Groom with a View: Our 2016 Ultimate Grooming Guide

Written by | Grooming, Wellness


Gone are the days when a quick shower and a dollop of pomade were enough to get a man ready to face the day. And over the past decade in particular, the landscape of manscaping has grown exponentially. Some have even called this a “Golden Age” in men’s grooming.

So we decided to put that notion to the test by sampling a dizzying variety of products to find the best of the best of what’s currently on the market. For each category, from scrubs to sunscreens, we’ve outlined in detail why our particular favorites came out on top. We’ve also included suggestions for additional options we’ve tried and trusted. Even if you’re loyal to the products now on your shelf, it’s always worth experimenting to find something even more effective. After you see what we’ve put together here, you can also head to for even more to keep you smiling every time you face the mirror.


    Malin + Goetz
    Grapefruit Face Cleanser

    This product was specially created to address the dry, sensitive skin of Malin+Goetz co-founder Matthew Malin. Its plant-based technology offers an optimal cleanse, while also hydrating and soothing. The foaming gel blends natural grapefruit extract with amino acid-based cleansing agents to also help restore skins’ pH balance. It’s very much in line with the company’s focus on easy-to-use gentle treatments that work without harsh ingredients, irritants, or unnecessary detergents, colorants or synthetic fragrances. ($32)

    Notable Mention: Baxter of California Face Wash, Cetaphil Men Daily Face Wash, Clinique For Men Face Wash, Kiehl’s Men’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash, S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Cleanser

  • billy-j

    Billy Jealousy
    Gold Standard All Over Wash

    Having just hit the market this year, the Gold Standard All Over Wash is one of the most recent additions to the sophisticated but edgy Billy Jealously line. The “all over wash” helps eliminate dirt and sweat from head to toe. While gentle cucumber & papaya extracts and Glycolic Alpha Hydroxy Acids work together to cleanse, exfoliate, and polish the body via a rich, pearlescent gel, we enjoyed the fragrant and refreshing light rosemary aroma. As an added bonus, it does triple-duty — also functioning as shampoo and face wash if you’re trying to pack light for a weekend getaway. ($36)

    Notable Mention: Blue Lagoon Iceland Algae & Mineral Shower Gel, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Peppermint Liquid Soap, Molton Brown London ‘Water Mint’ Body Wash

  • pc4men

    Nighttime Repair

    Nothing makes a man look more world-weary than bags or circles under his eyes. Fight back with this non-greasy formula that strengthens skin and fights multiple signs of aging. The formula combines Camellia oleifera, Chamomilla recutita flower extract, green tea, licorice root, vitamin E, shea butter, pomegranate extract and more to help keep your eye areas tight. And since the PC4MEN line is designed free of fragrances, artificial dyes and other irritants that can lead to redness and rough skin, you don’t have to worry about waking up to a nightmare. ($27)

    Notable Mention: Kiehl’s Eye Alert & Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Lab Series ‘MAX LS’ Age-Less Power Lifting Cream, La Mer ‘The Eye Concentrate’, L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Eye Roll-On, & Talika Eye Dream

  • ixxi

    Elixir Serum Aqua Essential

    You might be wondering: why use a face serum? Well, by leaving out many of the ingredients found in heavier face creams, these lighweight moisturizers can penetrate deeper into your dermis to deliver much higher concentrations of their active ingredients. The 24-hour nonstop skin replenishment in Elixir Serum Aqua Essential helps leave skin feeling supple and youthful. Its active combination of sodium hyaluronate, maritime pine, and water trefoil extract work together to smooth lines and wrinkles and to deliver moisture where it’s needed most. ($72)

    Notable Mention: Clarins Men Anti-Fatigue Serum, DTRT Bright Idea Serum, Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum, Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum, S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Oil Serum, Talika Photo-Hydra Serum

  • kiehls

    Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque

    We encounter plenty of pollutants and environmental agents that leave skins tired and damaged each day. One solution (quite literally) is this invigorating mask, formulated with cranberry extract and micronized cranberry seeds to provide an antioxidant-packed gentle exfoliant — blended with anti-inflammatory turmeric extract — to make your face glow like you just spent your day at the spa. ($32)

    Notable Mention: Talika Bio Enzymes Mask Hydrating, Blue Lagoon Iceland Algae Mask, Malin+Goetz Detox Face Mask, Tom Ford Intensive Purifying Mud Mask

  • arubaaloe

    Aruba Aloe
    Very Water Resistant Sunscreen

    With over a century of delivering Mother Nature’s original burn treatment, Aruba Aloe knows a thing or two about taking care of skin. Since this “very water resistant” blend is made with 100% pure aloe and nourishing Vitamin E, it doesn’t leave you feeling sticky after an application, but what it will do is offer ample sun protection, whether you plan to take on the ocean waves or prefer to hang poolside at a backyard BBQ. ($19)

    Notable Mention: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen Stick, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Sunscreen, Neutrogena CoolDry Sport, Soleil Toujours SPF 30 Mineral Based Sunscreen Continuous Mist Broad Spectrum, Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion

  • swbasics


    Toners are meant to be used after cleansing to restore pH balance, since certain cleansers raise the skin’s natural pH to unhealthy levels. S.W. Basics goes the natural route with this toner that helps even skin tones and neutralizes pH, and does it all with a mix of just five ingredients: organic raw apple cider vinegar, water, witch hazel, clary sage and sandalwood essential oils. This product highlights S.W. Basics’ commitment to simplicity: Why complicate things with chemicals when nature does the job so well? ($22)

    Notable Mention: Aesop B & Tea Balancing Toner, DTRT So Fine Toner, Kiehl’s Since 1851 Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, Shiseido Men Toning Lotion

  • lqd

    Blemish Control

    Tired of heading out into the world with patches of painful, uneven skin? Whether you’re battling whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, Lqd’s Blemish Control is an excellent weapon in the battle against breakouts. Unlike other brands that use harsher benzoyl peroxide, Lqd’s Blemish Control uses salicylic acid to combat bacteria and niacinamide, which works as an anti-inflamatory and helps to reduce oil production while cleaning out and minimizing pore size for a fresher, healthier appearance. ($60)

    Notable Mention: Neutrogena Men Skin Clearing Acne Wash, Malin+Goetz Acne Treatment, Garnier Men’s Acno Fight Wash, Lab Series Power Pore Anti-Shine & Pore Treatment for Men

  • moltonbrown

    Molton Brown London Thickening
    Shampoo with Ginger Extract

    Molton Brown — London’s Bath, Body & Beauty Connoisseurs — are staples among five-star accommodations, and their thickening, revitalizing shampoo is blended with ginger extract to volumize fine hair. Not looking to add hair heft to your look? If you’re already blessed with thick locks, try Molton Brown London Daily Shampoo with Black Tea Extract which nourishes the scalp and alleviates the build-up of excess oils. ($30)

    Notable Mention: Aveda Men Pure-Performance Shampoo, Billy Jealousy Fuzzy Logic Strengthening Shampoo, Kiehl’s Since 1851 Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo, Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo, Redken For Men Go Clean Daily Shampoo

  • talika

    Photo-Hydra Day Moisturizer

    Originally developed from plant extracts and creams meant to treat soldiers’ burns, Talika has since become a cosmetics pioneer. Their Photo-Hydra Day moisturizer provides skin with optimized hydration while also protecting it from further water loss. Moisture-maintaining hyaluronic acid combines with lipopeptides and mango butter (rich in Vitamin A, C and E) to make the product even more effective. One or two pumps in the morning provides hydrating action all day long, while the active ingredients also work in combination to energize skin cells. ($49)

    Notable Mention: Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Cream, Kiehl’s Oil Elminator, Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer, Samurai Energizing Face Balm

  • motezrenault

    Montez Renault
    Jojoba Soothing Scrub

    A good scrub is a men’s skincare essential. Whether you shave daily or every once in a while, a pre-shave facial scrub is wise protection to prepare skin for the razor. This Jojoba Soothing Scrub is a paraben-free exfoliator that cleanses and nourishes with jojoba, argan oil, panthenol, silk amino, plus both aloe vera and green tea extracts. After using, you’ll feel your skin tingling as vitamins E, C, B3, B5 and B6 bond with your complexion — along with a teeming multitude of antioxidant benefits. ($25)

    Notable Mention: Billy Jealousy Adrenaline Junkie, Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash, Molton Brown Deep Clean Face Scrub, Tom Ford For Men Exfoliating Energy Scrub, Zirh Scrub

  • lqd-set

    Essential Gift Pack

    Nothing says you care like premium grooming products from Lqd, which was developed to stand up to Australia’s harshest climates. The Essential Gift Pack includes their signature face wash, face scrub, face shave, face calm, and face hydrate. Together, they remove excess oil and toxins, rejuvenate skin, provide a smoother shave, remove redness after shaving, and deliver much-needed moisture. Gift it to the man in your life who deserves a skin care upgrade, or help someone struggling with sensitive skin conditions like rosacea, dermatitis, eczema or keratosis. ($230)

    Notable Mention: Kiehl’s Men’s Starter Kit, Malin+Goetz 1 oz Essential Kit, PC4Men Men’s Anti-Aging Skin Care Set, Aesop ‘Delphinus’ Skin Care Kit

Also check out:

Best LGBT Friendly Dermatologists in New York
All-Natural Unisex Mists: Sensible Scents For Men and Women
The Top Beauty Secrets of Male Celebrities Revealed at Last

Last modified: January 22, 2019