Like a run-down Ford Pinto, the human body requires more and more maintenance the longer it hangs around. This means you’ll find yourself tacking additional tasks onto your grooming routine as you age. Even by your 30s, you’ll discover a bi-yearly pluck no longer keeps your ears and nostrils hairless; a quick splash of water no longer keeps your skin smooth; and occasionally dropping the soap on your feet in the shower will no longer stop them from turning into ungodly, callused monster-stubs.
But, still, you’re a busy guy: You want to groom as little as possible for as long as possible. So when will you absolutely need to start taking care of yourself, lest your body dissolve into a sentient pile of hair and foot fungi? Let’s find out.
The Age You Need to Trim Ear and Nose Hair
When your hair starts thinning up top, that’s when you can expect your nose and ear hair to grow wild. Two-thirds of men will experience at least some degree of thinning by 35, according to the American Hair Loss Association. By 50, they claim, about 85 percent of men have significantly thinner hair. And with that, out-of-control face pubes.
You read that right—you’re doubly screwed: The same androgen hormone that triggers male-pattern baldness—dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—is also responsible for causing a surge in ear and nose hair growth. The scientific community fittingly calls this phenomenon the Androgen Paradox, because DHT acts like steroids for the hair flowing from your ears and nose while exterminating the hair on your head.
The Age You Need to Moisturize
According to dermatologist Rajani Katta, author of Glow: The Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet, when you absolutely must start moisturizing largely depends on your skin type. “Some people are naturally prone to dry skin, so they might have to start during childhood,” she says. “Others may not need to moisturize until their 40s and 50s, when the skin starts to gradually lose more of the natural oils that make up the skin barrier.”
Avoiding moisturizer once that happens will certainly expedite the rate at which your skin wrinkles: An eight-year-long study published in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that a typical 28-year-old woman with dry skin would have 52 percent more wrinkles than she currently has by the time she hits 36, while her wrinkling would only increase by 22 percent in that same amount of time if she moisturized regularly.
The Age You Need to Get Pedicures
As we learned previously, men tend to have gross-looking feet for a few reasons: They aren’t very good at addressing their fungi problems (like athlete’s foot), they’re less likely to use a pumice stone (or other exfoliating devices) on a regular basis and they never moisturize. But if you want to be able to take off your shoes without emptying a room, you better start ASAP. Starting at the young age of 25, the growth rate of toenails tends to decrease by approximately 0.5 percent per year. This continuously puts you at an increased risk of nail alterations, including fungal infections.
“For pedicures—including clipping toenails and moisturizing—it helps to do this at home no matter what age you are, especially if you’re a runner,” Katta emphasizes. “If you don’t, you run the risk of damaging your toenails, and you might worsen dry, cracked skin.”
Welp, you better get started. Remember: Life comes at you fast, and if you don’t stop to clip your toenails every once in a while, they’ll turn all yellow and gross… and stuff.