24 Sep Shaving Tips for Men
Shaving is part of the daily morning routine for millions of men, and like anything so habitual, it may seem like there’s nothing to it. Lather up. Shave. Rinse off. Or is that it? Even men who have shaved regularly for years may not be doing their skin any favors when they get out the razor every day. Other men deal with sensitive skin and wonder if there’s any way to make shaving less painful.
Taking good care of your skin while still getting a great shave isn’t complicated, but it does require knowing what to do and what to avoid. Here are some tips to make your morning shave (and skin) even smoother.
Take Your Time
One of the worst things you can do is rush through shaving. Sure, you’re busy in the morning, but dragging a sharp blade across your skin in a hurry – without taking the time to prep your skin and your beard – is just asking for irritation and razor cuts. On the other hand, if you take a couple of extra minutes to prepare your face properly for shaving, you’ll need less time with the razor, experience less irritation and maybe even have a better shave along with more comfortable and healthy skin.
Start With Washing
The best place to start preparing for shaving is a natural one: washing your face. How you go about it, though, matters to the quality of your shave. Choose a facial cleanser over a harsh soap. Many facial cleansers will help to soften the hairs you’re about to cut, which is a good thing. Harsh soaps, on the other hand, will strip away oils that help to soften hairs. They will also dry out your skin, which doesn’t help you get a good, comfortable shave either.
Use a Brush
Next is to apply shaving cream or shaving gel, whichever you prefer. Both work well, but choose a product for sensitive skin if you have issues with sensitivity. To really help to get a great shave, use a brush to apply shaving cream rather than your hands. A brush is much better at working shaving cream closely into your hair, which is what you really want (and which is why the lather brush a time-tested shaving tool).
Stick With Sharp Razors
Ads for razors go on about having more blades than the competition, but the number of blades isn’t as important as their sharpness. A single good, sharp blade is much better than multiple blades that are all going dull. In fact, using a multi-blade razor that is getting dull usually leads men to take more strokes over their skin, which gives all those blades even more opportunity to irritate the skin. Skip the multi-blade razors in favor of a single- or double-blade razor, and change the blades frequently so you’re always using sharp ones.
Shave With Warm Skin
Use heat to your advantage for a good shave. Heat helps to keep the skin moist and also helps to soften hairs. This is why professional barbers use hot, damp towels when they shave customers. Shaving in the shower or just after getting out of the shower is a good way to ensure warm, moist skin when shaving.
Just after shaving, however, immediately rinse your face with cold water. Cold acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it will help to reduce any irritation to your skin from the razor.
Shave With the Grain
Finally, after taking the time to prepare your skin and beard, you should be able to get a good shave with single strokes, shaving in the same direction that your hair is growing. Some men shave against the grain, seeking to get a closer shave, but this increases the chance of irritation and creating ingrown hairs. If you have properly prepared to shave, you can get a close shave by going with the grain, and your skin will be much happier for it.