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New isn’t always better, but sometimes it is. Like any other year, 2021 was filled with lots of great products, some not-so-great products and, of course, plenty of new products.
Across the SPY team, we receive and test out hundreds of products every year across all categories. Like any other product category, grooming got its fair share of new products too.
Whether you’re looking at hair, face, body or taking care of that beard, you had a lot to check out in 2021. Luckily for you, we’ve had the chance to review many of the best new grooming products of 2021, and we rounded up some of our favorites below.
Before we dive in, one thing to note: Not every single grooming category had a new product we loved, so if you don’t see a particular category represented, that’s why.
Now, let’s check out some of the best new grooming products of 2021.
The Best Hair Products of 2021
1. Hardworking Gentlemen Shampoo and HWG Conditioner
BEST SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Hardworking Gentlemen may not be a brand you recognize, but they’re well-known for their hair styling products (especially an awesome sea salt spray). Now, HWG’s moving into the hair care space with the HWG Shampoo and the HWG Conditioner. With coconut oil, aloe vera and chamomile, the new shampoo is about as gentle as a hair cleanser can be while still actually, you know, leaving your hair feeling fresh and clean (and smelling like pinewood too). Follow the shampoo up with the new conditioner, which is loaded with moringa oil, argan oil, aloe vera and marine extracts, for hair that feels cleaner, softer and healthier than it’s probably felt in a long time.
2. Seven Potions Hair Styling Paste
BEST STYLING PASTE
When you need conditioning and control for your hair and beard, Seven Potions has you covered. In particular, we loved the new Seven Potions Hair Styling Paste in 2021. Water-based, this paste is like a thicker hair cream that offers a medium, lightweight hold and a non-sticky smooth matte finish. Translation? It’s easy to use, easy to style and will work great for a wide variety of hair styles and hair types — pretty much anything except for styles that require a strong hold.
3. Baxter of California Thickening Style Gel
Pomades and hair creams may be the new hotness, but for high hold and high shine, nothing beats hair gel. But instead of turning to the extra crusty hair gel of your youth, give the Baxter of California Thickening Style Gel a shot. It delivers the thickness and strength you want for slicked-back styles without the flakes of hair gels of yore.
4. Reuzel Concrete Hold Matte Pomade
HIGH HOLD POMADE
Speaking of strong hold and pomade, if the idea of using a gel is intolerable, you can always turn to the new Reuzel Concrete Hold Matte Pomade. With a wax base, this pomade delivers a super-strong hold that’s ultimately still workable throughout the day. And unlike some other strong hold pomades, this one doesn’t feel heavy in the hair and looks surprisingly natural. Plus, it’s pretty affordable, so if you need a new pomade, give Reuzel’s a try.
The Best Body Grooming Products of 2021
1. Dove Men + Care Body Wash
BEST BODY WASH
We love premium grooming products as much as the next guy, but price is important to us too. But that’s only partly why we love the new Dove Men + Care Body Wash. The formula gently cleanses and hydrates without stripping your body skin, comes in a couple of different light fragrances and, yes, is highly affordable.
2. Jack Black Big Sir Body & Hair Cleanser
BEST 2-IN-1 WASH
Going for two-in-one body and hair washes is always a little bit risky if a product turns out to be too harsh. That’s not the case with the Jack Black Big Sir Body & Hair Cleanser. A play on Big Sur on the California coast, this shampoo and body wash lathers up wonderfully and smells of bergamot, marine water and woody amber. Sure, there are cheaper body washes/shampoos out there, but in terms of 2021’s offerings, this Jack Black wash is the best.
3. Harry’s Odor & Enhanced Sweat Control Extra-Strength Antiperspirant
BEST ANTIPERSPIRANT DEODORANT
Antiperspirant deodorants are a dime a dozen and there’s not a lot of innovation in the space. That being said, the Harry’s Odor & Enhanced Sweat Control Extra-Strength Antiperspirant was one of the best new deodorants we tried this year. Loaded with 20% aluminum salts, it offers top-notch sweat prevention and four appealing scents. Personally, we like the redwood fragrance.
4. Patricks ND1 Natural Deodorant
BEST ALUMINUM-FREE DEODORANT
Patricks is one of the most luxurious grooming brands out there and the brand just released a brand-new aluminum-free deodorant, the ND1 Natural Deodorant. There are two things to love about this deodorant. First, it features multiple ingredients to help fight sweat and keep your underarms sufficiently moisturized, including Amazonian brown clay, coconut oil, Niodor, zinc and tapioca starch. But we wouldn’t be recommending it as one of the best new grooming products of 2021 unless there was something else too. In this case, this deodorant smells absolutely fantastic, with notes of bergamot, neroli, jasmine and musk.
But wait, there’s more! The deodorant also comes in a recyclable case made from 100% recyclable materials and is itself vegan. Seriously, there were quite a few new deodorants this year and the ND1 blows them all out of the water if you’re willing to pay the price for a legitimately premium product.
5. Jack Black Turbo Body Lotion
BEST BODY MOISTURIZER
The Jack Black Turbo Body Lotion delivers the same Turbo fragrance from its washes in this new lightweight hydrating body lotion. With multiple soothing plant-based ingredients and extracts, such as aloe leaf, eucalyptus and prickly pear seed oil, this lotion will calm, soften and moisturize dry, red, irritated skin.
6. Oars + Alps SPF 35 Go Stick Clear Sunscreen
Spray sunscreens are great and all, but a sunscreen stick like the Oars + Alps SPF 35 Go Stick Clear Sunscreen can be just as protective and way more convenient.
It goes on clear, moisturizes skin with jojoba and sunflower oils and is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, you never have to worry about it leaking or exploding.
7. Dollar Shave Club Ball Spray
BEST BALL SPRAY
Whether for your own comfort or someone else’s, fresh balls are an underrated part of the body that feels great when clean. To either freshen up in a pinch or better prepare your balls for the day after a shower, the Dollar Shave Club Ball Spray promises to freshen up your undercarriage. Just give the region a quick once-over for reduced chafing, more moisture absorption and just generally improved comfort.
8. Wahl Manscaper Body Groomer
BEST BODY GROOMER
If you’ve got wild body hair, including below the belt, the Wahl Manscaper Body Groomer has got you covered. What makes this product, a SPY 2021 Man winner, so great is really quite simple: It allows for custom trim lengths, so you can trim without going fully bare. That plus all the other expected features, including wet/dry capabilities and a nice 100-minute runtime, make this a no-brainer for best new body groomer of 2021.
The Best Face Grooming Products of 2021
1. LAB SERIES Daily Rescue Gel Cleanser
BEST DAILY CLEANSER
LAB SERIES must always be in the literal lab, tweaking its products to make them better and better. This time around, it’s the LAB SERIES Daily Rescue Gel Cleanser. Reworked from previous iterations to be better suited for daily use, this updated cleanser is gentle and hydrating and won’t leave your skin with that tight, too clean sensation.
2. Harry’s Exfoliating Face Wash
BEST EXFOLIATING FACE WASH
Harry’s Exfoliating Face Wash was one of our favorite new grooming products for 2021. It foams up really nice and offers a thorough cleanse to remove grime and dead skin without stripping skin too much. If you’re looking for a new face wash, this one works great and is pretty dang affordable to boot.
3. Geologie Active Recovery Hydro-Gel Moisturizer
Geologie has fast become a SPY favorite for its customized skincare lines. But many of their products work great for any skin type, including the Geologie Active Recovery Hydro-Gel Moisturizer.
If you’re dealing with dry skin, this moisturizer has the ingredients to help: niacinamide, squalane, hyaluronic acid and allantoin. It goes on with a fresh cooling sensation and leaves nothing but smoother, healthier skin behind.
4. GetMr. The Daily 3-in-1 Face Lotion
BEST DAILY SUNSCREEN/MOISTURIZER
Adding sunscreen or sunblock into your skincare routine may be the single best thing you can do to prevent signs of aging. Even better, you can turn to a daily sunblock/moisturizer like the GetMr. The Daily 3-in-1 Face Lotion. A lotion, sunscreen and aftershave all in one, this mineral SPF lotion is loaded with hydrating ingredients to restore skin and sunblocking zinc oxide to stop sun damage in the first place. Pick it up now and start saving your skin the easy way.
5. Harry’s Hydrating Night Lotion
BEST OVERNIGHT MOISTURIZER
Nighttime is one of the best times to up your skincare game. Harry’s Hydrating Night Lotion is about as simple and excellent as it gets. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, absorbs quickly and is a better value for its price than its small size would lead you to believe. Just use a little bit of lotion nightly for softer, brighter, smoother and more hydrated skin.
6. Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum
Every guy needs at least a few anti-aging products in their grooming drawer. Besides moisturizers and sunscreens, the best thing you can get is an anti-aging serum like the new Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum.
In conjunction with skin-restoring ceramides and peptides, retinol works to firm up skin and reduce signs of aging, including wrinkles, blemishes and discoloration. But most importantly, this serum only uses a small dose of retinol to ensure you can use it every day without leaving your skin red and irritated.
7. Baxter of California Skin Concentrate BHA
The right serum can clear up acne, blemishes and discoloration in no time. The new Baxter of California Skin Concentrate BHA serum keeps the formula simple, with salicylic acid, beta hydroxy acid and vitamin E to reduce redness, unclog pores, even out discoloration and break down fine wrinkles.
8. The Ordinary Concealer
Concealers need not belong just to women. Men have blemishes too and The Ordinary Concealer comes in 36 different shades to blend with your skin tone and cover up anything you’d like to stay unseen.
9. Oars + Alps Natural Lip Balm with SPF 18
BEST SPF LIP BALM
In addition to its new sunscreen stick, Oars + Alps also came out with an excellent Natural Lip Balm with SPF 18 in 2021. Without SPF protection, the sun will age your lips, but the 18 SPF, vitamin E, shea butter and beeswax in this lip balm will work to block UV rays and keep your lips moist. Plus, like the sunscreen stick, this lip balm is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
The Best Beard and Shaving Products of 2021
1. Schick Stubble Eraser Razor
BEST CARTRIDGE RAZOR
A SPY 2021 Man winner, the new Schick Stubble Eraser Razor really surprised us. Not only is it reasonably priced and new, it features a deep stubble comb to help the blades slice through longer facial hair. It’s also designed to rinse through more easily, making this not just one of the best new razors of the year but a likely annual contender for SPY’s favorite razor, especially for non-daily shaving.
2. King C. Gillette Double-Edged Safety Razor
BEST SAFETY RAZOR
We really tried to exclude any product that had a release in 2020, but given there isn’t a lot of (real or good) innovation in the shaving space, we’re going to make an exception for the King C. Gillette Double-Edged Safety Razor. Can you buy cheaper safety razors that work? Yes. Can you buy more expensive safety razors that work? Yes, but this razor still works great, has a nice weight to it, is pretty competitive on price already and provides a smooth, clean shave.
But perhaps what we appreciate most about this new line is the fact that Gillette is enormous and everywhere and is finally throwing its weight around to bring safety razor shaves to the masses. If you’ve never used a safety razor before, this is a damn good time and place to start.
3. Fulton & Roark Formula 5 Beard Oil
BEST BEARD OIL
Fulton & Roark makes our favorite solid cologne, but the brand also released a fantastic beard oil in 2021, the Formula 5 Beard Oil.
It’s called Formula 5 because it’s designed to be used five different ways, as a beard oil, a pre-shave oil, a scalp moisturizer, a dry skin treatment for body skin and even as a lightweight hair styling product. But that would all be irrelevant if it didn’t actually offer peak moisturization or if the sandalwood fragrance didn’t smell as good as it does. (Shocker, who would’ve suspected that a cologne company could produce a fantastic-smelling oil!?)
Overall, this beard oil is one of the best new grooming products of 2021 and, as a SPY 2021 Man winner, one of the best beard oils money can buy, period.
4. King C. Gillette Beard and Face Wash
BEST BEARD WASH
We’re going to make one more late 2020 exception for the King C. Gillette Beard and Face Wash. When you’ve got a beard, you need a wash that will take care of both your beard and the underlying skin and that’s what you get in Gillette’s new wash. With coconut, argan and avocado oils, this wash cleanses skin and facial hair while leaving both feeling moisturized and renewed.
5. Seven Potions Beard Conditioner
Seven Potions makes an all-around great line of beard care products, including a brand-new Beard Conditioner. If you’re dealing with beard dandruff and beard itch, the variety of oils here will take care of them with minimal effort and smelling of cedar and sandalwood.