Skip to main content

Cut the clutter: The only men’s grooming tools you need (and what to skip)

Do you have too many hair, skin, and beard care products? Trim down your toolbox to these 7 essentials

Grooming helps you look your version of clean — whether bare-faced, streamlined, scruffy, or something in the middle. There’s a tool and product for everything these days, from razors and beard trimmers to endless skincare products that promise to help you look and feel your best.

That’s great and all, but if you buy all the skin, hair, and beard care products under the sun, you may feel like your toolbox needs a little grooming. Knowing which grooming tools for men are essential can help you pare down the items in your arsenal, streamline your routine, and make you less stressed in the process. (FYI: Stress can affect your skin, according to research.)

Consider this your guide to the essential men’s grooming tools — and which purported must-haves are unnecessary.

men's grooming tools on black background
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Which men’s grooming tools are necessary?

No matter your grooming goals, you shouldn’t skip a few items.

A razor

Whether you want facial hair or a smooth-as-peanut-butter shave, the right razor is a staple men’s grooming tool. The debate over which is best — more or fewer blades, electric or manual — is one of the fiercest in the beard care products world. However, there’s no need to split hairs. The truth is that the best razor will vary from person to person. It may take some trial and error to find your Goldilocks razor. However, once you find the one for you, ditch the rest to cut down on clutter. Just be share to have spare razor blades and replace them as needed to keep your product as fresh as your face.

Beard trimmer

When it comes to beard care products, trimmers are a power tool. What’s the difference between a trimmer and a razor? Beard trimmers have thinner blades and cut closer to the skin than a razor, helping you shape and fine-tune your look (even if your look doesn’t involve facial hair). They nix pesky fine hairs and allow you to put off trips to the barber a little longer. You can also use them to trim sideburns and body hair elsewhere.


Washing twice per day and after sweating with a gentle cleanser will keep your face in tip-top shape. When it comes to skincare products, it’s best to cater the ingredients to your specific needs. Because of their hydrating benefits, cleansers with hyaluronic acid are perfect for regular or dry skin. Ones with benzoyl peroxide can help fight adult acne.


Moisturizers go on after your cleanser and are another must-have skincare product for men, whether you have dry skin or not. People with oily or acne-prone skin may want to steer clear — avoid the temptation to follow suit. Not moisturizing can further damage the skin barrier, making it easier for pores to get clogged. Additionally, acne products like retinol can dry out skin, making moisturizers essential.

Body wash

Consider body washes moisturizers for the rest of your body, and many smell great to boot. However, unscented may be best if you’re prone to irritation, have sensitive skin, or have conditions like eczema. Use a gentle one rather than an exfoliant, which can stripe and dry out the skin when used daily.


SPF is essential to protect the skin against sun damage, even in the winter or on a cloudy day. The sun’s rays peek through clouds and office and car windows, exposing your skin to risks like cancer and premature aging. The good news? Daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF keeps you safe. Re-apply every two hours and after sweating or going in the water if you’re spending a ton of time in the sun, such as on a Caribbean winter escape or during the summer.

Shampoo and conditioner

Yes, you need both hair care products even if you don’t have hair. The shampoo actually cleans your scalp, while a dollop of conditioner can help ward off flakes. Again, cater your shampoo to your needs. For example, people with dandruff will benefit from a specialized shampoo.

a shower loofa on a wooden floor
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Men’s grooming tools to skip

Sometimes, less is more — and curating your grooming toolbox is one of those times. You can probably keep these three items out of it:

  • Serums: Serums promise to hydrate skin, but they’re unnecessary as long as you’re applying moisturizer twice per day.
  • Supplements for hair loss: The supplement industry is booming in the dietary and grooming spaces. However, supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, and their quality and efficacy can vary. Discuss hair loss issues with a dermatologist and barber first. If you’re interested in taking any supplements, always run them by a healthcare provider first — supplements can negatively interact with some medications.
  • Loofas: These shower staples need not be. Washcloths work just fine. They are easier to clean and accumulate less bacteria, making them better for the skin.

There are plenty of reasons why your grooming toolbox may be overflowing. Clever marketing makes you think certain items in the skin and hair care products aisle are absolute must-haves when they’re really just clutter. The holidays and birthdays are also ripe for receiving travel and mini-versions of grooming products that can add up over the years. However, scaling back on the number of tools in your box can eliminate clutter and ensure you’re not overdoing your grooming routine. Items like razors and SPF are crucial. Serums, supplements, and loofas are unnecessary. If you’re concerned about hair and skincare issues, speak with a dermatologist. They can point you in the right direction of treatments, products, and ingredients that may help you — or help you accept your body as it is.

Editors' Recommendations

BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
Upgrade your daily routine with products from these amazing Black-owned grooming brands
Check out these quality men's grooming products
Man using face cream

Recently, we have been shedding light on Black-owned businesses, from Black-owned fashion upstarts to Black-owned beverage brands and everything in between. We are continuing to learn how to support Black communities, and one way to do that is to patronize Black-owned businesses, especially in the grooming industry. Black culture has had a huge impact on grooming and beauty, but there are still many great Black-owned businesses that still don't get as much recognition as other legacy brands.

Below, we shine a light on several Black-owned brands that are putting out some of the best grooming products for men. These professionals not only fill voids for Black skincare left in the mainstream personal care aisle but also strive to make the world a little bit better than they found it.

Read more
Dr. Tusk, The Art of Shaving, Cremo, and more: Here are some of the best aftershave balms for men
Don't get burned! Get better with these soothing and healing aftershave balms
Bald man shaving face over sink

Like any of life's pursuits, looking our best means keeping the right tools handy. If keeping your face clean-shaven is your ideal, you'll need more than just the best razor to get an efficient shave. Your shaving regimen isn't really complete without using one of the best aftershave balms, a critical step in keeping your skin fresh, hydrated, and in the best shape possible following a close shave. Which one is best for you? Here are a few things to think about before you start shopping for your next aftershave balm.

Shaving can overly irritate the skin, especially if you’re not careful or properly equipped. (Black men in particular can benefit from using one of these moisturizing balms — rather than a drying, alcohol-based, classic aftershave — as part of keeping skin in great shape and fighting ingrown hairs.) Use one of the aftershave balms we recommend below to deliver comfort and relief. These aftershave balms are designed to target problem areas and cool down the skin while hydrating, moisturizing, and protecting your skin, fighting the wear and tear of climate and aging. Change the way you shave by adding one of the best aftershave balms to your essential grooming products, then thank us later.

Read more
Massage for men: What you need to know before you book
Whether you were injured or are just feeling a bit sore, a massage should be in your future
A man getting a massage.

You’re training regularly, getting your workouts in, or maybe just starting a new regime, and recognize that even with regular stretching, certain muscles are still pretty stiff and uncomfortable. Ice packs, heating pads, and everything else you've tried aren't working. It sounds like time to try a specific massage for men to get those knots undone.

No worries. We have everything you need to know about getting a basic massage. We spoke to licensed massage therapist Rich Kiamco, who trained at the Swedish Institute in New York, to get his expert opinion on the proper types of massage for a man, whether you need one due to muscle soreness from old age or your fitness journey.

Read more