The dog days of summer are dwindling, yet it hardly feels like the season will be over in under just a month. As gentlemen far and wide (myself included) gear up for fall, the preparation is expected to breed a particularly wistful round of reflection on the warm days behind us.
Amid a number of special milestones, this summer will stand as the summer I finally did it — I got my kit together.
Though there are still some days and a few trips left until Fall’s official arrival, I am happy to report that I now have a fully stocked travel kit of quality grooming products that I can count on to keep me clean, styled, moisturized and fresh.
Hours of research, chats with experts, suggestions, toying with testers at malls and specialty stores throughout the South, and accidental luck-ups allowed me to step my grooming game up immensely while sharing my journey with you. In kind, getting my kit together also allowed me to learn a great deal about the vast and ever-evolving men’s product landscape and my preferences when it comes to needs and wants in personal care.
Before we wrap this series, check out the final three additions that round out my summer sixteen arsenal.
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Spray
Adverse to wearing ANY kind of sunscreen for years (bad, I know), I finally decided to trust my skin to Coppertone’s Sport spray. Fully equipped with a broad spectrum SPF 50 to shield against harmful rays and a modest scent, the lightweight coverage and water-resistance protected my skin through all of my #Summer16 outdoor moments. Whether getting in a park workout, walking the steaming streets of Florida, or rowing a dragon boat down the Alabama River (yeah, that happened), Coppertone’s Sport spray kept me covered and held its own.
Trader Joe’s Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm
An avid lover of most things Trader Joe’s, it didn’t take much convincing for me to purchase my own tin when a mentor suggested I cop this product. Similar to Lush’s Ultrabalm, this multipurpose wonder refreshes and hydrates dry and rough skin with ingredients like mango seed butter, eucalyptus leaf oil, and orange peel — without leaving skin greasy or slick. Ideal for cuticles and even beards, and sold at such a reasonable price, this tin was a major grooming gain.
Biore Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar
Summer humidity and sweat gave me quite a run for my money the past few months, but I found a go-to that kept them both in check. A fairly-new addition to the Biore brand I’ve trusted for years, the Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar pairs a blend of natural charcoal, peppermint oil and jojoba with powerhouse performance. Even after the hottest day outside, the tingling lather cleaned and restored the skin on my face and neck, leaving them clean and cool as ice with no trace of the day’s grease and grime that often plague men’s pores in warmer weather.
The Ultimate Take Away: Even if you’ve been using the same products for years, don’t be afraid to integrate some newer ones into your cache. Loaded with great ingredients and a breeze to use, many modern men’s grooming balms, lotions, creams, and serums are tailor-made for today’s man who chooses to focus more on enjoying his free time than fussing over what he puts on his face.
Unsure of where to start or what to go for? Seek the counsel of department store beauty advisors, sales associates, and grooming gurus in your area for a little insight and guidance. Their words and suggestions, quite often, won’t lead you astray. Lastly, take stock in your appearance and grooming habits as a way of self-care — the ultimate reason to finally get (and keep) your “kit” together.
Image Source: Brandon R. Vaughn