Health & Fitness

Men’s Grooming Guide

grooming

Make These Habits Part of Your Regular Routine

by Lindsay Ruck

I am convinced my father drinks directly from the fountain of youth. It’s no exaggeration that he has not aged since I was five years old. While I’m hoping and praying to have also been blessed with the youthful genes both he and my mother possess, I also know there are proactive steps we can take now to take care of ourselves and look our best — no matter the age.

In honour of Father’s Day, I thought I would focus on a man’s grooming regimen — which has come a long way from a bar of soap and a dab of aftershave. In no way am I suggesting to load up on a thousand different products and spend hours in the bathroom each day.The key is to find a routine that is quick, simple and fits in with your everyday life.

Habit No. 1: Your barber is your friend.

Don’t wait until you’ve reached complete mountain man status before making an appointment with your local barber. If you don’t have a regular barber, ask around for recommendations. Forming a relationship with someone you know and trust will mean you won’t have to sit in a random chair terrified of the outcome. A professional clean shave will do wonders for your face.  Just sit back, relax and watch the barber’s pole spin ‘round.

Habit No. 2: Select a product and stick to it.

Not all men require hair products. For those who are so inclined, keep in mind that the old Brylcreem your father used may not cut it. If you’ve been blessed with a thick head of hair, then waxes and pomades should do the trick. Rub a bit between your fingertips and style as desired. For thinner hair, sprays and lighter products are all you’ll need. If you’re unsure what works best, talk to your barber for a bit of guidance.

Habit No. 3: Brush responsibly.

Cleaning your teeth regularly is important at any age.When it comes to brushing, technique is most im- portant. If you haven’t experienced any issues with plaque or brushing too vigorously with a manual toothbrush, then that may be all you need.An electric toothbrush is less dependent on brushing correctly and really does the job for you. If you experience arthritis, an electric toothbrush may also be best as most have a bigger handle to assist with grip.To re- move plaque and bacteria, floss and mouthwash should also be part of your cleaning routine.

Habit No. 4: Exfoliate.

The purpose of an exfoliator is to remove dead skin.Without this step, pores become clogged and skin can become dry and scaly. There are plenty of male-specific face products which cater to a variety of skin types. Find the product that works best for you. Exfoliating doesn’t have to be part of your daily routine. Once or twice a week is fine to give your face a thorough clean. In between, use a plain face wash (bar of soap excluded) that is less intense and doesn’t pack the same punch as a textured wash.

Habit No. 5: Foot care.

They may not always be on display, but taking proper care of your feet should be part of your grooming routine. Just like exfoliating, this doesn’t have to be a daily chore.After a shower (when skin is softest), rub a pumice stone over any dead skin. Follow up with a moisturizer – avoiding the area in between toes. Cut and file toenails to keep them at a comfortable length.

Those with diabetes should be extra diligent when it comes to foot care as minor foot problems can pose serious threats to your health. Check your feet daily and if a corn or callus, scrape or blister appears that doesn’t start to heal within a day, contact your doctor and get it checked out.

Habit No. 6: Tame stray hairs.

Eyebrow hair and nose hair can become unruly if not properly maintained. If a unibrow is starting to form, that’s a sign your brows are long overdue for a little TLC. Your barber can assist with this face-scape and can minimize those bushy brows.

Looking into the mirror and seeing your nose hairs dangling back at you is never a good thing. Keep hairs  trimmed and concealed as needed.A handy tool all men should keep in their grooming toolbox is an electric nose trimmer. This tiny gadget slides its way around the nostrils and cleans up those pesky strands.

Habit No. 7: Hand care.

Trimming nails once a week after a shower takes little time. If you’re experiencing rough, flaky skin, throw a hand moisturizing cream into the mix. Creams, as opposed to lotions or gels, are the thickest form of moisturizer and best for very dry skin. A lotion is fine for normal skin and gels work best on oily skin. A moisturizer with aloe is best for hands that tend to become dry,red and irritated.

The back of your hands are one of the first places age spots appear.When selecting hand moisturizer, find a product with a minimum SPF of 30 or apply sunscreen to the back of your hands after moisturizing.

Incorporating these quick and simple grooming habits into your daily life will make all the difference in how you look and feel. Happy Father’s Day! n

grooming

Art of Shaving

If you’re not keen on visiting your barber as soon as that five o’clock shadow hits, keep these tips in mind to ensure a master shave.

Don’t rush. Many men have been shaving since that first hair made an appearance in middle school.And while you’ve got it down to a science, you should still take your time. Properly prep your skin and use slow, smooth strokes to avoid irritation.

Use a brush. Avoid using your fingers to lather shaving cream. A good brush will push cream into the hair and make it easier to shave.

Keep skin hot and moist. Shaving while in the shower or immediately after is an easy way to follow this tip. Many barbers will apply hot, moisturized towels to the face to prep the skin and to keep hair soft.

Go with the grain. While you may obtain a closer shave by going against the grain, you will also put your skin in danger of irritation and ingrown hairs.