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 moisturizer 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 minimize sugar and alcohol intake, prioritizing a full 8-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. Take the 25-piece Philips Norelco Multigroom 9000, for example. 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 mustache and goatee, for one style), and the various guard lengths allow you to add weight and contrast to your mustache, 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 6-8 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. The easiest and most rhythmic way to do this is an oral care subscription from brands like Goby and Boka, who send you brush heads at the proper intervals, including a heavy-duty rechargeable brush with your first order. That way, you’re not the guy who has “Buy new toothbrush” as a recurring calendar event at the start of each quarter.
5. Find yourself a dermatologist... online
We all want to look younger and healthier, but one hurdle to that is the actual doctor’s appointment. They might require expensive co-pays, hours of your day, and are hard to secure without booking a month in advance. If you want to make progress immediately—and save the co-pay—then pick a company that has on-demand digital dermatologists who can assess your simple needs (like “I want to get rid of my acne,” or “I want to try hair loss remedies, and need to know the risks.”) These consultants are available for any questions to potential and existing customers, and they monitor your progress with each product or prescription. (They’re also the ones who can prescribe these products.) For more serious issues, you’ll still have to book appointments with your in-office derm, and you should routinely visit him or her each year for a skin exam.
6. 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. Pick out an blow dryer and get acquainted. Then just be careful about blasting your hair with too much heat during the process—there's such a thing as heat damage that no cool-air blast will correct.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 7-8 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.