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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Attention, Guys: 8 Easy Upgrades That’ll Make You Look and Feel More Polished

Swap out your old toiletries for these elevated products. We found the best goods to upgrade your closet, bathroom and medicine cabinet at any price point.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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The one-stop shop

Guys love simplicity, which is why they’ll want to check out the double-duty beauty products that will save time and money. Or choose the brand that’s been called the “gateway drug” for men when they start to care about what they put on their face—Kiehl’s. The brand’s facial Fuel line has a long list of devotees and carries an energizing face wash ($9 to $58), a non-oily facial moisturizer ($25 to $42), an all-in-one hair and body wash ($8 to $50) and eye de-puffer ($20), among other products. Any upgrades to Kiehl’s products will make you wonder why you haven’t done this earlier.

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Splish splash

For exfoliating, Jack Black’s Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap gently polishes skin with natural lava rock. It’s similar to the pore-cleaning miracle ingredient that Korean beauty stores can’t keep in stock. It’s also $15 soap on a rope, which is easy to hang in your shower when it’s not in use. Although a bar of soap is fine, a nice body wash can elevate your shower time. Plant Apothecary’s GET HAPPY Organic Bodywash looks like a bottle of glue, but it actually is an all-natural, honey-like gel that smells like peppermint and geranium. For under $20, the smell will give you a good pick-me-up in the morning.

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An elevated acne treatment

Have you checked out these 13 surprising home remedies for acne? They might do the trick. However, if you’re serious about stopping acne-causing bacteria before your face breaks out pre-date, you’ll need an upgrade that’s better than the drugstore brands you remember from middle school. Dermatologist-created brands are typically the way to go, like BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz’s Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads for $70; a subscription that automatically refills your purchase every four, six or eight weeks drops the price down to $63. These pads won’t strip your skin of the moisture and oils it needs. Follow up with a treatment like Allies of Skin’s Promise Keeper Blemish Facial, a leave-on treatment that you rub into your skin before heading to bed. It soothes irritation, unclogs pores and fades old acne scars. At $120, the price is steep, but your skin will appreciate the investment. Speaking of, you might want to check out the best everyday skincare for men, according to a dermatologist.

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Stay smooth

The winter can be brutal to your skin—try some of these dermatologist-approved tricks for managing dry skin. If the winter air is doing a number on your hands, instead of living with dry, cracked skin or using the communal lotion bottle in the office, upgrade to Sebamed’s Hand and Nail Balm for Sensitive Skin. The lotion is moisturizing without being too heavy, and it absorbs quickly. It’s also unscented and pH balanced. For your friend in need, check out these self-care gifts that are sure to cheer them up.

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Pearly whites

Does your toothbrush look like you scrubbed your bathroom floor? Maybe it’s time to give it a career change—here are 20 things you should be cleaning with a toothbrush (other than your teeth). And then consider splurging for a sonic toothbrush like Apa’s Clean White Sonic Toothbrush: It has a pure white finish that would blend in at an Apple store, delivers 40,000 vibrations per minute, and has three modes for cleaning, whitening and massaging. Yes, it runs $250, but it can pay for itself by cutting down on whitening trips to the dentist.

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The little touches

Speaking of clean bathrooms, a plug-in air freshener isn’t going to cut it anymore. Upgrade to something more thoughtful, like this five-ounce air diffuser from Hillhouse Naturals. Your bathroom will be in the holiday spirit and look beautiful. Another easy bathroom upgrade is nice hand soap from Compagnie de Provence. The $28 bottle holds soap made with vegetable oils from Provence and is refillable if you like the scent or want to try a different one.

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Say no to B.O.

An upgrade doesn’t have to be expensive. Ditch the strongly scented deodorant you’ve had in the rotation since sophmore year of high school and switch over to Dove Men+Care’s new Elements line, which is available in both stick and spray options. Not only does it offer 48-hour protection, but the gray packaging is also a bit more grownup. The Minerals + Sage scent smells so good that your girlfriend may try and borrow it. The Mineral Powder + Sandalwood scent is more subtle. A stick costs about $4.50, while the dry spray costs about $5.50.

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Sock It To Me

Your bathroom and grooming products don’t need to be the only things you upgrade. Accessories like belts and socks are small details that make a big difference. (You may even want to wear those socks to bed, according to science.) If you’re unsure where to buy better versions of what you have, some subscription box services offer stylists to help with your questions. Stitch Fix Men charges $20 for the styling fee, which is applied to any of the five products you choose to purchase. If you buy all five items, you get an additional 25 percent discount.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected]

Amanda Eisenberg
Amanda Eisenberg is a New York City-based journalist. She's covered everything from unlawful nursing home discharges in Maryland to excess helicopter noise in Hoboken. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Elle Decor, McClatchy-Tribune Wire Service and dozens of other publications. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland (go Terps!). In her free time, Eisenberg enjoys traveling, volunteering and cliff diving. She can be reached at [email protected]