How Grooming Is Helping Men Rethink Mental Health

Everybody’s skin needs a bit of nurturing every once in a while, regardless of their gender. At ChitoCare Beauty, we realize that caring for your skin is about more than just moisturizing – it’s about showing yourself some love and feeling good. Like the ancient Greeks used to say: healthy mind in a healthy body.  

People often think that concepts like pampering, grooming, skin care and beauty are only for women, but this is a myth. Sure, a large chunk of products is marketed towards women but, up until recently, that had more to do with people’s perceptions of self-care and less to do with any rigid differences between what men and women need to remain healthy and happy. In light of Men's Mental Health Day (June 13) and as more and more new products are hitting the market aiming to meet the real personal care needs of modern men, it’s time to shine a light on how grooming practices can help boost male self-love and inner confidence.  

Transforming perceptions of masculinity and mental health

From skincare companies teaming up with non-profit organizations to raise awareness around mental health issues, and emerging male grooming brands aligning their products with impactful social messages, to barber collectives training their barbers to recognize, listen to and talk about symptoms of depression, the face of male grooming is truly changing. And, as younger generations are increasingly more open about mental and physical check-ins, skin care is proving to be a new gateway to self-care and awareness. Younger men are practicing self-care more regularly than older generations, who traditionally did not view such practices as masculine and rejected them. 

This transformation has come hot on the heels of men redefining notions and norms around masculinity, male beauty and self-care. Given the stigma that surrounds mental health issues in men, finding new ways to approach the matter is encouraging and, in some cases, desperately needed. Some of the most serious problems that men face today centre around mental health: from struggling with low self-esteem and substance abuse to anxiety and depression, even suicide. The silence that often comes alongside these problems only compounds them further. Studies have shown that self-care practices can have a positive effect on one’s psychology and these include grooming.  

The importance of a self-care routine 

Taking time to make yourself look good can be a great way to making yourself feel good too. The Covid-19 lockdown highlighted just how important it is to maintain a routine, for both a healthy mind and a healthy body. A hygiene, workout or grooming ritual is good for the mind, keeping it occupied with positive engagement and helping release endorphins – that happy hormone that boosts your mood and comes from pleasurable activities, like exercising, laughing, grooming, sex and meditation. 

Having a daily or weekly grooming plan can also be comforting, as it creates a sense of stability and positive expectation. Women often site grooming as a time to think and reflect, paying attention to their mental needs as much as their beauty needs. When people feel ugly or dissatisfied with their own self-image, their mental health declines, making them less likely to spend time taking care of themselves and creating a vicious cycle. Therefore, developing a simple but effective personal care routine can go a long way in maintaining not just healthy skin but a healthy mind as well. 

The future of male grooming 

Grooming can also be a great bonding experience, whether that’s with friends down at the barber shop or with children and teens who are developing their hygiene knowledge. Primates often spend time grooming each other, strengthening their personal and social bonds and, deep down, humans are no different. Teaching your son that self-care is an act of kindness and not a weakness can be a powerful experience for both of you. Teaching him how to shave correctly, showing him that there is nothing wrong with taking some time to feel beautiful, or simply discussing the fact that there will be bad hair days in life (both literally and metaphorically) are great ways of connecting and bonding.  

What’s more, it demonstrates that asking for help is a sign of bravery and that offering help is a sign of caring. Having a positive male role model to look up to and learn from is a major part of child and teen development and sharing moments of self-care can both improve adult mental health and provide boys and young men with valuable lessons that can help them as they grow older.  

Finding a grooming routine that's right for you

Grooming does not have to take exceptionally long or involve elaborate practices and expensive products. The important thing is to develop a basic grooming routine that makes you feel good, with products that suit your needs. If you’re unsure of what all this entails, you can easily find lots of information online – from quizzes helping you figure out what kind of skin type you have, to product suggestions, grooming tips and tricks, and simple step-by-step guides. Whether you’re looking for shinier hair, a clearer complexion, softer hands or a routine that covers a bit of everything, the end-goal is to show yourself some love.