After almost a full year of living in one state of lockdown or another, we wouldn’t be surprised if your multi-step grooming routine had long since fallen by the wayside. With far more important things to worry about than how your hair is doing—and fewer people seeing your face up close all that often—it’s easy to let go of a regimen that prioritizes the kinds of face masks that boost cell turnover in favor of just strapping on the ones that help save lives.
Yet there are reasons to keep your face and hair in good condition. Beyond the fact that Zoom can be unforgiving, especially if you don’t have studio-ready lighting in your home office, well-groomed men tend to earn more than their scruffier counterparts, according to a joint 2016 study by the University of Chicago and UC Irvine. Plus, performing soothing series of ablutions is a much more rewarding way to start and end the day than by doom-scrolling through your social media feeds.
With these things in mind, we at Robb Report are trying to put our best faces forward (and keep our locks and bodies in decent condition, too). Below, some of the products that help our editors do just that.
Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer
I’m often rather credulous of proclamations made by beauty brands. Who knows if these products do what they claim to do? But this moisturizer makes a difference from the outset: It feels indulgent on the skin, while the anti-aging “holy grail” combination of ferulic acid and retinol seems to help smooth away fine lines. The real reason I know this works, though? I’ve caught my wife borrowing it.
– Paul Croughton, editor in chief
Claus Porto ‘Musgo Real’ Orange Amber Soap
Bar soap gets a bad rap, but I’ll take it over body wash any day. Claus Porto’s does the job perfectly well but, most of all, it makes showering feel a bit more luxurious. The scent is fantastic‚ refreshing and masculine but not in an Old Spice kind of way‚ and it subtly perfumes my whole bathroom. The chic paper-wrapped packaging is worlds away from a box of Irish Spring; stacks of Musgo Real is all the decor my bathroom needs.
– Kareem Rashed, style editor
Grown Alchemist Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser
If you have oily or combination skin, like I do, it can be a struggle to find a cleanser that’ll deal with sebum without completely stripping your face of its protective layer. But Grown Alchemist’s Gentle Gel Cleanser lives up to its name, foaming ever so slightly to remove excess oil and leaving behind soft clean skin that’s ready for the next step in your routine. I also really like its scent: it blends geranium, bergamot and rosebud that’s more bright and citrusy than heavy and floral. Next to coffee, it’s easily one of the best things I wake up to.
– Justin Fenner, deputy digital editor
Heritage Store Rosewater Mist
When it comes to skincare, I’ve learned that less, for me, is more. I skip “product” almost entirely (no matter the brand or price point, a formulated moisturizer turns my skin into an emo teenager, ping-ponging between sensitive and angry) and instead choose natural solutions. Most days I don’t use anything more on my face than a few sprays of rosewater, which is both gently hydrating (for extra moisturizing, you can also choose a version with glycerine) and refreshingly light.
– Josh Condon, deputy editor
Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub
After trying a handful of different exfoliators over the years, I keep going back to Jack Black. None of the other brands I’ve tried have made my face as consistently blemish-free and my skin feel as soft. And I happen to like that the scrubbing particles have a coarse enough texture that makes it feel like it’s really working. I pair it with Jack Black’s Double Duty Face Moisturizer, which has enough SPF to serve as a daily sunscreen.
– Jeremy Repanich, culinary editor
Circumference Active Restorative Moisturizing Cream
With the cooler weather dehydrating my skin, this cream has proved to be exactly what I need for a refreshed, plumper-looking complexion. The Vitis Vinifera extract reduces inflammation, restores damaged skin and promotes cell turnover. Not to mention it feels amazing. It has the texture of whipped cream that’s just come from the KitchenAid. Best of all, Circumference upcycles agricultural waste to make the product. In this case, local New York winery, Bedell Cellars, provided the byproduct (discarded grapes and leaves) which Circumference then extracted the nourishing oil from.
– Rachel Cormack, digital staff writer
Christine Chin Solar SPF 30
Other than deodorant (obviously) the single most important part of my skincare regimen is sunscreen—after all, prevention is better than cure when it comes to wrinkles. The problem I’d always faced, though, was that most sunscreens irritated my eyes horribly when I’d inadvertently rub them in during the day. Then I found this sunscreen, which is made by “Mean” Christine Chin, the no-nonsense dermabrasionist. It works beautifully and, a rarity, it never irritates my eyes or makes them water. I swear by it every morning (as well as most of her other lotions).
– Mark Ellwood, editor at large
Kevin Murphy Repair Me Wash and Rinse
The great Jack Donaghy once said, “Your hair is your head suit.” No truer words have been spoken. Hence, when it comes to caring for my head suit, I’m willing to take it to the best cleaners. That means I use Kevin Murphy’s shampoo and conditioner. Though this particular product is designed for people doing more harsh treatments to their hair‚ like coloring it, it works quite well to keep my hair soft in the dry air of Southern California.
Leonor Greyl ‘L’Huile de Leonor Greyl’
I hate hair products that leave even the slightest trace of residue; I want to run my fingers through my hair and have it feel like hair. Since a stylist turned me onto it some ten years ago, Leonor Greyl’s signature oil has been my one and only regular hair product. It tamps down frizz, adds shine and just enough texture, while leaving hair looking and feeling natural. A little goes a long way: I just apply two small drops each morning, blow-dry and I’m good to go.