Everything you need to do now to look your absolute best through the big 3-0, and beyond.
If you’re reading this, then we’ve got both good news and bad news for you. We’ll start with the good: Right now, your skin and hair are in just about the best shape they ever will be. Old enough that zits have (hopefully) become few and far between, yet young enough that wrinkles and grey hair are still a few years off, it’s in your twenties that your body is at its physical peak, and it shows. And now for the bad: Regardless of all that, you’re still not allowed to slack when it comes to upkeep—not unless you don’t mind paying for it ten, maybe twenty years down the line, that is. You see, it’s the choices we make when we’re young that end up becoming habits. And those same habits just might bite us in the ass if we’re not paying attention. And so, here are 12 grooming rules to start following now, to help keep that bright, youthful skin and hair looking just that for as long as is humanly possible.
Slather On Sunscreen Like It’s Your Job
Doesn’t matter whether it’s the height of summer or the dead of winter, UV radiation does its darnedest each and every day to damage skin and age your face. So while you’ve still got the chance, get in the habit of applying a touch of sun protection when you get up in the morning. Whether you use a skin-specific sunscreen or an SPF-infused moisturizer, like this one by Clinique for Men, the choice is all yours.
Shave Better...and Slower
Just think: each morning, you wake up and drag a razor-sharp piece of metal across your skin, slicing through hairs as close to the source as possible. How could that not cause some damage in the long run? Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to minimize those long-term downsides. For one, you can stick to using fresh blades, which will minimize drag, as will proper prep tools like pre-shave oil and alcohol-free shaving cream. Another solid move would be to simply slow down the process, since rushing through your shave can cause loads of undue irritation. Yeah, yeah, you’re in a hurry, we get it. But ask yourself: are a few extra minutes of sleep really worth wearing out your cheeks? We didn’t think so.
Treat Your Face Right
Sure, right now your skin may be smooth and crow’s feet-free. But soon enough, the tide will turn and all of a sudden you’re going to notice tiny, spider’s web-like lines creeping their way across the broad expanse of your face. And when that day comes, you’re going to kick yourself for thinking yourself above treating your visage to products like daily moisturizer, eye creams and face masks.
Take Proper Care of Your Mouth
Okay, so flossing might not be as necessary as we thought. But things like mouthwash, tongue-scrapers and brushing after every meal definitely still are, especially if you plan on keeping your gums, breath and smile in tip top shape for years to come. Oh, and don’t forget your lips, either. In fact, go ahead and get a stick of UV-protectant lip balm, like this one by Ernest Supplies, because the skin there is thinner than almost anywhere else, making it extra vulnerable.
Learn How to Tame Errant Body Hair
In all the likelihood, the years to come you’re going to start finding hair in places you would have never expected—or hoped for (think: your back, your nose, your ears, your ass). In fact, you’ve probably experienced some of that already. But before you get into the thick of it, it’s in your best interest to figure out how to fight back. Not to worry, we can certainly help with that.
Don’t Skimp on Haircuts
And we’re talking about both the amount you spend on your cuts and the frequency with which you get them, mind you. Because the fact of the matter is that you wear your hair every damned day, so spending a little more time and money making sure it looks exactly how you want it to is an investment we will always get behind. Now, back away from the ten-buck barbershop before you end up with another cut that leaves you wanting.
Pay Attention to Extremities
Don’t want your hands to give away your age, as you age? Then you better start thinking of taking better care of them now, while the skin is smooth and young. Otherwise, you may end up past the point of no-return before you even realize it. The same goes for your feet. That is, if you’re looking to wear sandals any time after age 30, now’s the time to act. Our recommendation for both? A heavy-duty moisturizer, like this one by Buckler’s. Every. Single. Day.
Invest In Quality Products
This is a lesson that applies to pretty much everything in life, but it bears repeating here since, while you might be saving a few bucks now by cutting corners and, say, choosing that crappy drugstore bar soap over its high-quality, big-ass alternatives (or swapping out expert-level shaving cream for a can of Barbasol, or whatever the case may be), you’ll be paying for it later when you’re 50 and your skin and hair look 75.
Refresh Your Linen Closet
If you aren’t already, you should be changing your towels weekly, if not more often. That’s because no matter how top-notch your shower routine may be, it will all be put to shit if you dry off with a gross, unwashed towel. The same general principle applies to your sheets and pillowcases: If you don’t take the time to clean them regularly, then you’re essentially sleeping encased in a cocoon of daily sweat, germs and oil. Especially if you don’t shower till the morning.
Think About Your Diet
We’re not going to get into crazy detail here, being that we’ve spoken at length about this, but the gist is this: the food you put into your body can have serious effects on the way you look. By establishing a healthy-ass diet now, you’ll save yourself a ton of trouble transitioning when you’re older and your metabolism is less forgiving.
Get In Some Exercise
Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for your heart and muscles, but what you might not realize is that it’s been shown to be good for the skin and hair too. By driving heart-rate up, vigorous exercise keeps skin thoroughly oxygenated—which is crucial to keeping collagen-producing skin cells healthy well into later life. On top of that, exercise can also help to keep stress levels down by way of endorphins. Which brings us to...
Try Not to Stress Out
Over the years, stress has been linked to basically everything negative you can imagine—including heart attack and stroke—so it should come as no surprise when we say that it also has shitty effects on your skin and hair. And boy, does it; stress can cause everything from oily skin and irritation to rosacea and straight-up breakouts, as well as worsen any pre-existing conditions you might have. So if you’re looking to keep looking as good as you can for as long as you can, find a way to either avoid stress, or manage it. Grooming aside, that’s just generally good life advice.