How do you like your face in the morning? Unblemished, preferably. Handsome: absolutely. But unlike the DNA winners on every skin wash advert ever, you're going to need some maintenance.
Why? Because skin needs hydrating. It needs maintaining. And as we get older, cells don't replenish themselves like they did in your halcyon days. Revisit the old Facebook photos and weep, my friend. But dry your eyes, because it's not totally over. Nowhere near.
That's because there's never a bad time to start a grooming routine. Here, we've compiled one that every man—no matter how time stretched—can follow. It won't secure a modeling contract with Clearasil. But it will leave you a lot better looking.
1| Water, Water, Everywhere
Drink more water, says every public health NHS pamphlet ever. But in addition to ingesting the H20, a twice-daily splash is just as important for your skin.
But first, let's dispel the hokum. Pores don't open and close with hot or cold temperatures. Instead, use lukewarm water. As recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology, you'll avoid irritation of the skin (and any potential redness), while providing a good base for the cleanser. More of that later.
2| Shower To The People
Before you start juggling the lotions and potions, hit the showers. Sounds obvious enough. But again, keep the temperature moderate. While it may seem appealing to imitate Gorillas In The Mist or the steamy antics of Bond's often-crowded shower cubicle, scolding water will dry out your skin. Worse, a flaky face will ensure your future showers remain a solo pursuit too.
Once you've dialed down on the degrees Celsius, give your beard a good rinse. If you're a daily shaver, it'll soften the whiskers for a much closer (and easier) trim. Which brings us nicely onto the topic.
For the best shave possible, do it before or even in the shower. Then, proceed to shave with the grain. Going against may stimulate hair growth (handy if you're going on secondment as a soy-only barista in Shoreditch), but it'll also prove far likelier to irritate the skin. No man should suffer unsightly razor rash.
Use high grade shaving foam or soap wherever possible too. A brush of something fine (badger hair is best) will create a thick leather while keeping skin moisturized beneath. When your whiskers are at desired length—feel free to give it another go to get closer—thoroughly wash away all traces of shaving foam.
3| Cleanse Your Sins
Ignore your granddad: soap and water isn't all you need. Ignore old fashioned insults, too: real men look after themselves. Using a decent cleanser—the sort that's light and nasty-free—is much kinder to your face than pre-war grooming methods. There's a reason grandpa looked 143 at the tender age of 32.
Look out for all natural ingredients, and understand what they do. Aloe, for instance, keeps your skin hydrated, while charcoal absorbs impurities without drying you out. Then, tick off olive oil: it'll soak up excess oils and replace it with some natural nourishing goodness—all without risking an allergic chemical reaction.
4| Join The Scrub
Cleansing alone isn't enough to rid your skin of the deep-rooted stuff below. And no, we don't mean your poor Friday night decisions.
A scrub will rid your pores of the deep state gunk, the kind that is difficult to reach. Plus, it sloughs off dead skin cells leaving your skin feeling brand new(ish) underneath. We're not promising you'll look 10 years younger, but you will look notably fresher.
Better yet, you needn't scrub every day. In fact, doing so will irritate the skin, so settle for once or twice a week with an all-natural scrub that uses grains instead of microbeads: the planet shouldn't have to pay for your blackheads.
5| Needs Moist
You're nearly good to go. But before you go out and conquer the world with your newfound biblical handsomeness, you need to get the moisture in.
Heavier, thicker moisturizers not only hydrate the skin, but form a protective barrier to keep it there. Look out for antioxidants, too, with green tea, chamomile and pomegranate just three extracts that keep skin clear.
Don't feel wedded to one particular product, either. Different skin types require different treatments, so give a few moisturizers the speed dating treatment till you find your perfect match.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.