HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR GROOMING ARMOURY
When it comes to looking good, it’s not what products you use that matters but how you use them. A man can have the best grooming gear in the world but if he doesn’t use it properly he’s wasting his time - and money. Here are some simple hacks to help you turbo charge ten of the most the most common grooming products you own.
Apply your moisturiser just before bed
Not only are skin creams absorbed better at night, when the skin is warm and rested, they’re also at their most useful since night-time is when trans-epidermal water loss (a fancy term for moisture leaving the skin) is greatest, making a little extra hydration essential. Try putting your favourite face cream on your designer bedside tables so you don’t forget to use it and apply after washing, repeating again in the morning so you’re hydrated for the rest of the day.
Exfoliate to power up your face mask
Clay-based face masks are perfect for vacuuming up grease and grime and unblocking pores but, in the same way that paint works better on surfaces that have been primed, they work best on skin that’s been exfoliated first, so prep skin with a face scrub before applying yours. That way, you’ll remove any dead cells that might hinder the mask’s performance, allowing it to suck up all the bad stuff.
Spritz fragrance after hydrating
Fragrance tends to last longer on skin that’s well hydrated so maximise its staying power by spritzing onto skin after you’ve applied a body moisturiser. Choose a fragrance-free one (you don’t want it to clash with your eau de toilette) and wait several minutes for it to sink into the skin before applying your scent. Avoid putting the fragrance nozzle too close to the skin as this causes the fragrance to pool; spraying from around 25cm away will maximise dispersal.
Apply antiperspirant at night
Antiperspirants work by plugging sweat glands and to do that properly they need to be applied to skin that’s dry and not actively sweating – which is why the best time to apply an antiperspirant is just before bed rather than in the morning. Don’t worry, the antiperspirant will still work, even after you shower the following morning, though you can always re-apply as an insurance policy.
Score your soap
A body bar is a great way to give skin a deep clean but you can turbo-charge its effectiveness by scoring its surface with a table knife. Make a criss-cross pattern across its surface and you instantly turn it into a gentle exfoliating bar.
Apply hand cream to the back of your hands first
To get the most out of hand cream apply it to the back of your hand – where skin is driest and needs moisturising the most – and use the back of your other hand to spread it out, wringing your hands together at the end. You’ll get better coverage this way and the cream will end up where it can do the most good. To boost its effectiveness further and aid absorption, exfoliate hands first with an exfoliating soap or face scrub.
Take the heat out of electric shaving
Almost all electric shavers generate a little heat as the blades go to work and that heat can irritate sensitive skin. So, to maximise your shaver’s performance, tackle tender areas of the face like the neck first while the shaver is cooler and resist the temptation to press too hard. If heat is really the issue, you might want to join ol' CutThroatClub.co.uk.
Apply shampoo to dry hair to remove product
Unsightly build-up of styling product in your hair? To shift it in seconds, apply your shampoo directly to dry hair, massage in and rinse, following this with another application of shampoo. You’ll find that this method helps to break down the product faster, leaving hair squeaky clean.
Rinse your razor with warm not hot water
Piping hot water can distort the blade and diminish the overall performance of your shave. According to ‘Shave Doctor’ Mark Sproston rinsing with warm water will improve the life of a razor blade by up to 40%. Using light, 2cm strokes whilst shaving, meanwhile, will deliver the best shave.
Keep eye gel cool
Since anything cold will constrict blood vessels and reduce puffiness (it’s why cucumber is used as a DIY eye mask) an eye gel will be extra effective at shrinking your ‘ocular luggage’ if you keep it chilled in the fridge or on a cold windowsill. It’ll be more refreshing too.