Men's Health 2021 Grooming Awards –

Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.
We tested thousands of products to find the very best for you and the planet.

SHOW OF HANDS, GUYS—who here spent the past year cutting their own hair, growing out their beard, or trying out a new grooming product just because lockdown life seemed as good a time as any to mix things up? Yeah, us too. And what we found were a ton of items that made us feel fresher and look better. Our team tested thousands of grooming products to keep that momentum going and help you look, feel, and smell your best.

WHEN HAIR STYLES change, so do the products you need to wash and style it. You may have buzzed it all off or let it grow to new lengths, but either way, these will help your ‘do do the most.
Whether you have fine or thinning hair, or just want to pump up the volume a little bit, this shampoo helps make hair actually look fuller and doesn’t leave residue that could weigh hair down.
This thick cream leaves hair smooth and soft, and it has potent restorative powers. A tester with dry hair said just one treatment hydrated it—and kept it that way the whole day.
There’s no shame in skipping shampoo for a few days when all your meetings are on Zoom, but after a while dirt, oil, and product can build up. This pre-shampoo serum gets rid of buildup without messy granules that can get caught in your hair and leaves your scalp feeling good as new.
A cleanser that doesn’t leave your hair or skin feeling dry after a shower is enough reason to be excited, but this two-in-one product took the top spot because the cardamom and cedarwood scent blew away our testers. It smells more like a fancy cologne than any soap we’ve ever tried.
Anyone with curly hair knows that traditional shampoo can dry out their hair, leaving it frizzy and crispy. This rich conditioning cleanser not only leaves curls clean, but it also keeps them healthy and hydrated. It’s so rich you won’t even need a conditioner afterward.
This cream actually is weightless when smoothed into hair and leaves no greasy residue, even as it keeps hair hydrated and smooth. The hold is just enough to keep hair in place for hours with a natural matte finish—the ideal combination for both long and short hair.
Even our pickiest testers loved this light hold pomade, which allows you to create a variety of looks depending on how much you use (start with a little bit for a flexible, natural hold). The scent is top-notch and the packaging is sleek and cool, all of which make this a must-have.
 Too many goops and clays we tested either sat heavy on the head or were too light to hold hair in place. This sturdy paste kept styles stable, and the subtle coconut scent is nice, too.
Instead of leaving your head crunchy and shellacked the way other gels we tested did, this one works with the natural texture of your hair. Plus, it’s alcohol-free, so it won’t dry you out.
The botanical ingredients in this serum not only help balance your scalp but also curb hair loss and promote growth. What we love best about it, though, is that it immediately makes hair look shinier and healthier, so your hair is at its best while the serum goes to work.
Adding texture to any length of hair is easy with this wax, which delivers a light hold but doesn’t make your hair look greasy. And since it comes out of a pump instead of a jar, it’s easier to smooth through your hair without clumps.
Dehydration transforms curls into frizz. This oil-rich spray delivers moisture quickly, without turning your head into a grease trap.
Somehow this hairspray manages to hold your hair in place all day without making it feel crispy, crunchy, or sticky. No matter what kind of hair you have or what style you wear it in, finishing up with a shot of this ensures you don’t have to duck into the bathroom to restyle during your lunch break.
We’re not exactly sure how this hair dryer can tell which hairs are wet and which are not (something to do with AI), but we were blown away that the technology really does work. It automatically adjusts heat levels as hair dries to prevent overdrying and hair damage.
Men’s Health readers can’t get enough Baxter of California products for their hair, and we especially love this spray. Spray it on your hands and then run the product through your hair for instant texture and volume like a salt spray, but with more hold.
After a consultation with an actual professional colorist over video chat, a mixed dye kit with instructions will show up at your door to help you cover up those grays or go Frank Ocean blond.
This tube contains a three-month supply of shampoo concentrate that bursts into lather as soon as it touches wet hair.
“I’m a big fan of experimenting, but I always go back to Malin+ Goetz Sage Styling Cream when I want a light hold and have longer hair.” —Pedro Rosario, barber and director of operations for Shortcut

IT’S TEMPTING TO neglect showering when you have nowhere to go, but if we’ve learned anything, it’s that good shower body products are just as much about how they make you feel as how well they freshen you up.
This isn’t the Axe of your high school days. It’s refreshing but not over powering—and surprisingly long-lasting.
One tester reported not needing as much lotion after a shower because this fragrance-free bar had already done the job.
A high protection factor, 80 minutes of water and sweat resistance, and a fresh scent make this your go-to sunscreen for running, yard work, and al fresco dinner dates.
Use it as a spot remedy for your hands when they become too dry and cracked from all the sanitizer.
Other deodorants without aluminum can be pasty and oily, but this rollerball goes on clear and won’t rub off or stain.
As promised on the tube, this actually stops sweat for nearly 48 hours, even after a tough workout.
The scrubbing particles in this scentless scrub are so small they feel almost like sand. It makes for a smoother scrubbing experience that leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean. Bonus points for disappearing down the shower drain with no trace (or cleanup).
The features of this trimmer are like a checklist for everything you need when it comes to below-the-neck (or below-the-belt) trimming: a whopping 20 length options, wrap around guards to prevent nicks and cuts, a safe-touch blade for trimming sensitive areas painlessly, and it’s waterproof for use in the shower.
Molton Brown got top honors from our readers in the body category, and with good reason. This classic body wash just smells rich—the combination of pine, leather, and tobacco is more like an expensive cologne than a body wash and scents your skin accordingly.
Our testers thought finding a sanitizer that moisturizes your hands was impossible. Then they discovered this.
This thick, head-to-toe balm is moisturizing due to shea butter and coconut oil, which sink into skin quickly.
“Old Spice Clinical Sweat De- fense delivers the protection of a prescription-strength deodorant/ antiperspirant. It’s saved me in a few sticky situations.” —Corey L. Hartman, M.D., dermatologist and Men’s Health advisor

YOUR FRONT-FACING camera reveals a variety of evils, including some we’d never even heard of before (maskne, anyone?). The best face products can make even the most stressed-out skin look its best, no filter needed.

Plant-based ingredients like cucumber and seaweed extract gently cleanse your skin without leaving it tight or dry.
Unlike other contenders in the category, this tub keeps your face hydrated all day. It’s fragrance-free, too, so it’s safe for sensitive skin.
The botanicals and oils in this balm work while you sleep to repair your skin barrier and soothe irritated skin. Use it when your skin feels or looks dry, and wake up ready to Zoom with smooth, hydrated skin.
The super tiny scrubbing crystals in this gentle exfoliator smooth away dead skin cells without irritating or stripping your face. After just one use, facial skin looks brighter and clearer, and it feels exponentially smoother but not stripped of its natural oils.
What we love most about this exfoliator is how easy it is to use. Put it on before bed (top it with moisturizer) and the gentle exfoliating acids work overnight to clear away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and down inside your pores, too. No waiting or rinsing required.
Some screens with a high SPF can make your face feel as if you’re wearing the bandages from the Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show. This daily sunscreen is lightweight, not thick and goopy, equally suited for relaxing at and running on the beach
This clay mask has botanicals and vitamins in it, but the big thing is cacao. That means the mix smells like chocolate, so using it weekly as recommended to deep-clean your pores is no big thing.
How this mask feels on your face (pretty damn good) is reason enough to use it, but the ingredients like oil-controlling tea tree oil and anti-aging vitamin B3 help leave your skin looking great even after you take it off. We’re partial to using them after a long day to help refresh our faces and moods.
This salve contains niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 and an anti-inflammatory. Give it a couple of days to do its thing and you’ll notice dark circles brighten and puffiness fade.
The texture and scent of this balm earned it high praise from testers, but what really put it over the top was the shape of the tube. It’s an oval, so getting balm to the corners of your mouth, where it cracks easily, is a breeze.
Our testers tried a lot of serums, like a lot, and this one out performed even the expensive ones, thanks to it’s lightweight texture, subtle botanical scent, and ability to instantly hydrate even the driest and most wind-chapped faces. 
When used together, the three products in this powerhouse system start working from day one to squash acne and leave skin looking smoother and clearer. By themselves, the cleanser, clarifying solution and spot treatment are top notch. Together, they’re acne’s worst enemy.
Adding a retinol to your nightly routine doesn’t need to be difficult. Case in point: this easy to use solution is lightweight and powerful, but still suitable for someone who has never used one before. Our testers reported great results with no peeling or irritation
This gel fades dreaded dark marks caused by maskne and sun damage, using ingredients like kojic acid and niacinamide to even out your complexion.
Spritz a bit of this on your face or mask before you put it on to curb the bacteria that might cause maskne and irritation.
SkinBetter Science Solo Hydrating Defense Men is the one moisturizer I’ve used consis- tently. It has a matte finish and data supporting its antioxidant capabilities.” —Evan A. Rieder, M.D., dermatologist

THERE WAS NEVER a better time than this past year to grow a beard or mustache just to see how it would look. Whether you’re keeping the whiskers or itching to get back to a smooth face, these products will help.
Don’t let the simple ingredient list fool you. This rich cream creates a full, even lather that makes shaving a breeze and protects your skin from irritation. Once it’s washed off, it leaves skin feeling soft and protected.
It’s clear, so you can actually see what you’re doing with your razor, and it chases your shave with a soothing, tingling effect to neutralize irritation.
You pick the razor head depending on the task at hand. Four blades were good for a super-close shave that lasted two days without irritation. Turn to the six-blader for anything hairier.
You’ll smell like a steak dinner (in a good way) with this oil.
If you’re a fan of the classic Burt’s Bees lip balm or just sick of over-fragranced beard products, this lightly scented balm is for you. A little goes a long way, but even if you go a bit overboard it doesn’t leave your skin or whiskers looking greasy.
This trimmer has enough power to cut through even the thickest hair to get the exact look you want. The quick-change dial toggles through 19 length settings quickly, and the perfect weight distribution and grip ensure it doesn’t slip out of your hand. One tester called it the “best trimmer I’ve ever used.
For an oil this thick and rich, you’d expect it to feel heavy on your skin. Surprisingly, this one provides a robust layer of protection from your razor, but washes away easily without making your skin feel greasy.
After trying so many razors, what our testers really needed was a good post-shave balm. They loved this one best because the thin formula is easy to apply and it instantly calmed down their skin, making it feel soothed and hydrated.
Gentle exfoliating acids prevent ingrown hairs. And it’s smooth and lightweight enough to wear under your regular moisturizer.
If you think you can’t get a close shave with an electric razor, you haven’t used this one. This five blade razor cuts so close you would swear you just had a barber shave. Use it dry or with water or shaving cream depending on your preference.
This beard buster is made of 60 percent recycled plastic. Plenty sharp, too.
There is no hell greater than trying to cut through thick stubble after a few days of not shaving. This razor is specifically designed for those times—it can cut through a week’s worth of stubble without the need to go over the same spots repeatedly and leaving your face in tatters.
A spritz of this keeps whiskers smooth, shiny, and frizz-free all day.
We learned quickly that an at-home haircut requires a seriously good clipper. This one can cut through overgrown hair and comes with 15 length guards so you can use it on your beard or body, too, and achieve near-barber-level results.
“SheaMoisture’s Full Beard Detangler has preserved my beard. It’s the perfect leave-in conditioner and protectant and minimizes unwanted breakage and dryness.” —Vernon Scott, celebrity barber

THE TRUE VALUE of a good smile is hard to overstate—both on social media and IRL. These winning products help you build a smile that looks great in a selfie, but also stays fresh under a mask.
At 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, this paste quickly removes stains without damaging your enamel or tasting like chalk.
Any skepticism about a wooden toothbrush faded after a few uses. The bristles are hardy yet delicate.
Instead of alcohol, this minty mouthwash uses aloe vera to promote gum health. Coconut oil moisturizes the insides rather than sapping them dry like booze-based rinses do.
Testers liked that you can brush the clear peroxide gel directly onto your teeth and it dissolves on its own in 30 minutes. No strips or retainers or general BS.
This brush has an automatic timer, AI-assisted teeth tracking (!), and an intuitive interface. But what we love most are the seven brush modes (daily clean, whitening, the wild-ride “intense”), which got us close to a dentist-level clean.

COLOGNES DON’T JUST make you smell good to other people, they can also transport you. And no matter where you’re going (or not going), these are guaranteed to give you a boost (and yes, make you smell good, too).

At first smell, there’s a burst of fresh green sage—but as it wears off, there’s rosewood and a metallic buzz. It’s unexpected and attention-grabbing.
It has all the notes of a classic scent—leather, woods, bergamot. Smells like a corner office.
The crisp notes of Italian bergamot and Australian sandalwood will match the beach…or the mountains.
A zap of grapefruit and a zing of fresh sage heighten the classic Polo patchouli for a scent that’s spicy, fresh, and eternally cool.
Herbaceous vetiver is at the core of this scent, but it doesn’t have the freshness you’re used to from the botanical note. This one is deeply earthy and woody, thanks to seagrass, clove leaf, and rhum agricole, and it makes you feel like you’re chilling in the tropics with a rum punch in hand.
This spray comes in varieties like coconut water and fig leaves to help you leave your workout behind.

Men’s Health readers voted hands down for Tom Ford as their favorite cologne, and with good reason: no one does luxury like Mr. Ford. We’ll be wearing this cyprus, lemon, and oakwood concoction all summer to really drive home those “I’d rather be on vacation” vibes.

Attach this to the top of your bottle to refill it three times. When you’re done, recycle it.


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