Few of us want to spend hours in front of the mirror primping or spend hundreds of pounds at a salon. So here are some easy grooming tips that will help you to look polished, refined and youthful – without investing a lot of money or time. Some are for men only, some for women only, and some are for both.

1. Timing is everything

Keep track of the amount of time you spend ‘grooming’, and stop at 45 minutes. That's the most it should ever take to shower, take care of your skin, apply make-up and style your hair.

Any longer, and you need to get an easier haircut, use less make-up and cut down to one skincare product.

Read more: How to cut time and organise your grooming routine

 

2. A close shave

Shave slowly, with short strokes, and rinse the blade often in hot water. Your skin is not flat, so long strokes increase your chances of cuts or scrapes.

Try not to press down with the blade, especially around sensitive areas.

Read more: Learn to shave properly

3. Shower substitute

If you have no time for a shower but need to be at your freshest, fill your sink with water and add 4 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate. Then dip a sponge or washer in the sink and rub yourself down.

 

4. Smelly feet

Ward off smelly feet with odour-absorbing insoles. Foot odour is a very common problem. Keep your feet smelling fresh by scrubbing them daily and drying them completely when you get out of the shower.

Then insert odour-absorbing insoles, such as Odor-Eaters, into your shoes.

(How to keep your feet sweet)

5. Nail it

Schedule a weekly manicure and a monthly pedicure. This works for men and women. You can do it yourself, but a professional will always do a better job.

The simple detail of well-filed nails, clean cuticles and smooth toenails (if you're wearing open-toed shoes) tells bosses, colleagues and clients that you care about the little as well as the big things.

 

6. Circulation is key

Wear loose-fitting clothes to allow air to circulate around your body and perspiration to evaporate.

Tight-fitting clothing causes sweat to be trapped in a film on your skin, which can result in body odour or embarrassing perspiration stains.

 

7. Go natural

Buy clothes made from natural fibres such as cotton. They allow skin to breathe, reducing body odour. Avoid synthetic, man-made fibres, such as nylon or Lycra, which may limit ventilation.

8. Antipersperipant 

Apply antiperspirant when your underarms are a little moist and wet, for example, just after a warm shower or bath. It enables the active ingredients to enter the sweat glands more readily.

 

9. Avoid direct sun

Avoid sitting in direct sunlight. It heats your body and causes perspiration, especially in warmer weather.

 

10. Cornflour = Stay drier

Apply a cornflour-based body powder in the morning to help your skin stay drier throughout the day and to reduce odour.

 

11. Take up yoga 

The stress management training will help you control perspiration and body odour better. After heat, stress is probably the top cause of sweating.

 

12. Surgical spirit

Wipe a cotton wool ball soaked in surgical spirit onto your underarms during the day to cut down on odour-causing bacteria. Or try witch hazel or tea-tree oil, both of which help to keep you dry, kill bacteria and deodorise.

13. Greens clean

Prepare some greens for dinner each night. Dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, parsley and kale are rich in chlorophyll, which has a powerful deodorising effect on the body.

(Find out how greens can keep you smelling fresh)

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