Remember the days when you'd throw a toothbrush, a disposable razor and can of cheap antiperspirant into your washbag and be on your merry way? Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then—although it's fair to say that the number of grooming options available today can be intimidating.
Between razors that look like transformers, sprays that promise follicular miracles, and lotions that do everything but call your mum once a week, the field is more than a little crowded. In our opinion, it’s best to stick to these five simple, straightforward grooming essentials that really work, and look good on your bathroom shelf.
1. The 'Does It All' Shaver
At a certain age, grooming becomes more than a quick shave and a tidy up downstairs. Rather, it evolves into a series of daily shocks as tufts sprout from your ears, nose, and—perhaps most inexplicably of all—shoulders. You could choose to arm yourself with an arsenal of razors, tweezers, and trimmers for this battle, or you could opt for a single head-to-toe solution.
The Braun 9-in-1 multi-grooming kit handles everything from crew cuts to manscaping, with three beard attachments (plus a precision tool, edger, and beard combs with 13 precise length settings), a body groomer, ear and nose trimmer, and Gillette razor. Use after or during your shower, when your hair is at its softest. With matte black hardware and blue accents, this kit is high-performing and looks great in your washbag.
2. The Functional Face Wash
Activated charcoal (not the same stuff you throw on a barbecue) is great at drawing dirt and toxins from the skin. Use this Clinique face wash daily in the shower, swapping out for a natural, micro-bead free scrub once a week.
3. The Skin-Saving SPF
If you’re going out in the sun, you need to wear protection. It’s as simple as that. Choosing a moisturizer with built-in SPF is an easy way to keep skin healthy—and with today’s formulations, it's a far cry from the thick, greasy stuff you were slathered in as a kid. Brands like Lab Series offer lightweight all-in-ones that suit all skin types and that come with the added bonus of saving valuable space in your kit bag.
4. The Unscented Deodorant
Deodorant is far from the sexiest item on this list, but the difference a good one can make is immeasurable. As a general rule of thumb, steer clear of anything labeled cool or sports, and go for something unscented to let your fragrance shine through. Malin + Goetz’s Eucalyptus Deodorant is one that soaks into the skin without any trace of smell or annoying under-arm stickiness and holds strong for 24 hours—making it ideal for long-haul flights.
5. The Perfect Pomade
When it comes to hair products, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But generally speaking, a water-based pomade like Baxter of California’s is an easy win for long and short styles and can be layered with other products for different holds and finishes. Unlike their oily brethren, they also have the added bonus of washing out with just water. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Queer Eye, it’s that you don’t need to shampoo every day.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.