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A Blog by Michael Cannon Photography

Lens & Lather

Top 5 Self-Care Items Every Man Should Have


Man washing his face in the mirror

This guide will dive into my top 5 self-care items every man should own. I’ll cover its importance, choosing the right product, and how to use it.


Disclaimer: When available, I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I personally use and believe will add value to my readers.


As a men's portrait photographer, I know how important it is for you to look and feel your best before stepping in front of the camera. But self-care isn't just for preparing for a photoshoot; it's about boosting your confidence every day of the year. When you look good, you feel good, and that translates into all aspects of your life. Let’s get into it!


In this article, I'm going to cover:


Face Wash for Men


  1. Why Is Face Wash Important?

  2. Choosing the Right Face Wash

  3. How to Use

  4. Men's Face Wash Recommendation

A clear, clean face is the first step to looking great. Our skin is constantly exposed to pollutants, dirt, and oils that can clog pores and cause blemishes. A good facial wash can help mitigate these issues.


1. Why Is Face Wash Important?


  • Removes Impurities: A facial wash helps to eliminate dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, preventing acne and breakouts


  • Prepares Your Skin: It creates a clean canvas for any subsequent skincare or grooming products, ensuring they work effectively


  • Refreshes Your Appearance: Regular use can lead to brighter, more even-toned skin, making you look more vibrant and healthy


2. Choosing the Right Face Wash


  • Skin Type: Identify your skin type—oily, dry, combination, or sensitive. Use a product tailored to your specific needs


  • Ingredients: Look for ingredients like tea tree oil for acne-prone skin, hyaluronic acid for hydration, or aloe vera for soothing sensitive skin


3. How to Use


  1. Cleanse your face twice daily, in the morning and before bed

  2. Use a small amount of the product, and gently massage it onto your face in circular motions for about 30 seconds

  3. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel


4. Men’s Facial Wash Recommendation



Man washing his face in mirror

Clearing your skin of the dirt and grime is a great way to end your day.

Under-Eye Masks for Men


  1. Why are Eye Masks Important?

  2. Choosing the Right Under-Eye Mask

  3. How to Use

  4. Men's Under-Eye Mask Recommendation

The eyes are often one of the first features people notice, and they can reveal signs of tiredness and stress. Under-eye masks are designed to address these issues, providing instant rejuvenation.


1. Why Are Eye Masks Important?


  • Reduces Puffiness: Ingredients like caffeine and cucumber extract help to de-puff and soothe the under-eye area


  • Lightens Dark Circles: Brightening agents such as vitamin C and peptides can reduce the appearance of dark circles


  • Hydrates and Firms: Hyaluronic acid and collagen provide deep hydration and improve skin elasticity


2. Choosing the Right Under-Eye Mask


  • Specific Concerns: Choose masks that target your specific concerns—

    • Dark Circles: Look for masks with ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, or caffeine, which help brighten and reduce the appearance of dark circles

    • Puffiness: Masks containing caffeine or green tea extract can help reduce puffiness and soothe the under-eye area

    • Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Opt for masks with hyaluronic acid, peptides, or retinol to hydrate and smooth fine lines


3. How to Use


  1. Start with a clean face to ensure maximum absorption of the mask's nutrients

  2. Place the mask gently under your eyes and leave it on for 5 minutes (or longer)

  3. After removing the mask, gently massage any remaining serum into your skin for added hydration


4. Men’s Under-Eye Mask Recommendation



Man applying under-eye mask

Get rid of those tired, puffy eyes.

Beard Kits


  1. Why Are Beard Kits Important?

  2. Choosing the Right Beard Kit

  3. How to Use

  4. Men's Beard Kit Recommendation

A well-groomed beard can dramatically enhance your look. Beard kits usually include combs, brushes, scissors, and oils to help you maintain a neat and stylish beard.


1. Why Are Beard Kits Important?


  • Maintains Shape: Regular trimming and combing keep your beard looking tidy and well-shaped


  • Prevents Ingrown Hairs: Combing and brushing your beard helps to prevent ingrown hairs and distribute natural oils evenly


  • Promotes Hair Growth: Regular upkeep creates optimal conditions for a healthy, fuller beard


2. Choosing the Right Beard Kit


  • Quality Tools: Look for kits with stainless steel scissors for precision trimming. The comb should be made from sandalwood to help to detangle without causing static, and a boar bristle brush to effectively distribute the natural oils. Some kits include beard oil which hydrates and moisturizes both the beard and the skin beneath, reducing dryness, itchiness, and beard dandruff. It also promotes healthy growth, adds shine, and tames unruly hairs


3. How to Use

  1. Use the comb to detangle your beard and the brush to distribute natural oils and smooth the hair. As a man with a more coarse beard, I always comb through when it’s damp to avoid pulling and breaking hairs

  2. Use scissors to trim stray hairs and maintain your desired shape

  3. Dispense a few drops of beard oil into your palm, warming it by rubbing your hands together. Apply the oil starting from the roots to the tips, ensuring even distribution, then comb and brush for a smooth, styled finish


4. Men’s Beard Kit Recommendation



Viking Revolution Beard Care Kit for Men

Maintain the shape and health of your beard with a beard kit.

Beard Wash and Conditioners


  1. Why Are These Washes and Conditioners Important?

  2. Choosing the Right One

  3. How to Use

  4. Men's Beard Wash and Conditioner Recommendation

Just like the hair on your head, your beard needs to be clean and well-conditioned to look its best. A beard wash will remove dirt and oils, while a conditioner will soften and nourish the hair.


1. Why is Beard Wash and Conditioner Important?


  • Cleanses: Removes impurities that can cause irritation and beardruff (beard dandruff)


  • Softens: Conditions the beard to make it softer and more manageable


  • Hydrates: Provides essential moisture to prevent dryness and frizz


2. Choosing the Right Beard Wash and Conditioner


  • Natural Ingredients: Avoid products with harsh chemicals that can strip natural oils


  • Hydrating Formulas: Look for ingredients like argan oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter


3. How to Use

  1. Apply a small amount of beard wash to your damp beard, lather, and rinse thoroughly

  2. Apply beard conditioner, leave it in for a few minutes, rinse out, and pat dry

  3. Use 2-3 times a week to maintain cleanliness and softness without over-washing. Be sure to take into account your lifestyle, ie how often you hit the gym


4. Men’s Beard Wash and Conditioner Recommendation



Scotch Porter Beard Wash and Conditioner

Promote healthy and full beard growth with a wash and conditioner.


Men's Hydrating Moisturizer


  1. Why Are Moisturizers Important?

  2. Choosing the Right One

  3. How to Use

  4. Men's Moisturizer Recommendation

A good moisturizer is essential for maintaining healthy, smooth skin. Dry or flaky skin can be very noticeable in photos, so keeping your skin hydrated is crucial.


1. Why Are Moisturizers Important?


  • Prevents Dryness: Keeps your skin hydrated, preventing dry patches and flakiness


  • Improves Texture: Smooths the skin's surface, making it look more even and radiant


  • Protects Skin Barrier: Strengthens the skin's natural barrier, protecting it from environmental stressors


2. Choosing the Right Moisturizer


  • Skin Type: Choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type—lightweight for oily skin, richer formulas for dry skin


  • SPF: Consider a moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from sun damage


3. How to Use

  1. Apply moisturizer twice daily, in the morning and before bed

  2. Use a dime-sized amount and massage it gently into your skin

  3. Extend the application to your neck to ensure consistent hydration


4. Men’s Moisturizer Recommendation



Man applying moisturizer to his face

Men's Cologne


  1. Why Are Colognes Important?

  2. Choosing the Right One

  3. How to Use

  4. Men's Cologne Recommendation

While often overlooked, a good cologne can enhance your overall presence and leave a lasting impression. The fragrance has the power to boost your confidence and make you feel more put together.


1. Why is Cologne Important?


  • Complements Your Look: The right fragrance can complement your style and be the finishing touch to your overall grooming routine


  • Creates a Signature Scent: Wearing a distinct cologne can make you more memorable


2. Choosing the Right Cologne


  • Personal Preference: Choose a scent that resonates with your personality and makes you feel good


  • Occasion: Consider the setting—opt for a light, fresh scent for daytime events or a deeper, more intense fragrance for evening


  • Longevity: Look for colognes with good staying power so the scent lasts throughout your day


3. How to Use

  1. Spray cologne on pulse points such as wrists, neck, and behind the ears. These areas emit heat, helping to diffuse the fragrance

  2. Use 1-2 sprays; over-applying can be overwhelming

  3. For a more subtle effect, apply cologne to your clothing rather than directly on your skin


4. Men’s Cologne Recommendation



Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Le Parfum

Improve Your Self-Care Routine

Investing in these top 5 self-care items is essential for every man's grooming routine. Whether you're preparing for a photoshoot or just want to boost your confidence daily, these products can make a significant difference. Try them out. Your future self will thank you!


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