Now’s the Perfect Time to Refresh Your Grooming Routine

Your medicine cabinet could use a makeover

January 24, 2024 3:19 pm
a collage of grooming products on white marble background
Trying out new grooming products can be scary. Here are some trusted ones to test in the new year.
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Spring marks the perfect time to take stock of your medicine cabinet and consider what could be upgraded, tossed or acquired anew. In the grooming sphere, men are notoriously loyal to products they like, and they tend to stick with them. While this fierce loyalty is honorable, sometimes it’s worth branching out and trying something different — whether that’s a new brand or just a product in general. If you decide you don’t like it, you can always return to the Old Spice deo (no shade, of course; I still rock the unscented version in a pinch). And if you do like it, you have found a product worth adding to your regimen, and in turn, adding value to your life.

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The below are suggestions meant to cover the basic areas of grooming products most guys should consider having in their medicine cabinet or washroom area (or gym bag). While there is nothing wrong with using classic drugstore brands, the items listed below are meant to be a bit more niche, formulaic, and specialized. After all, you pay for what you get, and that principle applies to what you put or use on your body. So, feel free to start with one, or a few, or heck, replace your whole medicine cabinet. Your face and body deserve a fresh start, and the results will be noticeable.

A daily moisturizer is essential and highly personalized, yet with the multitude of options tailored for men’s skin, finding the right one can be a daunting task. As a starting point, I recommend Lab Series Daily Rescue. Infused with a 4% Niacinamide + Resveratrol complex and potent algae, this moisturizer not only shields your facial skin but also combats the signs of aging. Incorporating this lightweight lotion into your daily routine will visibly reduce lines, maintain skin hydration and radiance, and support swift skin recovery.

Claus Porto’s Classic Scent Shave Cream stands out by keeping things elegantly simple. Its exceptional lathering ability, coupled with enriching lanolin and natural oils, ensures a softening effect on your stubble. Perfumed with a delicate blend of vetiver and patchouli, it offers a pleasingly woody scent that transforms your morning shave into an anticipated ritual. All of this is packaged in a stylish retro tube that adds appeal to your medicine cabinet.

When it comes to deodorant, leave the gimmicky names (like Extreme Cool Wave Rush) on the shelves. Instead, opt for an unscented deodorant stick that excels in keeping you from smelling and sweating but also allows your chosen cologne to make the scent statement. Free from aluminum, Blu Atlas’s deo stick utilizes Volcanic Ash to absorb sweat, along with Bamboo Extract and Sage Leaf to neutralize odor.

Ever since I embraced an electronic toothbrush years ago, I’ve been cavity-free, and my teeth consistently feel exceptionally clean. Philips Sonicare remains the gold standard and their new Prestige model, while positioned at the premium end, represents their most advanced brush. It incorporates technology that adapts to your brushing style, effectively removing up to 20 times more plaque than a manual brush. Prioritizing the health of your teeth and gums is crucial, and a Sonicare is truly an investment worth owning. 

If you, like me, struggle with dark circles under your eyes, a reliable under-eye cream is a must-have. Lumin’s Dark Circle Defense not only brightens under-eye circles with key ingredients such as lemon extract and caffeine but also provides relief for crow’s feet and fine lines. Whether applied before bedtime or as part of your morning routine, it’s an essential step to fight aging and look more refreshed.

Jack Black’s lip balms have become grooming cult favorites over the years. Enriched with shea butter and vitamin E, this emollient balm is not smudgy like waxy sticks and instantly relieves dry, chapped, or irritated lips. Not to mention the SPF 25 that provides sun protection while guarding against wind and cold temperatures.

Most guys nowadays use a face moisturizer, but a toner often gets overlooked. While I wouldn’t label it as utterly essential, you might find that once you add one to your daily routine, the results will keep one in handy in your rotation. This non-drying toner from Kiehl’s cleanses and refreshes your face while removing excess oil. Use it after washing your face, as it will help balance your skin tone and redness, preparing it for moisturizer application.

Engineered in Britain, the Archibald Full Body Trimmer from in-the-know grooming tool brand, Balls, is anything but ordinary. Guaranteed to be “sack safe,” it combines sleekness, power, and precision with a 7000rpms motor. It’s important to keep your regions trimmed, fellas, and this waterproof full-body trimmer effortlessly accomplishes the task while adding a touch of design to your shelf.

Santa Maria Novella, the storied Florentine fragrance house that can be traced back to 1221, represents the epitome of aromatic bare-bones ingredients that focus on the heritage and art of fragrance making. Not to mention the bottle would fit in just as well in an old Italian cathedral as in your Medicine cabinet. Their classic Vetiver scent is a woody oriental fragrance that will smell just as refined and mature as the wearer himself intends.

I was first introduced to the Italian toothpaste heritage brand Marvis years ago when the interesting and ornate packaging caught my eye in the Esquire grooming closet. When placed beside your sink, this toothpaste warrants a conversation start. Aesthetics aside, however, this is seriously concentrated and intense toothpaste that whitens and cleans with fluoride and xylitol, providing a fresher, cleaner feeling than many drugstore varieties.

Started in Germany over 40 years ago, Tweezerman is the crème de la crème of grooming tools, and their clippers and scissors, etc., are built to last. This essential grooming tool kit has everything you need for brow, face, and nail precision maintenance for years to come. Not to mention, it comes with a handy pouch for travel.

Oar + Alp’s foaming light face wash will gently cleanse and exfoliate your face without stripping it of its natural oils. Prebiotics balance your skin’s pH and aloe hydrates to prevent redness and irritation. The fragrance-free formula lathers extremely well for daily use.

If, like me, winter tends to wreak havoc on your hands, making them extremely dry, you need a lotion to remedy this. With synthesized B5 and absorbent fatty acids that provide instant hydration, this hand treatment from Malin & Goetz is the antidote. It absorbs quickly, which is key, so your hands don’t feel sticky or greasy after applying.

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It might be time to upgrade the Gillette handle that came with the pack of razors. Instead, opt for a handle that will last and make for a handsome addition to your medicine cabinet. This imitation horn razor from Edwin Jagger, available at Osswald NYC, is handmade in Sheffield, England with the finest materials and perfectly balanced for an even shave. It will instantly elevate the drugstore fusion blades you put on it. Form meets function.

Aesop’s hand soaps have garnered cult-like admiration over the years, and rightfully so. The packaging is instantly recognizable with its old-school apothecary bottle and distinctive type set. Beyond the aesthetics, the citrus, rosemary, and lavender aroma smells amazing, and the formulation provides effective cleansing for hardworking hands.

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