Personal Grooming Essentials and When it’s Just Vanity

Personal grooming is important for a positive self-image and effort should be put into maintaining a good appearance. It is especially important in a professional work environment context where even in fairly casual workplaces there are still expectations of a certain standard. In business matters first, impressions from new business and work colleague, clients and customers are also critical to career success.

Of course, there are many people who take this very, very seriously too – perhaps even obsessing over every detail of their appearance. Here we are going to help you strike the right balance with your personal grooming – professional, but without wandering into the territory of too much vanity. Read on too for some grooming tips suitable for the workplace.

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Personal grooming is the art of cleaning, grooming, taking care of and maintaining the body and its appearance. As an art there is also no one right way – some variety and a bit of room for personal style are also important.

The kinds of habits which are part of a personal grooming routine include: bathing, hair skin, and nail care, body hair maintenance, applying make-up, and dressing. How one feels about themselves can be greatly influenced by the personal grooming routine they have in place.

Whether you like it or not, and no matter what you feel about your right to look however you feel comfortable, people’s perceptions of you are influenced by your personal grooming. Some of the things that people read from your grooming are: your professionalism, your credibility, your level of sophistication, your attention to detail, and your intelligence.

In short, a person who is well-groomed is often perceived better by others than a person who does not take as much care of their cleanliness and overall appearance.

Luckily it is not quite all about others, as there are some benefits for you too, most notably physical health, mental health, and social benefits.

Health Benefits

A clean body is also one which will stay healthier – it can be vital to combating and preventing illness. This is also for others around you and why good personal grooming is also respectful to the people you live and work with. Brushing and flossing your teeth is crucial for good oral health and can reduce the likelihood of other diseases too. Hand washing is important to help prevent the spread of germs from person to person, and to other body parts.

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Health Body, Healthy Mind

Personal grooming is also about making yourself feel good about you. Taking care of our appearance and wearing nice clothing that we feel relaxed and comfortable in should be primarily and initially for our own satisfaction. Putting some effort into your appearance makes you look polished and well put together. In turn, looking good can then usually improve your self-esteem and confidence.

A healthy mind starts with looking after ourselves. Actually taking time out for ourselves can be a moment of respite from the busyness and pressures of the world, and the act of self-care has a certain satisfaction in itself. If you have the time and means this could involve a relaxing day a salon or spa, but it could also be just taking a bath and using a new rejuvenating and repairing hair product, or giving yourself a manicure. You will often feel better after doing this, than simply relaxing on the couch and just watching the latest Netflix offering.

Social Benefits

Poor personal hygiene can be considered offensive or a sign of illness and in some cases, it impacts those around us. Having a regular body care routine can reduce body odor and improve your personal appearance. Improved perceptions from others also do have an effect on our own mental health and are important in work and educational settings, but also in your social life. Maintaining a high standard of personal hygiene is also helpful in improving your own self-image.

When you look pleasant, feel pleasant about yourself, people, in turn, feel good in your company. This has great social benefits, as people want to engage with you and it can be easier to build rapport with people when they are at ease in your presence. You will find you are respected and treated better. So there is no harm in putting work into looking good and letting your outward appearance do some work for you by helping along positive first impressions.

With all this weight on how we present to the world, is it really any wonder people spend some much on health and beauty products. It can leave you wondering whether your appearance is worth more than your professional skills and good nature. It is also no surprise that some of us go beyond just being clean or professional, but perhaps let it rules our lives.

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Personal Grooming Essentials

I think we can all agree that some level of grooming is absolutely essential, so let’s start there. After we will look at how some grooming practices might be considered taking it too far.


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This is top of the list s one of the things people notice, and judge when they see you for the first time. You definitely must take care of your hair by shampooing and conditioning regularly, plus get regular haircuts or at least trims. It will vary as to what works for everyone, but you should give it some attention to keep your hair looking clean and presentable.


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Fingernails and toenails should be kept clean and trimmed. It is an important detail, which you might think people don’t look at, but when your nails are not maintained people certainly do notice, just not in a good way. It goes a long way to showing people that you care about yourself and how you present to the world, and have attention to detail. You don’t need to be doing a new full manicure every second week, but your nails should be neat and clean – this is important professionally and in social environments.


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This is one area where the health benefits are undeniable. Brush at least twice a day and flossing regularly is mandatory for maintaining good oral hygiene. You should also consider using a mouthwash and visit your dentist for maintenance and regular checkups.


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Your skin is another thing which is front and center, so keeping it clean and fresh is important. Everyone has different needs, so experiment with some washes and some kind of moisturizing that work to have yours looking as good as it can. Good looking skin is a real confidence booster too.


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Clothing is a big part of personal grooming. The basics are that you should wear clean clothes which are in good repair and fit well. There are a time and a place for all styles of attire, so knowing when to wear what and dressing appropriately is a sign of good personal grooming. Make sure you maintain a good wardrobe of clothes suitable for your particular work environment – be that conservative professional attire or casual creative office. Keep the clothing designed for the beach, yard work, dance clubs, or exercise sessions wore where it should be. For women, makeup should also be adjusted and worn to suit.

When vanity creeps in:

There are a few issues to watch for so that personal grooming doesn’t go too far.

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Healthy grooming VS purely for looks

The essentials list is what you should be doing as part of your personal grooming, but when the beauty focus become too overt, then it could be a problem. Your routine should foster good mental health, not be an obsession which interferes with other things in your life. There is, of course, no clear line here, and you will need to judge for yourself on this.

Hygiene VS grooming

If people are being healthy and looking after themselves they do not need to remove all their body hair or have the latest haircut and color to be considered to have acceptable grooming standards. There are some things which need to be done, but others which are more about personal style or choice, and go above and beyond what is required to be healthy.

One should not feel undue pressure to conform to every beauty trend unless it is very much a part of the industry you work in. Likewise, you should not be so focused on your beauty and personal appearance that you start to judge others around you too harshly or start to shame people about how they look.

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It is prudent to also be aware of how the beauty industry plays into our insecurities about our appearance. Products which make it seem like your entire life could change simply with a new hair color or anti-wrinkle cream are leading people into the territory of vanity. Whilst it is okay to use some of these products keep the advertising claims in perspective and use them first and foremost for yourself.


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