It’s obvious how grooming helps us out in the short-term. You reach for that hairbrush because your hair looks like you got in a fight with a mountain lion. Your morning breath could probably knock out that mountain lion. Better grab a toothbrush and some mouthwash before greeting the general public.
Here’s the deal, though. Even when you are armed with a solid list of grooming tips for men, not every issue has an immediate fix. That ingrown hair from a nose trimming mistake? That didn’t happen overnight and it’s not disappearing anytime soon. Bad habits can cause lingering damage, while better grooming can set you up for the long haul. And it doesn’t take long to figure out why.
Habits Take Time to Form
For a habit to become automatic behavior, it takes an average of 66 days. Look, even your hair sometimes needs a beating to adjust to a new part. So cut your body’s daily rhythm a bit of slack when it is trying to change its settings.
Results Take Time to Show
The epidermis refresh rate is about 30 days. That means that it can often be a month before you can judge the effectiveness of a product or a routine. In fact, some dermatologist-prescribed topical medications for acne require six weeks to work. So if nothing seems to be happening at first, don’t give up. Nor should you stop just as you are starting to make progress. A moisturizer that starts working right away might not achieve its full efficacy for two weeks. What we are trying to say is: don’t settle.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and it has a lot of responsibility. It’s the first line of defense against infection and disease. It regulates temperature. So if you want a healthy future, take care of your skin in the present. When your body’s shield is breached, harmful bacteria can get into your bloodstream, with potentially fatal results.
Source: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.com
Adjusting the Clock
If you want to look younger, there isn’t a magical cream that will wipe away the years overnight. But sticking to a healthy routine can go a long way towards revitalizing your skin. Unclog your pores and repair your body’s moisture barrier with a charcoal peel-off mask. Stop letting the sun turn your neck skin into leather by making sunscreen part of your morning jog. You might not immediately look years younger, but you might stop looking years older. Work backwards from there.
On the other side of the dial, if you want to look older, you can’t suddenly will an imposing beard into existence. You’ve gotta wait patiently for it to grow. In the meantime, you can ensure beard acne and awkward strays don’t embarrass your fledgling facial hair.
Keeping Your Mind Right
Psychodermatology is an entire field of study dedicated to the mind-skin connection. Stress causes breakouts. Grooming releases endorphins. Over time, the first interaction can become a vicious cycle and the second can become a calming routine.
Even beyond the regular endorphin rush of massaging charcoal face wash into your cheeks, there’s something to be said for the structure of a routine. It helps provide a framework for your day. Not only does it help achieve the results you are looking for, but it reminds you that you have the power to take care of yourself. That’s a confidence boost right there, which only adds to the confidence that comes from looking your best.
Learning What Works for You
You’ve been waking in the middle of the night with alarm bells going off in your gut. Maybe you have a food allergy or another chronic medical condition. Or maybe you just haven’t cleaned that Panini Press, like ever. You’ll never identify the issue unless you play detective with a systematic approach. The same logic applies to skin irritants and personal style. You know something is keeping you from looking and feeling your best, but you need to do some experimentation to find out what it is. It might take a bit of time, but trust us — discovering a laundry soap that doesn’t give you a rash can feel like acquiring a superpower.
Doing Necessary Maintenance
We’re all familiar with the dangers of letting things pile up or fall into neglect. Your email inbox. That bicycle that rusted away before you got around to riding it. The kudzu vines that can swallow up a Tennessee hillside. So it is for your skin as well. It’s much easier to rein in a minor breakout than it is to address habitual poor hygiene. And as we alluded to above, the skin is the body’s first line of defense. Dry skin is irritating. Left untreated, however, it can become cracked skin, which is downright dangerous.
We get it. The greasy sheen on your forehead, the stray hairs poking out of your left nostril, the pit stains sliding down your sleeve? You want them gone. As soon as possible. Good grooming can help you take care of that. However, better grooming gives you more control over your body’s gross shenanigans in the first place.