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Men spending more time with personal grooming

The perception that women take much longer to prepare themselves for a night out on the town than men has been around for quite some time. Between wardrobe changes and beauty products, women have long been criticized for spending so much time getting ready. However, times change, and research is shedding new light on just how much time men are spending in front of the mirror.

According to a survey of 3,000 Britons for Superdrug, a health and beauty store franchise, men spend an average of 23 minutes in the shower, a minute longer than their female counterparts. The survey also revealed that men spend 83 minutes a day on personal grooming, including cleansing, toning and moisturizing, shaving, choosing clothes, and styling hair. Also, a survey from Multipower, a sports nutrition company, found that young male Britons ages 18 to 35 spend a pound more per week on grooming items than females.

Browsing the grooming topics in the popular U.S. publication Men's Health might indicate that American men are increasingly concerned with grooming as well. Articles like "Feed Your Hair," and "The Shave That Drives Her Wild," suggest men are just as interested in grooming and equally concerned about their appearances as women are.

Many men feel there is nothing wrong with taking time to preen and groom themselves and have no qualms about dabbling in different products to improve their appearance. From hair styling aids to tooth-whitening strips, men are looking to put their best faces forward. Furthermore, many are spending more hours in the gym to fine-tune their bodies. Women, it seems, are not the only people feeling the pressure to look slim.

Many manufacturers have realized this shift and created entire product lines, including high-end speciality products, exclusively for men to cash in on this trend. There are also many affordable men's grooming products. According to editors at Men's Health, here are some of the best of the bunch.

1. Arbonne's RE9 Shave Gel

2. Menscience Acne Therapy Lotion

3. Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub

4. Gillette Style Sculpting Paste

5. Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast Toothpaste

6. Supersmile Oral Rinse

7. Nivea for Men High Performance Post Shave Balm

8. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner

How to shave properly

Considering men spend lots of time shaving, here is a guide to do the task properly.

* Fill up the sink or a basin with hot water and let the razor (blade type, not electric shaver) sit in the water. This keeps the blade wet and makes it less likely to nick.

* Wash your face with hot water to allow the facial hairs to plump up and stand on end.

* Coat your face and your neck with preferred shaving cream.

* Start with the neck and shave in upward strokes with the skin. Pull the skin taught in areas to ensure a close shave.

* Move to the face and use a downward glide close to the skin to remove hair. Again, go with the direction of the skin to avoid nicks. Rinse the razor in hot water between strokes.

* Rinse all of the cream off when you're done and splash your face with cold water to close up pores. This will also help to protect and heal the skin.

* Finish up with aftershave.