Male grooming guide

Liz Coggins

If you think male grooming starts and finishes with a shave, a spray of deodorant and a splash of aftershave then think again.

Nose hair, straggly eyebrows, rough hands, damaged nails and skin that would look good on a rhinoceros won't impress your partner, although perhaps she won't admit it. Nor will it captivate a new love if you are re-entering the dating market.

Men are thick skinned - but women have always known that. Male skin is 20% thicker than a woman's. It's firmer and ages more slowly but at around 40 it starts to age dramatically and rapidly becoming more prone to blocked pores, dehydration and sensitivity. The skin also becomes rougher and that's the time to take action and start a skin care regime - if you don't, your partner may think she's dancing cheek to cheek with a brillo pad.

Keep cleansing for skin brightening 

A foaming face wash will remove all the dirt and pollution and soften even the most macho stubble. Once or twice a week use a face scrub it scours off the dead skin and brightens up craggy surfaces.

Get into the habit of using a moisturiser - it protects and softens and if you really want to fight the anti-ageing war, try a wrinkle control product to smooth lines, firm and tone the boost the renewal process.

Read about using moisturiser here

Eyes are the window of the soul and it's rather off putting to look into puffy, red eyes with dark circles. An eye gel will refresh and work wonders on eyes. Likewise a serum or fatigue gel on the face after a heavy night is a great pick-me-up.

And don’t forget the lips. Use a lip balm, especially in cold weather, to avoid chapped or cracked lips especially in the mistletoe season.

Facial hair can be a big turn-off. Trim nose hair with special clippers available at most pharmacies. Tweeze straggly eyebrows or better still have a professional eyebrow trim or wax.

Have a professional manicure 

Holding hands can be romantic at any age but not if your hands are rough, red and full of callouses with broken or damaged nails. For special occasions have a professional manicure - Al Capone did - and use a hand cream for best results every time you wash your hands.

Holidays put grooming under close scrutiny. If you’ve got a waist that’s gone south and a tummy that needs a tuck, it won’t look half as bad with a tan as it does when you're milk-bottle white. Opt for a salon fake body tan before you leave. But don’t forget your face - most men's ranges include a subtle gel face tan. If your back is prone to spots and blemishes, a salon back treatment will work wonders.

Put your feet first with a professional pedicure as it's no fun playing footsie in the sand with the love of your life if she gets scratched with unruly toe nails or feels those corns and callouses on her tender tootsies.

If you really get hooked on your grooming regime most salons offer facials for men to revitalise, rehydrate and detoxify. One important factor to remember is to use products specially formulated for men. The majority of leading brands offer a wide range and their consultants will advise and prescribe a regime for your skin type. And don’t feel uncomfortable at the counter because now, according to research, a significant part of their customer base is male.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.