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11 Great Grooming Habits for Guys 50 and Older

Well-kept skin, body and hair can make you look younger and feel better


spinner image A man touches his face while looking at the bathroom mirror
Svitlana Hulko/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

2020 will be remembered as the year we all let everything go, especially the guys! They grew beards or a hefty scruff, abandoned jeans for sweats, shoes for sneakers, and pretty much let their hair, skin, nails and body do their own thing. That laissez-faire attitude may work forever for younger men, but not at 50-plus when age-related changes like ear and nose hair, dingy teeth, hair loss and wrinkles arrive. Looking healthy and cared for is part of self-esteem, and we all need that. It may take a few more products and a couple of extra minutes to achieve, but aren't you worth it? Of course, you are!

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spinner image Bulldog Skincare for Men Original Face Moisturizer; Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion for Face; Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Wash
(Left to right) Bulldog Skincare for Men Original Face Moisturizer; Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion for Face; Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Wash
Target (3)

1. Wash your face and moisturize it daily

Big surprise, but many older men don't have a daily skin care routine or even cleanse their face other than a quick rinse in the shower. So here's a heads-up: Using a cleanser or bar soap in that shower, followed by a moisturizer when you get out, is the fast track to a healthier look even if your face is wrinkled, dry as sandpaper and peppered with age spots. No need to get more complicated a regimen than that. Just choose unscented formulas and a dual day/night lotion or cream with one or two do-good ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe on the label. If you prefer bar soap, be sure it's a moisturizing formula and not one designed for oily skin and acne or a deodorizing body soap. Be gentle in lathering, rinse well and pat (don't rub) dry. This is your face — not a kitchen floor! Three to try: Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion for Face ($15, target.com), Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Wash ($6, target.com), Bulldog Skincare for Men Original Face Moisturizer ($10, target.com).

spinner image Burt's Bees Men's Face Scrub; Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub; Nivea Men Maximum Hydration Face Scrub
(Left to right) Burt's Bees Men's Face Scrub; Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub; Nivea Men Maximum Hydration Face Scrub
Target (2); Ulta Beauty

2. Add a weekly face scrub

Think of a scrub as a vacuum cleaner. Despite daily cleansing, mature male skin (which is thicker than female skin) needs a weekly exfoliation. Yeah, it's another product, another step, but cell turnover gets sluggish with age. That's when invisible dead cells on the surface give your skin a dull, rough, dry texture and clog pores on the nose. Just take two minutes a week and substitute a gentle scrub like Burt's Bees Men's Face Scrub ($8, target.com), Nivea Men Maximum Hydration Face Scrub ($5, target.com) or Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub ($30, ulta.com) for your usual daily cleanser. You'll get a closer shave and a just-back-from-the-gym glow, too. And yes, stubble-and-beard fans also benefit from the weekly buffing to remove debris, dirt and oil.

spinner image Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream; Clinique for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel; Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller
(Left to right) Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream; Clinique for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel; Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller
Target; Ulta Beauty; Garnier

3. Use an eye treatment

Getting a lot of “you look tired” comments? It's probably due to under-eye puffiness and dark circles. The cause can be anything from genetics, sleepless nights, too much screen time, salt or alcohol. Eye skin is thinner and drier, so that's where fatigue, poor diet and stress show up first. Start using a cream like Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream ($17, target.com), Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller ($15, ulta.com) or Clinique for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel ($34, ulta.com) daily. Just gently blend by tapping — not rubbing — a tiny amount (we're talking grain of rice size here) under each eye in a crescent shape. Avoid going too close to the lash line. Store your eye treatment in the fridge since cold helps deflate puffiness faster.

spinner image Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30; Coppertone Defend & Care Sunscreen Oil-Free Face SPF 30; Banana Boat Light As Air Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
(Left to right) Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30; Coppertone Defend & Care Sunscreen Oil-Free Face SPF 30; Banana Boat Light As Air Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
CVS (3)

4. Wear an SPF 30+ sunscreen every single day

If you want to prevent skin cancer and brown spots (and who doesn't?), make a broad-spectrum sunscreen a rain-or-shine a must. UV rays penetrate clouds, rain and even glass, so you need sunscreen when driving or working in front of a window, too. Choose an everyday SPF 30+ that's not greasy — like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($13, cvs.com), Coppertone Defend & Care Sunscreen Oil-Free Face SPF 30 ($12, cvs.com) or Banana Boat Light As Air Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 ($13, cvs.com) — for no worries about residue or buildup during the day. Remember to apply to your neck, if exposed, and your hands as well.

See more Health & Wellness offers >
spinner image Axe Body Wash for Men Excite; Tom's of Maine Men's North Woods Antiperspirant Deodorant; Old Spice Body Wash for Men Inspired by Nature in Deep Sea Minerals; Schmidt's Sandalwood & Citrus Aluminum Free Natural Deodorant Stick
(Left to right) Axe Body Wash for Men Excite; Tom's of Maine Men's North Woods Antiperspirant Deodorant; Old Spice Body Wash for Men Inspired by Nature in Deep Sea Minerals; Schmidt's Sandalwood & Citrus Aluminum Free Natural Deodorant Stick
CVS (3); Target

5. Try a scented bodywash and deodorant

Smelling a little ripe isn't a crowd-pleaser — even when everyone is wearing a mask. Unscented deodorants and shower washes are always fine, but why not do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor by finding a subtle scent. The two big trends in men's body care are green and woodsy scents — like Axe Body Wash for Men Excite ($6, cvs.com) and Tom's of Maine Men's North Woods Antiperspirant Deodorant ($7, cvs.com) — or modern citrus with a fresh, beauty seaside smell — like Old Spice Body Wash for Men Inspired by Nature in Deep Sea Minerals ($8, cvs.com) and Schmidt's Sandalwood & Citrus Aluminum Free Natural Deodorant Stick ($7, target.com).

spinner image Vaseline Men Fast Absorbing Body & Face Lotion; Nivea Breathable Fresh Fusion Body Lotion; Suave Smoothing Cocoa Shea Nourishing Body Lotion
(Left to right) Vaseline Men Fast Absorbing Body & Face Lotion; Nivea Breathable Fresh Fusion Body Lotion; Suave Smoothing Cocoa Shea Nourishing Body Lotion
Target (3)

6. Moisturize down to your toes

Men — just like women — get annoying white flakes inside their dark tees and pants along with the same dry, itchy skin feeling. The difference is we do something about it. Since moisture adheres and absorbs better on warm, damp skin, every time you shower or bathe, be sure to apply a moisturizer — like Nivea Breathable Fresh Fusion Body Lotion ($6, target.com), Suave Smoothing Cocoa Shea Nourishing Body Lotion ($4, target.com) or Vaseline Men Fast Absorbing Body & Face Lotion ($6, target.com) — within seconds of toweling off. Soothing, hydrating ingredients like shea and cocoa butter or almond oil will provide an immediate “aah” feeling, but the real key here is to apply any lotion ASAP to lock in that moisture. Choose a pump bottle for speed and easy control of application and no excuses.

spinner image Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25; Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White Teethe Whitening Strips; Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balm Peppermint
(Left to right) Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25; Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White Teeth Whitening Strips; Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balm Peppermint
Ulta Beauty; Target (2)

7. Swipe on a lip balm and brighten your teeth

Brushing and flossing are routine, of course, but stepping up the whitening pastes or strips is always a good idea. Mature teeth can often look gray or yellow, but a kit like Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White Teeth Whitening Strips ($40, target.com) makes work-from-home life an opportunity to update your screen smile in around 10 days. Follow every brushing with a nourishing lip balm loaded with shea butter or essential oils instead of waiting for dry, chapped cracked lips to strike. One with a minty flavor — like Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 ($8, ulta.com) or Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balm Peppermint ($3, target.com) — also keeps your breath feeling fresh. Stash a balm in your jacket or pants pocket, one in the car or desk, and another bedside.

spinner image Men's Tweezerman G.E.A.R. Slant Tweezer and Panasonic Nose/Ear Hair Wet/Dry Electric Trimmer
Men's Tweezerman G.E.A.R. Slant Tweezer (left) and Panasonic Nose/Ear Hair Wet/Dry Electric Trimmer
Target (2)

8. Take charge of your hairy brows, ears and nose

After 50, your nose and earlobes continue to grow. We can't help that, but you can control any excess hair sprouting from brows, ears and nostrils. First of all, get your own pair of tweezers — a slant-tip one like the Men's Tweezerman G.E.A.R. Slant Tweezer ($21, target.com) lasts a lifetime. Use it after a bath or shower (when hairs are easier to pluck) to clean up hairs between your eyes that create a scowling unibrow look. Then trim long, bushy brow hairs by brushing your brows straight up (use an old clean toothbrush to do this) and snip the tips with a small scissors so excess hairs that extend past the top line of the brow are now even. Snip stray nose hairs that extend from your nostrils, too. Don't try to pluck them, whatever you do! For heavier tufts from nose or ears, get a DIY electric trimmer like the Panasonic Nose/Ear Hair Wet/Dry Electric Trimmer ($20, target.com), and use a magnifying mirror to carefully do the job.

spinner image Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream; Burt's Bees CBD Hand and Foot Cream; Arm & Hammer Foot Odor Control Powder
(Left to right) Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream; Burt's Bees CBD Hand and Foot Cream; Arm & Hammer Foot Odor Control Powder
CVS (2); Target

9. Groom your mitts and tootsies often

I'm sure you clip your nails, but keeping your hands and feet clean and soft is also essential. First of all, dirt and grime under the nails is a hygiene no-no, and, aesthetically, it looks awful. Keep a nailbrush handy and use it often. Thanks to COVID, constant handwashing and sanitizer has added another daily to-do. Compensate for the frequency and resulting dryness by applying a cream like Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream ($7, cvs.com) before bed every night. Same goes for your feet: Massage a healing cream like Burt's Bees CBD Hand and Foot Cream ($20, cvs.com) into rough, cracked heels and calluses. Last, neutralize stinky feet (you know if you have them) by sprinkling the insoles of shoes, sneakers and slippers with a deodorizing powder like Arm & Hammer Foot Odor Control Powder ($5, target.com) and by changing socks daily.

spinner image Brisk Grooming Beard Oil in Citrus; Cremo Styling Beard Balm Mint Blend; Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm
Brisk Grooming Beard Oil in Citrus (left); Cremo Styling Beard Balm Mint Blend (lower middle); Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm (top right)
CVS (2); Target

10. Tame your whiskers

Don't just grow it. Put some thought into your stubble or beard so you don't look like a caveman. Scruff is the new normal. Even guys who used to be regular daily shavers are now skipping a day or two (or three) between razor swipes. Decide on an acceptable length and density, and keep the cheek and neck lines clean and tidy so you have a defined shape. Avoid neck beard — beards are for faces only. To ensure that both hairs and the skin beneath are hydrated and looking appealing, use a styling product like Cremo Styling Beard Balm Mint Blend ($12, target.com), Brisk Grooming Beard Oil in Citrus ($11, cvs.com) or Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm ($11, cvs.com). If you've already applied a moisturizer, the beard groom product goes on top.

spinner image Dove Men+Care Dandruff Defense 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner; Every Man Jack 2-in-1 Daily Shampoo and Conditioner in Sandalwood; Duke Cannon Supply Company News Anchor Quick Fix Dry Shampoo

11. Make the most of whatever hair you've got

Getting your hair to look good every day should be fast and easy. If you wear a baseball cap all the time or force a comb-over to hide a bald spot, it's time to get real. A short style gives thinning hair a contemporary look, eliminates fussing and restores your confidence. Update your products: Instead of ignoring conditioner (which most men do), opt for a two-in-one shampoo conditioner to save steps and get all the benefits. A formula with pyrithione zinc like Dove Men+Care Dandruff Defense 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner ($6, target.com) can control an itchy scalp or dandruff and keep all flake-free, while a moisturizing formula like Every Man Jack 2-in-1 Daily Shampoo and Conditioner in Sandalwood ($8, target.com) will revive dry, gray, salt-and-pepper hair or even shaved heads that have a dry scalp. Just don't use your bodywash or soap on the latter because it is too drying. And one last trick to make your day: Perk up lifeless locks with a dry shampoo like Duke Cannon Supply Company News Anchor Quick Fix Dry Shampoo ($10, target.com). An excellent fix for slightly longer or choppy locks that could use some extra density and movement.

 

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