It’s nearly impossible for any man on the go to test even a fraction of the grooming products that come out each year. That’s why we asked industry veteran Wesley Rowell of Manhattan’s New London Pharmacy (246 Eighth Avenue, 212-243-4987, www.newlondonpharmacy.com) to pick the best new scrubs, gels, and cleansers on the market. While a few may seem pricey, Rowell notes, “A comparison with a drugstore brand would reveal that most of those products contain fillers -- mineral oil that clogs the pores, foaming agents that are drying,” he says. “So you generally have to use much more product, and they actually become more expensive in the long run.”
HAIR “The new hair and shower gel from Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Intensa fragrance line smells great and cleans even better. It’s an understated sexy.” $43. www.acquadiparma.com
CLEANSER “You’ll never use soap again after using Jane Iredale’s H\E Wash Glove. It’s a microfiber cloth that takes off grime but doesn’t strip off needed barriers.” $15. www.janeiredale.com
SCRUB “The world’s best scrub, hands down, is Sharps Daily Prep Foaming Scrub. It exfoliates, cleans, foams, and refreshes. Seriously, it’s like having a facial.” $29. www.sharpsusa.com
FACE GEL “All the makeup artists use Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel on models to keep their faces from looking like an oil slick -- but it’s also a secret weapon for anyone who shaves their head.” $35. www.peterthomasroth.com
PRESHAVE “John Allan’s Slickwater is excellent. It’s marketed as a preshave product, but I’ve used it as a shaving oil and it worked great, even on a five-day beard. Highly recommended.” $28. www.johnallans.com
SHAVE “The Organic Pharmacy Shaving Cream is phenomenal. It’s organic and has no drag, no stickiness, and after you rinse it off, it’s so moisturizing that you don’t really need aftershave or face cream.” $39. www.theorganicpharmacy.com
DEODORANT “The best deodorant I have ever used is Liebling from Julisis. It’s 100 percent organic and has no sticky residue.” $40. www.newlondonpharmacy.com
Blades of Glory
Call me old-fashioned, but I’m a bit dubious of any product based on the “it isn’t broken, but we’re gonna fix it anyway” model. Chief among those is the burgeoning flock of exotic five-blade razors. In case you haven’t heard, the Art of Shaving has a $150 Gillette-branded 1Fusion Chrome Power Razor with a chrome-polished, thermo-resin, micropulsing handle, and a built-in flashlight (presumably for those moments when you need to shave in a blackout). Funny enough, when I revved up the little AAA-powered buzzer, it actually provided a fairly effortless shave, even over the delicate reaches of my neckline. (Just don’t push too hard; you might whack out a divot of flesh.) Personally, I like to finish off my upper lip with my trusted 2 Braun Series 7 Pulsonic dry shaver ($270). The 790cc motor puts out 10,000 microvibrations a minute and mows down up to a 10-day growth without a hiccup. It even has an Energy Star–rated charging dock/ cleaner for you green shavers.
If you don’t want bad vibrations around your mug, then I recommend John Allan’s chic, anodized zinc 3 63 R Series Razor ($195). Inspired by 1960s-era Aston Martins, the gunmetal black, Mach 3 cartridge-friendly handle has a near-perfect handfeel. I like it so much I gave one to my father for Christmas. Of course, he’s still using those blue plastic disposables he buys in bulk at Costco.