It is a weakness of modern masculinity that grooming simply isn’t given any focus. The male regime tends to begin with shaving, end with brushing your teeth and feature very little in between. There’s a whole world of extra work men can do which doesn’t just leave them looking better – tidier, more professional, more capable of taking care of themselves – but also feeling better. Time spent put into maintaining skin, hair and nails isn’t wasted (within reason!). It’s vital ‘me time’ that will give them the space to reflect and come out feeling centred as well as looking neater.
Today we’re looking a few different ways that men can improve their grooming, to break the habits formed over decades and put time into looking good.
It’s a strange irony that the world’s most stereotypically manly tasks exact the sternest stress on nails, but caring for them is seen as ultra-feminine.
Sawing, hammering, carrying heavy objects, they all carry a risk to the nails. You could break them, bend them or crush them. The other side of being man is a fatal silence about mental health issues. Even in the best case, anxiety unexpressed in any other way can result in bitten nails, which can become unsightly quickly.
Look for a male manicure set and familiarise yourself with its use. Even if you only trim your nails to length, cut off hang nails and sand down the rough edges with an emery board you won’t just look better, you’ll be safer too – less facets of nail to catch and pull on obstructions.
It’s age old advice and we all ignore it, but it’s the most simple, important thing you can do in the summer. Sun ages the skin and encourages early wrinkling – that’s something you may like or may not – but it also increases your risk of skin cancer and no one likes that. Make donning some sunscreen in the summer part of your routine and you won’t have to put up with annoying reminders from the friends and relatives who don’t want you to get a melanoma.
You can get more bang from your buck with sunscreen if you choose it carefully. To fully protect your skin, you need to take into account two different ratings. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures how much UVB radiation it blocks – the primary cause of sunburn. An SPF of 30 should be sufficient for your purposes unless you’re spending a full, cloudless day on the beach. There’s also a five star system measuring how much UVA radiation it blocks. You need four or five stars to be sure you’re as safe from melanoma as you can be.
You can also get sunscreen that adds moisturiser to its protection so you’re actually helping your skin, not just preventing harm!