I’m not a beauty or lifestyle blogger. Fashion is the furthest thing from my mind for 99% of the day, save for the 45-60 seconds I spend each morning making sure I haven’t put on any of my clothes inside out or backwards. This stems largely from my upbringing in a blue-collar household where the scent of motor oil and wood varnish were not only common smells, but also appropriate substitutes for cologne.
As I’ve grown, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for being clean. I shower nearly daily (save for the occasional lazy weekend day), which would have caused my stepmother to label me as one of those “pinko-commie hippies” (read: someone who doesn’t vote Republican). However, without my cleanliness rituals such as showering, I don’t believe I’d be nearly as successful as I am today.
Many of the bloggers I follow are females who will post the occasional post about their “empties” (like this one). These posts/videos discuss their takes on recently used health and beauty products, and the author then gives their recommendations to those products which they enjoyed. That said, these posts are typically targeted toward women, leaving a void in the blogging world full of modern, sophisticated gentlemen looking for hygiene advice.
That’s where I’m here to help. Below I’ve shared reviews of a few products I’ve used and my genuine opinions on them. These reviews are meant to be candid and direct, and I feel it’s a great way to help each of you develop a new mindset towards hygiene.
I admit, I was a bit skeptical of soap at first. Everything I’ve heard about soap in the past involves how you shouldn’t drop it in a prison shower, so I immediately associate soap with criminal activity. I’m not a criminal, so why would I want it on my body?
Here’s a fun fact: soap can get dirt off your body. Seriously.
Who fucking knew, right?
In my search to learn more about soap, I discovered that there are numerous kinds of soap available — legally — across the United States. For me, it’s a tie between bar soap and liquid soap, though I must admit that foaming soap is an incredibly amusing novelty item. Soap is a great item for those of you with skin and are looking for a way to remove your day’s labors from that skin, all without the harsh effects that knives or acid sometimes can leave behind.
This one surprised me a little. I’ve always heard of water for drinking. I use water on a daily basis for cooking. But use it along with soap to clean yourself? That’s the devil’s work right there.
Yet, despite what the corn syrup lobby will tell you, water really is the best liquid with which to wash the aforementioned soap off your skin with. Because water is easily absorbed into pretty much anything, drying yourself after cleaning is a breeze. Likewise, water makes up over 70% of our planet. It’s like the Earth is practically telling us to use it wastefully!
One word of caution, particularly to those of you who have never dabbled in water-based cleaning activities before. While boiling water is great for cooking and cold water is great for drinking, I recommend a more neutral temperature for bathing or showering. Apparently the body has a reaction called “shock” that can occur when it comes into contact with water if it’s at an “unnatural” temperature. A bath drawn at 100 degrees Fahrenheit — or just above natural body temperature — or marginally warmer is best.
So I got started in this whole soap craze while trying to learn to be a sophisticated gentleman, and it was wonderful. I did, however, experience a bit of an unexpected problem along the way. Before regular showers, my hair was greasy and oily, just like a good deep dish pizza. Unfortunately, the fairer sex apparently finds this “unappealing” and “gross”, which are both derogatory terms that essentially tell you that you’re doing it wrong. I tried using soap to clean my hair, however, it left my hair rather dry, which is also “unappealing” and “gross”, or so I’m told.
It was only after much trial and error that I stumbled upon shampoo. For those who haven’t heard of this item, don’t be scared. Shampoo comes from the Latin “sham” meaning fake and “poo” meaning feces. Like real fecal matter, shampoo will leave your hair with a glossy, youthful glow. However, unlike poo, which is readily available and has an unpleasant smell, shampoo is only found in the controlled environment of a bottle, and has little residue other than appealing scents such as mandarin orange, mint, or freedom.
As is the case with soap, shampoo is most easily removed from hair via water, though in a pinch there are products known as “dry shampoos” which may be used with no water around. These are particularly useful near an open flame, or in other environments where water is not readily available.