Though all grooming routines follow the same basic steps, male grooming routines differ slightly because men’s skin is unique. While everyone’s skin is made of the same basic components (the dermis, the epidermis, and the skin barrier), men tend to have oilier, thicker skin. They’re also more prone to developing wrinkles in expressive areas, such as the forehead and around the eyes. I As such, an effective male grooming routine should be tailored to address these specific complexion concerns and take into account guys’ individual needs.
That said, grooming isn’t just about the complexion: An effective routine starts in the shower and encompasses the entire body, from scalp to soles. Whether you’re a wash-and-go kind of guy or enjoy indulging in skincare and haircare treatments, it’s crucial to have a dedicated grooming routine to help you look and feel your best.
If you’re not sure where to start, keep reading. Ahead, we’re outlining the essential Kiehl’s head-to-toe men’s grooming routine, so you can put your best self forward. Read on for all of our top grooming tips for men.
Tip #1: Start In The Shower
Most days, your grooming routine is going to start where you get clean: In the shower. See below to discover our best men’s body-care products to add to your shower routine.
Step 1: Lather Up For Clean Skin
Male grooming routines are unique in their own ways, but no matter who you are, every body-care routine starts in the shower. Suds up with a body wash designed specifically for men’s skin, such as Body Fuel Wash. This efficient multi-purpose cleanser is formulated with an invigorating blend of menthol, vitamin C, and zinc. And it cleanses and conditions the skin. You can use it as a body cleanser, or double up and use it to wash your hair, too; the all-in-one formula is suitable for head-to-toe use.
If you’d prefer to use a bar soap, try "Ultimate Man" Body Scrub Soap. This exfoliating soap contains oat bran and pumice; it exfoliates dead skin and softens tough, dry areas. The efficient formula, which also includes glycerin and fragrant citrus extracts, alleviates roughness and invigorates the senses.
Step 2: Keep a Fresh Scent With Antiperspirant
Sweat is natural, but that doesn’t mean you should have to deal with body odor. After washing up and toweling off, apply an antiperspirant to the underarm area to keep yourself smelling shower-fresh all day. We recommend the top-rated Body Fuel Antiperspirant & Deodorant. This roll-on deodorant dries quickly and leaves behind a light, energizing scent that lasts. Best of all, this effective formula is clinically demonstrated to provide 48-hour protection against sweat and odor, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying throughout the day.
Tip #2: Maintain a Regular Skincare Routine
Following a dedicated skincare routine is an essential part of keeping your skin healthy-looking, hydrated, and feeling its best. Keep reading for our simple three-step skincare routine for men’s skin.
Step 1: Cleanse To Remove Dirt and Oil
The first step in any facial hygiene routine is to start with a clean canvas. In this case, that means washing your face with a cleanser designed specifically for men’s skin. We recommend Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, which features a refreshing blend of caffeine, menthol, and vitamin E. Together, the ingredients in this formula help remove dirt, sweat, and oil without irritating or overdrying the skin. This foaming gel cleanser is suitable for all skin types and can be used daily to energize the skin for a healthier, fresher appearance.
Two to three times per week, swap out your foaming face wash for an exfoliating cleanser, such as Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub. Our top-rated face scrub contains apricot kernel oil and powdered apricot seeds. It gently removes dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that can lead to a rough or dull-looking complexion. And it also helps soften tough facial hair for a closer, more comfortable shave.
Step 2: Address Your Facial Hair
If you shave your face, you’ll want to do it after cleansing but before moisturizing, while skin is still damp and soft from washing your face. We recommend prepping the area with a shaving cream, such as Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle, to ensure a comfortable shave. This popular formula—our best-selling shaving cream—features menthol, camphor, and sesame oil. It prepares skin for an ultra-smooth shave.
Once you finish shaving, soothe skin with an aftershave, such as our Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief. This unique cream aftershave contains aloe vera, willow herb, and lipo-hydroxy acid. It gently exfoliates the skin and helps minimize the appearance of ingrown hairs. The nourishing formula also instantly cools, calms, and hydrates the complexion to reduce irritation caused by shaving. Use it regularly for more resilient skin over time.
Step 3: Restore Hydration With a Moisturizer
No matter what type of skin you have, it’s crucial to moisturize to keep your skin barrier healthy and strong. For daily hydration, we recommend reaching for a lightweight face cream, such as Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men (or, for added sun protection, try Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men SPF 20). This effective moisturizer stars vitamin C, caffeine, and chestnut extract. It revitalizes dull, fatigued skin, is suitable for all skin types, and absorbs quickly to keep skin hydrated without weighing it down. Apply it to your face daily after cleansing to keep your complexion energized and healthy-looking.
Step 4: Don’t Forget Your Eyes
The delicate skin around the eyes needs special attention—and if you’re not using an eye cream yet, there’s no better time than now to get started. Keeping this area hydrated can help promote a younger-looking complexion.
We recommend Eye Fuel, which contains a potent blend of caffeine and vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide). It refreshes the eye area and revives tired-looking eyes. Gently dab it on using your ring finger (it’s the weakest finger) to avoid pulling or damaging the thin skin beneath your eyes.
Step 5: Protect Your Lips
The lips are another area that require special care to look their best. Using a lip treatment, such as Facial Fuel No Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, is crucial to help keep this delicate skin nourished. Our untinted balm for men contains olive-derived squalane and rich shea butter. It hydrates lips without leaving behind any shine. Apply a liberal amount of this lightweight balm to dry lips and allow the excess to absorb into the skin for a smooth, moisturized finish.
Tip #3: Nourish Your Hair With Targeted Treatments
For a clean, well-groomed look, caring for your hair is crucial. Men can be more prone to hair loss and thinning, so we recommend reaching for nourishing products designed to strengthen strands and add volume.II Keep reading to learn how to keep your hair and beard soft, full, and healthy-looking.
Step 1: Cleanse Hair With a Nourishing Shampoo
Whether you keep a close crop or wear your hair longer, keeping your strands clean and free of buildup is essential. Wash your scalp (and beard, if you have one) with Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner to keep your hair looking its best. This hydrating two-in-one formula, which features pracaxi oil, cleanses and nourishes hair and promotes healthy-looking strands. It also contains a blend of fragrant essential oils, including cedarwood and eucalyptus, for a clean, woodsy aroma.
Step 2: Smooth, Style, and Add Shine
Working a little bit of a styling product through your hair before heading out the door can help elevate your grooming routine (without much added effort). If you’re a wash-and-go kind of guy, try Creme with Silk Groom. This men’s hair grooming formula contains jojoba oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and hydrolyzed soy protein. It moisturizes and conditions dry or frizzy hair. Simply work a dime-sized amount of this non-greasy cream through damp strands and let your hair dry naturally for a smooth, lustrous finish.
If you prefer to style your hair, reach for a flake-free hair gel to keep your look intact all day. We recommend Grooming Solutions Clean Hold Styling Gel, which firmly holds styles in place while adding shine for a healthy, natural-looking finish. Work a small amount through damp or dry hair and style as usual for all-day hold.
Step 3: Condition Facial Hair For a Smooth Finish
If you have a beard, you already know that keeping it tidy takes work. While we’re not going to get into how to groom your beard here, we will leave you with this tip: If you have facial hair, condition it. We recommend Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, which is formulated with 99.8 percent naturally-derived ingredients.* The lightweight, non-greasy oil helps tame facial hair and refine the skin underneath for a smooth, nourished finish.
*We consider ingredients to be naturally derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.
I. Rahrovan, S et al. "Male versus female skin: What dermatologists and cosmeticians should know." International journal of women's dermatology vol. 4,3 122-130. 22 Jun. 2018, doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2018.03.002
II. Murphrey MB, Agarwal S, Zito PM. Anatomy, Hair. [Updated 2020 Sep 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan