Grooming In Your 20’s
You’re in your 20s – the best years of your life.
You’re past the awkward teenage years of zits, your voice breaking, and your body changing. You haven’t quite reached the age of grey hair, wrinkles, and putting on weight every time you have a drink. It can feel like your invincible. You’re in your physical prime, your skin is blemish-free, and everything still works. But all this good comes with a warning – it’s not going to last forever. Eventually, your body will start aging and you will start to feel it!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take in your 20s to keep the party going! If you take proper care of your body and learn to look after your hair and skin, you can look great well into middle age. The habits you create now will stick with you a lifetime.
In this list, we’ve compiled the 12 most important grooming rules to live by in your 20s.
Apply Sunscreen Every Day
“Every day!?” you ask. It might sound crazy, but the sun doesn’t take a day off! Yep, you should be applying sunscreen every day if you want to avoid sun damage. And not just on sunny days: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun travel through clouds and can even affect you on rainy or cold days.
Exposure to UV radiation from the sun causes most skin cancers; and if you spend a lot of time outside, you’re at greater risk. UV rays only make up a tiny portion of the sun’s rays, but they can be really damaging if you’re not careful.
So, slap that sunscreen on every morning before you head outside! Fortunately, they make sunscreen that doesn’t leave your skin all sticky and doesn’t leave you looking like a cricketer (Google it). We’d recommend trying something between SPF 15 and 30 like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30.
Whichever sunscreen you choose, make sure it has one of the following UV-blocking ingredients: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide.
Don’t Rush Your Shaving
Shaving is the manliest morning activity. You pull a sharpened blade across your bearded face and cut it back to a rough stubble, before jumping – ax in hand – in the back of your buddy’s truck, off for a day of lumberjacking. Or something like that.
Whatever your morning shaving ritual, you need to take more care. Pulling that sharp blade across your face in the wrong way can cause lasting damage. Here are a few tips to improve your shaving game:
- Invest in the right razor – Don’t skimp out and buy the 20 pack of cheap razors. Invest in something like the MerkurFutur Adjustable Safety Razor. It’s weighted and adjustable, so you can find the perfect settings for your skin.
- Use hot and cold water – heating up your skin makes the blade glide across your skin easier and cooling it down afterward reduces inflammation. Shave straight after a shower or use a hot towel to dab your skin.
- Go with the grain – Shave the way your hair grows. If you shave against the grain, you increase the chances of cuts, razor burn, and inflammation.
- Use a brush – Instead of applying shaving cream with your hands, try using a brush. The cream will get further into your hair and make for a smoother shave.
Find Out Your Skin Type
There are 4 different skin types. Working out yours will make it much easier to look after it properly.
Normal/Combination skin – Requires the least amount of work. You might experience dryness on the cheeks but will generally have well-moisturized skin. Use a light moisturizer and gently exfoliate every day.
Oily skin – Can be hard to look after properly, but the good news is that you’ll end up looking younger for longer! You need to use an enzymatic exfoliator every day as well as a gentle physical exfoliator.
Dry skin – Will feel tight at times and you might experience flaking. Dry skin can be caused by a number of factors including dehydration, genetics, and environment. You need to exfoliate daily with non-abrasive ingredients and use a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate). Also, consider using emollients that include squalene and camellia oil to hydrate your skin.
Sensitive skin – To really understand sensitive skin can take a long time. Sensitive skin can be irritated or inflamed by any number of ingredients, so it’s important to introduce one at a time. That way you really know how they affect your skin.
Think about what happens to leather when it ages – it ends up with cracks and crevices. That’s why you need to moisturize it regularly, it keeps it looking brand new. The same works for your skin. But your skin isn’t as tough as a cow’s, so you should be taking extra care.
It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference to your skin. You should clean your face twice a day and apply a moisturizer once. It’s best to moisturize your skin in a humid environment, so after a shower. You should also use a body cream to moisturize your whole body at least once a week. This will keep your skin looking fresh and young well into middle age.
Brush Your Teeth…
Well, hopefully, you are already brushing your teeth at leasttwice a day. The general advice is to brush after every meal, but that’s not always easy to do, so we’ll let you off for that one. Keeping good dental hygiene is a super important part of your daily grooming ritual, though.
Brushing – If you’ve not already joined the 21st Century, invest in an electric toothbrush. Pretty much every dentist in the world swears by them and they’ll make a big difference to your brushing.
Flossing – The jury’s still out. In the last couple of years, flossing has got a lot of bad press, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still worth it. The health benefits of flossing are unproven, but the majority of dentists still say it prevents gum disease.
Dentist – A lot of people only go to the dentist when they have a problem, but you can go just for a check-up. Get a scale and polish and prevent any problems before they get serious.
Keep on Top of Your Body Hair
This one’s all about preference. Your preference and your partner’s preference. Some people are really into body hair and for others, it’s a huge turn-off, so we’re not going to tell you to shave it all off.
Instead, you should keep on top of it. It’s safe to say that most people aren’t attracted to hairy backs or shoulders. The problem is, they’re the hardest areas to get to on your own. That’s why – if you don’t have an understanding friend or partner – book yourself in for a professional wax! Getting it done professionally will prevent it from growing back quickly and will ensure that you don’t miss a spot! You can also invest in a good body groomer and have it handy when ever you need it.
Invest in Your Hair
Hair is important, even if you don’t have any. Making the most of what’s on top of your head is crucial to good grooming. If you’re lucky enough to have a full head of hair, then you should get it cut every 2-3 weeks. Of course, it depends on your style, but getting your hair cut regularly will make it much more manageable and keep you looking consistently good.
If you – like 25% of men in their 20s – have started losing your hair, don’t worry! There are loads of options available now. Wigs have come a long way in the last 10 years and are now a really viable option. If you want to get a bit more serious, you should look into hair transplants. It could end up costing you around $10,000, but for some people, that’s a small price to pay!
Look After Your Hands & Feet
The skin on your hands and feet get used constantly. That’s why they seem to age quicker than the rest of your skin. This is especially true in people that work with their hands – like builders, and tree surgeons.
You can fight this by moisturizing every day and protecting your hands and feet properly. Invest in high-quality gloves and socks, especially in the winter. You could even book yourself in for a mani-pedi once in a while.
Invest in Your Grooming
It’s generally a good rule for life – if you spend a bit more, you’ll get a higher quality product. It’s not a blanket rule and you still have to be savvy with your money, but there’s often a reason that high-quality product cost more.
This is definitely true in grooming. You might be able to cut corners and find cheaper products, but it could end up damaging you in the long run. Take shaving as an example: every time you cut yourself with a cheap razor, you are damaging your skin and making it rougher later in life.
Spend some money – you only get one body.
Wash Your Towels & Bedsheets
You might be wondering why we’ve included this one. It’s not grooming in the traditional sense of the word, but it still counts. Grooming is all about keeping a tidy, presentable appearance. That means you want your skin free of blemishes, spots, etc.
Your towels and bedsheets are a breeding ground for bacteria. You use them every day and they’re always coming into contact with your body. That can lead to all sorts of skin problems.
You should wash them fortnightly, at least. This is especially important if you shower in the morning instead of before bed – you are getting into bed every night with a day’s worth of sweat and bacteria built up on your body.
Eat Well & Exercise
Your skin and hair health is hugely affected by the way you live your life. To look at your best every day, you need to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise.
This is the easiest and most effective way to improve your look. We are hard-wired to recognize healthy people. Why do you think people comment when you’ve got a great a tan or have been working out?
Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and oily fish. If you don’t have any clue about a healthy diet, you can find a ton of information on the internet or contact a professional dietician. They will set you up with a strict diet regime that you can easily follow. The other thing to remember is to drink water and lots of it! If you want to improve your skin health, there’s no quicker way!