In the modern age, it can be hard to keep up with all of the different male grooming equipment on the market and what to include in a grooming kit. Every man wants to look sharp and smell good, but where do you start?
To make things simpler for you, we’ve decided to put together a comprehensive checklist of must-have men’s grooming products. We’re talking beard care, soaps, shampoos, trimmers, male skincare and of course, the handy Dopp bag. If you’re looking to put together the ultimate male grooming kit, you’re in the right place.
Moisturiser and Sunscreen
The largest organ in the human body, our skin, is something that’s often taken for granted until it’s already lost its youthfulness. Regular moisturizing and proper sun protection can help to keep your skin smooth and supple well into your twilight years.
We’d recommend investing in a high-quality moisturizer and using it daily, as well as a set of varying-SPF sunscreens to protect you from that harmful UV radiation on, particularly sunny days.
When it comes to moisturizing, be sure to apply when the skin is still damp, as moisturizers work by locking in moisture already present on the skin. See our recommendations on the best body and face moisturizers for men.
If there’s one thing people know you by, it’s your face. That’s why it’s important to keep it clean, and well looked after. While normal body or hand soap will get the job done, there are specialist face washes on the market that are designed specifically to care for the delicate skin on your face – reducing the chance of skin damage or irritation.
Exfoliating Face Wash
It’s recommended that you should exfoliate your skin two or three times per week to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your face and reduce the chance of blackheads, spots, and acne. Exfoliating face washes use granular substances or chemicals to cleanse the face of this build-up of dead skin to keep you feeling and looking fresh.
If you wash your face every day, we recommend having both an exfoliant face wash and a normal face wash so that you don’t over-exfoliate. Exfoliating too much can result in overly sensitive skin.
If you suffer from chapped lips in the winter – or any time of year for that matter – a gentle lip balm is always a good addition to an everyday grooming kit for men to keep their lips fresh and lock in moisture.
Lip balms work by coating the lips in what is usually an oil, wax, or petroleum-based substance that forms a protective barrier that keeps in moisture. We’ve had the best success with natural oil-based lip balms (e.g. coconut oil) as these tend to be gentler on the skin.
Under Eye Cream
As we age, the skin under our eyes can become wrinkled, puffy, or dark for various reasons that are to do with everything from your genes, to sunlight exposure, to changes in skin composition as you age. Luckily, some formulated creams are built to fight these effects and can help improve elasticity and promote moisture specifically targeted to this delicate area of the face.
If you’re not sure what to look for in an eye cream, choose a product that contains a chemical called Hyaluronic Acid. This may sound scary, but it’s actually a naturally occurring chemical in the body that helps to improve the moisture of the skin and promote tissue regeneration for healthy and youthful skin.
Leaving your hair to do its thing between trips to the barber might seem harmless, but if you’ve ever taken a closer look at those sideburns a few weeks in, you may have noticed it can’t hurt to have a little touch-up. Luckily, this is something that can often be achieved without the steady hands of your trusted barber (just don’t get too ambitious and try to do the whole haircut, it won’t end well).
A trimmer is a great addition to a men’s grooming essentials kit as it not only allows you to keep the smaller details of your hair trimmed between haircuts, but it also allows you to keep that all-important downstairs area trimmed to perfection, too (that’s one area your barber probably won’t be willing to help with).
There are few things less attractive than bad body odour. That’s why deodorant is a must-have for every man’s grooming kit. People often confuse the term ‘deodorant’ as a substitute for antiperspirant, but they aren’t the same. Antiperspirants help lock in sweat and avoid a build-up of bad body odour when you’re exerting yourself. Deodorants cover up any existing smells with a more pleasant scent. For this reason, we recommend looking for deodorants that are also antiperspirants, as they will do the best job at keeping your BO to a minimum in more ways than one.
If there’s one thing worth splurging on in your men’s grooming kit, it’s cologne. Smelling good is one of the most instinctively attractive qualities a man can have, and a good smell can literally be purchased by the bottle. While it’s considered one of our less dominant senses, our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to the subconscious and can have a profound effect on the impression a guy gives off. What’s more, a man’s scent is like his signature that will leave a lasting impression.
Unless you’re going down the Lex Luthor route, a good shampoo is going to be a crucial part of your daily grooming regime. Shampoo breaks down any dirt and oils that accumulate on the hair and the scalp throughout the day to be washed out.
It’s important to use shampoo and not just regular body soap as it’s specially designed not to damage the delicate fibres of the hair. Some shampoos will come with a conditioner element which will also help protect and strengthen your hair, giving it a smooth, silky finish.
Again, men with clean-shaven heads might be able to skip this one (though you may want to invest in a good quality beard comb if you have a generous helping of facial hair). Having a good hair comb in your kit will help you remove any knots from matted hair and help shape and style your haircut in the mornings with greater precision.
Of course, the best grooming kit for men isn’t complete without body wash – the must-have staple of any self-care regime. There are countless body wash products on the market that work to keep your body clean, many tailored to specific needs like allergies and sensitive or dry skin, so it’s worth consulting the qualities and sensitivities of your own skin before making a decision.
Soaps with lots of perfumes can cause irritation for some people and can clash with the smell of your cologne negatively, so it’s always good to consider this before purchasing strong-scented body wash.
There’s more to growing a glorious beard than just not shaving. The best beard comes about through a combination of good genes, lots of patience, and proper care and maintenance – and the latter is only possible with a great beard kit.
While it might be tempting to get yourself a nice cheap beard trimmer – and there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s all that’s in your budget – investing in one of the best beard trimmers available can be the difference between scraggly and suave, so don’t cheap out if you can help it.
Ear and Nose Hair Trimmer
A far-too-often overlooked part of grooming for men is keeping on top of that pesky ear and nose hair. You’d be surprised how many men are happy to let these areas go untamed.
There’s nothing sexier than attention-to-detail, and keeping these small details well-maintained can have a surprisingly big impact on your overall appearance. See our recommendations on the best nose and ear hair trimmers for your grooming kit.
Shaving Brush and Bowl
Don’t resort to smearing your shaving cream all over your face like some kind of untrained monkey. A small but highly useful addition you can make to your grooming kit when it comes to luxury men’s grooming products is a shaving brush and bowl to evenly lather your face in shaving cream for a nice, even shave.
The added benefit lots of people overlook with a shaving brush is that you don’t get shaving foam on your hands, and therefore everywhere you touch, so it can make it easier to keep your bathroom clean too.
If you’ve ever tried to travel with a personal grooming kit, you’ll know what a huge mess that often ends up in. A Dopp bag is a simple purchase that’s essential for any bachelor that usually spends nights away from home or any man who does a lot of travelling.
A good Dopp bag should be small, lightweight, and most importantly waterproof – with multiple pockets and just enough space to fit all the most important overnights like a toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo, and comb.
An electric toothbrush is one of the must-have men’s hygiene products. Electric toothbrushes are far more effective at cleaning plaque and food from your teeth and gums than their archaic, manual counterparts. Plus, they’re just less effort.
When choosing an electric toothbrush to add to your grooming kit, try to opt for a product that has replaceable brush-heads, as these are far more hygienic than fixed-head electric toothbrushes.
Be less ‘Long John Silver’ and more ‘silver fox’ by keeping that man-mane tamed. Good beard oil can help condition your beard, keeping it healthy and silky-smooth and keeping any unwanted itching and irritation at bay.
Beard oil also significantly reduces the chance of matting the beard hairs, which anyone who’s ever tried to comb a tangled beard will tell you is not a fun experience.
There are few things less attractive on a man than long, unkempt fingernails. A good set of nail clippers are usually very inexpensive and easy to get your hands on but will make a big difference to your overall look and presentability.
To make life easier, it might be worth investing in a nail clipper set that comes in various sizes to match everything from your little finger to your big toenails.
Unless you’re sporting the buzz-cut look or a long lusty mane, you might be familiar with the untamed attitude of medium-length hair. Hair gel, pomade, wax, clay, and mousse are all great products to help keep your barnet under control under varying conditions.
Gels and pomades generally have a slicker look, with the former having a firmer hold than the latter. Waxes and clays are more suited to matte and messy looks, and mousse is great for adding volume to long, lusty locks. Which type of product you choose will depend on your hairstyle and preferences, so consider having a conversation with your barber about what will work best for you.
How could we forget the trusty bar of soap? Bar soaps have numerous benefits over bottled soap gels, the biggest of which being that they’re entirely self-cleaning – no more worrying about germs leftover on the soap dispenser after you’ve washed your hands.
Bar soaps are also more environmentally friendly than their bottled counterparts, ditching the need for single-use plastics in the containers. Just make sure to get one that’s packaged in environmentally friendly packaging.
You might think that normal scalp shampoo is perfectly fine to use on your beard, and while it might get it clean, it’s unlikely to keep your beard nice and healthy with prolonged use. This is because the hair on your chin is a different animal from the hair on your head, and the chemicals used in your typical scalp shampoo can often dry the hair and skin on your face out, causing itchiness and irritation.
The best beard shampoos are specially formulated for the exact type of hair you’re addressing, and a good quality beard shampoo will condition to keep your facial hair soft, clean, and healthy with little-to-no face itching when compared with regular shampoos.
Beard balm can be a great alternative to beard oil when it comes to locking in moisture that also offers the added benefit of styling your facial hair. Due to their slightly waxy composure, beard balms can help you finetune your look by taming any stray hairs and shaping your facial hair into a more cohesive shape – all while gently conditioning your beard and moustache.
We recently published an article on the best beard balms for grooming, so you should give that a read for more information on what to look for in a good beard balm.
Ever wondered how some guys have those long, silky beards that look like they’ve been ripped directly off the face of a Norse god? Chances are they didn’t grow that way. They probably used a beard straightener to get those lusty chin-locks, and you can too!
A high-quality beard straightener will help to flatten out the fuzziness of your facial hair while protecting the natural structure of your hair. If you’re not familiar with what to look for in a beard straightener, you might find our article on the best beard straighteners useful.
Now that you’ve got a complete list of the items you need in your grooming kit, it’s time to start building out your supplies. Before you know it, you’ll be the most dapper version of your gentlemen self, and both your confidence and outward appearance will begin to skyrocket to heights you’ll be surprised with.