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Despite the amount of time many of us have stayed indoors during the past year, we might have neglected some of our beauty routines. We’re especially looking at men who turned No Shave November into a yearlong event. With vaccinations underway and our social calendars reopening, you might want to get back into the swing of things to look and feel your best.
Just ahead of Father's Day, Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief Rich Dorment joined the 3rd Hour of TODAY to highlight the best grooming essentials. For the 15th year in a row, Men's Health editors tested tons of products in the market to narrow down the best and must-haves in categories including body, face, hair, beard and fragrance. The result? The Men's Health Grooming Awards.
Keep reading to discover the award-winning highlights for you or the dad in your life, such as the best aluminum-free deodorant and best beard care.
While some deodorants boast being free of aluminum, some of them can have a pasty or oily texture that rubs off or stains your clothing. This rollerball option from clean brand Kosas goes on clear and is designed to not rub off or stain. Its benefits include brightening and soothing skin, as well as helping prevent ingrown hair. Men's Health also chose this for its odor control, which lasts a long time and has a subtle and not overpowering scent. It's also said to be great for sensitive skin, since it uses exfoliating acids and doesn't have baking soda.
If your hands have been suffering from all the hand sanitizer, turn to this cream as a remedy. It's packed with hydrating ingredients and, according to Men's Health, can moisturize even the driest of skin without being super heavy or greasy. "The tube is small, but a little goes a long way and it’s especially good when you need extra hydration for especially dry areas like overwashed hands or cracked elbows and feet," Dorment said. "It’s also one of those lotions where the more you use it, the less you actually need to use it."
"Okay, so we were really skeptical at first," Dorment said. "Body sprays, really? But these are actually amazing because the scents are subtle and natural-smelling. They’re not supposed to overpower the room, but just freshen you up after a workout or before leaving the office." And those subtle scents include coconut water and fig leaves, and it's a 2-in-1 that covers your deodorant and your cologne.
"Personally, I especially love the Coconut Water + Sandalwood scent - it smells like a really good cologne," Dorment said. "But the coolest part is that they contain deodorizing agents and prebiotics to actually control odor instead of just masking it - which is part of why these sprays are so much more effective than other body sprays."
This super affordable face wash is formulated with plant-based ingredients such as cucumber and seaweed extract. "Testers loved that it smells fresh and lathers well and the botanical extracts make your skin feel fresh and clean without that tight, dry feeling," Dorment said. "Plus, the accessible price and availability at big box and drug stores means it’s a solid option for pretty much any guy."
Men's Health choice for best cleansing mask is this clay mask with botanicals and vitamins, including cacao. "As far as clay masks go, this is one of the best we’ve tried," Dorment said. "Like other clay masks, it deep-cleans your pores and leaves your skin feeling ultra-clean, but this one doesn’t dry out your skin like so many others. After you wash it off, your skin feels soft and smooth instead of tight. We’ve found that using a mask like this once or twice a week is an easy way to control breakouts (and maskne!) without adding a lot of other things to your routine. Plus, it smells like chocolate, so what’s not to love?"
Shave gel might not seem important, right? Wrong. The right shave gel feels good, smells good and maybe even helps your routine in more ways than one. "This gel was a huge hit with our testers for a variety of reasons," Dorment said. "They loved the packaging and the masculine scent. Most of all, they loved how easy it is to use. It’s great if you are shaving your full face (a nice, cooling alternative to shaving cream if you like something lighter or struggle with post-shave irritation), but it’s also great if you have a beard and just want to shave your neck or cheeks and clean up the lines. Since it’s transparent, you can see exactly where you’re shaving so you don’t mess up any lines. It also rinses off your face and your razor quickly and easily with no residue left behind."
If your shaving doesn't go the way you'd hoped, and you're left with razor burns, bumps and ingrown hairs, you can fix that. This gentle exfoliating treatment has acids that prevent ingrown hairs and is smooth and lightweight enough to wear with the other skin care products in your routine. "Ideally, you’d apply this pretty much every day to get the full preventative measures but since it’s so light, it’s no problem!" Dorment said.
For more stories like this, check out:
- A dermatologist weighs in on the best skin care products for men
- 19 award-winning beauty essentials, according to readers just like you
- 8 award-winning anti-aging essentials, from a lip mask to a staple sunscreen