Guys, lets be open and straight to the point – do you smell? The harsh reality is, despite growing awareness among the male of the species that men’s hygiene is a priority, many men still aren’t doing enough to stay fresh. Keeping clean isn’t just a considerate thing to do for your family, colleagues and anyone that spends time near you, it’s also essential if you’re going to stay healthy. Follow our eight-point guide to men’s personal hygiene: make these simple grooming activities a regular part of your daily routine and see the difference it makes.
Wash your hands!
Recent events mean that there’s even greater emphasis on washing your hands than usual. That said, there are still a surprising number of men who don’t wash their hands sufficiently. As an absolute minimum, hands should be washed every time after using the toilet and before preparing food, eating or drinking . In addition, if you’ve had your hands anywhere that there is the potential for germs to thrive, a good wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water is essential. Excessive washing can cause irritation: a nourishing skincare can help skin stay soft and minimise the risk of splits, itching or dryness.
Wash your face!
Faces are one of the places where germs can collect, particularly if you sport a beard! Wash at least twice a day: a facial cleanser rather than soap can provide the cleanliness you need at the same time as reducing the risk of skin irritation. If you cleanse at night, to remove the grime and dirt collected during the day, a wash with warm water may be sufficient to refresh facial skin in the morning. Don’t forget to moisturise! Flaky, cracked and/or oily skin on the face isn’t just unappealing, broken skin also increases the chances of skin infections, allowing bacteria entry into the body.
Hair washing matters!
Even short hair can still benefit from both a shampoo and a conditioner. Specialist products are available for both hair on the head and beards. Infrequent washing, or simply washing with water, may increase the chances of: oily hair (yeuch!); flaky skin (AKA: dandruff); and an itchy, irritated scalp. Remember to select hair products which are suitable for your skin and hair type – if you have sensitive skin, avoid fragranced products or those with harsh, synthetic chemicals in.
Although you may be taking care of the washing side of things, that’s not enough if nail care doesn’t also form part of your grooming routine. For feet: cut toenails straight across to help prevent ingrowing toenails. At the same time, check your feet for common infections such as verrucas and/or athlete’s foot. These are easily picked up through sharing shower facilities (for example at the gym), or simply failing to dry in between the toes thoroughly after a shower. Prompt treatment stands the best chance of success. For hands: clip nails regularly: short nails aren’t just more attractive, they also make it harder for dirt or bacteria to build up behind the nails.
Not rocket science, but a shower at the beginning and end of the day (as well as one after hard, physical graft) is essential to prevent body odour. Staying grubby not only means staying stinky, it can potentially lead to bacterial build up in, causing unpleasant skin infections which can be stubborn to treat.
Applying underarm deodorant after showering ensures freshness for the next few hours. An unscented or lightly fragranced option is usually best. Try to avoid drowning in industrial quantities of highly scented spray, particularly at the expense of regular showering. Not only do many people find strong fragrances unpleasant, the smell of an unwashed body along with strong body spray is repellent!
Keep on top of manscaping
From beard management to appropriate manscaping elsewhere, keeping hair in check is an important part of 21st-century men’s hygiene essentials. We recommend washing the area to be shaved first with warm water. Use a shaving cream and a sharp blade to reduce the chances of the dreaded “red bumps”. Apply a restorative balm to help soothe and moisturise the newly shaven skin.
Wear clean clothes!
It’s not rocket science to change underpants or boxers every day! Fresh undies and a clean shirt/T-shirt every day are absolutely vital. Change socks daily – or more frequently if you’ve got sweaty. If you’re engaged in energetic activity, a shower and change of clothes will help ensure continued personal freshness.
Once you get into a regular grooming schedule, men’s personal hygiene needn’t be a big deal. Many men find that when they take men’s hygiene essentials on board and find the right products to complement their self-care routine, they feel healthier, get fewer skin problems, look better and definitely smell much more appealing!