Clutching for life somewhere beneath your epidermis is that fresh-faced man you once were. Pollution, ageing, stress and grooming mishaps combine to ensure that looking your best is rarely easy.

Fortunately, that latter reason is, by its very definition, avoidable. Side-step these toe-to-face faux pas and your appearance will thank you for it.

1) You’re Not Moisturising Before Bed

This is an error as commonplace as blunt razors in a man’s bathroom (more on that later). It’s easy to think that as day turns to night, you can put your grooming regime to bed.

The truth, however, is that things are just getting started for your face after your evening wash: “Cleansing strips the skin of dead cells, dirt and bacteria, but can leave the skin dry and lacking hydration,” says Dr. Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at Highgate Hospital.

Over The Counter Measure

Invest in a solid night cream like Lab Series’ Night Recovery Lotion, which works through the night without over-hydrating. A little of this and you’ll wake up more handsome.


2) Cleaning Your Beard Is A Rarity

If that’s the case, we bet you don’t moisturise it either, right? Of course we are. But you’re not alone; beards are meant to be rugged and are therefore often neglected.

Problem is, they need the same level of care you’d apply to the hair on your head, lest they go wiry and greasy and you end up looking like a hipster who’s fallen on hard times.

Over The Counter Measure

Murdock’s award-winning beard care range includes a shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser guaranteed to keep you on the right side of rugged.

3) You Counter Hair Loss By Growing More Hair

This is forgivable. On paper, lengthening your hair would seem like the sensible solution to receding at your temples and/or crown.

But, as Andrew Cannon, MD of barbershop Ruffians explains, this in fact accentuates the areas that are thinning out. This is especially true if you have a side parting or, even worse, a comb-over. Keep it short and sharp, for your own good.

Over The Counter Measure

Keep your hair short and sharp, for your own good. Cannon also recommends styling with a sea salt spray, which adds thickness without causing your hair to stick to your head or become greasy.

4) Your Antiperspirant Hasn’t Been Updated In 10 Years

It’s in a man’s nature to find something in a gunmetal canister that does the job and then systematically buy one a month until the day he breathes his last. At least that breath won’t smell of sweat, eh?

“Older antiperspirants contained compounds that could irritate skin,” says Dr. Mahto. “Newer generation ones contain aluminium zirconium, which is less likely to irritate.” In short, underarm science moves fast. Besides, that Lynx Africa probably doesn’t complement your eau de toilette any more.

Over The Counter Measure

As your fragrance choice matures – and we hope you’re experimenting with ouds as well as citrus this year – so should your deodorant. Molton Brown’s Sport Stick is the most reliable we’ve tried: expect dry pits and a fresh, masculine scent.

Alternatively, if you want a completely neutral base layer to which you can apply your signature scent without any potential clashing, try Menscience’s Advanced Deodorant, which is both aluminium and fragrance free.

5) You Go To The Barbers Unarmed

Dropping into that swanky leather barbershop chair without packing the right knowledge is like dropping behind enemy lines with bad or no intel.

Talented and sharp as your scissor-smith may be, their skills are rendered redundant when you want a textured French crop but accidentally gesture for a bowl cut.

Over The Counter Measure

When you quite literally step up to the counter and your barber asks what you want, make sure you’ve researched at least the difference between a textured or blunt cut, what kind of crop you want, whether you desire that it be taken high or low, and if clippers are for you.

Always Go To Your Barbers Prepared

6) You Play Fast & Loose With Gradual Tan Products

Unless you’ve secured a place in the next series of MTV UK’s Geordie Shore or you frequent the nightclub circuit in Swansea, this won’t win you any man points. Or any gender-non-specific points, for that matter.

In fact, there are no points to be found in the bottom of a gradual tanning bottle at all unless you truly understand what the word gradual means here: tiny applications placed judiciously on key areas, and nothing else.

Over The Counter Measure

While many tanning products serve up a dollop of orange fingers with biscuity smells, Sisley’s Self Tanning Hydrating Skincare is both subtle and hydrating, meaning you’ll look more tanned than tangoed.

7) Washing Your Hair Isn’t A Daily Thing

Blah, blah, I hate chemicals; blah, blah, natural oils from your head. If you’re going to approach hair care like a hippie who can’t let go of the 1970s, you’d best go all out and sign yourself up for dreadlocks.

The idea that showering takes away essential oils is nonsense, says Marilyn Sherlock, director of the Institute of Trichologists. Technological advancements have done away with that archaic problem.

Over The Counter Measure

With everything from dirt to styling product threatening to clog your locks, Sherlock advises that a pristine scalp is a healthy scalp. To that end, Baxter of California’s Daily Protein Shampoo strengthens your hair while cleaning your scalp with natural oils.

BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA Daily protein shampoo 300ml

8) You Unleashed Your Unkempt Feet On The World

Easily done. It’s little wonder that the area of your body you see the least of is the one that receives the least care.

Also, it’s accepted science that all feet are gross – yours, ours, even David Beckham’s. There are, however, a few measures you can deploy before the summer ends.

Over The Counter Measure

While it’s easy to forget all about them, Dr. Mahto recommends washing between the toes daily and ensuring that they’re completely dry before you put on clean socks.

It’s also worth investing in a foot file and taking care of any unsightly calluses and patches of dry/hard skin, especially if you intend on baring your feet in sandals or pool sliders this summer.

9) You Don’t Own A Summer Hat

We know what you’re thinking, but no, this is not a style faux pas we’re addressing here.

Lathered in SPF as your body may be, your scalp is exposed to the sun for as long as you’re outdoors. And unless you’re sporting a mane as healthy as those on the Hemsworth brothers, UV rays are probably getting through.

Over The Counter Measure

Where you go with this advice depends on your own individual look: street style lovers, grab a snapback; dandies can just about get away with straw trilbies; for everyone else, you’ve probably noticed bucket hats are back on-trend (Paul Smith’s range is worth checking out).

You could even go all Pharrell Williams and invest in a mountain hat – if you want to deflect friends as well as UV rays.

Men's Summer Hats

10) You Have A Laissez-faire Attitude To Manscaping

You’ve turned off your targeting computer, used the force and now have a body that looks like George Michael’s beard. Of all the grooming errors, this is the most unsightly.

Trimming body hair is an art: it shouldn’t look like you’ve trimmed your body hair. This demands the right tools and patience.

Over The Counter Measure

You needn’t remain as hirsute as a Chewbacca stand-in for the next Star Wars film, but proceed with caution.

Purchase a Wahl multi-cultural trimmer – it’s a more powerful brand of clipper than most commercial options. Opt for a 3-5 length setting around the stomach and a bit longer for the chest. As for your back, best defer to the Harley Medical Group to have that layer of fur lasered.


11) Razors In Your Bathroom Are As Old As The Sun

You wouldn’t wash your face with gravel so it makes sense not to carve it to pieces with rusty blades.

Most razor heads are done after a few uses. To ignore their expiration is to damage your face beyond repair: “You can expect burning, itching, stinging and redness,” says Mahto. “Sharp blades require less pressure on the skin and therefore cause less damage.”

Over The Counter Measure

Continually buying razor heads is a rich man’s game. Which is why we wholeheartedly recommend Razor Sharp, a product that will prolong the life of your disposables and Mach 3s alike.


12) You Have A Jawline Beard

Perhaps you think it hides a double chin or maybe you’re a 1990s garage megafan holding on to an unhealthy obsession with Craig David. Whatever the truth of it: bathroom, razor, now.

Over The Counter Measure

Either do your bit funding the continuation of Gillette’s dominance over the razor market or head to your local greengrocers and ask for a brown paper bag. 100 per cent opacity is best.

Written by