to see my selections.
After doing so, my teeth were becoming whiter. However, I still was not satisfied and decided to brush once a week with baking soda mixed with a small amount of m0uthwash. They become even whiten after a few more weeks.
My present routine is to brush them use a paste of baking soda mixed hydrogen peroxide. My teeth as now quite white and I did not have to pay for expensive laser treatments to whiten them.
To make the paste, use 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (just purchase it at your local pharmacy). Stir the mixture around using your toothbrush. I brush using this paste with my electric toothpaste.
Floss afterward to remove the paste from between your teeth. If you leave the paste on your teeth too long, it might cause a sensitivity issue. Also, rinse out your mouth well with mouthwash for about 2 minutes.
14. Pamper Your Hands
Many men do not even notice when they are hands are dried out. You may even realize that your hands are in need of moisture. Nevertheless, if you touch someone or if you shake someone’s hand, they are are going to feel your coarse skin.
If you are doing manual labor, especially in colder climates, you should wear utility gloves that are designed to hold in moisture. Even if you are camping, hunting or hiking, wearing heavy-duty work gloves is advisable.
If you are outdoors a lot, you should be applying sunscreen to your hands. A sunscreen of SPF 30 would be adequate. If your hands are exposed constantly to UV rays, they will age prematurely and wrinkles could develop.
You should also be applying moisturizer twice a day to your hands. Do not skimp on the cream that you purchase. Buy one that is high-quality since your hand skin is sensitive especially on the backs of your hands.
It is ok to wash your hands often to rid them of bacteria but avoid using harsh soaps. There are soaps that you can purchase that are also moisturizers.
Another tip is to use gym gloves at the gym so that you can protect the palms of your hands. I have noticed that some pulling exercises create calluses and sometimes blisters on my hands.
Some people feel that gym gloves will weaker your grip, but I find that the added stability in my grip allows my form to be spot-on which stimulates the targeted muscle groups.
15. Dealing with Dry and Cracked Feet
Treating your feet with respect requires that you can keep them moisturized. A lot of sites on male grooming only focus in the obvious tips such keeping your beard trimmed.
I like to cover areas that others overlook and feet are rarely discussed.
Your feet are important and non-flaky feet are a big plus for a well-groomed male.
The portion of the feet that tends to dry out fast is the heel. If I fail to moisturize my heels, cracks develop that can cause soreness. Plus, they do not look to be too appetizing.
I know that you might be thinking that as long as you wash well your feet that you do not need to worry about dryness. Truly healthy feet are not dried out, covered in cracks. I will outline a daily routine for keeping your feet healthy and well-hydrated.
- The first step is to remove the dead skin cells that are on your feet. Doing this while in the shower is fine. Use a pumice stone twice a week on the bottom of your feet. Make sure to concentrate on your heels where cracks are common.
- Purchase the right moisturizer that is designed for foot care. You can’t just use your eye cream or body cream since they are not strong enough. Eye cream is delicate since the skin under the eye is not thick. The skin on the bottom of your feet is super tough and it requires a moisturizer that can penetrate tough skin.
- When you apply the cream, add lots to your dried out heels. Avoid adding cream between your toes. If you were to moisturize between your toes, you are increasing the chance that bacteria will multiply.
16. Wash Your Face with Facial Soap
Most men just use the same type of bar soap that they use on their bodies on their faces. Body soap is for the body and not for the face. Even though a man has slightly thicker facial skin than a woman, the skin on the face is more sensitive than typical body skin.
Also, just by shaving, you are getting rid of some of the oil that is in your skin. Less oil in the skin can lead to problems with dryness.
I suggest that you buy soap that is for the face, or at least moisturizing soap that contains glycerin and vitamin E. Glycerin is good because it is an emollient and emollients are moisturizers that are non-cosmetic.
Also, when buying soap for the face, look for a soap that has benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These ingredients are great because they will help to remove dead skins that tend to clog pores. If you pores are clogged, you can develop pimples since bacteria can become trapped under the skin.
If you notice that your facial skin tightens up or is itchy after you have washed it, you should switch to liquid soap.
One final facial washing tip is to use just your hands to wash your face. You can use a soft facecloth once a day on your face to aid in the removal of dead skins, but for the rest of the washings, just use your hands.
17. How to Select and Apply Cologne
You may believe that selecting a cologne is simple. Just take home a few samples cards that have cologne sprayed on them and sniff away at the comfort of your home. You need to see how the cologne’s fragrance is altered because of your personal body chemistry.
For instance, if your friend is wearing a cologne that is appealing to you, the exact same cologne might end up smelling like garbage on you.
The best way to test to see to if a cologne is a good match is apply some of it to your wrist. Now, wait until it dries and then smell the resulting fragrance. Even better would be to wait a few hours to ensure that it is still appealing.
Once you have the correct cologne for you personally, it is time to learn how to apply it:
- It is best to apply it after a shower when your pores are the most open. Doing so will allow you to use just a small amount.
- Now add it to the heat spots on your body. Some feel that the wrist and behind the ears are the only spots to use. Nevertheless, the underarms, your shoulders and even the fold in the upper part of your elbows are warm areas.
- Make sure that you hold the bottle about 6 inches from your skin. Spray it onto your skin. If the bottle just shots out a stream of cologne that drips on your body, you may need to buy a more expensive brand the next time. The cologne should be dispersed in a tiny misty cloud onto your skin.
- Avoid spraying it onto your clothes. Also, do not spray a cloud of it into the air and then quickly walk through it. That tactic only works in the movies. You will just be wasting your expensive bottle of cologne.
18. Trimming Your Nasty Nose Hairs
I was wondering why hair grows in the nose the first place. I did some research and I discovered that the hair is there to protect foreign elements from entering into our esophagus.
I have noticed over the last few years that if I fail to trim my nose hairs, they grow to an extraordinarily long length. They even will protrude and curl outside of my nose. It is as if they are operating like a venus fly trap; trying to snare flies that might be swarming around my nose.
To trim your nose hairs, you need the right equipment. Some people are ok with plucking hair using only their fingers but I feel that is a bit primitive.
You can actually buy specialized scissors that are curved at the ends so that can easily trim away without cutting into the lining of your nose.
Some people suggest that you use tweezers on nose hairs. I personally hate the feeling of yacking out nose hairs. I tried it once and I will never try it again. I did manage to dislodge maybe 5 hairs but my eyes became watery each and every time I pulled on a hair.
Another OK method is to use nose trimmers. They have a rotating head that cuts away at the hairs. They do take some time to get used to, since you have to approach the hairs at the right angle. I recommend the nose hair trimmers by ToiletTree (click to see pricing on Amazon).
19. Check Teeth after Meals in Restaurants
If you are out and about, you need to inspect your teeth while eating in restaurants. Of course, you do not need to check your teeth constantly, but just after having finished eating, take a quick break before your coffee or tea, and inspect your teeth.
We all have been out with people that lodge a piece of spinach or a chunk of bread dough to one of their front teeth. This can be especially embarrassing if you are out on a date, trying to impress someone.
What you need to do is to ensure that you are drinking water while eating to wash the front of your teeth just in case. Nevertheless, after having eaten your meal, excuse yourself and slip into the washroom. Now, pull out some dental floss and remove any food particles from the front of your teeth.
While in the bathroom, you can also rinse out your mouth to dislodge particles that you were not able to remove with flossing.
Another great tip is to drink tea while eating out. Tea contains flavonoids that will help to keep clean the spaces between your teeth. Flavonoids also reduce the number of bacteria that are able to adhere to your gums and tongue. Any reduction in bacteria will make your breath fresher.
20. Wash the Back of Your Ears
There is one area that many men fail to clean because they rarely see it. This is the skin just behind the ear. All of your skin secretes sebum which helps to keep your skin moist. The problem with the fold behind your ears is that it can stay moist for long periods of time. It is being sheltered from gusts of air by your big floppy ears.
When the skin behind your ears has traces of sebum, bacteria arrive and eat away at the sebum. Bacteria then multiples and give off gases that stink.
As an avid male groomer, you need to wash behind your eyes using soap and water. Also, while in the shower washing your hair, you can lather behind your ears. The shower is a perfect place to target the ears because the stream of water can easily rinse off any traces of soap.
After having washed the folds of skin behind your ears, you need to ensure that you dry off the skin completely. Use a soft towel to do so. Also, you can pull out on your ear carefully so that you can dry the folds of skin behind them fully.
21. Prevention of the Development of Blackheads and Acne on the Back
Another area not easily reached while washing for men is the back region. Most men just let soapy water trail down their backs thinking that this will be adequate. Well, it is not. You need to rub off the dead skin cells to keep the pores from clogging up. When pores are clogged, they can trap bacteria and the result could be blackheads or a big case of back acne.
The back is constantly being challenged because of the wearing of sweaty clothes, and the exposure to bacteria from your bed linen. If you are the type of person that does not wash his bedding weekly, bacteria will be very present on your sheets.
Even items such as backpacks increase the likelihood of back acne. The backpack is creating more heat and also it is adding friction to the skin on your back.
How exactly do you wash your back? The best method is to use a back scrubber. Do not scrub away at your back. Doing so will cause micro-tears in your skin which will be an open invitation to bacteria. Also, use soap so that you will be removing any traces of sweat. Back sweat contains sebum that is food for bacteria.
The final step is to dry off your back using a large towel that is soft. If you tend to sweat a lot, I would advise you to add some baby powder to your back. Simply sprinkle some powder onto the inside of your shirt on the portion that will be touching your back. Now when you put on the shirt, the powder will be evenly distributed onto it.
That’s it for my tips. Of course, you do not need to incorporate all of them, just try the ones that will help you personally. Nevertheless, most of the tips can be easily used and will make a big change in your level of male grooming.