5 Products No Man’s Bathroom Should Be Without

by schaefer on February 5, 2009 · 162 comments

in Dress & Grooming

manbathroom

A man’s bathroom says a great deal about his approach to life — organized or messy, minimal or obsessive, frat house or gentleman’s dwelling. Yet, many men ignore the bathroom, paying it the same mind they would the doctor’s office or gas station; a necessary evil, rather than a sanctuary of manhood. In doing so, we deprive ourselves of some of life’s small pleasures and the opportunity to start the day off on our best foot.

Many of the fondest memories of my father involve studying him as he went through his morning routine before work – shaving, cologne, gargling, tying his tie. I remember the sights, smells, and sounds seemed like a mysterious apothecary, filled with the potions and ingredients of manliness. The smell of Old Spice and Listerine still say “man” to me more than just about anything.

My father understood that a well-stocked bathroom and good routine were something no man should do without. Some may say that spending time on hygiene and appearance is something for the opposite sex to concern themselves with, but to ignore this essential aspect of living is not only immature, it’s unhealthy.

Am I suggesting that you turn into that guy who spends hours in the bathroom meticulously styling each lock of hair, plucking each stray eyebrow hair, and popping more collars than you knew existed? Absolutely not! Constantly stressing about one’s looks is not something anyone should practice. But, there’s a definite middle ground to be had between obsession and neglect — and this is where men should aim. A few minutes in the bathroom is really all one needs; the key is finding the right products and methods to make those minutes count.

With that spirit in mind, I present to you a small list of items no man’s bathroom should ever be without:

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Image by kreg.steppe

1) Wet Shaving Set – Every morning millions of men take a razor blade and scrape it across their face. What used to be a manly ritual passed down through generations has become a mindless routine filled with cheap razorblades, poor-quality shaving cream, razor burn, and a little bit of annoyance that the task must be performed in the first place.

A traditional wet shaving set may seem antiquated to some, but as with many things in life, newer does not always translate into better. To someone used to zinging an electric razor over their face a couple times each morning, a traditional shave can be quite daunting, but it really only involves three items: a quality razor, a good brush, and some glycerin-based shaving cream.

Regarding the right razor, there is some healthy debate as to which is the best for a good wet shave. Some like the old-school classics like the straight-edge; others don’t mind newer blades like the Mach 3, but most agree that for the wet shave nothing is better than a double-edged safety razor. As for the brush, a good badger-hair brush will provide the best shaving experience. And when it comes to shaving cream – if it comes out of a spray canister, throw it away and never touch it again. A high-quality shaving cream has more of a paste-like consistency and is more expensive, but will require about half the amount to do the same job.

When purchasing a shaving set, it can often feel like a lot of money initially, but remember that a good shaving set should last for many years (Brett purchased a razor from the 1960′s) and shaving is something most of us do every day. Why not make this daily routine enjoyable?

For some great shaving products check out West Coast Shaving.

old-spice

2) Cologne – Remember the kid in middle school that tried to disguise the fact that he never showered by dousing himself each morning with half a bottle of cheap cologne? Well, just picture that each morning and do the opposite. First, don’t rely on cologne to cover up poor grooming habits, that’s not the purpose for which it was made. Cologne is supposed to be an accent, not the basis of your hygiene routine.

Second, use a very small amount, two or three dabs or sprays at the most. A man’s cologne isn’t meant to mark his territory as he roams from place to place, it should only be noticed by those in intimate proximity. It is recommended to put cologne on pulse points such as the wrists, the base of the throat, and behind the ears as the heat produced in these areas will help activate the scent. Do not spray cologne on your clothes, as it won’t last nearly as long. Finally, don’t settle for a cheap bottle of cologne. You don’t have to go over the century mark, but investing in a quality cologne should serve you for at least couple years (storing your bottle in a dark, cool place will help prolong its lifespan).

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3) Gold Bond – For years, athletes from Rugby players to race car drivers have understood the amazing benefits of Gold Bond Body Powder. Go into almost any locker room and you will see it as a staple product right next to some deodorant and cologne. Athletes tend to use it because of its ability to keep a man cool and dry, as well as reducing the possibility of skin irritation during physical activity. And most men have at least heard of it’s mysterious abilities to keep things nice and cool when applied to….well……you know.

While Gold Bond Powder is awesome for athletes, it can also be of great use to the everyday man as well. Not only can it be applied to hot spots to keep them comfortable, it can also be a wonderful defense against stinky feet. Many men, including yours truly, sprinkle a little Gold Bond in their socks and shoes each morning to keep their feet from becoming toxic wastelands during a long work day or trans-continental flight.

No matter how you decide to use it, Gold Bond is an incredibly versatile and useful grooming product that should be in men’s bathrooms everywhere.

Enjoy these great videos showing the importance of Gold Bond. For your. . . “equipment.”

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4) Mouthwash/Tongue Scraper – You can be the best-looking, most talented man around, but if a closer encounter reveals some foul-smelling breath, all bets are off. Bad breath, or halitosis, is nothing more than bacteria in your mouth feeding on various proteins. It often accompanies certain foods, alcohol, or long periods of dryness such as what occurs after a night’s sleep. Many men believe that simply brushing their teeth will take care of the problem, but if you ask their wives and girlfriends, much of the time it does not.

Having a good mouthwash such like Listerine or Scope in your bathroom is an essential part of starting each day off on the right foot. Not only will it save those around you from having to smell what you had for breakfast, many mouthwashes now contain fluoride which strengthens teeth.

Also, according to these old Listerine ads, Listerine can also battle dandruff.

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Hmmm… not so sure about that use.

Tongue scrapers are a lesser known tool in the fight against bad breath, but can be the most effective part of your arsenal. Most odor-causing bacteria are found on the tongue, so a tongue scraper goes right to the primary source of bad breath, removing bacteria, food particles, and the discharge that drips down from your nasal cavities. Many might ask why a toothbrush is not sufficient for this task. The problem lies in the design — toothbrushes are made for cleaning teeth, while tongue scrapers are specifically shaped to get into the folds of your English muffin-like tongue and sweep the bacteria from its nooks and crannies.

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5) Quality Hair Product – It’s time to throw away the $2 bottle of gel that you’ve used since the 8th grade. You know, the neon-colored goop that creates a mini-snowstorm when your hair is brushed up against at the end of the day. Hair styling isn’t something a man should spend hours on each morning, but it doesn’t mean he should ignore it altogether. A quality pomade, mousse, or styling compound can be an easy and effective way to sculpt that mop of yours and ensure you look more like a professional than a mad scientist.

The question then is what product to buy? Keep it simple, there’s a million different products out there and some salesmen will try to convince you that you need 999,000 of them, but you don’t. If you have a barber that you trust, ask him or her for their opinion. Otherwise, test a few yourself. Buy something middle of the road, not the cheapest, not the most expensive. If you have short to medium length hair, a pomade or wax-like compound can work great, helping sculpt your hair without looking like you covered your head in product. For longer hair a mousse can sometimes work better. If you want to go old school, use the hair products your grandpa used like Brylcreem or Wild Root. If you find yourself unsure, ask your barber or a friend that seems to have his hair on straight.

There’s no reason for a bathroom to be littered with a million different products. A few quality products can make the difference between starting the day off well or poorly. Do yourself a favor and make your bathroom a place you can enjoy, a sanctuary of manhood.

Now it’s your turn. What products do you think should be in every man’s bathroom arsenal? Drop a line in the comment box.

{ 162 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Billi September 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

Listerine, Brushing your teeth daily, tongue scrapers, flossing are all necessary and good. But I have also heard, but i can’t remember where from, that holding back flatulence will cause your breath to smell bad. As ridiculous as that sounds, if i recall correctly the explanation was that if you prevent yourself from releasing flatulence is that the gases get reabsorbed into your bloodstream, then when your blood travels back to your heart and then to your lungs, the gases can now escape via your lungs and out when you breath out. Hence why some people have a terrible breath even if they brush their teeth and what not.

Also about armpits, the hair helps to wick away the sweat and it actually prevents any nasty dripping and what not. So its useful even if its bad to look at. Obviously you should shower everyday to prevent bacteria from accumulating and causing any smells.

102 dannyb September 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

i was in the Infantry for 8 years and must have gone through hundreds of bottles of Gold Bond, green bottle.

Also for fantastic hair/face care products with a classic feel google, “Hawleywoods” barbor shop. AOM should do a feature on these guys.

103 Cowboy Bob September 18, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Late to the party and nobody will read this, but I’ll say it anyway.

Not only am I unwilling to use DE razors, I get a good shave with my 5-blade monster. Yes, it costs more, but one cartridge is good for about two months. One important tip for all men who wet shave: Shave Secret oil. I happened across a men’s head shaving Weblog, and they proclaimed it loudly, said it was better and less expensive than the big names. So, I picked it up at Walley World (I mean, Wal-Mart). You can use the shave oil by itself, but after I massage that in, I use shave gel.

Oh, and I do the shaving in the shower after I’m all warm and soaked.

As for after shaves, I have the classic Clubman for occasional use, but I prefer unscented things like Nivea or Neutrogena lotions. Then I can use my Manly Man ® cologne without conflict.

One comment on hair gels: I hate them, but I have irritating hair problems (especially that cowlick in the very front that is prominent after a haircut), and finally purchased Clubman hair gel. Available at Walgreens (so is the Clubman after shave), it is not overpriced. I can wear a cowboy hat and not have too much problem with my hair being re-shaped. But watch out, the Clubman fragrance will be on your hair all day if you use too much.

104 Hugh Strickland September 21, 2009 at 12:43 am

Two additions to the list;

Rotary nose hair trimmer
Q- tips

105 DuBach September 28, 2009 at 2:37 am

Rediscovered the old-school Vitalis my grandpa used to use. It’s actually good stuff. Not stiff like hair gel, but has enough oil in it to hold the hair together until it dries.

106 Evan Scott October 17, 2009 at 12:24 am

A good aftershave would be something to add to the list, although I’m sure you can bunch that up with cologne. Some of the best smelling aftershave I have used thus far is Hawlewoods No.9 Bay rum aftershave. good bay rum and clove smell. Google it, they make an outstanding pomade too.

107 Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster October 20, 2009 at 1:21 am

“- very light (meaning color) soya oil is good also – I find god after showering, and NOT expensive also”

Toneshiro, I wish I could find God after showering.

108 Sparky Gage November 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Listerine: it works.

While I don’t recommend it except as a “temporary” measure, I’ve used the Listerine scalp treatment for dandruff and scalp itch an and it does work. Best done when you can let it sit for a while. And your willing to stink like Listerine for a while.

Shampoo: Mix a little with your shampoo and KEEP IT OUT OF YOUR EYES (OUCH!) The mild burning sensation will tell you were your scalp is dry or cracking. Let it sit for at least 3 minutes before rinsing. A little conditioner after a thorough rinse will help with the smell.

Spot treatment for Scalp, Beard and Mustache: A little on a Q-tip. Soak the hot spot or flaking area.

In my case, I’ve found diet is the best defense against flaking (easy on the Cokes and junk food, heavy on the veggies), but its still a cheap and effective treatment.

Oh, and be sure your using the “regular” Listerine and not the minty flavored kinds unless you want to feel sticky and attract critters.

109 feelingawdwardasking November 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm

What’s the read on having around things women might want in your bathroom? If you have things for women (tampons? brand new, unopened toothbrush, etc.) would that be unmanly? Do you think a woman would see that as considerate or that you’re a player or something?

110 Steve January 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Been using Brylcreem, Old Spice, and either Burma Shave or Williams shaving soap for about 10 years now (I’m 38). Wish I’d started earlier.
A number of women have told me “You smell just like my grandfather did,” usually followed with a hasty “OH! I meant that in a good way! I love it!”

111 Tyler January 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Matches — Anyone ever use matches to cover the odor after dropping one? My mind was blown when I first tried this, it was like a magic trick. Something about the burned match neutralizes the smell. Air freshener is fine to use too but if you have left an especially rank smell, use a match first before you spray the freshener. You may not even need the latter.

112 Tom January 18, 2010 at 12:38 am

I like using clubman products to include their talcum powder.

113 Paul January 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I already had all of this, except for the Gold Bond powder, which I picked up a couple of days ago. Now let me just say WOW. I’ll be honest, my feet sweat a LOT, and in turn they tend to smell pretty rank by the end of the day. Yesterday after my morning shower and drying off I rubbed a small bit onto both of my feet and put my socks on. I wasn’t expecting much when I took my shoes off at the end of the day, especially since I had only used a rather thin layer, but WOW. No smell at all, of sweat nor Gold Bond. I wish I had picked some of this stuff up years ago, it would have saved me a lot of feelings of embarrassment after taking my shoes off in front of a lady. I can’t thank you guys enough for the recommendation.

(Not getting a dime for this of course, just a damn satisfied customer.)

114 R. J. Vincent January 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Great list. I also have a hair trimmer and a styptic pencil. I don’t have cologne due to a sensitivity to scents.

115 Derek D. February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

I love Acqua Di Parma for cologne and Proraso Aloe Shave Soap.

I wish I had enough hair to care about hair product, but it is one less thing I have to worry about.

There is a strong link between talc and cancer. To be safe, try using a corn starch based powder instead. Gold Bond offers talc-free varieties, just keep on the lookout. I also avoid talcum in deodorant and anti-fungals.

Sources:
http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/cosmetics/talc.htm http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_6x_talcum_powder_and_cancer.asp

116 Doc April 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Derek D.

“strong link between talc and cancer” Did you know 100% of all cancer patients consumed water at some point in their lives? I hope you cease drinking water as well. Your concern is getting ovarian cancer from using talc? Did you even read the links you posted? Stop posting ridiculous hype as fact.

117 Derek D. June 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Doc (?), I am not sure what the source of your lash out is, but you might want to look into some sort of anger management therapy. I don’t know about you, but I have recently come to recognize that I am constantly exposing myself to carcinogenic compounds, such as talc and diethanolamine, and have started looking for more natural ways to take care of myself. An ounce of prevention…What does it hurt? I thought I’d share my curiosity about this out of kindness and concern of my fellow man. I don’t think that warrants being attacked by senseless sarcasm. I didn’t state it as fact, as I said there was a strong link according to articles I have read by the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Prevention Coalition and attached links to the articles for people to decide for themselves. If you have sources to debunk this link, I would be happy to read them.

118 Dell Que June 11, 2010 at 10:35 am

Interesting article. I have not had hair to try the pomade/hair tonic in years, but i remember my grandfather using vitalis and brylcreme. Shaving for me includes my head. I have found a wonderful product called SLICK that comes as a creme in a plastic bottle. Put a dime sized dollop of that on a wet shaving brush and you get enough lather to do the face as well as the head.

Gold bond is great stuff especially if you are prone to heat rash or irritation in body cracks and crevices. It definitely is ‘cooling” so if you’ve never used it, be aware.

One thing I find a bit confusing is that this site stresses the importance of owning and maintaining quality leather shoes and boots. The absolutely worst thing you can do is sprinkle foot or any other type of powder into your leather shoes or boots. The powder gets into the pores of the material and clogs them up and you end up sweating more not less. Wash and dry your feet, then sprinkle them liberally with powder then put on your socks. Don’t kill your shoes with powder!

119 Zach June 16, 2010 at 1:32 am

@ Derek D.

from your link to the article by the American Cancer Society

Studies of personal use of talcum powder have yielded inconsistent results, although there is some suggestion of an increase in ovarian cancer risk. No other forms of cancer appear to be associated with the use of talcum powder.

However, only a very small minority of women who have used talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer. And it is impossible to say to what extend talc use had contributed to these cases.

” I said there was a strong link according to articles I have read by the American Cancer Society and Cancer Prevention Coalition”

The American Cancer Society claims no such thing.

The only link between talc and asbestos was that they appeared to be similar in form. I could not find a source “debunking” this topic. This would be because there are no definite findings to debunk. There are *suggestions* of *increased risk.* Again, the American Cancer Society ends with “it is impossible to say to what extend talc use had contributed to these cases [of ovarian cancer].”

I will continue to use Talc as I do not own a set of ovaries. I will also continue to trust the American Cancer Society over any independant Coalition of experts and their blogs. This is due in part to the fact that the ACS cites more sources and studies than the CPC. I’m not sure whether this means the CPC is biased, or that the ACS has access to more resources.

120 Richard Rivers June 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

“It is recommended to put cologne on pulse points such as the wrists, the base of the throat, and behind the ears as the heat produced in these areas will help activate the scent.”

This is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Sounds impressive, but has nothing to do with reality. Anywhere you put it will have the same effect: it smells. “Pulse points” (whatever that means) do not “produce heat” any more than a random spot on the body. Nor does the scent need to be “activated”. It’s not a puzzle, it’s not a machine, and it’s not an explosive. It’s just a perfume marketed to men, plain and simple.

You’d think, at first glance, that a marketing gimmick would tend to encourage you to use more of it, so that you go through it faster, and pay the company more money. Indeed, Unilever (owners of the AXE brand) bases their entire fragrance marketing strategy on this. “Douche yourself in our spray, and hot chicks will be attracted to you like a magnet!” However, for products meant to appeal to customers who fancy themselves “more refined”, marketing gimmicks tend to go in the opposite direction. If they can convince you that “a tiny bit is enough” then you are left with the psychological impression that the product is POWERFUL AND POTENT, and therefore intrinsically more valuable. It tends to produce a great deal of brand loyalty, which wins the long-term game. That’s why companies like Procter & Gamble (owner of the Old Spice brand) are still in business.

For the most part, Old Spice and AXE are the same product. 99% of their chemistry is the same, since they’re both intended to deliver a fragrance to the human body and cause it to stick there. The main difference, aside from the specific scents used (which is really kind of incidental), is the packaging and the marketing applied to them.

How much you intend to use is nothing more or less than personal preference, but have a care for the people around you. Sometimes less is more.

“Also, according to these old Listerine ads, Listerine can also battle dandruff.

Hmmm… not so sure about that use.”

It can. Just for the record. You probably only want to use the regular flavor for this, since a head that smells like cool mint is strange to say the least. But the fact that this was advertised is, again, basically a marketing gimmick to make you go through the stuff faster. Dandruff shampoo will work better. Actually, if it were safe to put in your mouth, Head & Shoulders would work better than Listerine even as a mouthwash. I don’t recommend that, though.

121 scott July 26, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Great article.

Gold Bond. Feet, junk, and sometimes a light dab under the pits when I put on a dress shirt straight out of the shower. Most talc/ baby powder type products will suffice, but I think this is the standard.

Razors…I moved away from the triple blades and electrics because I have ridiculously sensitive skin. I’m probably going to go for the single blades and start shaving in the shower once I get back stateside. I have found that some of the products the brothers use for curbing razor burn are effective for guys with sensitive skin like me. I recommend Bump Patrol shave gel and aftershave. Also on the aftershaves, someone touched on it already, but I want to reiterate that the aftershave is intended to help the healing and restoration process of a newly razored face, not act as a cologne. I haven’t used a scented aftershave in ages, but I remember it being overpowering.

To go further into scent…the Axe epidemic bothers me to no end. I’m in the military and have been stuck on ships with young guys that use this stuff as a cure all. No my friends. Just use some ANTIBACTERIAL soap and wash your clothes and you’ll be all set. Overpowering colognes is a huge turn off to a lot of people. I do wear cologne from time to time, usually only for special occasions or if I’m putting on the ritz for a night on the town. I’ve used Chanel Platinum Egoiste since my first high school dance and am just about to finish my second bottle, after nearly 12 years. It’s a classic and I have received a compliment on it nearly every time I wear it and get close enough for a girl to notice. I recommend applying down the back or at the shoulder area. Directly on the neck is okay if you don’t plan on getting ass that night, but lets be honest, that’s why you put fourth all this effort in the first place and you should always be in the game.

The tongue scraper seems like good idea, I’ll have to get into that, but flossing CANNOT be overlooked. It’s a pain in the ass to get into but will become habit soon enough and really helps with bad breath. Have you ever smelled some of the globs of decaying food that come out with floss after not doing it for a day or two? Heinous.

Obviously being in the military I keep my hair short, and found the best product for styling is a wax stick. I suppose it is similar to a pomade, but seems to last longer as I use less of it. Just make a couple light passes over a DRY head and style with your finger tips. I usually wash my hair after a haircut, apply some wax, and repeat the process every week or two. I thoroughly rinse my head in the shower everyday, but find that using shampoos and conditioners too often leaves the dome frizzy, thin, unmanageable, dry, and childlike. I’m going to look into that Brylcreem stuff, or maybe some regular mousses, but I just went to the only store around here and they only carry the spiky headed 2000 era Boy Band gels.

As far as personal grooming goes…
Haircuts, pube TRIMMING, shaving the face, and for those Sasquatch recruits, back shaving is okay, anything else and you’re entering metro territory and risk getting laughed out of the barracks by real men, not Zoolanders. I did know a sniper that shaved his arms and legs though, and still make fun of him to this day. Totally unnecessary. He was a total Guido though, so apparently that’s acceptable.

A good set of tweezers, small, well made scissors, nail clippers, and small battery operated detailing clippers are a must as well.

In the shower, St Ives INVIGORATING Apricot scrub is legit as it gets.

-Scott

122 Sam Campbell October 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

Vaseline has a lotion just for men. I saw a bottle in a restaurant bathroom and tried it out. It has a nice, clean smell and the bottle looks good on the counter next to the sink.

123 sugapablo November 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

“Quality Hair Product”

If you still have hair. :(

124 John T. November 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

Although I shower and shave every day, I hate products that have scent, unless it comes from 100% natural sources like plants. I’m talking sage, pine, lavender, lemon, and a few other truly natural scents.
I especially hate scents that contain musk, or any artificial ingredients. I never, ever use cologne, I can’t stand it. When I was in my teens I succombed to advertising and tried a couple of supposedly manly scents because the ads said that was the way to be cool. But it didn’t take me long to rebel against them and drop the colognes for good.
I don’t care for oily products either. I wash my hair every day because it is quite oily, and for a long time didn’t put anything at all on it to groom it afterwards. Now my hair is thinning and I use a generic minoxydil product to hopefully slow down the process, and I find that it also has pretty good hair grooming properties, and helps my hair stay in place without becoming oily.
For shaving, I love my Mach 3 razor, and I get along ok with Barbasol shaving cream, the kind in the orange can is the least offensive to me.

125 Dan November 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I haven’t shaved in years; I’ve got a beard trimmer that I use to “mow” cheeks & neck; put the guard back on for trimming goatee & ‘stache. Not sure if I recommend it for everyone, but, if you have really sensitive skin, and a job that lets you get away with the rough-and-ready look, it works a treat.

126 Gerry December 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm

An article like this was meant for men during the 1920′s-1950′s…Nowadays, “men” use electric-razors, fancy toothbrushes and body-sprays. Yup, times have changed, eh?

127 MJ December 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap in the shower. It is a great moisturizer and gives you a manly smell.

128 Joe December 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I agree that mouthwash is essential, but I actually stopped using toothpaste. Sometimes I will use Listerine, and sometimes I do not, but overall my breath, even in the morning is better than ever. Strange as it was, the toothpaste (with its rat poison Sodium Fluoride, and its industrial lather Sodium Laurel Sulfate) was drying my mouth and making it stink. I even asked the dentist (a friend and care-giver) about brushing, and he told me that the actual brushing was the most important. Add to that the Listerine, and there is one of the best choices I made recently.

129 Reb December 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm

As a woman (sorry for intruding, gentlemen!), I have to answer a question that someone commented on here earlier asking if women would find a man having tampons or a toothbrush unopened for them offensive. The answer to that question is yes, we will ALWAYS have our own, it makes you seem as though you’re a player. … and it’s just weird.

130 Robert Brown January 7, 2013 at 7:05 pm

deoderant. very important

131 T.B. January 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I sort of gave up on toothpaste too. I floss every night and then swill a little Listerine and then brush. Or I’ll use some baking soda with or without peroxide. Deodorant? Not at all. I’m better off without it. Old Spice after shave. Ivory soap. (Fast-actin’) Tinactin. Gold Bond powder, when needed. Witch hazel after a shave. That’s pretty much it for me!

132 Deb January 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm

The article and these posts are a great resource for a single mom raising boys. Thank you.

133 Tideswellman January 18, 2013 at 6:33 am

This is a good article, but the brands I’m a little dubious about. Listerine? Please that stuff has alcohol in it. Dentyl is much nicer taste wise, and doesn’t burn the inside of your gob off.

Bad breath , well it’s a mans worst enemy, especially if your a cheese, beer, and coffee lover like myself. Brushing doesn’t cut it, and it’s the night-time nasal mucus that causes the real stink, not in the mouth but in the back of your throat. CB12 is a new mouthwash, they have been advertising it on TV. It’s expensive though. So , I’d recommend shopping online for it, you can get up to a 40% discount.

134 Kered February 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

Since bad breath can be attributed to the night-time nasal mucus, just make it a habit to blow your nose before bed. It also helps to take a warm shower “rinse” before bed. The steam will loosen your nasal passageways, and then you can blow you nose before bed and rest soundly knowing you won’t have as much potential mucus drainage.

135 Dan February 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Fresh Balls… the product. http://www.freshballs.com

Much better than any powder… seriously give it a try..

136 pugilist66 February 23, 2013 at 5:05 am

I’ve been reading some of the comments regarding the use of safety razors with a little amusement. First off, shave with whatever you’re comfortable with-this ain’t politics lol. I started using a Gillette Tech safety razor, that I bought at an antique store for $1.50, in the mid 90′s. I’ve strayed a couple times, but I always come back to it. One blade lasts me a couple months and I use it for head and face. The trick is to ‘strope’ it. Simply remove the blade, wet it and rub it (both sides) against the inside of your shaving mug. Also, experiment with different products to see what works for you. Prorasso pre-shave, shave creams (in a tube) and aftershave are very nice. Reading through some of your comments, it seems as though many have forgotten how a few extra minutes can allow one to enjoy the simple necessity of shaving. Afterwards, a little Old Spice deodorant and some bay rum are all that are required for a man to feel fresh for his day. One product that I just learned about and am gonna try is Hold Fast beard oil for my goatee. Shave your armpits if you’re felling GQ lol, but it seems kinda unnecessary to me.

137 Matt March 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Flouride is terrible for you. Look it up. It’s the main ingredient in prozac and an active ingredient in nerve gas. It’s not good for your teeth either. It causes a condition called flourosis. Which makes your teeth look like shit. Google that shit.

138 Craig March 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I would have to say my favourite new item for the bathroom is my Kobo eReader.

I have been using electric and multiple bladed razors since I started shaving at age 12. Always razor burn and irritation. Next time I shave (sporting a manly beard right now) I will look into either the strait or double edged razors.

I have used Old Spice and Aqua Velva for a while. WOmen seem to like the scent. Old spice made a “Sport” version that seems to be a bit cooler smelling. My ex used to say I smelled really clean and sexy when ever she smelled it.

139 Rob March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Brylcreem is overpriced and makes your hair greasy. What you want is some Groom n’ Clean or Vitalis. They provide the same (if not better) performance at half the price and are water based so no greasy hair.

140 Matt B April 6, 2013 at 5:21 am

I’ve actually got my own little cache of items in my bathroom. I don’t wear cologne, or body spray, but I do use a very nice smelling men’s bodywash. To me, this cleans me up better than soap. And despite the fact I hate Axe, I do keep a bottle of Axe Snake Peel in the shower, along with a bottle of Alpine Extreme. The snake peel is very good for removing dirt and grime and actually smells nice. I’ve been using it for 6 years, and at a former job it wasn’t unusual for me to come home a different color(black, brown, green, orange, etc) The snake peel cleaned it right off, usually in one pass.

I’m also a believer in face scrub/wash, and face moisturizer, but that may just be because I hail from the muggy South, which is hell on your skin. If I go one week without washing my face or adding lotion, I start to look a little like Frankenstein.

For mouthwash it’s usually whatever is a dollar and doesn’t feel like gargling lava.

I do have a wet shave kit, consisting of an Old School Gillette Rocket, an Escali brush, and Proraso soap and Jack Black shave cream. My aftershave is usually a balm or gel, since the smell doesn’t hang around.

Hair fixings is Vitalis(dandruff) and Brylcreem. They’re both cheap and last forever.

I hate Gold Bond, so I use Clubman Talc and make sure to keep foot powder in my shoes. Guess that about covers it.

141 Moe April 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

For the first time, I have to disagree with something in these articles, and that is the following, ‘many mouthwashes now contain fluoride which strengthens teeth’. There is very little evidence to suggest truth in that statement, and also the cons far out way the pros of using fluoride, In fact many countries are banning the use of fluoride in toothpaste and other products.

142 Bill N May 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Off-topic about fluoride: Actually, here’s what fluoride does to one’s teeth. In the teeth there is a molecule called hydroxyapatite. This is the calcium-containing molecule that makes teeth and bones hard. Fluoride ions from dental products are exchanged for the hydroxide (OH-) ions naturally present in hydroxyapatite. Fluoride ions are very electronegative and much smaller than hydroxide ions, so they can get into small spaces and perform this ion exchange. This results in fluorapatite, which is harder than hydroxyapatite. Of course, too much of this ion exchange can harden the teeth too much, resulting in brittle and mottled teeth (fluorosis). This is undisputed fact.

It is also true that the US studies that have been done on the benefits of fluoridated water had problems, namely that cities newly receiving fluoridation were poorly matched with control cities, and that they were purely correlation-based studies.

You don’t need fluoride or toothpaste. Use baking soda. It neutralizes the acids made by bacteria and serves as a mild abrasive to remove plaque from teeth. As for Listerine, the alcohol in it will dry your mouth out for sure. Better to use an enzyme based mouthwash like Biotene.

143 cw May 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm

One more : witch hazel
As an after shave, to wet your hair before combing, insect bites, soothing sunburn and to take the sweaty, sticky away from the groin-ial region on a hot day . A natural product and it smells nice and old timey !

144 Angelo June 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I use a badger shaving brush.A Mach 3 razor.Menthol shaving cream.I have a anti fog mirror in the shower,and that’s where I shave and brush my teeth too! I top it off with,Pinaud Club-man aftershave and a Pinaud Talc.I check my nose hairs,overgrown eyebrows with an electric nose hair trimmer.Also in my arsenal,since am a bald guy,is a pair of sharp clippers,for head, just in-case I don’t want a close shave..also can be used for underarms.In the Winter time,baby oil or some time of moisturizer (Africa Shea Butter) for men ,helps with the dry skin. Tea tree oil cuts back on foot fungus and the talc powder.And ALWAYS wear a clean pair of boxers and socks (7) everyday!

145 Angelo June 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Oh I forgot..BABY POWDER drives women wild!

146 Jeff Marsh June 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I would suggest Old Spice classic deodorant stick, either OS classic aftershave or Clubman Bay Rum, and Clubman Talc. I use C.O. Bigelow tube shave cream with a brush, or Classic bay rum shaving mug soap with a Parker 86R butterfly DE razor. All these are a very good combination.

147 Jack Huey July 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Condoms. You can never be to safe. Keep a three pack handy and you’ll be good. You never know what may happen.

148 Giddy Aunt July 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Agelo you seem to have your situation covered!

149 Gary July 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

How about a pair of good barber scissors? To trim those little hairs that seem to grow out of strange places. When I was a kid, I would never have thought of trimming my ears and nose. As I get older, it’s becoming more and more necessary. BTW, those electric things don’t cut as well, and they always pinch me.

And don’t go cheap. The cheap ones lose their edge very quickly, and pinch like those electric things. I bought a good pair 20 years ago, and it still cuts fine. A worthy investment in personal grooming.

150 Tom August 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm

While taking care of a patient, I learned the miraculous properties of aloe vera and even bought a plant to have fresh aloe every day. I make a mixture of a good-smelling lotion and aloe vera (about 50/50) put it in a bottle and use this after shaving to revitalize my skin. Shaving in the shower is a bit expensive considering the cost of hot water but it can’t be beat in my book.

151 Gilles September 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm

It seems that a very worthwhile item have been missed in all those comments : alum stone. I don’t give a damn about all those rantings about its “toxicity” : my grandfather, who lived to a ripe old age, have used a natural alum stone all his life, and he was swearing by it, especially as an hemostatic to be used after shaving. It doubles as a powerful deodorant, with no smell. Someone mentioned hunting. I know it depends of the “game” you are after, but Cologne is not always a good idea especially if the game is inclined to fight back violently. Alum stone is excellent for military and police work. It is also very good for waiters, sommeliers and anybody working with food, as it won’t mixup with the smell coming from the dishes and the taste of beverages.
I have mentioned Cologne, and I want to write a line about Tabac original. This fragrance is apparently the european equivalent of Old Spice, but I am not sure, as I don’t know this last one. All I know is that it was my father’s Cologne, and I rediscovered it recently, awakening fond memories inside of me. They offer a full line of quality grooming products, just like Old Spice, and this is a very soothing and attractive fragrance.

152 Gilles September 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

And by the way, it may seem also too much obvious to be added in this list, but I am not sure anybody mentionned… soap!… A good, plain, solid, quality piece of soap. Reading the biography of Joseph Greenstein, aka “the mighty atom”, made me learn about the importance of having a good vegetal soap, for taking care of this too much neglected vital organ : skin. From the good old staple of a big, chunky piece of Marseille soap, to more delicate, exquisite (and expensive!…) items like those from Roger & Gallet, there is a wide choice.

153 Bucolic Buffalo September 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Does anyone know of a decent deodorant/antiperspirant that does not contain aluminum? I am concerned about aluminum concentrations in the brain. I’ve heard that it could put you at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other neuro degenerative disorders (I don’t know if this is true or not). I’ve tried Tom’s of Maine and did not find it useful.

154 fir September 24, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Arm and Hammer makes an unscented deodorant with no aluminum. Its not available everywhere, but if you check a few places with large selections you should be able to find it. Not all of their products are aluminum free, so read the label.

155 Ethan September 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I have found that a couple brands of mousse(for how sticky it is for the occasion), flossers, chapstick, deodorant like Arm And Hammer, sunscreen, baby powder(for less stinky feet. put it in your socks), Q-Tips, Aquaphor(which is like Vaseline), body lotion, face lotion,Band Aid protection foam, soap, and a hairbrush. I have not gotten a beard yet(only 13) and I shower every morning with a nice smelling shampoo to impress the ladies

156 Dennis Taylor October 6, 2013 at 4:04 am

You guys have covered all important areas except 3. Ten years ago an article on grooming in Men’s Health said that those guys on the editorial staff that used a skin exfoliant had a fresher clean look to their skin, so I started doing it and have seen a big difference. After 35 or so skin starts looking dull from the dead cells that need toa be removed. I’ll be 70 next month but people say I look 55 because of the skin scrub, skin toner, and the nutrition I take internally. They have reversed the aging process for real. Your body requires a multitude of nutritional elements to function every day and those elements are no longer in the food so you better find a good source for 100% from plants. Most on the market are synthetic and not useable by the body. A guy cleaning out the portapotty at my cabin said not only are the TV advertised pills in the bottom but you can still read the labels on them.
I have a list of nutritional elements with the synthetic names if anyone wants it. The companies think they are fooling us by using these chemical names and for the most part they are.

157 Gary Myers October 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Hi Brett,

I read with interest your article about natural methods to increase testosterone. Among the methods, you mention avoidance of xenoestrogens, which as you say are in so many personal care products.

In the process of helping a friend who owns an organic skin care products company (I’m the part time webmaster), I am trying to help her spread the word about soaps, shampoos, conditioners and deodorants free of such xenoestrogens as sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, and parabens.

I think your readers would be very interested in knowing about a reliable source for personal care products free of these xenoestrogens.

Would it be possible to include a link in your article about increasing testosterone naturally to the Beach Organics website?
http://www.BeachOrganicsSkinCare.com

Many thanks!

Gary Myers

158 bert December 8, 2013 at 4:33 am

Gatsby (Japanese brand) makes great hair products. Not easy to find in the US but can be bought online.

159 RJ December 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

About men keeping Women supplies… just in case: I think it was Reb from the comments who instigated that women will “always” keep girly supplies (tampons, toothbrushes, etc, etc.) on them at all times, and that men who keep them available/in stock are considered players and weird.

This might sound true for most instances, but I can tell you from experience that it definitely pays to have an emergency supply of girly items in stock. I can’t tell you exactly how many times a woman forgot to bring (or simply ran out) of Tampons. Especially when women initially didn’t think they needed them as there was no plan on staying overnight at some guy’s place. Well over a dozen… at least.

Would women think you’re a player or weird for having such items? Maybe if you’re broadcasting that you have them to your guests with them sitting on the counter in wicker baskets. If you keep them stashed in a bathroom cabinet (towards the front) in a clear container (so the girly items can be made out), you’ll be fine.

Most women take a peek at your supplies to check what’s up in your biz; but just in case they keep to themselves and “respect” your “privacy,” simply let them know extra TP and contact lens solution is in the cabinet if they need some. If they see the Tampons/other girly items and they need some, they’ll either just ask for one or just help themselves.

Makeup remover is another thing to keep on hand. Go to a mall and visit one of the larger department stores and talk to the girls at the girly makeup kiosks. Ask for recommendations on a good makeup remover for women, and then get a number or two while you’re at it. ;)

Sure some might think for a second that you’re a player/weird for having them. That thought will be destroyed when either A.) It saves the day/night/morning, or B.) She realizes it’s not weird and that clearly this is how a classy/awesome/mature/badass MAN does his thing.

160 RogerRoger December 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

Listerine is good for all kinds of skin irritation, and also works for preventing skin fungus like jock itch or athlete’s foot. Make sure you get the Original Yellow Death Flavor, as that one seems to work the best.

161 John D February 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm

My EDGK – Edwin Jagger DE89, Feather Razors, Tweezerman Shaving Brush, Imperial Pre-shave Oil, Colonel Conk Bay Rum Shave Soap, MKMen Aftershave Gel, Nivea Q10 Balm, Imperial Classic Pomade, Kent FOT Pocket Comb, Gucci Guilty Cologne, Adidas Pure Game Deodorant, Oral B Complete Soft Toothbrush, OralB Floss Picks, TheraBreath Tongue Scraper, TheraBreath Oral Rinse, Irish Spring Body Wash, Aussie Moist Shampoo, Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash w/ Tea Tree Oil, Norelco Vacuum Beard Trimmer, Electric Nose Hair Trimmer, Nail Clippers, Tweezers, Travel Barber Scissors

162 Edward February 25, 2014 at 11:16 pm

I know I’m late to the party, but This is a response to Buconic Buffalo who is seeking an alternative to aluminum based deodorants.

Crystal Stones roll-on. I believe they are derived from African Salt mines. They last FOREVER, have no smell, and do a pretty good job of eliminating odors. They are not anti-perspirants, but I found that I didn’t sweat much when using it anyway.

As for my essentials in my bathroom, I use African Raw Black Soap in the shower. GREAT stuff, rinses clean, and leaves your skin feeling great. After that, I follow up with African Raw Shea Butter. It’s rich, but it works wonders for your skin.

I’ve tried using razors in the past, including Double Edged Safety Blades, but as an black man, my hairs just seem to rebel and become ingrown. So now I just use a electric clipper. However, I do use either Faceshaver talc or Shaving Oil, and it does the trick.

Other than that, I use floss, listerine, toothpaste, and baking soda. The usual.

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