This article is approximately a 5-minunte read.
If you're like most guys, you've adopted a grooming routine over the years based largely on trial and error and a little guesswork.
You wash your face. You shave. You bathe and take care of your hair, crossing off the items on your daily grooming checklist and then going about your day.
But are you completing every step of your grooming regimen correctly? In reality, probably not.
Most guys make at least a few men's grooming mistakes without even realizing and aren't getting the most benefits possible from the time they spend in the shower and in front of the mirror as a result.
This list of grooming mistakes men make can help you discover what you might be doing wrong and will tell you how to fix the problem to improve your appearance.
Here are 15 grooming mistakes men make and what you can do to avoid making them yourself:
Mistake #1: Skipping face moisturizer.
Most guys know that washing their faces is important, but their facial grooming ends after they've lathered up and rinsed. This is a recipe for disaster no matter what type of skin you have.
All complexions need moisture to remain soft, smooth, and resistant to wrinkling.
Every man's grooming regimen should include a moisturizer that's ideal for skin type. Use one twice daily for best results.
To learn more on how to choose a men's face moisturizer, check out our guide on how to choose face moisturizers for men.
An example of a men’s face moisturizer is the Gameface Moisturizer from Triumph & Disaster:
Mistake #2: Ignoring nose and ear hairs.
The older you get, the more likely you are to have stray hairs peeking out around your ears and nose.
You may not notice this growth when you look in the mirror, but you can bet that people around you see it.
At least once every week, give your ears and nose a careful inspection. Use a nose and ear trimmer to quickly whisk away visible hairs. It only takes a few seconds, but it can make a big improvement on the impression you make.
Mistake #3: Letting facial hair run wild.
Yes, beards are back, but messy ones aren’t attractive. Mustaches, goatees, and beards all need to be kept neat and tidy.
Use scissors or an electric trimmer to keep facial hair one length and use facial hair styling products like beard oil, beard balm, and beard wax to improve manageability and promote healthier, more attractive growth.
An example of a beard oil is the Tree Ranger Beard Oil from Beard Brand:
And an example of a beard balm is the Beard Balm from Brooklyn Grooming:
To learn more about beard grooming products, check out our guide on beard grooming products.
Mistake #4: Forgetting about body hair.
Some guys will tell you that real men are meant to be hairy. That might be true, but looking like a Sasquatch when you take off your shirt isn't going to score you any style points.
While you don't have to go from bear-like growth to completely bare, keeping body hair trimmed with scissors or an electric trimmer is an important part of grooming.
If you do want to de-fuzz, using wax or sugaring kits rather than a razor will give you longer lasting hair removal results as these products remove hair roots and all rather than just cropping it off at the skin like a razor.
Mistake #5: Rocking a uni-brow (unless you’re Anthony Davis).
You can't help but snicker when you see a guy sporting a mono brow, but when was the last time you took a look at your own ‘brows!
With age, eyebrows tend to become bushier and thicker, so it's important to keep them shaped. Tweezers or wax are good solutions for shaping ‘brows and removing excess hair; never use your razor to shave your eyebrows.
Be sure to smooth your eyebrows into place with a ‘brow comb before you start to pluck or apply wax. You can also trim your ‘brows with an electric trimmer or an eyebrow comb and scissors.
Mistake #6: Forgetting SPF.
This is one of the most serious of men's grooming mistakes because it can actually be deadly.
Not wearing sunscreen doesn't just make you likely to burn; it can actually increase your risk of developing melanoma and other forms of skin cancer in the future.
Studies have found that even repeated short periods of exposure to UV without sun protection can cause cumulative damage that contributes to cancer and premature wrinkling.
That's why all guys need to use broad-spectrum sun protection with an SPF of at least 15 every day. When you're going to be outdoors for long periods of time, use a higher SPF level product, re-applying at least every 2 hours.
Mistake #7. Not managing to manicure.
People notice your hands more than you think, and if your nails are dirty and misshapen when they do notice, they get a message that you're not conscientious about your appearance.
Keep a nail brush at the sink or shower and give your nails a good scrub at least once every day. Then at least on a weekly basis, use nail scissors to eliminate length and a nail file to remove any rough edges.
Make sure you trim your toenails with clippers regularly too. Even if you don't intend to show off bare feet or walk around in sandals, unkempt toenails can end up ingrown and painful.
Mistake #8: Over-doing it with hair styling products.
When it comes to styling aids, a little bit goes a long way, especially when you're using high-quality products, which are usually very concentrated.
Applying too much hair product can lead to build-up that weighs hair down and is difficult to remove, and it can end up making hair appear greasy, stiff or flaky, depending on what kind of styling aids you use.
Change your ways by only using a dime-sized amount of product at once. You can always use more as needed.
To address build-up due to frequent over application, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo.
Mistake #9: Not using shaving lubricant.
Just delete the words "dry shaving" from your vocabulary.
It doesn't matter what the packaging says; you probably don’t want to drag a razor on your skin that isn't properly lubricated. Razor blades produce friction, and without anything to minimize it, they can abrade and injure your complexion, leading to razor burn and irritation.
Use a shaving gel, shaving cream or shaving soap for your skin type every time you shave. Your complexion will thank you for it.
An example of a shaving gel is the Another Close Shave Gel from Fieldworks Supply:
An example of a men's shaving cream is the Smooth Brushless Shave Cream from Brickell:
An example of a shaving soap is the Whiskey Shaving Puck from Portland General Store:
Mistake #10: Going “against the grain” when shaving.
This is one of the grooming mistakes men make that isn't guys’ fault.
Somewhere along the way, a myth that it's best to shave against the grain was added to modern-day men's skin care wisdom, but it's time to dispel it once and for all.
While it's true that shaving against the grain lets the razor get closer to the skin, this is actually a bad thing. You're much more likely to end up with irritation if you shave in the direction opposite of the way your hair grows.
Get in the habit of going with the grain rather than against it, and you're bound to see improvements in how your complexion feels and looks when you're finished with the razor.
Mistake #11: Shaving with cold water.
Some guys will tell you that shaving with cold water makes their skin less red afterwards, but it's likely these gents have never tried shaving with warm or hot water.
A lukewarm or cold shave limits your ability to get smooth results from the razor. Hot water does a much better job of softening the beard and readying it for the razor, and it allows lather shaving lubricants to better lubricate the skin.
Shaving soaps are a good choice for guys who want to experience the benefits of a hot water shave because they can be mixed with hot water easily.
An example of a shaving soap is the Shaving Soap from Brooklyn Grooming:
If you like a shaving cream or gel, try placing a warm wash cloth on your face or taking a hot shower before you shave and then using only hot water for rising.
Mistake #12: Coming on too strong with soap.
Men like things that are heavy-duty and powerful, but when it comes to soap, it's best to choose a product that is gentle.
Harsh soaps can over-dry skin, leaving it tight, itchy, and more likely to wrinkle. Bar soaps are the worst offenders, which is why it might be a better choice to choose face wash and body wash for cleansing from head to toe.
If you simply can't bear to part with a bar, look for one that's sulfate free and that contains moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, olive oil, or coconut oil.
An example of a men's bar soap for you to check out is the Cedar Citrus Soap from Dr. Squatch:
Mistake #13: Letting cleansers linger.
Whether you're washing your hair, scrubbing your face, or cleaning your body, you need to make sure you spend as much time on the rinsing step as you do on the lathering.
Letting shampoo and conditioner linger in your hair can lead to build-up and your hair looking dirty even after your shower. Soap, face wash, and body wash residues left behind on skin can cause dryness and irritation.
Rinse until the water runs clear and use your hands to help remove lather.
Mistake #14: Over-applying cologne.
Nobody wants to be the stinky guy, so it's understandable that many men douse themselves with lots of fragrance in an effort to combat body odor. Here's the problem though: too much cologne can be just as unpleasant as the stink of sweat.
This is especially true when you're at work. You don't want to be the guy at the office that everyone says wears too much cologne!
Just a small spray to pulse points on your neck or your wrist is all you need really. When you'll be outdoors on hot days, go even easier on the scent, as the weather conditions can make men's fragrance more intense.
Mistake #15: Not knowing your skin type.
Is your skin oily? Do you have combination skin? Or is it dry, normal, or sensitive? If you don't know, there's a pretty good chance you're using the wrong skincare products and limiting the effectiveness of your grooming regimen as a result.
Here's a quick rundown on each skin type to help you figure out which one you are:
Oily skin naturally produces too much oil or sebum. Telltale signs of an oily complexion include visible pores all over the skin, frequent blemishes all over the skin and shiny skin all over.
Regimens for oily skin must focus on controlling oil and promoting clearer pores to reduce the risk of blemishes.
If you think you may have oily skin, check out this guide on how to choose grooming products for men with oily skin.
Dry skin is the opposite of oily skin; it doesn't get enough sebum to keep it properly hydrated.
Guys with dry skin usually don't have visible pores and break out infrequently, if at all. Instead, they have to contend with tightness, roughness and sometimes, itching and flaking.
Regimens for dry skin need to increase moisture levels in the tissue to ease signs of dryness.
In this guide, you'll learn how to choose grooming products for men with dry skin.
Combination skin is a little bit oily and a little bit dry. Complexions that fall into the combination category produce too much oil along the forehead, nose and chin - and will exhibit symptoms of oily skin confined to this region, which is commonly called the "T zone."
The rest of a combination complexion may be normal or dry. Combination skincare regimens should work to balance oil levels across the skin while addressing signs of oiliness and dryness where they occur.
If you think you have combination skin, check out this guide on how to choose grooming products for men with combination skin.
Sensitive skin is prone to reactions when exposed to certain ingredients. If your skin ever gets red, stings, itches, or develops rashes due to the use of skin care or shaving products, you have sensitive skin. It's important to note that sensitive skin may also be oily, dry, or combination.
A sensitive skin care regimen should protect the complexion from harsh ingredients, calm inflammation when reactions occur and address any signs of oiliness or dryness.
In this guide, you'll learn how to choose grooming products for men with sensitive skin.
Normal skin produces just enough oil all over and is not overly sensitive to skin care products. If your skin is normal, you won't fall into any of the other categories described above.
A daily regimen for normal skin should focus on maintaining ideal oil production rates to keep skin from becoming dry or oily.
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