A survey conducted by Diet Chef in 2014 says that one quarter of men are so self conscious about their appearance they prefer to have sex with the light off. Now after 2 kids and 10 years of marriage, any sex would be appreciated whether the light’s on, off, or strobe lighted. I couldn’t care less, I’d take it any way I could get it (within the boundaries of British law and marriage vows of course). As I’ve gotten older, and rounder, and as my recovery time from sport and fitness now means I generally workout on a 1 day on 364 days off programme, my interest in my appearance could do with a boost. As my hair has thinned, and my belly thickened, the comfy tracksuit bottoms and baggy sweater has become a staple in my daily fashion wear; but there was a time when looking good was my number one priority. I looked like a young David Boreanaz and I spent a fortune on hair and beauty products to keep it that way.
As I approach 40, I wonder if I’m too old before my time or whether it’s just family life that has knocked the ‘bothered’ out of me. The average 30-something has admitted to spending over £100 per month on expensive eye creams, luxury moisturisers and trips to the spa, which is three times as much as a standard gym membership. This seems like a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on toiletries, but I remember spending much more than this in my early twenties. It has got me thinking though. How does my toiletry stock compare to yours? Am I the average 30 something year old, or am I actually using more than I thought? Have a think about what you have in your bathroom, bedroom, and man bag and let me know how your stockpile compares to mine:
- Cleansing products. In this respect I only use 2 products: a shower gel and a face scrub. My product of choice is Wingman grooming products. For a rough looking bloke, I actually have really sensitive skin. Whenever I use a face wash, just a face wash, my skin goes greasy, oily, and spotty. I tried the Wingman products after being asked to review them and exactly the same thing happened when using their face wash, but their daily face scrub was amazing. I used the moisturiser too, but as I’m horrifically sweaty, I found that it ran into my eyeballs throughout the day then got onto my fingers and back into my eyeballs again. A vicious circle I’m sure you’d agree. But this isn’t Wingman’s fault, this is my over zealous sweat glands’ fault.
Fuelling a mens grooming revolution, we make awesome products for individuals who don’t want women’s brands with ‘for men’ on @ButtsyButler
— WINGMAN (@IamWingman) July 31, 2015
This twitter note sums up Wingman products for me. They are a manly brand but carry all the qualities that I actually want, predominantly contained in women’s toiletries. The face scrub that I love is the purifying variety; it smells like something your wife has just bought from Body Shop but is packaged in a butch tube. It has a shea butter smell about it that awakens your senses (satisfying the metrosexual in you) but with good sized granules that you can feel tearing away the dead skin off your face.
I also use the Citrus Charge 3-in-1. This is designed to make the travelling man’s hygiene regime that much more simple. It is a shampoo, shower gel, and shaving gel all in one. I just use it as a shower gel because I have no hair and never use anything other than hot water and a razor to shave with grrrrr. The Citrus Charge is invigorating. It has a zing that just forces you awake and the kind of freshness that leaves your nether regions tingling.
So the 3-in-1 and face scrub are the two products that I will continue using, not only because of their amazing quality and the phenomenal feeling of clean you get after using them, the unique selling point for me is that 5% of the purchase price goes to the Help for Heroes charity. This is a charity that is close to my heart and I’ve always said that if the quality of a product is comparable, I will always go for the company that has a Forces link. I love the idea that a brand is proud enough to be behind the nation’s Armed Forces and vocal enough to declare it by supporting a dedicated charity. So for £7.50 a month, that’s my entire cleansing routine.
- Shaving. As I’ve already said, I don’t use any shaving gels, creams, or foams. A shower or hot water on a flannel is enough for me before using a razor. This is the same for my head, face and neck. I tried all of these before, but they ended up clogging up my pores and giving me horrendous shaving rash. I started off by using the Gillette Blue 2 razor blade because it was cheap, but when I needed to start shaving my head I found it wasn’t up to the task. Now I use the Gillette Fusion Powerglide Turbo. The blades are bloody expensive, but each one lasts me about a fortnight; that’s 4 shaves of the head and 10 days of shaving my face and neck per blade. Every now and again I go back to the old disposable razor just to remind my face how spoilt it is with the Turbo.
So for shaving the lack of creams gels etc saves me money, but the cost of the blades negates it. A pack of 4 blades costs around £15, so £7.50 a month.
- Oral health. I’ve tried a lot of toothpastes, mouth washes, and other gubbins, but I’ve settled on Arm and Hammer toothpaste. It leaves my breath fresh, gums healthy, and the teeth looking white, particularly the Intensive Fresh Gel. Looking after your oral health could help lessen the burden of other cardiovascular diseases and give your body a fighting chance, so looking after your teeth and gums is really important. For me, the toothbrush of choice has to be an Oral B electric toothbrush. The advert may sound incredibly patronising about going pro, but I think you can actually tell the difference. The stroke rate means a better clean, the accuracy of the head means you don’t miss anything between the teeth and the replacement heads aren’t actually that expensive if you shop around. I’m averaging £5 every 6 months on new heads, so let’s round that up to a £1 a month. I also use Oral B interdental brushes for the gum bit between the teeth and a zero alcohol mouthwash for between meals fluoride hit.
These are ridiculously expensive for what they are, but if you shop around you can get some better deals. Both mouthwash and interdental brushes come to £9 a month.
- Smellies. I’ve had a bottle of Davidoff Cool Waters and Jean-Paul Gaultier for about 3 years. They just sit there gathering dust, waiting for me and the wife to go on a date night or other special occasion. The occasion never comes, and they gather more dust. I do need to use a sensitive deodorant every day though. I tried Lynx once, but I ended up smelling of curry, it seemed to be a strange chemical reaction that my sweat combined with Lynx equals Madras. The only spray on deodorant that doesn’t give me a red, itchy, blistered armpit is Dove sensitive. This costs me about £2 a month.
So there you have it, that’s my list of toiletries. I think it’s quite modest and comes to a total of £27 a month, a significant distance behind the £100 for the average 30 something year old but it all adds up. How much do you spend a month on toiletries, and how extensive is your product range?
Disclaimer: I was given free samples of the Wingman products that informed this post. None of the other brands mentioned have had any input to this article and all opinions are my own.