We gathered the collective wisdom of GQ's grooming team to come up with nine techniques – all of which you can adopt immediately.
1. SPF. Everyday
You've gotta incorporate age-defying strategies into every part of your skincare regimen. In the morning, apply moisturiser with SPF to bounce UV rays and pollution. Coat yourself with suntan lotion before excessive sun exposure. Together, these prevent the skin from leathering, wrinkling, and developing dark spots (while also preventing skin cancer). Stay hydrated and minimise sugar intake, prioritising a full eight-hour sleep while wearing a night cream to accelerate the effects of cellular regeneration. If you're getting serious about anti-aging, get yourself a retinol prescription from your dermatologist.
2. When trimming your beard, two heads are better than one
Unlike the hair up top your head, the great thing about facial hair is that it’s all there in full view, and you’re able to manicure it yourself. Yet most guys just take a single trimming guard and go over their entire face with one setting, then they clean up the perimeter with a naked guard. That’s the overlooked thing about beards: Many of us neglect all the ways a beard can be styled, and in turn overlook the various detailing options that come with many beard trimmers. Yes, some of those guards are for your sideburns and others are for your nose and ears. BUT, the T-blade head allows for straight edges, the shaving head grants skin-tight snipping (let’s say you wanted to eliminate the bridges between the moustache and goatee, for one style), and the various guard lengths allow you to add weight and contrast to your moustache, goatee, or sides. You’ve got your entire canvas in plain view – so get creative with it.
3. Swap out your razor cartridge every 6 shaves
This is a core tenet of razor hygiene. It prevents the accumulation of dead skin, hair clippings, and bacteria. It also ensures a sharp, close shave, free of dragging, razor burn, and ingrown hairs. Most shaving subscription companies send blades at low costs and designated intervals, allowing customers to swap safety razor blades each time, and cartridge razors after six-to-eight shaves or a few weeks. Between shaves, store your razor upright in a dry, ventilated space after rinsing it thoroughly.
4. And get a new toothbrush every 3 months
Per ADA hygiene standards, your toothbrush’s bristles are rendered mostly ineffective after 3 months of use. They’re whittled, bent, and are just a few bucks to replace, so… replace them.
5. Use the blow dryer’s cold-air button
You know that cold-blast button on the blow dryer – it’s your shortcut to longer-lasting, faster-setting style. Once you’ve used the tool to give yourself the added volume, hold, or texture, you can finish with an all-over zap of cold air to set the hair product and go about your business.
6. To smell good in summer, spray more than just your skin
Perspiration is Public Enemy #1 against the strongest colognes. It makes using a summer scent seem futile, since it wears off as soon as you step outside into the hot, humid air. That’s why you should target more than just your pulse points with that fragrance in sweatier months: Spray the collar of your shirt, the ends of your long hair, the underside of your beard. Heck, you could even rub some solid cologne into your whiskers if you want it to double as a taming balm. It’s all a strategy to let the scent linger longer than it would during cooler months, even if it’s against the rules of standard pulse-point application.
7. Condition more, shampoo less
Here’s how to have “good hair days” back to back to back: Condition daily, and shampoo far less. While it’s a good way to flush away dirt, grime, excess sebum, and hair product, the truth is that a thorough rinse will handle most of that. Plus it will do so without stripping the hair entirely of its natural oils – the stuff that keeps it healthy, hydrated, and style-able. If an oily scalp is the issue, then you should actually shampoo less in order to train the scalp. It will in turn produce less oil over time. Start with an every-other-day wash, and move slowly to every third or fourth day.
8. Improve your skin while you sleep
An overnight skincare regimen is the shortest path to clearer, firmer, and even-toned skin. This is because your body’s cells regenerate fastest while you sleep, and its systems work hardest to correct and restore themselves. (It’s also the reason a full night of rest often separates you from being sick and feeling spry.) The skin is no exception, which is why it’s imperative to cleanse before bed, and layer on a nutrient-dense night cream and/or anti-aging retinol products. When paired with a full seven-to-eight hours of rest, these products magnify the benefits of sleep on your complexion, as their own power is doubly effective in keeping your face hydrated, nourished, and youthful.