​​The Best Grooming Tips for 2018

We got an endless amount of great grooming advice this year: It covers everything including beards, shaving, skincare, hair care and styling, oral hygiene, and more. The result, of course, is that we looked and felt pretty damn good.

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.

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1

Take colder showers (a.k.a. take fewer hot showers) for your skin
Nothing feels better than a hot shower after a stressful day—especially in winter. But what’s good for the mind is bad for the skin: It flushes away all the healthy, natural oils that keep your skin soft. “If you must take a hot shower, limit it to under 10 minutes,” says dermatologist Heather Rogers, M.D., of Modern Dermatology in Seattle. “Then finish with lukewarm water to close pores, and to limit evaporation of water from the skin.” She adds that you should follow any hot shower with body moisturizer, to nourish the skin and restore lost moisture. We recommend Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin, $8, Buy It Here).
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2

Replace your gross old toothbrush
And old toothbrush isn’t just gross, it’s also pointless. “You should replace your toothbrush once every three months,” says dentist Stephani Dale, DDS, of Creighton University School of Dentistry. “This is because the bristles wear down and become ineffective for proper cleaning, and bacteria buildup becomes a greater threat.” She also stresses that you should dispose of brushes after having any communicable illness like strep throat or the flu, to minimize the spread of germs. The easiest way to remember this is to buy an electric toothbrush, like Oral-B’s Black Pro 1000 ($40, Buy It Here). Then, stock up on replacement heads ($15 for 8, Buy It Here), and swap them out on the first of every quarter year (January, April, July, and October).
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3

Sometimes, fewer blades can give you a better shave

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.

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4

Don’t overdo it with shampoo
Shampoo can sometimes do as much harm as it does good: It strips the hair and scalp of the natural oils that keep hair healthy and even easier to control and style. Shampooing daily can make your hair poofy, dry, and unreceptive to product. Instead of getting a great style, you’re just fighting to control it. Instead, follow this advice from stylist Gregorio Ruggeri of New York’s Salon Ruggeri. “The best thing would be to wash your hair every second or third day, and to just rinse it every other day. If you’re feeling that you need to have clean hair daily, use R+CO’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner between washes ($29, Buy It Here). This gently removes any product buildup that you might have, strengthens the hair, and improves styling.”
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5

Consider a prescription for younger, healthier skin

“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.

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6

Don’t neglect your beard (or the skin underneath 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.

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7

Your beard trimmer needs TLC, too
When you buy a beard trimmer, it comes with a bunch of attachments and accessories. And, aside from the charger and whichever guard you use, everything else starts collecting dust or gets tossed in the trash. Don’t be so negligent, though: You’ll need that tube of oil and the teeny tiny brush. “You’ll want to keep that trimmer lubed up,” New York City-based barber Clark Walker previously told us over the summer. “Just like a regular oil change in a car, if you stay on top of it, trimmers will run like a champ for years.” And that little brush helps sweep out hairs that hibernate inside the head and start collecting grime and bacteria. If you’re in need of a fresh trimmer (since, you know, you tossed out the maintenance tools on the last one, and it’s starting to show), then check out the best of them.
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8

Be proactive against callused, funky feet
Thank you to the podiatrists and dermatologists out there who have to study and remedy our cracked, funky feet. It’s gross business, and you can do them a favor (and yourself!) by staying ahead of any unsightly rough patches and fungal infections with a simple application of exfoliating cream (like AmLactin 12%, $27, Buy It Here), and moisture-wicking powder spray (like Dry Goods Athletic Spray Powder, $14, Buy It Here). “Feet have a higher bacterial and fungal load than many other areas of the skin,” dermatologist Michael Swann, M.D., in Springfield, MO, pointed out to us last month. In other words, they require a more proactive approach than other body parts—and often get ignored because they’re tucked away in our socks and shoes all day. Don’t make this mistake, and check out the best foot creams, sprays, and powders to keep yours fresh and smooth.

via ​​The Best Grooming Tips for 2018

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