It’s easy for shaving to become one of those basic morning routines that you can pretty much do with your eyes closed. You roll out of bed, stand in front of the mirror, quickly skim over your stubble with a razor, and then leave for work.
Is this the best routine for your skin? Of course not.
If you want your skin to be looking its best, your beard to be perfectly trimmed and your face to always feel good, you need to up your shaving game.
Follow these simple tips for a close, smooth shave and skin free from irritation.
Wet is always best
Ditch the electric shaver because the best shave will ALWAYS be from a wet razor. Your beard should always be as hydrated as possible before shaving, so that your hairs swell up and become larger. This will make it easier to shave and get closer to the skin.
Dry shaving will result in razor burn and shaving rash.
Shower before every shave
The steamy water will raise your hairs and soften your stubble. Use a mild cleanser or face wash to really scrub and exfoliate your beard. Rub thoroughly through your hair, removing all the dirt and lifting up any trapped hair.
If showering isn’t an option, you could try wrapping a moist, hot towel around your beard.
Make sure you apply shaving gel. It adds lubricant to the shaving process and reduces the friction between the razor blade and your skin.
Gel or cream that is full of silicones is best, as it will provide a nice, thick lather. Leave this on for about a minute before shaving, to lock in moisture on your hairs and keep them standing erect from the surface.
Any foam from shaving gel is just a waste – what counts is what’s between the hairs and your skin.
Apply with a brush, to help further lift those hairs. Use a circular motion to create a rich, creamy lather, then a final upward stroke to pull those hairs up.
Shave with the grain
Always try and shave with the grain. Everyone’s hairs grow slightly differently, so pay attention to the direction they grow in. Inevitably, some will grow in different directions.
Shaving against the grain can cause razor bumps, which are ingrowing hairs.
For a closer shave, you can reapply cream and go over the same area again – this should be effective, but be careful you don’t over shave and get a rash.
The closest shave is achieved by shaving against the grain – you may find some barbers actually shave sideways after first going with the grain – but you do have to be wary of skin irritation.
Don’t press too hard
You shouldn’t need to use a tonne of force when shaving. It isn’t an arms workout.
Let the razor do the work for you, just gliding over your skin. If you need to press hard, the blades on your razor are likely blunt and it’s time to replace them.
Change your blades more often than you think
Blade life depends on how often you shave and what you’re cutting through, but generally, it’s recommended to change blades every 10-14 shaves.
If you shave daily, you should have a new blade at least every two weeks, but if it goes dull before that, switch it.
Tapping the razor to get those extra hairs off is a big no no. This causes the blades to slip out of place and become misaligned, affecting both how they were designed to cut, and the length of time they will last before needing to be replaced.
Instead, rinse thoroughly under the tap, but do not dry the razor with a towel or tissue.
Treat your skin post-shave
Rinse with warm water not cold, and then moisturise or use face wash to rehydrate the skin and offer comfort and protection.
Pat dry rather than rubbing with a towel, to avoid further irritating skin and getting fibres from your towel stuck on your face.
Moisturising regularly can have a long-term benefit for shaving, keeping your skin hydrated and improving contours. This makes that glide of the razor blade even smoother.
Anything with tea tree oil is ideal, as it provides a natural antiseptic to prevent rash and spots. Avoid greasy moisturisers because men’s skin is typically oilier, and those designed specifically for men will have a matte finish so your face doesn’t look shiny.
Need help selecting our moisturiser? Speak to our staff in The Spa who’ll be happy to advise on the best product for you.