How to Be a Well-Groomed Groom

When it comes to wedding day beauty, the glowing bride gets most of the attention. But it's the groom's special day, too, and all eyes will be glued to both man and wife during the ceremony.
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When it comes to wedding day beauty, the glowing bride gets most of the attention. But it's the groom's special day, too, and all eyes will be glued to both man and wife during the ceremony. Groom-to-be, here's how to ensure you'll look dashing on your wedding day and equally dapper decades later in those wedding photos.

The shave

Razor bumps are enough to annoy us on a typical day, let alone a day as special as our wedding. But the good news is, there are plenty of easy ways to avoid skin irritation and get the perfect shave. The easiest is to leave your shave in the hands of a barber.

Although barbershops have been on the decline ever since Gillette began selling the at-home safety razor in 1904, these specialty men's grooming shops have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity -- and for good reason. As a physician and a clean-shaven man, I can attest to the benefits of visiting a barber.

First and foremost, it's great for your skin. Any good barber will start by applying a warm towel, a cleansing product to your face, and a moisturizer to your beard --the equivalent of a mini-facial. By properly preparing your skin for your shave, the barber is helping you avoid those unsightly red bumps caused when the blade irritates your skin. After prepping your face, the barber will use a single blade to give you a shave much closer than you could achieve at home. And before he sends you out the door, he most likely will wrap your face in another warm towel, apply a bit more moisturizer and give you a quick face massage. You'll walk out the door with a moisturized, clean, smooth face. It's a much more pleasant experience for our skin than the typical shave-and-go at-home technique, and as an added bonus, could relax away some of your wedding-day jitters.

Whether you're shaving at home or visiting a barber, make sure to shave according to your hair's growth rate. If your stubble comes in quickly, shave the morning of your wedding to avoid having a 5 o'clock shadow by the time your reception rolls around. If you're prone to red bumps and can't make it to a barber, properly moisturize your face before and after your shave, and shave the night before if possible to minimize any visible redness.

The skin

Lately, I've heard a lot of grooms talk about using prescriptions to cure breakouts or clear their skin. Sure, products such as Prednisone could give you a smoother complexion, but they could also cause side effects or react poorly with your body. Rather than take a leap of faith and try a product you've never experienced before, implement this simply four-step skin care routine a month out of your wedding day. This is sure to kill the chances of you having a My Big Fat Greek Wedding-style pimple appear the morning of your wedding.

Nourish: What you put into your body has a major effect on your skin. To keep your skin clear and healthy, start incorporating these foods into your diet a month before your wedding: dark greens such as spinach and broccoli, antioxidant-rich foods like red beans, pinto beans and berries, and omega 3 fatty acid boosters like salmon and nuts. As an added bonus, these foods are just as good for your physique as they are for your skin!

To provide the deepest skin nourishment, begin and end your day by cleansing your face -- and no, a bar of soap doesn't suffice! Unlike that bar of Ivory, a facial cleanser preserves the lipid layers that protect your skin. After you cleanse, apply a light moisturizer.

Moisturize: Put down the coffee, beer or soda and grab that bottle of water. Water is your best friend when it comes to keeping your skin from getting too dry. In addition to ramping up your water intake, also use a moisturizer daily to trap the existing water in your skin. This should be the last step in your everyday routine, right after you use a cleanser.

Protect: Not only do UV rays cause signs of aging such as wrinkles, but they can also give your skin a not-so-pretty red tint on the most important day of your life. To avoid looking like a lobster in your wedding photos, apply a 30+ SPF before going outdoors in the month before your marriage date, reapplying the product every few hours if you absolutely need to spend a prolonged period out in the sun.

Treat: If your skin typically experiences issues (these can range from acne to wrinkles or sun damage), seek out the products that will minimize them. If you're worried about your signs of aging, for instance, look for a product that has active ingredients that will stimulate or boost your collagen. The most important thing is to ensure your product has active ingredients -- otherwise, your skin won't reap any real benefits.

If you implement this simply daily routine a month before your trip down the aisle, your skin will look just as energetic and full of life as you are. And, of course, this regimen should be kept up past your big day for the best results.

The haircut

Aside from the properly fitted suit, the hair is probably the most important aspect of a groom's pre-marriage grooming. Get your cut about five days before your wedding ceremony, a time frame that will allow your hair to settle into its cut properly without growing out too much or losing its shape.

When it comes to hair, don't reinvent the wheel. Go to a hair stylist you've used before to ensure you get a quality cut. Also, resist the urge to try a new hairstyle unless you're absolutely sure you'll be able to live with the outcome. After all, you want to look like you in your wedding day photos, not a bad version of the latest trend. That extreme fade could look cool now, but how will it look decades from now in your photos? Classic is best.

With your skin, hair and shave all looking their best, you'll impress your bride-to-bride as the well-groomed groom she's always dreamed of.

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