Gone are the days of a quick splash with water and a haircut from your grandfather’s barber. Skin and hair, body and clothes, whether to shave or whether to wax, the grooming front can be a scary place.
It’s a daunting task to negotiate one’s way through cleansing rituals and the multitude of products out there. We present 50 tips to look hotter and healthier.
- Smile at the world. Looking serious and annoyed is no way to face others, especially if you’d like to make a good impact.
- Don’t be boring. If your life consists of nothing else than your 9 to 5 job, then why should anyone find you interesting? Get out, develop new interests, get passionate about something. Study something you’ve always wanted to, take diving courses. Live life. Others will notice.
- Using cologne or eau de toilette is a good thing. But two rules to remember. Don’t buy a cheap one, and don’t overdo it. Two or three squirts are enough. Too much smells of desperation.
- Stand up straight. Make an effort to be aware of your posture. After a while, it will come naturally.
- Change your glasses and sunglasses once a year. It will make you feel and look like a new man.
- Think about it. Would you want to sleep with yourself? If you’re unsure or answered no, then do something about it. It has nothing to do with your natural looks, but the way you take care of yourself.
- Want to look old real quick? Well then keep puffing away at those cigarettes. Drop the habit. You’ll smell better too.
- Tanning is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Simply don’t do it. The consequences will hit you once you are over 40. Stars such as Madonna use self tan products and so can you. But don’t be cheap with the product or you’ll look like a carrot.
- A man’s skin may have a slightly thicker epidermis, but the basic structure of a man’s skin and a woman’s skin is the same. This means that women’s skin products should work on you too.
- Wear a sunscreen moisturizer combo, and make sure it contains zinc oxide recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Also always use a soap that moisturizes your skin.
- Toner isn’t just a product for females – you need it to remove dirt from your pores. And alcohol content will prematurely dry out your skin, so when it comes to products the less alcohol the better (save the alcohol for the margaritas).
- Experts tell us that alpha hydroxyl acid is an important ingredient in whatever moisturizer you opt for. If you’re going to moisturize every day (which you are now, aren’t you?) then ensure that your product contains this ingredient.
- Exfoliating once or twice a week removes dead cells (yes, we all have them) and rejuvenates the skin. It’s like lifting off the old and letting the freshness shine through.
- A non-drying face wash and a refreshing toner are the quickest and simplest ways to thoroughly cleanse the skin. The non-drying variety maintains the moisture balance and the toner is the perfect follow-up.
- Drink lots of water (yup, eight glasses a day as we’ve been told) because this flushes out impurities that cause blemishes to your skin. It also keeps your body hydrated and feeling good – we can’t overstate the importance of good old-fashioned H2O.
- Experts recommend a lukewarm shower because steaming hot water can deplete your skin’s moisture, and for the same reason they recommend you don’t stay under there longer than six minutes.
- When shaving, preparation is the key. Apply hot water, and work the lather in for at least a minute. When finished pat dry and apply a moisturizer (there’s that word again – and it’s important).
- In-grown hairs are best prevented by shaving in the direction of the hair growth so that you don’t distort the follicle. A regular face scrub will release trapped hair and prevent infection.
- Don’t be cheap. Go to the best hairdresser you can afford. It makes a difference. After all, you’re worth it!
- Discovering whether you hair is dry or oily is an easy process. If your roots are greasy within 24 hours of washing, use a shampoo for oily hair. If you can go three days or more and the roots are dry, use a shampoo for dry to normal hair.
- Hair products such as gels, mousses or waxes vary according to your style, but as a rule make sure that the product contains no alcohol and preferably has sunscreen protection and moisturizer for the hair.
- Communicate! Talking to your hair stylist is a good learning experience so ask questions – what hair type do I have? How healthy is my hair? How do I get it to look like yours?
- Don’t overload your hair with product. It takes very little to hold the style you want, and this also prevents build-up and flaking of the scalp. You also don’t want to look like Elvis or Liberace with an over-sprayed helmet of hair.
- Balding is no longer a one-way trip. Products like Propecia can in many men actually reverse hair loss. They aren’t cheap, but ask your MD for help. You can also ask him or her to prescribe a cheaper variation of Propecia such as Proscar.
- Toupees or wigs won’t work. You’re just fooling yourself. If you can’t stop the fallout, rather go with the flow. Cut your hair real short, or, if it’ll suit you, take it all off. And never, never, ever wear a ponytail if your hair is thinning.
- Take multivitamins in moderation, and use a vitamin blend that’s been specially formulated to strengthen your hair and nails. Consult your pharmacist or friendly herbalist to find out which blend is best for you.
- Drink milk or take a calcium supplement, because osteoporosis doesn’t only affect women. Sufficient calcium to your bones in your youth can guard against calcium problems in your golden years.
- At least five fruits or vegetables per day will help your skin to detox (if the smoke and alcohol is getting you down, think of what it’s doing to your insides). Nutrient anti-oxidant foods are important ingredients for your skin, and protein is good for skin elasticity.
- Not to say that we all have to give up drinking for good (can be hard to imagine, can’t it?), but every body needs a detox now and then. And the best way to ensure a full-body detox is to give up alcohol cold turkey for a week if not longer.
Clothing and dressing tips
- Dress to hide your flaws. Camouflage is an important word if you’re on a first date, or anywhere else where you’d be looking to impress. This doesn’t imply wearing camo greens, but means that you should hide your less-than-perfect features.
- Make an effort to shave and dress well over the weekend because it’ll make you feel better about yourself. Who knows who you might meet at the corner cafÃ©.
- Wear less jewellery as you get older. Anything more than a watch and a special ring isn’t advisable at the best of times, but once you reach a certain stage in your life you don’t want to look like a pimp or an ageing showgirl.
- Watch trendy clothes and fads as you get older. At 18 it may look cool, at 50 it will probably look ridiculous.
- Rotate your regularly used items of clothing (e.g. jackets, scarves or shoes) giving them at least a day to br