Want a New Year's resolution you can actually keep? Here are some simple grooming tips and tricks to incorporate in your regimen that will help you look better and younger. It's time to finally break free of that shell and actually buy some of your own skincare products — because stealing them from your mum/girlfriend/wife/roommate is something your should leave behind in 2015.
And because we know that like most time-starved males today you simply have no time, these are designed to be fast-working, effective and foolproof... so there's plenty of time for you to play Civilization and drink beers after.
One major difference between men and women's skin — though some say that the difference is practically neglible — is that men's skin tends to be oilier and less prone to hormonal fluctuations. Oily skin needs to be exfoliated regularly, as it tends to have an extra thick layer of build-up and thickened pores, making skin rougher and prone to whiteheads and blackheads. Start off by exfoliating two to three times a week right after you wash your face. Too troublesome to carry out an extra step? Leave it right in your shower so you remember to use it.
SHAVE EVERY DAY
And while we're on the topic of exfoliation, shaving regularly has its benefits. Firstly having a five o'clock shadow at your nine a.m meeting is not the best look — stubble and regrowth can look unkempt and also make you look older than you are. Shaving is a way of exfoliating your skin, so said build-up doesn't appear. Lastly, shaving regularly can help prevent the ingrown hairs and razor bumps that plague many men. What to invest in? A good, clean razor that is changed regularly and a good shaving brush (badger hair works best although there are vegan alternatives). Always apply a shaving foam or soap pre-shave to lift the facial hairs and prepare them for shaving.
Shocked at how much Harrison Ford has aged as Han Solo in the new Star Wars? We have news for you. No one stays young and handsome forever, no matter how charming they be. While ageing gracefully (unfairly) seems to be reserved just for men, help your cause by applying sunscreen on the face and neck, especially when you are playing golf, running outdoors or out on the tennis court. While male skin takes longer to visibly age, when it does, it happens rapidly and visibly. The neck is important if you want to avoid age spots or turkey wattle — another dead giveaway that you're no spring chicken.
TRY AN IN-OFFICE TREATMENT
The puzzling thing about men is that they love technology and machines, but few seem to be interested in using this for their skin. If you hate sitting through face massages, masks and scrubs, but have been noticing that your skin has been deteriorating, it might be time to call in the big guns and visit a dermatologist. Although a costlier investment than a mere face cream, lasers like the Nd:YAG can help improve skin's tone and quality while other radiofrequency treatments like Thermage are a good alternative for sagging that can't be addressed with topical products. These work on the deeper layers of the skin either by causing micro wounds that kick the skin into repair mode, or by remodelling collagen in the skin and boosting collagen production, so skin is less wrinkled and more lifted.
DON'T BE SCARED OF A LITTLE CONCEALER
We're not asking you to try full on face paint like Adam Lambert, but a little concealer is not a huge deal in 2016. Male celebrities use makeup all the time — yes even the super macho ones — so they photograph better. Even male models, who are already winners in the genetic lottery, use it to hide pimples and spots. We're not saying this should be an everyday necessity, but a little concealer under the eyes after your late night football games or a dab to hide spots or shaving nicks before a big meeting, can make you look a whole lot better. Just remember to blend it in with your finger — the heat helps the product melt in — so your cheeky colleague who might give you a hard time doesn't notice.