Bushwacking

A few tips for taming bits 
of the man jungle.

By Wendy Duren | November 1, 2017

Unless you want your bits to look like moonscape instead of manscape, 
spend some quality time with your skin.

Hey, fellas? I’d like to chat with you about an educational film my junior high health class was forced to watch: Some of Your Bits Ain’t Nice. The filmmakers wanted to impress upon our puberty-laden minds that washing hands, brushing teeth, and bathing were central to attractiveness. At that time cleanliness was all it took to not be repellent. In the intervening years, like every other aspect of life, personal grooming has gotten more complicated. So has the maintaining of bits. Thus what I’d like to impress on you is that some of your bits still aren’t nice and need more than a bar of soap to make them presentable.

For bits of unwanted hair: Hair inside your nostrils serves a profound purpose. Nose hair outside your nostrils, however, is gross. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pour Homme Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer ($33, Macy’s) is a hand-operated tool that can rid you of unsightly strays. Though it looks like a miniature threshing machine, you control the rotation of the covered blades and there’s little chance of pinching or cutting your skin.

Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer ($45, ernestsupplies.com) follows the “For Men” packaging edict perfectly by resembling an army ration in an apocalypse-resistant foil pouch that Mad Max might carry. More importantly, this lotion provides moisture while controlling oil without making your face look mannequin matte.

Kiehl’s Razor Bump Relief ($27.50, Saks Fifth Avenue) needs no explanation. It just works. Use wherever shaving causes irritation, or if you have recurring spots, as it works as a preventive in addition to relieving the burn itself. Do keep in mind that this is also a mild exfoliant containing salicylic acid … so keep it away from your most tender flesh.

For manscaping bits: If you choose to be waxed bare — or somewhat trimmed — down below, skip ahead. For everyone else, let’s talk about shaving your delicate bits. Scraping a razor over skin anywhere on your body needs to be treated just like scraping a razor across your face. You need to prepare, shave, and moisturize. First, if your manscape is longer than a razor can handle, trim the hair with scissors. Then clean with your favorite body wash, preferably one that nourishes, like Wanderer Awakening Body Cleanser ($9.50, dollarshaveclub.com). Next, Kiehl’s Close-Shavers Squadron Blue Eagle for Sensitive Skin ($16, Saks Fifth Avenue) is a fragrance-free shave cream that doesn’t lather or foam up. The lack of lather will allow you to see where you’re going with the razor. Finish with Tranquility Body Oil ($80, ayrskincare.com), a dry oil that slips on, dries quickly, and won’t leave a greasy film. The macadamia nut oil and olive-derived squalene can be used daily to moisturize and rejuvenate skin.

For bits of swampiness: Try to think of Chassis Premium Body Powder for Men ($18, amazon.com) as grown-up, masculine baby powder. This can be applied anywhere you need help feeling fresh, but I suspect this body powder is applied mostly to the bathing suit area. The first two ingredients of this finely milled soft powder are cornstarch and silica. Both are drying agents that will eliminate the debilitating humidity in your skivvies.

For bits of dry, hardened skin on your feet: Since the desert provides us with the opportunity to wear flip-flops and sandals year-round, take care of rough patches with Pro FootCare Colossal Pedicure Rasp ($8, amazon.com). As the name suggests, this is a big tool that could easily be mistaken for something that belongs in a woodshop or a really nice cheese shop. This takes down tough, coarse skin quickly. You’ll reach virgin flesh before you know it, so it is a tool that requires your full attention. But your feet will thank you … and so will anyone looking at your feet.

Go forth and make your bits nice.

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