8 Bad Grooming Habits Men Should Avoid
Habits matter. Even the little ones. Flossing. Exercising. Eating right.
Sticking to seemingly small daily habits adds up to big results. And skipping those little details makes things worse than they need to be.
Be honest - you've had the dental hygienist ask “so how often are you flossing again?” - and it didn't feel good, did it?
The same is true of your skincare and grooming habits. Worse, you may have developed bad habits without even knowing it.
Here are 8 common grooming mistakes men make and how to avoid them for lasting results.
1. Washing With Cheap Soap
You really shouldn’t wash your hands, face, or anything else with cheap, low quality soap. This is a common mistake guys make -- after all, it’s easy to just choose the cheapest option at the store. And it may seem like it’s all more or less the same stuff.
This is not true. The problem with these cheap products is that they often contain harsh, bad-for-your-skin ingredients like:
- Emulsifiers: Meant to make soaps suds up and mix together, emulsifiers like polysorbate, stearate, steareth, cetearyl and ceteareth (that’s a mouthful) leave a residue on your skin that can mess with your natural barrier and dry out your skin.
- Parabens: These are meant to maximize shelf life by decreasing mold and bacteria in products. The problem is that they can throw your hormones out of balance -- some studies even suggest they can cause cancer. Not great.
- Artificial fragrance and colors: Many artificial fragrances and colors are made known carcinogens and skin irritants. Since these are often considered trade secrets, companies don't have to disclose the exact ingredients they're using.
These ingredients are so harmful that the European Union (EU) has banned over 1,300 of them from cosmetic products (though in the US the FDA is slow to catch up with only 11 banned ingredients).
Want to be smarter about what you're using on your skin? Good! Read your labels and replace products with these no-no ingredients with healthy, natural soaps and face washes that won’t hurt your skin.
2. Forgetting to Wash Your Face Before Bed
It may not seem like a big deal - you forget to wash your face or just do it in the shower or just “when you remember.” But nightly face washing is actually really important.
Your face produces sebum - or oil - that mixes with dirt, sweat, and anything else that you encounter throughout the day. If you don’t wash it off at night, it’ll soak into your pores and create blackheads and pimples. Over time, this can result in significant acne concerns.
Bottom line? Wash your face daily, people. And use a gentle acne face wash if you know you have oily or acne prone skin.
3. Skipping the SPF
Fact: at least 80% of the visible signs of aging and skin damage are caused by UV rays and environmental stressors. This means that 80% of those fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and sagging areas that you see popping up could be avoided with proper sun care.
The right SPF product can help - and skipping this step can majorly affect your skin over time.
Want to slow down the aging process? Incorporate a moisturizer with SPF into your morning routine. That way, you kill two birds with one stone and you stop those premature or unnecessary signs of aging in their tracks.
4. Getting Your Shaving Wrong
A lot of guys shave the wrong way - going against the grain, shaving too closely, or using low-quality razors. This can lead to ingrown hairs, bacterial growth, angry red spots, and other irritating skin concerns.
Stop these issues in their tracks by following a few simple steps:
- Don't shave too closely to the skin, keep it gentle
- Rinse the blade with water after every stroke, don't be lazy
- Don’t shave too frequently - if possible, every other day is much easier on your skin
- Shave in the direction of hair growth
5. Using a Dirty Phone
You always wash your hands before you touch your face, right? Well, hopefully. Especially since you come into contact with tons of dirty things - like money - throughout the day.
Like your phone. According to one study, there are more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the phones of high school students. Another study discovered that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
So if you’re touching that thing to your face without sanitizing it, you’re just asking for acne and skin problems.
6. Not Sticking to a Full Skincare Routine
Some skincare ingredients take time to start showing their full effects. Here are some averages:
- AHAs start working right away, but peak at 12 weeks
- Niacinamide doesn’t start working for 12 weeks
- Vitamin C takes 3+ weeks
- Peptides take 12 weeks
The lesson? You need to use your products with active ingredients daily - and regularly over the long term - if you want the full results. So develop a skincare routine that works for you and stick with it - even if you start simple with just face wash and moisturizer.
7. Using Too Much Product
On the other side of the coin, using too much product also comes with its setbacks. Being heavy-handed with your hair pomade, for example, can lead to flaking or an overly waxy appearance (and, over time, it can contribute to breakouts).
In the same vein, using too many different active ingredients - or in too high concentrations - can lead to redness and irritation on your skin.
Don’t over-do it. It won’t make things work better. Quite the opposite.
8. Skipping the Nail Care
A lot of guys skip nail care and simply give their nails a trim from time to time. Bad idea.
Remember - your hands are one of the first things that people will see and touch. It’s important to get this first impression right with a nail regimen that includes:
- Pushing your cuticles back
- Moisturizing regularly
- Keeping an appealing, rounded shape