(AXE’s YOU is all about, well, you! Here’s mine with my own personalized name. Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)
When I was in the sixth grade, before acne set in and I grew any pubic hair, I used to douse myself everywhere with cheap colognes.
You’d have thought the spray was a mosquito repellent and I was out to slay the biggest mosquito of all, truly suicidal, I know. I’d spritz the air twice, walk into the musky mist, bask in my hormonal glory, then spray my arm pits once, proceeded by opening my shorts and fumigating wildly down there for good measure. In retrospect, I smelled like walking HPV, a reason why I probably had all of two friends, one including a dog my family owned for all of two days. 🙁
Years later, I dabbled lightly in fragrances. When I mean lightly, I mean nothing at all. Just my deodorant and the smell of my freshly laundered clothing. But when a friend told me that I was reaching the age where I needed to be more sophisticated, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I’d try.
That’s when this story takes an interesting turn and comes full circle, my friends. Lately, I’ve been using a spray that I once used in my youth, the same that used to coat my young testicles and make them sting. ‘Oh, is that Le Labo, a savvy editor friend of mine recently asked.’ ‘That smells familiar, could it be Diptyque? I had another one try guessing.’ Of course, I never really revealed my answer. I wanted my own eau de toilette to be clouded and shrouded in complete mystery.
That is, until now. Friends, family, my old dog if you’re still alive, I am confessing that I have been using AXE spray for the past few months. And OMG no, this is not a sponsored post, lol. (FYI, we at Very Good Light will never ever be paid t0 review products. Trust us, we’ve been approached.) Yes, you can raise your brows and wag your tongues or clap in unison. It’s truly impressive, I know. AXE. The same hormonal brand that used to show commercials instructing guys to clean their balls.
But the brand has completely transformed from crass to class in the past year. While the brand was all about tapping into that hormonal teenager, it’s now about redefining masculinity. I was actually impressed by their Find Your Magic campaign, in which they show a diverse array of men ranging from swaggy straight guys, paraplegic dudes, to gay teens finding love. Was it time to start rethinking AXE completely? I think so.
So I started using the $6 new YOU spray because their PR sent it over. I was hesitant at first. I mean, this was still AXE, after all. But a light douse of it made me open my senses. It was a hell of a lot more sophisticated that I remembered. The fragrance has notes of amber and cinnamon for a sweet smell, then peppers in coriander leaves and black basil for something fresh.
The overall feeling is that this fragrance is well-rounded and warm, like the first actual warm day of spring when all the basics trade in their Uggs for boat shoes. Researching more, I see that the fragrance was created by Ann Gottlieb, aka the woman behind scents like Calvin Klein, Dior, to Marc Jacobs, to name a few. Okay, makes sense now. It’s a fragrance that’s been well thought out. Makes me feel a lot more sophisticated knowing it’s from someone who has an expert nose.
All in all, my friends, I will still continue spray myself in an X formation like a teen for the next unforeseen months. Like, honestly, one spritz altogether. For $6 it’s definitely a steal and something you have permission to check out as well. The next time I go in for a hug and I get a whiff of your glory, I won’t say out loud what you’re sprayed with. I’ll give you a wink and nod and then Instagram Story what you’re using behind your back. JK. The world should know what you’re using.
I think it’s cooler to know that you didn’t spend hundreds on a fragrance to smell of confidence. Rather, a couple dollars to find your, well, YOU. That, my friends, is being a savvy shopper. That, my friends, is being a swaggy AF man. Just don’t use on your precious crown jewels down there. It will still burn. It will still sting. Yes, I have tried.
We created a handy dandy flossing guide to pick floss made just for you.
Can flossing be the most enjoyable part of your morning or night?
Hell nah! At least, that’s what I thought before researching flosses for a good two months. Yes, two whole months for this story! Brushing my teeth is bad enough, but then having to glide a thread in between my teeth to get some gunk out isn’t my idea of a night recap, especially if flossing creates intense bleeding.
It’s 2017, I asked myself. Isn’t there a better way of getting plaque from your teeth than getting some waxed string and going back and forth to get it out?
Certainly, there are. And I discovered there are plenty of new brands that are trying to change our perceptions of flossing. Take for instance, this one brand I just came across, called Cocofloss. It comes in flavors like strawberry and coconut. Um, what?! And this other vegan brand that actually uses a vegan wax (see below), something I didn’t even take into account was important to many people. Whatever the case, in the past few weeks, I realized flossing is becoming, well, flossy. Meaning, the flosses of your parents’ days are over. No longer is it just some waxed plastic string in any old dispenser.
While y’all were wondering whether or not to even consider doing this 30-second regimen, some die-hard flossers out there created flosses with flavors beyond mint, antiseptic properties, super fluffy textures akin to unicorn hair, biodegradable material, and vegan ingredients.
Needless to say, the floss game is serious. More so, flossing is becoming an aspect that’s now dare I say, enjoyable to my morning and night. In fact, I look forward to extracting gunk from my nasty ass teeth alleys. The following are the best ones I’ve found on the market and hope you, too will find enjoyable. Now get to it, heathen!
This is one of my favorites. The floss container is different from your typical floss because this one is a circular shape that rotates to cover up the floss on top from debris and whatnot. More importantly, the floss itself is not your typical thin plastic string. This floss is thick but super soft which is an amazing combo to help clean your teeth, without damaging your gums. Don’t get me wrong, if you haven’t flossed ever, your weak ass gums are probably going to bleed some.
For reasons unknown, the Smart Floss only comes in cardamom flavor. TBH, I’m only familiar with this spice because I once accidentally bought a jar of cardamom thinking it said ‘cinnamon.’ I mean, can you blame me? Probably. Cardamom smells like a pine tree and a bar of soap made a baby. It’s weird, but you’ll grow to like it. I mean, it’s a natural flavoring and I actually enjoy the subtle taste and smell because I’d much rather smell that than my dried saliva, so I’m okay with this lack of choice.
Those with cardamommy issues (lol) need not apply. . Otherwise, get it here.
Vegan floss. Now WTF is that? At first glance, it looks like the usual mint floss, except this has its wax derived from candelilla shrubs in the Southwestern US desert to keep it vegan. The floss itself is made of nylon filaments which they managed to make nearly as fluffy and soft as their non-vegan silk floss.
It also comes in Cranberry – and you might be wondering if you want the taste of cranberries in your mouth. It’s not something you don’t want, but not exactly something you were going for. Don’t trip though, while the mint will actually taste like mint, the cranberry is not flavored. They just use the essences to capture the beneficial properties of cranberry including its antibacterial property – and they include natural xylitol to all their flosses, which reduces acidity in the mouth while preventing bacteria.
Lastly, they have their Natural Silk Floss which is completely biodegradable (and also super soft), so you don’t have to feel guilty of your floss potentially creating a noose for a bird just trying to have fun at the local landfill.
Did I mention the floss is made at a fair-trade cooperative in Colombia? And the cranberries are picked in the States? And the wax comes from the deserts of Southwestern US? And that you can buy it online and get it shipped right to your door?
This one is for the true eco-friendly consumer. It’s made by a Florida-based company that doesn’t specialize in dental products but instead specializes in making awesome eco-friendly products. They like to emphasize that they’re not about toothbrushes or hygiene, but that they are “about the fact that every person can make a difference in the world.” Can I get an Amen?
This fine Italian floss comes in a completely biodegradable packaging with plant-based plastic, AND the floss is natural silk, which is also biodegradable. The packaging itself is the floss container once you rip it at the perforated lines. Now about the floss itself: while it is silk, it’s not super fluffy and soft, reminiscent of unicorn hair. The plus side is that if your teeth are super close together and you ain’t got space for the fluffy floss, this one will slip right in and clean out your tooth alleys.
This is definitely the most complete product of the future. Fully sustainable, biodegradable, and natural. Flossing never felt so right. Get it here.
If I had to pick only one floss brand to use for the rest of my life, this would be it. This company was started by the Cu sisters (Asian-Americans + Californians represent!) who are the perfect duo for this product. A dentist and an artist created this product, and you’ll see both of their expertise play out in these 32 yards of floss. The design is simple and beautiful, yet very practical and informing. For instance, I never knew how much floss I was supposed to use until I came across Cocofloss’ graphic on the back of their product that shows a progression of how long this thing should last (60 days) if you floss every day using 18 inches each time. The more you know! Cue shooting star.
The floss itself is glorious. Super soft like Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss because of the microfibers used, so you actually feel like you’re scrubbing the tooth alleys clean. The floss is a turquoise color, so you can see all the treasure you harvested pretty clearly, unless you’ve been eating turquoise food. Unlikely. So what puts this one above the rest?
The flavors are the kickers. It comes in coconut, mint, cara cara oranges, and strawberry. The Cu sisters were kind enough to send us three of the four (the orange came out after they had sent it) and, again, if you want to stick with mint, be my guest. I’m going to adventure on to strawberries and coconuts. The secret evil plan by the sisters was to make flossing actually enjoyable enough to do it daily. I think they nailed it. Your whole mouth just tastes like you just low key made out with a coconut or strawberry.
If I had this as a kid, I might have avoided a few cavities and that damn root canal I had to get in high school. It would have been right up there next to that grape-flavored dinosaur toothpaste that got me to actually enjoy brushing my teeth, though I’m sure it was because I wanted to “accidentally” eat some of the toothpaste. I have so far resisted consuming this floss, but I do pick it up just to smell it every now and then.
I read a review about their product where someone said that it was like flossing with unicorn hair. I can confirm this is true. Subscribe to their floss plan for $3.50/month or get a 3-pack on their site to try them all.
Most of y’all have either seen this or used this before. This was probably one of my favorite flosses before I discovered this other world of flosses. So to give you a comparison, this one is definitely soft in its own way, but not like the fluffy type. This one is flat, so it’s great for tighter spaces and for cleaning out the area where the gum and teeth meet. My only complaint is that it glides so well that I don’t feel like I’m scrubbing the sides, but more like scraping or filleting my plaque. Not as satisfying, but gets the job done in terms of dislodging gunks of your once-delicious meal. Flavors, packaging, and all that are fairly basic. It comes in mint or original (no flavor), but it has a bunch of varieties in terms of ‘extra soft’ and ‘whitening’ and ‘ultrafloss.’ Mainly gimmick words, IMO. This is the #1 Best Selling floss on Amazon — but instead of being described as fluffy, they use “silky-smooth” which is pretty accurate. But then again, you can get the literal smoothness of silk from the other flosses mentioned above.
This is your go-to floss when you’re out of floss and find yourself at a big box store like Target. Get it really anywhere, like here.
6 Human Hair (Free)
Another thing I confirmed during this review was that I was not a unicorn, unfortunately. Let me explain. When I was doing my floss research, I came across some blog on the best eco-friendly flosses by this super minimalist lady who was doing this whole zero-waste thing. Her recommendations were mediocre and a lot of it was nearly impossible to acquire… except her last recommendation. She had read somewhere that some zero-waste extremists floss with their hair. Like three strands and boom, you have an all-natural, biodegradable, free of charge, super portable floss.
I collected about three stray strands of hair from my head and went for the front two teeth. Floss floss floss, then as I was trying to pull my cage-free organic hair out, it snagged and broke. Now I had three strands of hair and the plaque it tried to remove, stuck in my teeth and tickling my lips. I reach for my beloved Cocofloss to help resolve this mistake and to treat myself to a little tropical mouthcation.
Anyways, I did it so you guys will never be curious enough to try it. It’s definitely the least sanitary and least effective way to floss. I would say it’s the most portable, but if that’s your concern, go get a portable floss satchel pack from Radius instead.
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Have you ever woken your ass up and gone to the toilet to find that your ass is already wide awake? AKA do you see that you have a butt pimple?
Let me explain this further. Have you ever sat down on the bathroom’s throne and found that you’ve felt like your ass is punching you hard maybe because it’s angry that it’s, well, your ass? The pain is real. It’s almost like a bruise and a stab combined. Like Conor McGregor slayed only your buttocks last night in the Octagon.
When you glare at the mirror, your back facing it, your head stretching its way behind, you find that it’s none other than a huge ass (literally) pimple. It throbs. It aches. And you can’t bear thinking you have to endure the entire day sitting on it. What exactly is it? How did you get it? And why oh why does it hurt so much?
Yep, we’ve all been there. I have been there. You are definitely not alone.
Experts call this, “butt-ne.” A stupid ass (hehe) name if you ask me. It could have been called simply butt acne, “bootie bump,” “rump rupture,” “shit zit,” or “pooper pimple.” But who are we to disagree with the medical community?
In any case, just as you’d get acne on your face, back, or anywhere else, it’s definitely normal to wake up with a pus-filled sore on your rear-end. The reasons are bountiful. It could be from hormones, or it could be from bacteria down there: sweat, stink, bad wiping. The list goes on. Of course, the best way to actually prevent another pimple on your butt is to keep it clean.
If you’ve seen that the zit has formed a white head, try to pop it with clean hands and a tissue over it. If it’s just forming, don’t be tempted to squeeze, for bacteria can spread and you can cause an infection. Remember: An infected butt is ten times worse. After popping, clean it with an alcohol wipe to kill any bacteria. Then put a salicylic acid, sulfur or benzoyl peroxide creams (your choice!) over it. Finally, put a Band-Aid over so that you can let it heal.
After it’s healed, you can definitely take measures to prevent “butt-ne.” That is, exfoliating with a nice exfoliating body wash. Sometimes, dead cells do clump together and create pimples. Keep it clean, keep it dry, keep it bacteria-free. Of course, we don’t recommend moisturizing your butt or adding any acne-preventing creams down there. Since your butt doesn’t have pores like your face, it doesn’t need to be moisturized as regularly and is far less acne-prone. AKA: “butt-ne” is pretty rare but on the chance you do get it, brace yourself for a week of discomfort. Butt-ne: It sure is a pain in the ass.
I made my own face moisturizer at home and this is what happened
Help! I woke up with a pimple on my butt.
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Even after years of a guilt-induced scorched Earth policy against my hair down there, one that involved plucking, shaving, waxing and even trying the dreaded lunacy of NAIR (for the record, it burns!), my body still seems to be able to grow hair where I never wanted it.
As a brand, Fur’s motto struck a chord with me and summed up exactly what I had been feeling about the inevitable growth and eventual embrace of my pubic hair.
“Few things in life are certain, but pubic hair is one of them,” Fur says on their About page.
The brand seeks to combat the hegemonies that regiment hairlessness by giving its users something of an oxymoron in the day and age of naked mole rat-style aesthetics. They want to make pubic hair attractive.
Pubic hair is the oft-ignored and taboo counterpart to the other elements of hair, whether on our bodies in less private places or on our heads, and I wanted to find a way to treat myself down there, foster my own confidence, and feel sexy, just as easily as a shower and shampoo. For me, it’s taken a long time to come to terms with my own hairiness.
Growing up, I longed to have a lean, hairless body and I was willing to do anything to get it… Until I wasn’t. It hurt. And here’s the thing your parents don’t tell you about puberty and the beautiful change of life: pubes are not only annoying to get rid of, but they come back with a vengeance like Facebook memories– accompanied by ingrown hairs, redness, dry skin, and itchiness. But that’s another story.
Pubic hair is the oft-ignored and taboo counterpart to the other elements of hair
Eventually, I grew to accept my own hairy situation with equal parts laziness and rebellion. Laziness in that I grew tired of having to shave more than some people change clothes and it was becoming a bit of an expensive and irritating luxury, and rebellious in that I decided if a sexual partner could handle some well-kept hair down south then they weren’t really worth having sex with in the first place.
My week with pubic oil
Using Fur’s Oil on the daily for some time, made me rethink pubic hair altogether. The product works as a sort of serum for the hair down there in the hopes of leaving it softer and healthier without ingrowns or irritation.
I was wary because generally people are rightfully nervous about their private parts. When I first used Fur Oil, I literally applied a TINY raindrop (drop top) and prayed there would be no itching or burning throughout the day.
Eventually, I decided to be a bit more generous and try out more of the product and I actually really liked what I saw for once.
After a shower, I take a few drops of the oil and massage it into the hair, making sure that it’s evenly applied to all areas, not just focused on one spot. I give it a few minutes to dry as I pick out an outfit.
The oil is thin and doesn’t feel thick or moist (great word, everyone’s favorite), which would be uncomfortable. It dries quickly and the bottle’s 75mL is plenty to last for over a few months.
It smells exactly like every facial serum I’ve ever tried. It has that familiar mildly chemical but with more woodsy notes and an overall fruity scent, not unpleasant but also not entirely natural. It’s definitely the tea-tree oil. Smell is an important thing to keep in mind when it comes to everything going on below the belt, but this wasn’t at all a turn-off.
It also just makes me feel really sexy. Not in a Love Magazine Advent Calendar way, but more in the way that not only am I doing something to ensure that a sexual partner is pleased, but I’m also doing something to treat myself and make me feel pampered.
The pampering comes in the form of softer hair, that doesn’t feel wiry or… I’m just going to say it…. Bushy. It’s soft, which leads to leaves less ingrowns and feels much more soothing. It also takes away from the tendency of hair down there to get a little bit tangly and unkempt looking, which is particularly nice for those of us who are a little bit on the lazy side in terms of upkeep.
It’s a life hack for lazy hairy guys.
That said, much like most luxuries in life, the oil does come at a relatively steep cost. It’s $39 for a bottle, which can feel like splurge when it comes down to down there. It’s more expensive than shampoo, conditioner, or body wash (if you use drugstore brands), but it also lasts you much longer. If you’re self-conscious, then this is worth it for a little extra reassurance that all is well below the belt. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, it’s worth it as a form of daily self-care and fun indulgence.
So yes, even after torture, after hell and high water, I still have pubes. And I like it, even after the cost. Pubes are great. You’re welcome.
Hate anything smooth, supple, or soft? Would you rather have itchy, blotchy, dry, ashy skin? Do you truly hate being comfortable?
If you answered yes, yes and YASSS to any and all of these questions, you truly must be a porcupine. And if you really are and reading this, please, I beg you, write for us. For all of you other human beings who overwhelmingly said HELL NAH, we have some good news for you. We tried a new product line all about fighting dryness and were pleased to say that it really does work.
It’s from Dove Men+Care Elements, a brand new product line that launched Monday. The brand is all about that Micromoisture technology that it patented years ago, which is clinically proven to leave your skin hydrated. What we’ve always loved about Dove’s men’s line is that it was great for sensitive skin. I mean, it’s not the coolest of brands on the market. There are definitely many, multiple brands that have that cool cachet. Dove isn’t one of them. It’s like, Dad Cool. But we digress! Their new line is all about utilizing premium ingredients at an approachable price point and is inspired by the Earth’s elements. The new products include: Minerals+Sage, Charcoal+Clay and Mineral Powder+Sandalwood. We tested the Charcoal+Clay body wash.
There are tiny exfoliation agents. Aren’t they sexy? (Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)
I’ve always felt like the fragrance of Dove Men+Care line made me feel like a true DILF. Almost as if I was married, had 14 children (and counting), a scruffy, soft beard, wore ill-fitting cargo shorts with Crocs but still made it look hot. That is, the brand’s fragrance always felt super masculine, what I’d imagine Jon Hamm would smell like every morning.
I’ve always felt like the fragrance of Dove Men+Care line made me feel like a true DILF.
Super normcore sexy, sure, but not very me. As anyone reading this site would know, I’m more of a lavender, manuka honey, rose petal, type of dude who likes to smell clean, fresh and zestfully unisex.
Which is why among all of the products I chose the Charcoal & Clay, meant to purify dirty skin while drawing out dirt, oil and toxins, made me totally change my feeling towards the brand. For one, I’m definitely a sucker for charcoal and anything clay, two words that conjure bath time, me time, selfish time where I can pamper myself without remorse. And it seemed a lot more elevated than other formulations.
It’s me in the bathtub living my best life. (Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)
After testing the new product line for a week, I was super confused. The packaging wasn’t so new and the formula was almost the same. But the fragrance was a little bit more unisex. It didn’t have the musky, oud-y smell, rather, was lighter and felt less obvious in its masculinity. Was Dove Men+Care listening to my inner thoughts?
Bathing in this body wash was like soaking myself in lotion. It lathered into my skin perfectly, gliding along every which curve of my body (there are many these days, thanks, winter pudge!). But instead of over drying like other brands, it did exactly the opposite: it moisturized like no other. It also came in a cool light grey color with awesome microbeads that gave me some exfoliation. I was really into how it seemed to lightly slough away my dead skin cells in the process of cleansing.
Was Dove Men+Care listening to my inner thoughts?
At the end of the week, I felt renewed, as if I found my newfound self. No longer did I feel like a DILF. I was more like a late 20’s self-absorbed millennial who was so obsessed with his own life he couldn’t bear thinking of settling down and sharing himself with a spouse let along babies. Basically, I felt totally like myself. Which is the best review of all. If a product makes you feel like yourself, that’s all you could really ask for.
I shaved my ass for Valentine's Day using GQ's guide
Dove Men+Care’s new body wash made me feel like a DILF
What’s the sexiest way to get ready for Valentine’s Day?
Apparently, it’s shaving your pubes. And your crotch hair isn’t even what I’m talking about. That’s a given. I’m talking about your backside bush. The ones that seem to be your cushion when you sit down. Yes, your ass hair.
Okay. Cool. If the men’s style bible tells me to shave my buttocks, who am I to disagree? So, for V-Day, I took it upon myself to take their step by step guide and this is what happened.
First thing I did was get an electric clipper, one that GQ suggested. Theirs was a Philips Norelco Bodygroom. I went out and purchased Philips Norelco OneBlade just because it was more affordable. It’s meant for beards, and trimming them, so I figured it would work for my other beard. Ahem.
Nay, it was fxxxing weird.
“Designed with a rounded head to navigate the body’s contours, like those in your asscrack, it’ll help get things tidy right quick,” GQ reviewed of the buzzer.
I buzzed my butt fur and at first, I must say it was a foreign sensation. First off, the vibration was a little weird. Nay, it was f***ing weird. Then, I was super freaked out that I was somehow cut myself back there. No where in the article did it write if I was supposed to clean my hair or cut it while it was wet. I figured it was safer to cut with clippers while dry. Something about lubricating my ass hair with shaving cream with a clipper just didn’t seem safe.
I buzzed my butt fur and at first, I must say it was a foreign sensation.
I don’t know if the GQ writer has a flexible head that twists and contorts like a 90’s Stretch Armstrong doll, or has the ability to gouge out his eyeballs so they can see any angle at any time, or is just, well, boneless. But when I went to look at my behind, I was like, um, lol, I can’t see a thing. Like, was I supposed to prop a mirror somehow to see what I was doing? Should I have asked my girlfriend to come over and do this intimate act of love for me? Or put it on Instagram Live so that at least I could witness my reflection and ask my followers (hi grandma!) to help me find my anal pubes? Or simply close my eyes, shave down there and hope for the best?
Should I have asked my girlfriend to come over and do this intimate act of love for me? Or put it on Instagram Live so that at least I could witness my reflection and ask my followers (hi grandma!) to help me find my anal pubes?
I chose the latter and wished that I actually went and sought out a professional (or my grandma). Not only did I think I was going to scrape my inner anus, I thought it would bleed, I’d get an infection and then surely die, blood gushing from my open wound. So I stopped immediately and went on to the next step.
GQ‘s next move was to “Shave It Away.” Okay, pretty straightforward. The writer instructed that I use a cartridge razor “as opposed to its single-blade safety counterpart.” The reasoning: “While the latter may provide a closer shave on your face, the former will be about a million times easier to navigate the narrow valley of your ass.” Okay.
The article instructed that I use a handheld mirror for a visual on more “hard-to-picture” places. This would have been ideal, except I really didn’t know where to prop the mirror. Was it on my toilet? Was I then supposed to bend over backwards (lol) and look between my legs upside down while looking in the mirror and simultaneously navigating a razor? Like, was this the triangle pose from yoga? This was so much work, guys.
I ended up using shaving cream that was too good of a lubricant that my razor started slipping out of my hands. I started scratching the surface of my anus picturing that it was like my facial hair and went up and down side to side. But after a good few minutes of clumsily shaving, I called it quits as I started scraping and felt a little pain. I panicked and a little blood began mixing with my shaving cream. Absolutely horrified, I could imagine the disaster of a 9-1-1 phone called I’d have to make.
“9-1-1 emergency, how may I help you?”
“I am bleeding to death!”
“Sir, why are you bleeding? Have you been stabbed?”
“Yes, I was shaving my anus and now blood is everywhere!”
“Yes, I was shaving my anus and now blood is everywhere!”
Mortified, I completely stopped what I was doing. For those squeamish like me, GQ suggested perhaps waxing it off was best. Which is a huge f***ing no. To ANYONE reading this, I IMPLORE you to stray FAR from doing this to yourself. Can you imagine waxing somewhere you can’t even see, let alone then ripping your anal skin onto a piece of paper that now has part of your intestines attached to it? Same goes for the publication’s next option: using an epilator. Wait. Epilator? Have you actually used one? That s*** hurts even for your underarms let alone somewhere tender like your buttcrack. NO NO NO NO NO.
Can you imagine waxing somewhere you can’t even see, let alone then ripping your anal skin onto a piece of paper that now has part of your intestines attached to it?
In conclusion, dear readers, I survived. Barely. I licked my wounds and rinsed myself off. Sore, a little confused and absolutely mortified, I realized that GQ certainly cannot be trusted. At least when it comes to shaving your dingleberry tree.
A week later, my ass hair was growing back and I was happy to say that all was scabbing. I then sat down to get back to some emails when I felt a prick. Oh, yeah! I realized. My ass hair was growing back and now it was pricking my anus like that of a prickly cactus. OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THIS BURNS. Thanks, GQ.
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I shaved my ass for Valentine’s Day using GQ’s guide
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It’s literally all people said growing up to those who dealt with acne. Which I still don’t get why is an insult because as w know, pizza is sexy AF. Other sexy AF foods: French fries dipped in mayo; potato chips coated with dark chocolate; Ranch dressing on breadsticks. The list goes on.
Throughout the years, we’ve heard the adage that whatever you eat sticks to your body. And that includes, unfortunately, your face. The thinking is that eating pizza can in turn make you oily and sprout zits the size of pepperoni slices. But can pizza be that bad? According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that eating pizza can reduce your risk of a heart attack.
“In a 4-year study of nearly 1,000 Italians, those who ate pizza at least once a week were 30 percent less likely to experience a heart attack than the folks who didn’t partake of the pie. This is contributed to pizza’s cardio protective ingredients, including olive oil and tomato sauce.”
That’s great news, if there ever was one. The reasoning? Tomatoes, it says, help your body absorb lycopene, an antioxidant that prevents heart disease and illnesses. And with the cheese’s fat, it absorbs even better. Cheese, the study said, is all about protein and 15 grams can give you enough energy to repair cells and burn muscle, which is why the scientists actually said eating a few slices for a cheat meal isn’t such a bad idea. THIS IS RANCH DRESSING TO OUR EARS.
Finally, EVOO. That’s extra virgin olive oil in Rachel Ray speak. It’s supposed to mimic the effects of ibuprofen, reducing inflammation, which can decrease disease and cancers.
“It’s important to make a few things clear first,” she tells Very Good Light. “The study was in regards to true Italian pizza, not the massive greasy slices that we serve here in the States. In no way can I say that I recommend Pizza is a healthy option when eaten the way we do here in the US.”
The main reason, Brooke says, is because the pizza in Italy is “very different” from the kind we eat here. “Ingredients are fresher, portions are smaller, even the wheat is different.”
She did agree with how tomatoes can be good for you: “Tomatoes contain lycopene which is an amazing antioxidant that helps protect the body, especially the heart from inflammation and oxidation,” she says. “There have even been connections to lycopene helping to protect the skin from sun damage.” That being said, more tomato sauces here, she says, are added with lots of sugar, which is not good for your body or your skin.
When it comes to cheese, Brooke agrees that it can be good for you. But it has to be low in sugar and high in protein.
Finally, olive oil can be “an amazing source of healthy fats.” Brooke says that it’s been linked to lowering abdominal fat, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
“Regardless of where in the world you’re eating your pizza, always remember to watch your portions and have some greens with it,” she recommends.
So that’s that. Pizza can be good for you. Hell, the good European scientists even recommended eating it in between work out sessions (hallelu!). But only – and this is a big ONLY – if you’re eating the right kind of ingredients and in small portions. Healthy ingredients? Smaller portion pizza? Greens? Okay, it’s taco time.
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It’s a real question. Come on, don’t deny it. We all stuck our finger in somewhere haphazardly, in places we really shouldn’t have. Wait, no? Does that make one of us? We stand corrected.
Okay, fine, let’s say ‘hypothetically’ it wasn’t you who stuck that thumb in some random hole in your torso. It was say, a ‘hypothetical’ friend (an intimate friend, at that!) who discovered some random, odd, salty taint coming oozing from you. He started sniffing you up and down (said friend is a … dog) to find that maybe that sour odor came not from your cat litter, your decomposing sandwich in your locker, or your gym shorts you left in a plastic bag, but from precisely, that crevice in the middle of your abdomen.
And what is it that he picked out? Is that a Cheetoh puff! Wait, that’s where my iPhone 4 went?! Wait, is that an old … pickle? And what is that smell?
In any case, if you’ve ever had a curiously odorous bellybutton, you are far from alone. Just about every other guy (and girl) has experienced SABBD (Smelly Ass Belly button Disorder) at least once in their lives. It’s exactly how you’d imagined Roger from Doug smelling like, for instance. But if you’ve ever wondered why said small pit produces so much putridity and still haven’t Googled it, we found the answer for you.
At least, Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy from the Miami Skin Institute did. She got down with our dirty questions about why bellybuttons and other places smell. Here’s why every part of your body that could smell, does smell. As for Roger? It’s probably that Killer Tofu.
“The canal inside the navels (or belly button) is closed off to external air and so when sweat is produced in this area, it is difficult for it to escape and can therefore smell,” contritely explains, Dr. Jegasothy. Therefore, she beseeches: “Hygiene is important for this area!”
How to clean. To clean your BB, simply use a cotton swab with alcohol, then soap. Gently give it a twirl and get the grime out. Afterwords, add gentle soap and water. Give it a thorough dry (if you’re unsure if you can make it completely dry, use a blowdryer on its ‘cool’ setting). If not, the cotton swab should work.
For some of us, earwax has a thick, musky stench. We already know that some people have waxy, yellow gunk as ear wax, while others have dry, off-white flakey wax. Whatever the case, some ears smell bad.
“Ear wax, or cerumen, is produced by most people as a consequence of normal lubrication produced by the ear canal to keep the tympanic membrane, or ear drum, hydrated and functional,” explains Dr. Jegasothy.
But why does it stink? “If an individual is genetically susceptible to irritation or dermatitis in the ear canal, excess wax may be produced and can sometimes smell,” she explains.
How to clean. How do you get rid of a smell produced in your inner ear? Great question. It stars with good hygiene, says the doc. That, and something called Debrox ear drops. “It’s available over-the-counter and can be used to soften ear wax,” she says. “But often, a visit to the ENT doctor may be needed to aspirate, or suck out this excess wax.” Good to know.
Sweaty (schweddy!), stinky (stanky!) balls. We already went over this in a very thorough post here. Long story short: Balls get hot, sweaty and attract bacteria that then starts to, well, smell. If you’re in need of solutions here, head to this Post. Right. Now.
“The underarms and the groin are filled with apocrine sweat glands, which are completely different from the eccrine sweat glands that are found everywhere else on the body,” the doctor says. Unfortunately (or fortunately for a certain few), apocrine sweat glands overproduce sweat and smells differently from eccrine sweat.
How to clean. If daily showers are just not cutting it and deodorant just doesn’t work, Dr. Jegasothy says two remedies should be taken into consideration. The first, is Botox, the second, Dysport. The former is best known for getting rid of wrinkles but still useful to closing up pores. The latter, Dysport, has been used in the same way, but a different brand. “One treatment session can eliminate sweating in these areas for one to two years,” she says. “After two to three treatments, many patients find that there underarms and over groin sweat is eliminated permanently. This treatment is actually the number one procedure requested by men at my practice.”
Sometimes your head completely reeks even after shampooing rigorously. But why? Dr. Jegasothy says it has to do with an overproduction of oil that makes your hair smell.
“Since the hair shaft itself is made of dead proteins, it is actually the overproduction of sebum in the hair follicles that can make scalp smell, and therefore make the hair smell as well,” she explains.
How to clean. “The best way to eliminate the problem is to use a zinc based shampoo, such as Selsun Blue or Head and Shoulders, which have been shown to penetrate the hair follicle and reduce genetic inflammation which causes this type of sebum overproduction. Dandruff represents scaling of the scalp in response to this excess sebum production, so these zinc-based shampoos eliminate dandruff as well.”
Feet are probably the stankiest of all body parts, and it’s mostly because they’re usually in tight quarters all day (aka shoes), without ventilation. An overproduction of sweat mixed with dirty shoes creates a perfect storm for smelly feet. That cheesy smell? It comes from sweat decomposing, which is probably the worst sweat ever.
How to clean. Wash them every day and change out your shoes. Wearing socks that soak sweat or wick them away can also do the trick as well as using powders to keep it extra dry. There are also great soaks from the likes of Art Naturals that are anti-fungal.
Your butt could be smelling for various reasons: Sweat, leftover defecation from improper wiping or something more problematic. If daily washing isn’t working, and using a wet wipe after relieving yourself isn’t effective, try going to a professional. There may be something else going on.
Other regions of the body
Sometimes some smells are just unexplainable. Like, where TF is that taco/cheese/dirty rag coming from?? If you’ve already adhered to the above and still can’t explain your stench, chances are, it could be from your food. Yes, blame it on last night’s leftover enchilada.
“This can be particularly true if a patient is eating particularly aromatic foods such as spices, garlic or onion,” affirms Dr. Jegasothy. Good to know what to avoid if you’re looking forward to a special occasion, like, picking up Pringles from your local 7-11. That, and a date or something.
Embrace that funk
If all else fails and you still smell like ?, embrace it! It’s sexy sometimes. There’s science behind why:
“It is believed that the apocrine sweat gland also may contain pheromones, which were considered to be the odorous molecules of sexual attraction,” the good Doc says. “It was also believed that these pheromones from the apocrine sweat system were necessary in our pre-verbal ‘cave man’ days in order for mates to signal one another.”
You read that? Sweat, smell, stench, whatever you call it is sexy. Just get rid of that Doritos crumb in your belly button, will you?
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It’s the holidays and flying on airplanes is inevitable. And that means that extra care for your well-being and skin, is more important than ever.
This reminds me of a bad break out I had earlier this year when I was flying nonstop from New York City to Los Angeles for a shoot with beauty guru Michelle Phan. It was an unremarkable flight, one that included a generic inflight meal, three forgettable movies and brief naps on the plane’s scratchy pillows. But after five and a half hours on the plane, I realized I walked out of the airport a prepubescent teen, one with many new zits and pus-filled pimples that formed all over my face. Disgust-filled, I realized it had to do with the flight I just experienced.
I knew that flights dried out your skin and the air quality was probably not so great for your system. But after doing some research online, I found that airplanes were more disgusting than I previously conjectured. Did you know, for instance, that you’re pretty much guaranteed to get in contact with bacteria wherever you sit on an airplane? It’s even worse, apparently, if you’re sitting in the aisle seat (this due to more people passing by). Worse, you could get E.coli, a bacteria found in fecal matter, from drinking water given to you by flight attendants or from simply washing your hands from the bacteria-infested sink.
“In general, the most common bacterial skin infection involve an overgrowth of staph bacteria, which is a normal component of the skin, but in times of upheaval, such as an airplane flight, may become overgrown,” explains Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, CEO and Founder of Miami Skin Institute, to Very Good Light.
It makes sense. People are filthy. And when they’re clustered together? Filth volcano. Bacteria eruption. Impending doom.
Let’s start with just the lavatory alone. The average bathroom sees around 75 passengers, according to Gizmodo. That means there’s lots of room for diseases to spread, especially when a few passengers won’t wash their hands afterwards (or simply can’t because their hands are way too big for the teeny tiny sinks).
These humans (including you) carrying many diseases. Get your guards up.
Humans, (or the average human, at least), shed 30,000-40,000 skin cells every hour, which is completely covered in bacteria. Some, which can actually kill you. According to a Time report, an estimated 1% to 2% of people in the U.S. alone could be carriers of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) AKA totally life-threatening if it enters your bloodstream. Yikes.
According to the New York Post, the following are the most bacteria-prone spots on a plane:
Magazines and in-flight entertainment touch screens
Toilet and lid
Water faucet and soap dispenser
Paper towel dispenser
AC knob on the ceiling
Headrest (includes blankets and pillows that are never washed, simply reused)
The most troubling part of this all, though, is that you really can’t do anything about it. You can’t avoid the air circulation (which airlines claim is 97% “fresh air”, uh, what’s the other 3% then?), can’t choose who sat in the seats you’re sitting in now, and surely can’t control who comes into contact with you. So what is it that you can do? Pray. Well, that and a few proactive steps you can take.
Try the below to avoid acne, splotchy skin, a dehydrated complexion and more:
1 Bring sanitizing and antibacterial wipes
Use these before you sit down on your seat handles, actual seat, inflight touchscreen monitor and especially your trays. Apparently, airline attendants do not wipe each down before a new flight. We recommend Wet Ones, which has packaging perfect for being on the go.
2 BYOW (bring your own water!)
As per mentioned, inflight water is deplorable. It’s also infested with bacteria and incredibly harmful. According to Time, the United States Environmental Protection Agency found traces of E. coli in inflight water for the past six years. Also, coffee and tea is made before each flight and don’t reach high enough temperatures to kill certain bacterias. Watch out for any and all water that’s served outside a container. It’s best you bring your own.
3 Makeup wipes
Since there’s so much bacteria in the air that’s harmful to your skin, it’s pertinent you wash your face every few hours. Since we’ve heard how unsanitary bathrooms are, this is obviously not a choice. Instead, try a makeup wipe from Burt’s Bees in a grapefruit scent. It isn’t oily, the fragrance is fresh and goes on with a clean feeling. Use every other hour or whenever you’re feeling in need.
4 Face masks
Another reason for breakouts could be an overproduction of oils to make up for low humidity levels. Keeping hydrated throughout (with your own water!), is important yes, but also hydrating the exterior is very essential as well. We recommend a face mask. It’s easy to put on in small spaces and is easy to take off. There’s nothing else you need to place on and off. Though warning: Your neighbors might get rightfully spooked. Bring an extra one for them and do it together as a bonding experience. You can buy a variety of them but our favorite is from Amore Pacific. It isn’t juicy like most and sticks to your face much like a sticker.
5 Sleeping masks
Sleeping masks are great during long flights because they totally hydrate while you doze off. They’re also extremely hydrating. After your face mask, apply (with clean hands!) all over your face. We recommend one from Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. It’s a water mask that goes on lightly and seeps deep into your pores.
6 Face mists
Mist every so often to rehydrate your skin. A good option is Kiehl’s own In Flight Refreshing Mist, a product designed just for this experience. It’ll keep your face supple and ward off dehydration.
7 Balm it up
Prevent chapped hands and lips with a nice balm. We’re really into Lucas Papaw Ointment, a beauty secret for tons of people for over 100 years. Apply as needed.
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I once watched a Korean variety show when a Korean pop star admitted to using deodorant. The entire audience proceeded to erupt in laughter.
“You use deodorant? Poor thing,” a female announcer went on to say. “You must really smell.”
It was a conversation that was completely jarring to me as an American, even though I’m of Korean descent. Are Koreans super unhygienic, I wondered, or do they really just not smell badly? It’s interesting to note that when I went to Seoul, deodorants were nowhere in sight, not sold in drug stores or retailers or anywhere. There’s even countless articles from foreigners who search far and wide for deodorants in Seoul to find that, well, there is none.
Then, last summer, my crude friend Nich, also a Korean American, dared me to sniff his under arm. It was the middle of a heat wave and we had just wandered around Bushwick, sweating like cats giving birth, if cats sweat. Being the daredevil that I am, I then stuck my nostrils onto his hairless pits, which resembled an ostrich’s eyelashes, sticking out sharply in random places.
The conclusion? To my dismay, they really, truly didn’t smell. At all.
It’s a sentiment that I found difficult to believe in. All people certainly produce body odor, don’t they? At least, that’s what the cosmetic industry has been selling to us for, well, forever? After Googling “Koreans don’t smell,” I came across several articles explaining how and why. I also realized how much I’d been scammed by the cosmetic industry into reapplying deodorant multiple times throughout the day (not even considering how much I spend on it!)
According to a LiveScience article from 2013, scientists discovered there was actually a gene called ABCC11, which determines if a person is smelly or not. Those who produce a dry version of earwax apparently also lack the same bacteria that festers in underarms and causes odor. Huh. The reasoning, this Guardian article explains, was because those who produce dry earwax also don’t produce the protein that transports sweat out of pores in our armpits, which attracts bacteria that cause body odor.
“While only 2-percent of Europeans lack the genes for smelly armpits, most East Asians and almost all Koreans lack this gene,” an expert named Ian Day, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Bristol, told the publication.
Still, in the Western world, the study by LiveScience found that more than three-quarters of people who don’t actually smell still use deodorant. Like me, an apparent luddite who’s been continually scammed. But even as I’ve read this information, it’s proven difficult for me to ween off of the sweat stick out of fear that if a crowded subway train ever shuts down ~I’m~ the one that stinks it up.
So I spoke directly to a third party dermatologist named Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital. I wanted to see if these findings were, in fact, true.
“A high percentage of Korean patients have the mutation called ABCC11 which alters the composition of sweat so that they do not produce body odor,” he confirms with Very Good Light. “Body odor is produced when sweat is broken down by bacteria that live naturally on the skin. Depending on the composition of the sweat, odor may be different or have no smell at all when broken down by bacteria. The mutation does not alter the production of sweat at all, so wetness itself is not affected. Antiperspirants may be still necessary to reduce sweating, even if a deodorant effect is not needed.”
Okay, cool. So I know I still sweat (a lot actually, just see me during Crossfit, lol), but good to know that I can walk into a meeting right after and no one will say a damn thing. This definitely makes up for the fact that I can’t drink (get the Asian glow, aka allergic to alcohol aka totally a party pooper). Case closed.
If you’re wondering if you, too, carry the genes (or absence there of!) that produce B.O., the article simply says to check your earwax. Dry? Chances are, you, too, are Korean! We kid. But maybe – just maybe – you don’t smell like what we’d imagine Hodor smelling like, either. RIP, Hodor. RIP.
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