The following was produced in partnership with Just For Men. With Control GX Beard Wash, gradually reducing your grey is as easy as, well, washing your beard. Just use regularly until you like what you see.
What is a grooming routine for if not to make you look like a healthier, enhanced version of the man you are? The truth is, looking years younger or chasing that slick, glossy-ad version of handsome went out of style long ago. What’s in these days is based in realism: A subtle crow’s foot but not too deep … a hint of grey amidst a robust, thick head of hair.
Honestly? What’s really in is looking like you’ve just returned from a month-long vacation with plenty of relaxation. And we’re here to help with a handful of super-easy tips for transforming your appearance from tired and stressed to rested and rejuvenated. Because in 2019, that’s what grooming is all about.
1. Use sunscreen every day. Yes, even in the winter, and even if you’re not planning to be outdoors that much. SPF blocks rays responsible for photoaging, as well as slowing the rate of collagen breakdown in your skin. Apply a facial moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher every morning to keep wrinkles at bay.
2. Go for a close crop. Whether you choose a buzz cut or spike-and-fade, going short is an easy way to transform yourself from 40-year-old dad to 30-year-old hotshot. This is especially true if your hair is thinning: Longer strands only pronounce hair loss. But don’t go for the full Monty without your barber’s consent: Head shape is a definite factor in determining who can pull off the Q-tip look.
3. Reduce the grey. A lot of guys find their beards start to go silver before the rest of their hair, a look that instantly adds years. Easy fix: Use Just For Men’s Control GX Beard Wash. Just wash regularly to reduce greys and use until you like what you see.
4. Discover coconut oil. A grooming panacea, coconut oil penetrates the hair follicles better than the ingredients in commercial conditioners, strengthening strands and locking in moisture, according to researchers at Princeton University. Put a quarter-size dollop in your palms, rub hands together, then run them through your hair. Let sit 5 minutes then rinse with warm water.
5. Get more sleep. Quality shut-eye is key for healthy skin, which naturally repairs cell damage overnight. A study at University Hospitals Case Medical Center found that poor sleepers showed greater signs of skin aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. Aim for 7 to 9 hours every night.
6. Eat more fish. Making salmon and other fish a mainstay in your dinner rotation helps your skin and hair develop a lustrous coating that makes it look healthy. Other types of good fats include avocados, eggs, and olive oil. And no, adding oil to your meals doesn’t make your skin oily.
7. Massage your face. OK, this one is a bit out-there. But think about it: Athletes foam roll their muscles at the gym to stimulate blood flow for recovery. Massaging your face is similar: It brings oxygen to areas where it’s needed and helps flush out fluid that makes your face look bloated. Do it while you wash at night, moving your fingertips in circular motions on each cheek and across your forehead.
8. Cool it with the hair product. One of the biggest mistakes men make is loading goop into their hair in hopes of resurrecting a style reminiscent of their high school heyday. The result: A weighed-down, dated look that is especially unkind to thinning hair. A dime-sized dollop of the product may sound impossibly small, but once you work it up in your hands and run your hands through your hair, you’ll be surprised at how far it goes.
9. … And use the right one. You need to know your gels from your pastes and your gloss from your matte. There is no single solution to styling your hair but thinning strands typically do better with a matte finish and relaxed hold while thicker hair benefits from high shine, firm hold aids.
10. Skip dessert. Excessive sugar in your diet means higher insulin levels and greater inflammation. It also causes collagen fibers in your skin to become tangled, leading to an increased appearance of wrinkles, according to researchers at Dartmouth Medical School.
11. Maintain all your hair. Your ear, nose, and eyebrow hair speak volumes. Ask your barber for help or invest in a trimming device for your nose and ears and eyebrows. The DIY method has been known to induce some questionable shapes and lack of symmetry.
12. Take a cold shower. Or better yet, dunk your face in a bowl of ice water. While the effects are temporary (so do it before a dinner date with the wife or big meeting with your boss), the frigid temps slow blood flow to your skin surface, giving your mug a firmer appearance.
13. Consider a single-blade shave. While multi-blade razors give you a closer shave, they also scrape away more surface skin cells, opening your face up to irritation and dryness. If you have sensitive or dry skin, you’re better off with the minimalist approach.
14. Define your bottom line. Beards are cool. Hair that grows down your neck and into your chest is not. Use a straight-edge razor to clearly demark the perimeter of your whiskers, then employ a razor guard for an even fade, stopping about two fingers north of your Adam’s apple and well before the start of your chest hair.
15. Get a manicure. Nothing shows your age faster than gnarly hands with broken, uneven nails. Do everyone a favor and get your paws cleaned up by a professional. They will knead, soak, moisturize, and trim those claws into submission.
16. Moisturize at night. Your skin naturally heals and rejuvenates itself overnight. Take advantage of this process by applying a slightly heavier lotion that can soak into your dermis while you’re dreaming, letting you wake up with softer, healthy-looking skin.
You don’t have to take on all of these grooming hacks to look your best. Pick and choose and find the ones right for you and your rested and rejuvenated new look.