So before we round the corner into a new year, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the things we learned from dermatologists, dentists, barbers, and other grooming pros over the last 12 months, as well as offer a few other new must-follow tips. If you haven’t made any grooming resolutions for 2018, then here’s an easy, well-rounded place to start.
This list will have you smelling better, smiling brighter, styling healthier hair, and minimizing blemishes in the new year—and for every year to follow.
You’ve no doubt seen razor advertisements that focus on having more blades for a closer shave. Well, yes, when more blades drag over your skin, they’re likelier to leave less in their path. But what’s that doing to your skin? Paul Langevin, barber at Mildred Barbershop in New York City, previously told us back in July that guys with sensitive skin are better suited for single-blade disposable blades, like Bic Metal Disposable Men’s Shaving Razors, ($9.35 for a 10-pack, Buy It Here). No joke: Since it’s got a single razor, this will complete the task of trimming your hair, and do far less damage to your skin.
Check out all the best blades for a nick-free shave.
“Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is the great normalizer and anti-ager for the skin,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, M.D., of Marmur Medical in New York City. Consider everything retinol does to make your skin look younger and clearer: “Retinol improves acne, helps smooth out wrinkles, tightens pores, and even reduces sun spots. Men’s skin is often more sebaceous or oily than women’s due to testosterone. This makes men’s skin more resilient, so it tolerates the retinol better and is less prone to dryness.” The main point here: Book an appointment with your dermatologist and talk to them about a prescription, and if it’s right for your skin. He or she will get you on the best retinoid for your skin type, and will give you specific instructions for how to use it.
It’s a privilege to grow a beard. And to take care of it, you need beard oil. “A beard oil is used much like a conditioner for your hair,” Dylan D’Angelo, master barber at New York’s Blind Barber, told Men’s Health in July. It will soften the bristles, tame them (meaning fewer strays), and as D’Angelo said, oil “helps keep the face hydrated as well.” This is something you easily forget when the skin is covered by a bushy beard: It gets dry and flaky under there, and no moisturizer is going to work its way past the beard. So, beard oils are the only fix, and a damn good one.
Check out our favorite beard oils.