NEW YORK – If dad gets yet another tie for Father's Day (search) this year he just might fashion it into a noose — take a break from the generic testosterone tidings and pamper your pop instead.
Listen up kids: Stores are flooded with grooming products for guys, and changing attitudes about maintaining a fresh façade have men applying more than deodorant these days.
"Even five years ago getting guys to use moisturizer, which is just common sense for the health of your skin, was a stretch," said Peter Rubin, staff writer at GQ (search). "(Now) men have started to realize the older you get, to compete in the workplace, attract women... looking bleary when you go out isn't going to help, so they are willing to try new things."
For some dads, pampering themselves in the bathroom means purchasing double-ply toilet paper, but one gift idea that can't go wrong is a quality shaving gift, Rubin said.
"Some guys might not feel comfortable using a facial scrub or mask, but shaving will always be around," he said.
"One of the small pleasures is using a shaving brush," said Rubin. "It feels really good on your face and a nice one lasts for years."
The younger generation can also help introduce their fathers to today's more updated grooming goodies.
While 27-year-old Gordon Meeker listed gag gifts and beer as typical Father's Day offerings, he said he'd "definitely" give his dad grooming products.
"It would be a good gift because it's something he wouldn't go out and buy on his own," Meeker said. "He just uses whatever my mom has in the bathroom now, so to get something specifically tailored for a guy would be nice."
Indeed, men's lines got their start when skincare brands such as Nivea and Neutrogena realized men had been dipping into women's products. Meeker said he too started using Neutrogena men's products after discovering the women's line.
"I used to date a girl who used Neutrogena and I would use hers," he said.
While younger men are willing to experiment, fathers may find the grooming aisle of the drugstore alien. So, Rubin suggests a gift set so dad can dabble in a variety of products.
Zirh has a travel kit with face wash, shampoo, conditioner, shave cream, post-shave soothe and moisturizer all in a travel bag ($39). And The Art of Shaving offers the Blue Box gift set ($100) with pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm and The Art of Shaving book.
Even at the local mall, grooming gifts are a cinch to find. Origins has a Father's Day set ($49) that includes Skin Diver body wash and Blade Runner shave cream. And The Body Shop has a gift basket for men with face protector and hair slick.
Scents can also be a great gift if you know what pop likes. Or, sneak a peek at what scent the old man slaps on and buy the extras such as shower products and lotions of the same scent.
For those dads and granddads who'd scowl at modern-day cologne, classic choices are back. There's some kitsch appeal to purchasing oldies-but-goodies such as Pierre Cardin or Old Spice, Rubin said.
"(Pierre Cardin) is a cologne that's around 30 years old, but a lot of guys like that," said Rubin. "Some like smelling like their grandfather did."
The venerable Old Spice also has a line of products to accompany its cologne, as well as a new scent — Old Spice Whitewater.
Rubin said men are going back to a warm smell, whereas a year or two ago cucumber and citrus were popular.
"They're going back to the cigar (search) room feel," he said. "They want something comforting, stepping up to image of dignity with an air of authority."
Even if "cool and refreshing" means beer, not body wash, to your dad, the beauty of gift-giving can be its sneaky influence, according to Rubin.
"If you think dad's under-eye bags are getting a bit much, get him a few things like cologne or a razor and throw eye gel and facial scrub into the mix," Rubin suggested. "Maybe he'll give them a shot and realize it makes him look younger."