Fourteen shaving rules to swear by
Resolving common dilemmas for the smoothest shave ever.
Considering the vast majority of adolescent and adult men shave all through their lives, it’s surprising how many of them get it wrong. Inadequately prepping your face for the shave, using blunt blades, forgetting to rinse out the razor, shaving against the grain, and neglecting a post shave routine are the five biggest shaving sins many men commit. The result: irritated skin, ingrowths, acne, razor burn, nicks and cuts. But with a little education—you are a smart guy after all—you can restore calm to your shorn cheeks once and for all.
The simple shaving rules smart men (should) follow:
- Always shave BEFORE breakfast and AFTER a warm shower!
- You wouldn’t jump into an important meeting without doing your homework. The same holds true for your shave. So first wash your face with warm water to open up your pores and gently exfoliate with the right face wash (try Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub or Vichy Purete Thermale Softening Exfoliating Cream). This brings out ingrown hairs and raises your beard.
- Use quality shaving materials. Blunt razors are your biggest enemy. Depending on the blades you buy, how often you use them, and your beard type you may need to change your blades every 14 to 30 days. Avoid disposable razors like the plague! These cheap tools damage skin and do a hack job on your beard. Pick Gillette Fusion Proglide Power Razor that has finer, thinner blades that glide effortlessly through hair with less tug-and-pull, and a Micro Comb that guides stubble to the blades.
- Don’t be stingy about changing your blades. Rule of thumb: change the blade every fortnight if you have a thicker growth, and once a month for finer hair. Nykaa recommends Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Cartridge 6.
- If irritation and an itchy beard are ruining your looks, try using a pre-shave oil or gel to add a protective layer against the sharpness of the razor blade. These formulas (Dermalogica Pre-Shave Guard) also prepare skin by opening up the pores and softening the hair.
- Then apply your shaving product of choice. Go with a cream or gel depending on your preference and skin type. Nykaa suggests Gillette Series Pure & Sensitive Shave Gel if you have dry skin, Gillette Shave Foam Lemon Lime for oily skins and Dermalogica Invigorating Shave Gel for normal skin.
- It’s a good idea to avoid formulae that contain synthetic perfumes, dyes and alcohol (which dry and irritate the skin).
- It’s a good idea to revisit the shaving brushes your dad uses, particularly if your shave feels uneven and rough. Shaving brushes softly scrub skin, and this mild exfoliating action works to give you a smoother shave. Try Gillette Shaving Brush or Vega Shaving Brush.
- You’ll be surprised by the number of men with an incorrect shaving action. Always shave in the direction of your hair growth. To make doubly sure check in a magnifying mirror. If you have particularly stubborn growth, after the first shave, re-apply shaving foam and shave in the other direction.
- Rinse your razor regularly with warm water after your shave. Over time, a mixture of product, hair and dead skin builds up on the razor, clogging it and making your shave less effective. This can also irritate skin further.
- It’s a good idea to give your shaving routine a break once or twice a week. This minimizes skin irritation.
- After shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close pores and soothe skin.
- Forget about alcohol-based after-shaves. Instead apply a moisturizing and soothing aftershave like Dermalogica Post Shave Balm, Nivea After Shave Lotion Replenishing Balmor L’Occitane Cade After Shave Balm. These help to rebuild the hydrolipidic film on skin that’s destroyed by shaving.
- If you still see some ingrowths, try using a face scrub the night before. In a couple of weeks these should disappear completely.
Now get out there with confidence. As you can see, simple tweaks to your daily routine will give you the soft, smooth complexion you’ve always wanted.