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Everyone knows that one guy who’s impossible to shop for. He appreciates nice things, maybe even craves them, but he’s at a complete loss to find self-care products on his own. They just aren’t on his radar—until, that is, he receives his first can of pomade or some specialty lotion and wonders how he ever got along without it.
I know because I am that guy, so trust me when I tell you people like us cherish self-care gifts. Whether you are that guy or shopping for that guy, these 11 products are the kinds of thoughtful little goodies that will nourish your soul, soften your skin, and brighten your day.
1. For all your cleansing needs: Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap Gift Set
Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap is one of the darlings of organic hygiene. What other bottle of soap includes reading material about “spaceship earth” and “African shepherd-astronomers?”
It’s also just really great soap. I’ve been using the stuff for well over a decade and can’t imagine switching to another brand. It leaves you feeling smooth, refreshed, and fragrant. While I can’t speak to its alternate uses, Dr. Bronner’s claims the soap can be used as dish soap, toothpaste, spray cleaner, detergent, and pretty much any other cleaning solution you can imagine.
2. Sweat socks that are so much more: Bombas Performance Socks
For runners, fitness freaks, and yoga enthusiasts, slipping into the perfect pair of socks is like discovering the lost record of your favorite band. Made from merino wool, which feels especially soft, Bombas socks provide the ideal amount of cushion for exercise. But they’re also very warm, making them great for a long walk or just lounging around. As a brand, Bombas is devoted to charitable causes. Since its founding in 2013, the company has donated tens of millions of clothing items to homeless communities.
3. Casualwear that's next-level: Birddogs Shorts
For some men, finding a decent pair of shorts is like searching for parking at a parade—an impossible feat, so you end up just taking what you can get. Yet somehow these shorts manage to have the right length, fit, and pocket design to suit even the pickiest of dudes. They have a comfortable built-in liner that never feels like you’re wearing a bathing suit. The designs are tastefully minimalistic, with a trim length that’s not likely to go out of style any time soon. And the pockets are both secure and out of sight. These shorts are the perfect marriage of form and function.
Shop Birddog shorts here
4. For a well-groomed face: Philips Norelco Multigroom All-In-One Series 3000
The best, most reliable beard trimmer I’ve ever owned is also the cheapest. I’ve had a beard for the better part of 10 years, and I’ve tried every trimmer under the sun—from barbershop Wahls to savings-draining metal truncheons designed by Silicon Valley engineers. They all, eventually, broke, shorted out, or pulled one too many hairs to suffer. This $20 trimmer kit from Philips Norelco, Reviewed's Best Value pick after testing, has serviced my beard without any pinches or pulls for more than two years. It comes in a slim design with a full kit of guide combs—and did I mention it’s $20? It just works well. What more could you ask for?
5. To treat your facial hair: Honest Amish Beard Balm Leave-in Conditioner
You don’t need to have a huge Amish beard to enjoy Honest Amish Beard Balm. Many bearded men, especially those of the Ron Swanson variety, can’t even tell you what beard balm is. But let’s be honest: Beards, especially big beards, can get fairly dirty fairly quickly. As a moisturizing conditioner, beard balm can help keep your beard smooth, fragrant, and healthy.
Honest Amish Beard Balm provides a distinct scent with a blend of shea, aloe, cocoa butters. There are no man-made chemicals, preservatives, or fake fragrances here. Just a balm that moisturizes, enlivens, and freshens your precious whiskers.
6. A classic post-shave finisher: Clubman Pinaud After Shave Lotion
If you like that fresh-from-the-barbershop scent, this is the aftershave for you. Clubman Pinaud is a familiar scent that’s been around for generations and provides that oaky, citrusy smell one only associates with spinning barber’s poles. What's more, it's inexpensive and widely available.
7. For hair that doesn't look like you're trying too hard: Oribe Fiber Groom
A bit pricier than any old hair styling gel, Oribe Fiber Groom is for the lad who cares about his hair. Styling gels are superabundant and liable to give any man decision fatigue, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more, Oribe Fiber Groom offers a durable hold that’s sure to last all day. That can’t be said for most styling gels. It adds body without looking greasy, with enough flexibility for both short and long hair. It’s one of those goops you want to buy in bulk so you’ll never run out.
8. An at-home masseuse anytime: Naipo Back Massager
I have a bad back, you have a bad back, every man has a bad back—even if they don’t know it. It’s a fact. We work jobs where we sit all day, or we work jobs where we’re performing labor. Either way, the burden of keeping our backs straight, loose, and relaxed is an almost Sisyphean task. The Naipo back massager can be propped up in any seat and includes 12 rotating massage balls that deeply penetrate the back muscles to knead out tension, knots, and aches. I’ve had professional massages that did not work as deeply as this thing does. Your back will thank you for it.
9. For deep-tissue relief: Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls
A cheaper, more DIY, and yoga-friendly way to massage your back (or really any other problem muscles) is with these rubber therapy balls. It may seem like an odd solution to muscle aches and pains, but positioning these little balls on specific areas of your body and then applying weight will massage deeper than most professional masseuses. In a yoga context, they’re even more therapeutic. As someone with frequent sciatica pain, I often use these to reach lower back muscles that tighten up from a career spent sitting in front of a computer. They’re cheap, surprisingly simple, and effective.
10. To up your ambiance: Hillhouse Naturals Fir Reed Diffuser
Aromatherapy may or may not be a pseudoscience, but reed diffusers can liven up any room, creating a warm, welcoming environment. It’s the kind of thing lots of men don’t realize they need until they have it. And, unlike candles, you don’t have to monitor a flame or remember to snuff it out. This Fir Reed Diffuser from Hillhouse Naturals is made from local ingredients by a small family company in Kentucky, and smells of fresh woodsy pine. If you’d prefer a different scent, choose from Citrus, Peony, Hydrangea, Tulip, Belgian Linen, among many others.
11. To heal dry skin: Maapilim Winter Survival Kit
For those with dry skin, winter is a constant battle. The dry air does a number on your precious skin, and with a million different lotions out there, an all-in-one kit like this can help take the stress out of finding the best product for your skin. The Maapilim Winter Survival Kit includes a lip balm, non-drying soap, hand cream, and an all-purpose hydrating oil for your beard, hair, or face. And, of course, they all smell great.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.