The 2022 Esquire Grooming Awards


If you’re anything like us at Esquire, your grooming routine is constantly evolving. Taking care of your skin, styling your hair—hell, even brushing your teeth—all mean something different today than they did yesterday. (Are those laugh lines?) No matter where we are in our grooming evolution, though, we want to look good now, dammit. That’s why we buckled down and slathered, rubbed, spritzed, lathered, and tested every new product we could get our hands on—hundreds in total—to make sure you know the absolute best ways to upgrade your grooming game right now.

shave beard

Best Shaving Cream

Clean Unscented Shaving Cream

Pacific Shaving Co. Clean Unscented Shaving Cream

Shaving is already hazardous enough without worrying your skin is going to react to your cream. This unscented shave cream cuts down on the risk of irritation with no added fragrance and good-for-your-skin natural ingredients.

Best Shave Gel

Invisible Line Up Gel

Sheamoisture Invisible Line Up Gel

Not only does this transparent gel help you get the crispest lines when you shave and see every last spot you might have missed with the razor, but the tea-tree oil in the formula helps prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs from forming.

Best Razor

Barber Grade Razor

Cremo Barber Grade Razor

Say goodbye to flimsy disposable razors. This hefty cartridge razor is the definition of durability. The five blades cut extremely and effortlessly close, but thanks to the addition of multiple conditioning strips, your face doesn’t end up feeling shredded.

Best Beard Oil

Moisturizing Beard Oil

King C. Gillette Moisturizing Beard Oil

Now 23% Off

This lightweight non-greasy oil is a cornucopia of oils like argan, jojoba, avocado, and more that help soften your whiskers and condition the skin beneath them at the same time.

Best Beard Balm

Recovery Beard + Face Lotion

Every Man Jack Recovery Beard + Face Lotion

Less of a balm and more of a lotion, this stuff works double duty to not only hydrate and smooth your facial hair but your face, as well. (In a pinch, it can even pass for moisturizer.)

Best Beard Trimmer

Close Trim Precision Flex Beard Trimmer

ConAir Man Close Trim Precision Flex Beard Trimmer

A budget-conscious trimmer that acts like it costs way more? We can get behind that. We especially love the digital length control that adjusts cutting length without the the need to pop guards on and off (and flip it up to reveal an edger).

Best Aftershave

Post-Shave Restoring Cream

Sheamoisture Post-Shave Restoring Cream

This post-shave balm was specifically designed for especially curly hair and we can confirm that it actually does help prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Maybe it’s the tea tree oil, maybe it’s the azelaic acid, but whatever it is, we’re thankful for it.

Best Electric Razor

Series 9 Pro Electric Shaver

Braun Series 9 Pro Electric Shaver

It’s impossible to choose one greatest thing about this razor, so take your pick: the ability to cut up to seven days’ worth of stubble, the best-in-class efficiency, the AutoSense tech that adjusts to your beard’s density, the travel case that also charges . . . we could go on.

Best Pre-Shave Product

Pre-Shave Conditioning Cream, Sensitive Skin Formula

Proraso Pre-Shave Conditioning Cream, Sensitive Skin Formula

Unlike other pre-shave products, this creamy concoction lifts whiskers to make them easier to shave and provides a layer of protection against the razor without leaving your skin feeling greasy or irritated.

Best Head Shaver

Best Buzz Kit

Freedom Grooming Best Buzz Kit

Is it possible to keep your dome smooth without this specially-designed electric razor? Sure, but why would you want to? It fits in the palm of your hand and is angled to hug every curve of your head for the closest shave possible.

Best Beard Mask

Nourishing Beard Mask

Scotch Porter Nourishing Beard Mask

Yes, beard masks are a thing and yes, you should be using one. First, massage the conditioner into your beard, then fit the dry mask over it and hook it to your ears. It might look weird, but in twenty minutes, you’ll have the softest beard of your life.


Best Shampoo

Silkamino Mega-Moisturizing Shampoo

Drunk Elephant Silkamino Mega-Moisturizing Shampoo

Yes, there is actually silk in this shampoo, which helps to both strengthen and smooth even the driest hair. A little goes a long way (it’s thick)—with just a dollop, one editor raved, “My hair has never looked better!”

Best Conditioner

Perfect Hair Day Conditioner

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Conditioner

Good luck finding a better conditioner than this one, no matter your hair type. The smoothing and protecting formula is ideal for dry, frizzy, or unruly hair that could use moisture without a greasy feel.

Best Scalp Product

Clinical Scalp Calming Treatment

Head & Shoulders Clinical Scalp Calming Treatment

Put a little bit of this no-rinse serum on your scalp after your shower and the ultra-hydrating formula helps to reduce dryness, irritation and itchiness with the help of soothing aloe vera.

Best Multi-Use Product

2-in-1 Moisture Boost Shampoo and Conditioner

Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Moisture Boost Shampoo and Conditioner

Now 13% Off

Two-in-one1 products can often leave your hair dry and crispy (too much shampoo, not enough conditioner), but not this one. This dandruff-controlling formula is designed for curly and textured hair with the addition of coconut oil to help protect and hydrate dryness-prone strands.

Best Curly Hair Styler

Perfect Texture Curl Cream

NatureLab Perfect Texture Curl Cream

This stuff balances creamy hydration and gel-like hold without the crunch. Scrunch a little into damp hair for perfectly defined curls that don’t go limp after an hour.

Best Styling Cream

Smooth Infusion Perfectly Sleek Styling Cream

Aveda Smooth Infusion Perfectly Sleek Styling Cream

If you use a blow dryer to dry your hair, this heat protective cream helps control frizz and keep your hair smooth. But even if you don’t, the natural finish and smoothing effects of this cream help keep your ‘do looking smooth all day.

Best Paste

Matte Firm Hold

The Best Paste Matte Firm Hold

They weren’t kidding when they named this. This paste gives intense hold all day with a natural, matte finish like you just woke up with great hair. And the creamy, water-based texture is easy to wash out with minimal residue.

Best Pomade

Hyperlink Fiber Stretch Pomade

R+Co. Hyperlink Fiber Stretch Pomade

Unlike goopy, oily pomades of the past, this futuristic goo contains “elastic-like fibers” that grab to your hair to keep it in place, while still allowing you to run your fingers through your coiff without messing it up. Plus, it’s lightweight enough for fine or thinning hair.

Best Dry Shampoo

Vapor Lotion to Powder Dry Shampoo

R+Co. Bleu Vapor Lotion to Powder Dry Shampoo

Unlike your typical aerosol dry shampoo, this easy-to-use lotion smooths through your hair effortlessly but soaks up oil and dirt for a powdery finish—without that telltale white residue.

Best Gel

Shape Memory Gel

Stephen Knoll Shape Memory Gel

Even though it delivers a strong hold, this gel won’t make your hair look or feel wet or crispy. In fact, it actually improves hair health thanks to special hydrating ingredients.

Best Volumizer

Volume Enhancing Foam

RevitaLash Volume Enhancing Foam

This innovative foam pumps up the volume on thinning hair—literally. Using lipids, peptides, and biotin, it enhances your hair’s natural volume to make it look thicker and healthier, and it can even make weak hairlines look more robust.

Best Anti-Thinning Serum

Growth Activator

Nutrafol Growth Activator

The natural botanicals in this scalp serum help to activate cell-renewal and deliver thicker, healthier hair. Massage a little bit into your scalp every day to see results after a few months of consistent use.

Best Hair Supplement

Hair Revitalizing Complex

Augustinus Bader Hair Revitalizing Complex

Sure, this daily supplement will help with hair loss by reducing shedding, but it’s great even if you’re not concerned about that. It also helps limit breakage; promotes stronger, healthier hair; and increases hair hydration. Plus, it may help decrease grays.

Best Texturizer

Surf Texturizing Finishing Foam

Bumble and Bumble Surf Texturizing Finishing Foam

Testers loved this foam because it boosted volume and texture and held in place all day, without the need to add additional products or even use a blow dryer to shape it. If you’re worried about wind, don’t be – this stuff holds up to strong gusts.

Best Clipper

Multishape Ultimate All-in-One Kit

Panasonic Multishape Ultimate All-in-One Kit

With changeable heads ranging from an electric shaver to a beard/body/hair trimmer, a nose-hair clipper, and even an electric toothbrush, this one system takes the place of five different grooming devices.


Best Body Wash

White Vetiver & Cedarwood Body Wash

Bravo Sierra White Vetiver & Cedarwood Body Wash

Even though it’s sulfate-free, this gel body wash foams up into a rich, great-smelling lather that leaves you clean and fresh. It’s tested by members of the US Military, so you know if it can pass boot camp, it really works.

Best Special Occasion Body Wash

Tabacco Toscano Bath Gel

Santa Maria Novella Tabacco Toscano Bath Gel

Nothing is stopping you from using this elegant bodywash every day, but we say save it for dates, parties, and anytime you need a few extra vibes. The combination of smoky tobacco and smooth vanilla is head turning.

Best Bar Soap

Yellowstone "Old Faithful" Bar Soap

Caswell-Massey Yellowstone “Old Faithful” Bar Soap

The forest-inspired scent of this bar evokes pine needles, smoke, sage, and an overall clean, outdoorsy feeling. A robust lather and just a hint of grit made this a winner among our editors.

Best Scrub Bar

Superfoliant Bar Soap

Oars + Alps Superfoliant Bar Soap

If you like a little grit to your bar, this moisturizing soap scratches that itch thanks to jojoba beads that gently exfoliate your skin as you scrub. We especially love the minty scent, which leaves your skin smelling fresh but doesn’t overwhelm.

Credit: Courtesy

Best Sunscreen

Complete Sunscreen Spray

Coppertone Complete Sunscreen Spray

Sometimes the best products just work without all the bells and whistles. This effective broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin without a greasy, oily feel and, dare we say, actually leaves your skin feeling soft instead of sticky.

Best Sunscreen Stick

UV Stick Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+

EltaMD UV Stick Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+

This powerful mineral sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays and nourishes it with antioxidants. Yet what’s really great is the stick form, which makes reapplication easy and mess-free.

Best Hand Cream

Restorative Hand Cream

Alo Restorative Hand Cream

For such a thick cream, this one shocked us by how quickly it absorbs into your hands without leaving them feeling tacky or greasy. The added antioxidants help protect your skin from environmental damage, something we could all use a bit more of.

Best Body Lotion

Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter

Bliss Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter

Our testers gave this lotion top billing because it’s thick and moisturizing, but also has exfoliating acids to help your skin stay smooth and less bumpy. It was especially good on super bumpy or sensitive areas since it caused no irritation whatsoever.

Best Body Serum

Hyaluron Body Gel

Susanne Kaufmann Hyaluron Body Gel

This is a lotion for people who hate lotion. The clear, lightweight gel sinks into your skin without leaving any residue, and the combination of hyaluronic acid and aloe vera soothes and hydrates for hours.

Best Deodorant

0% Aluminum Fresh Feel Refillable Deodorant

Dove Men+Care 0% Aluminum Fresh Feel Refillable Deodorant

The refillable casing of this aluminum-free deodorant will fit into any Dopp kit or gym bag, but more importantly, the formula was the best-smelling we tried and lasted the longest.

Best Antiperspirant

Sweat Defense Dry Spray Antiperspirant Stronger Swagger

Old Spice Sweat Defense Dry Spray Antiperspirant Stronger Swagger

The best thing an antiperspirant can do? Deliver on its promise to keep you sweat-free. This one does—for a long time, in fact. Out of all we tested, we kept reaching for this one for the combination of sweat protection and not-offensive scent.

Best Body Scrub

Charcoal Body Buff Exfoliating Cleanser

Jack Black Charcoal Body Buff Exfoliating Cleanser

When you need to bring out the big guns, reach for this exfoliating body cleanser. Not only does it have charcoal to help soak up dirt and oil, but there’s also volcanic stone to help exfoliate dead skin cells leaving your skin smooth and fresh.

Best Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer Starter Set

Evolvetogether Hand Sanitizer Starter Set

If we’re living in a world where hand sanitizer is as essential as keys-wallet-phone, this refillable tube is your best bet. It’s slender enough to fit into your pocket so you’re never caught without it, and it smells way better than any others we tried.

Best Body Groomer

B2 Balls & Body Trimmer

Ballsy B2 Balls & Body Trimmer

As far as trimmers go, this version is like getting two for the price of one. The vertical head is perfect for delicate below-the-belt trimming and the horizontal head can tackle anywhere else on your body. And we’re happy to report it’s snag and pull-free.

Best Body Acne Spray

Acne-Clearing Body Spray

Differin Acne-Clearing Body Spray

The combination of acne-fighting heavy-hitters glycolic acid and salicylic acid in this spray means that it’s able to address hard-to-treat pimples anywhere on your body. That, plus the innovative bottle head can turn 360 degrees and deliver a continuous spray so you never miss a spot.

Best Hand Wash

Cipres Mint

Homecourt Cipres Mint

This wash smells like a fancy cologne—fresh and herbal—but it also leaves your hands feeling moisturized rather than itchy, thanks to the argan and coconut oils in the formula.

Best Shower Accessory

Aromatic Shower Steamer Set

Esker Aromatic Shower Steamer Set

File this under “the shower product you didn’t know you needed.” Put the bar and its marble holder on the floor of your shower, and once the steam hits, it fills the space with the scent of eucalyptus or palo santo.


Best Cleanser

High Tide Hydrating Daily Cleanser

Hims High Tide Hydrating Daily Cleanser

This ultra-gentle cleanser is so moisturizing that you might even be able to skip the moisturizer after you wash. It’s also pH balanced to match your skin’s natural level, which means it won’t give you a tight, itchy feeling.

Best Moisturizer

Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel

Even though this gel moisturizer is ultra lightweight, it’s still hydrating enough for super dry or sensitive skin thanks to the slow-release hyaluronic acid and special skin-soothing complex. The only thing we love more than the all-day hydration is that it’s so light, you don’t even know you’re wearing it.

Best Night Cream

Phelityl Night Cream

Erno Laszlo Phelityl Night Cream

Located somewhere in the Goldilocks space between heavy and light, this perfectly textured cream produced noticeable improvements in the surface of one editor’s skin in just a week. It works by replenishing the fatty acids that help rebuild the skin’s protective barrier.

Best Scrub

Daily Milkfoliant Exfoliator

Dermalogica Daily Milkfoliant Exfoliator

This may be the one scrub that is actually good for sensitive skin. Add water to the powder to create a smooth paste that combines physical and chemical exfoliation, smoothing and soothing your skin at the same time.

Best Exfoliator

Even Smoother Glycolic Retinol Resurfacing Peel Pads

Peter Thomas Roth Even Smoother Glycolic Retinol Resurfacing Peel Pads

Not only do these powerful no-rinse peel pads contain glycolic acid for exfoliation, but they also provide a hit of retinol, making them practically a full nighttime skin-care routine in one product. (Just add moisturizer.)

Best Facial SPF

Every. Single. Face. Watery Lotion SPF 50

Supergoop! Every. Single. Face. Watery Lotion SPF 50

The pitfalls of daily sunscreens are many—too white, too heavy, too greasy. This one avoids them all and, miraculously, sinks into every skin tone without leaving a white caste. Thanks to this game-changer, there’s no reason to forget your daily SPF.

Best Anti-Aging Mask

Bio Lifting Mask+

Chantecaille Bio Lifting Mask+

This potent mask is packed with peptides, plant stem cells, botanical extracts, and more to reduce signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Just one use will have your skin looking lifted and tighter, but also smoother and more hydrated.

Best Clay Mask

Acne Relief Calming & Soothing Clay Mask

Perricone MD Acne Relief Calming & Soothing Clay Mask

The most important feedback from our testers was that this clay mask didn’t dry out their skin as many often do. The addition of salicylic acid works along with the clay to de-clog pores and clear debris, while willowherb helps to soothe irritated skin.

Best Patch

Mighty Patch Full Face Set

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Full Face Set

These patches might look like something out of a sci-fi movie, but nothing we tried was as effective at removing excess oil and helping calm breakouts. Think of these like pimple patches but for your whole face.

Best Eye Product

Double Serum Eye

Clarins Double Serum Eye

Of all the eye products we tried, this serum was the easiest to apply and immediately moisturized our dry under- eye areas, making them look more awake. One editor with sensitive skin even said this was the only one that didn’t irritate his skin.

Best Lip Balm

Lip Balm

Taos Aer Lip Balm

Not only does the wide tube make it a cinch to apply, but the thick formula requires less frequent applications. That said, the peppermint flavor made us want to keep using it anyway.

Best Hydrating Serum

Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum

Biossance Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum

A few drops of this serum is enough to deeply hydrate your entire face thanks to ultra-moisturizing squalane that sinks in deep to hydrate from within. The copper peptides help to boost collagen production to keep your skin looking firm.

Best Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C Lactic 15% Firm & Bright Serum

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C Lactic 15% Firm & Bright Serum

Not only does this super potent serum have a huge percentage of vitamin c to help your skin fight off free radicals that can cause damage, but it also contains lactic acid to help reduce signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

Best Toner

The Treatment Lotion

La Mer The Treatment Lotion

A splash of this liquid after you wash your face leaves it so hydrated and smooth, you may be tempted to do without the moisturizer. (That’s okay with us.) It’s ideal for dry skin, but all skin types can benefit from the supercharged hydration.

Best Retinol

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum Capsules

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum Capsules

Each capsule contains the correct dose of retinol—ensuring you don’t overdo it—in a serum that is lightweight and nongreasy. Layer it under any moisturizer or night cream for an easy-to-use yet powerful addition to your bedtime routine.

Best Sheet Mask

Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Serum Mask

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Serum Mask

Pop on this sheet mask any time your skin feels angry, irritated, or dry. Tiger grass not only instantly calms down skin, but it also reduces redness and helps strengthen your skin’s protective barrier. Plus, this mask just feels damn good.

Best Redness Reducer

Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment

SkinCeuticals Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment

Whether you use it as a serum or a moisturizer, this gel instantly reduces redness and helps gradually heal blemishes and dark spots—but it won’t irritate sensitive skin or make oily skin greasier.

Best Face Tool

TheraFace Pro Percussive Skincare Tool

Therabody TheraFace Pro Percussive Skincare Tool

If there is one device that can improve your skin no matter what, this is it. It has percussive therapy for relieving tension, an LED light for decreasing wrinkles, a microcurrent for tightening, and more—a whopping eight functions in all.

Best Eye Patch

Under Eye Masks

The Wolf Project Under Eye Masks

If we’ve learned anything from the hundreds of shoots we produce, it’s that eye masks are every groomer’s secret. Pop on these bad boys whenever you wake up with puffy eyes or dark circles. The caffeine, vitamin C, and peptides in the formula instantly perk up tired-looking peepers.


Homme Intenso

Vince Camuto Homme Intenso

A few sprays of this woody, masculine scent can last all day and well into the night. It’s just intense enough to make a strong impression—without overpowering everyone in the room.


Costa Brazil Aroma

Cedarwood Atlas, patchouli, jungle flora, and more work together to create a subtle but mysterious scent inspired by the Brazilian rain forest. (Think sultry, smoky, and woody.) Plus, the bottle, made from sustainably sourced wood, is refillable.


Parfums de Marly Haltane

The notes of this scent read like the greatest hits of men’s fragrance—oud, leather, vetiver, bergamot—and somehow they all join forces to produce an aroma that is at once familiar and curiosity piquing.

Silver Birch & Lavender Cologne

Jo Malone London Silver Birch & Lavender Cologne

Instead of the heavy woods you’re used to, this has birch for a crisper feeling, mixed with floralish lavender. It’s an unexpected take on a fresh, clean fragrance if you’re sick of citrus.

Le Lion

Chanel Le Lion

This fragrance projects strength thanks to notesof patchouli, vanilla, and labdanum that demand immediate attention. One spray and you’re walking taller.

Ebene Fume Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Ebene Fume Eau de Parfum

There’s something about this scent that begs people to come closer. Maybe it’s the smoky palo santo that gives it a shamanistic vibe or the hints of rose and ebony wood that deepen the mystique.

Paperwork Solution No. 1

Off-White Paperwork Solution No. 1

Officially this scent is inspired by sand, but we say it harks back to the clean, aquatic feel of the ’90s—just in a way you want to wear today, you know, as a grown-up.

Synthetic Jungle

Frédéric Malle Synthetic Jungle

This in-your-face scent takes your classic green fragrance and turns the volume way up. Think a jungle made of neon—but one you can smell—and you’re in the right ballpark.

L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme

Not every fragrance has to announce itself, and this subtle blend of woods and citrus is the ultimate understatement. Wear it for yourself, not anyone else, and those in the know will notice.

The World According to Arthur

Penhaligon’s The World According to Arthur

The scent—a luxe mix of incense, spice, and citrus—is quite literally fit for a king.

Le Diffuseur Abd El Kader

le diffuseur Le Diffuseur Abd El Kader

The benefit of a diffuser is set-it-and-forget-it scent that has the power to subtly freshen your space, no fire required. This one is a design object in itself and the scent (inspired by Moroccan mint tea) has just enough freshness and spice to smell great, but not overwhelm you.


Best Toothpaste

Tender Toothpaste

Tend Tender Toothpaste

This smooth, creamy paste is less abrasive than other whitening toothpastes but still leaves your mouth feeling incredibly clean and fresh. And the mint flavor actually tastes good. As one editor put it, “It’s perfect.”

Best Toothbrush

Oral Wellness Manual Brush

Twice Oral Wellness Manual Brush

This toothbrush grabbed top honors thanks to the winning combination of a large brush head (to make sure you can reach every nook and cranny) and the softest bristles (so you don’t tear up your gums).

Best Mouthwash

Arctic Frost Whitening Mouthwash

Snow Arctic Frost Whitening Mouthwash

Out of all the mouthwashes we tried, this had the best flavor by far, while still giving your the clean after-feeling you want (and need) from a mouthwash.

Best Whitening Product

Whitening Emulsions + Overnight Freshness

Crest Whitening Emulsions + Overnight Freshness

What’s genius about this stuff is that it does two very important things at once. Paint the gel onto your teeth before you go to bed and it works to not only whiten your teeth while you sleep, but also freshen your mouth so you don’t wake up with morning breath.

Best Electric Toothbrush

9900 Prestige

Philips SonicCare 9900 Prestige

The most powerful toothbrush to clean them all (teeth, that is), this brush delivered a fresher mouth and brighter teeth than any of the others we tried. Add technology that learns and adapts to your brushing style and you can’t beat it.

Best Floss

Mint Eucalyptus Refillable Dental Floss

Burst Mint Eucalyptus Refillable Dental Floss

Flavored floss is always a bit of a crap shoot, but this stuff delivers on mintiness. Testers especially loved the charcoal black color so you can see the gunk you’re pulling out (gross, but satisfying).

Garrett Munce writes about men’s style and grooming. He’s written for Esquire, New York Magazine, Spotlyte, and Very Good Light and held staff positions at GQ and W. Follow his skincare obsession on Instagram at @garrettmunce.

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