If your fiancé and his friends are like most men (i.e. clueless when it comes to skincare), they're probably thinking the only beauty prepping they need is a haircut a couple of weeks in advance, and a quick shave on the morning of the big day. And well, that's where they'd be dead wrong!
We turned to Ajene Green, Director of Business Development at Bevel, and Skin Coach Celeste Hilling, CEO of Skin Authority, to get the scoop on exactly what your groom and his guys should do to get all groomed up for the wedding. Feel free to pass this piece along (hint, hint men!).
Consider getting a coach
Your guy's accustomed to having a coach in sports, but he may not realize just how helpful a skin coach is when it comes to getting his groom on for the big day. As Hilling points out, guys want hassle-free regimens and immediate results (uh, you're telling us!), both of which are best achieved when an esthetics expert creates a personalized plan for him.
"It's tough to navigate grooming, and a coach takes away the guesswork," she notes. "They'll assess his current skin, map out his unique needs, and hold his hand as much as he wants/needs throughout the process." Now, your job is to drag him there in the first place!
Establish a strict regimen
As we mentioned above, a skin coach will help create a routine for at-home treatments, as well as professional treatments in a spa or salon. Hilling suggests monthly facials to begin six months out from the big day. "Professional treatments accelerate results and guys are all about seeing a visible difference quickly."
Green agrees—your skincare regimen shouldn't begin with picking up the razor. He's got the routine down to a handful of simple steps: "Start with a pre-shave (try: Sleek Pre-Shave Shave Cream, $25.40, Solo Noir available on Amazon) or priming oil to prep your face for shaving, and then use a badger brush to whip up a good lather, and also lift up the hairs and exfoliate before shaving. And then for aftershave care, I tend to use an aftershave balm."
Choose your razor (and technique) wisely
Green, who's personally had issues with everything from razor bumps to ingrown hairs, says it all starts with your equipment. "You should definitely use a double-edge, single blade safety razor because you’re not going to want to use multiple razors over your skin and expose yourself to the opportunity of getting irritation."
Bevel's sleek safety razor ($49.95, available on Amazon) fits the bill for guys who like to lather up and get a close shave. For those looking to keep their beard tidy with an electric razor, [Bevel's signature cordless model ($199.95, available on Amazon) will do the trick.
Once you've got the right tools, make sure you know how to use them. "You’re supposed to shave with the grain of your hair," Green says. "A lot of people don’t know that. When you shave against the grain, you’re cutting the hairs beneath the skin, and the likelihood of getting razor bumps increases exponentially." Plus, if you're working with a sharp razor (one of the keys to smoother, less irritating results), shaving with the grain shouldn't be a chore.
Exfoliate (and no, shaving won't help)
According to Hilling, guys often think they're resurfacing when they shave. That's a myth, though. Men's facial skin is typically thicker than women's, which makes skin exfoliation very important, Hilling says.
"I recommend a plan of resurfacing three to four times per week at night. I love glycolic acid, which is derived from sugarcane, as a natural way to dissolve layers of dead skin while you sleep." Of course, professional facials include resurfacing as well.
Don't forget sunscreen
...unless you want to look like the groom in The Hangover! As us girls know, even the most fair-skinned guys often forget to wear sunscreen. They need it daily though, rain or shine, with an SPF of at least 30, stresses Hilling. UV rays penetrate through glass, so even if you're just going from the car to the office, you still need to be sun safe, she advises. "Also, anywhere your hair is thin should be protected against sun damage. That includes bald spots and receding hairlines."
The simplest way to avoid forgetting UV protection is to wear a moisturizer that includes some level of SPF. For bald grooms or those who spend more time in direct sunlight, consider something with a higher SPF, like Dr. Jart Cicapair's Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 ($52, available at Sephora). It's the perfect product to take on your sunny honeymoon.
Invest in the best shaving cream
To avoid razor bumps and redness, Hilling suggests looking for a shaving cream that contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid (try: Burke Avenue Moisturizing Shave Cream, $15, Craig the Barber available on Amazon), both of which are exfoliating agents that unplug your pores. You'll also want to keep an eye out for hypoallergenic products without fragrance to avoid further irritating your skin (particularly if it's on the sensitive side), she warns.
Keep your beard conditioned
Yep, you read that right! Stock up on some oils, especially ones that contain vitamin D to thicken and smooth beard hair before the big day, says Hilling. "You can rub the oils in your hair as well as an at-home scalp treatment."
We're all familiar with the kind of aftershave product that stings the skin. But Green tries to stay away from alcohol-based aftershaves like those. "I recommend using an aftershave balm so you can get more moisture instead of something with alcohol in it, which will be much more drying for your skin." An [oil-based aftershave lotion (try: All Natural Aftershave and Toner, $13, Solo Noir available on Amazon) or balm will help you avoid irritation while moisturizing your beard and face.
Maintain your routine for the big day
If you're a safety razor kind of guy, make sure your shaving kit (try: Shave System Starter Kit, $71.99, Bevel available on Amazon) is stocked with all the right exfoliants (try: Charcoal & Licorice Exfoliating Face Scrub, $18, Scotch Porter available on Amazon), shaving cream, and aftershave you need to be photo-ready on your wedding day. You don't want to run out of anything and walk down the aisle with an expected 5 o'clock shadow!
More importantly, though, make sure you get your hair cut by your regular barber—no matter where you're tying the knot. "You don’t want to get your haircut the day-of and have something not come out right," Green says. "If you’re doing it (the day-of) you should do it with someone you trust."
Green, who is marrying in Jamaica later this year, stresses this even for grooms who are planning destination weddings. "I’m doing a destination wedding and I haven’t gotten a haircut in Jamaica in a long time. So I’ll probably get my haircut before I go," he says. "A fresh haircut is photo-ready and perfect, so get your haircut as close to the day as possible."
If your fiancé and his guys aren't exactly known for their grooming skills, encourage them to get their routines in order—or consider grooming-related groomsmen gifts (which would be too pun-y for words!). Guys should get in the habit of taking care of their skin and hair in the months and weeks before the wedding so they can walk down the aisle looking their best.