The skill of shaving has progressed significantly. Shaving is an industry unto itself, dating back around 60,000 years when mankind used sharpened clam shells as rudimentary razors to today’s versions that heat up and vibrate.
But, no matter how many creams or sophisticated razors we have, nothing changes the reality that shaving entails dragging a razor blade over the surface of your skin, which, if not done correctly, may cause a slew of issues ranging from razor burn to ingrown hairs. The good news is that a superb shave is only a few easy steps away.
Before we begin, keep in mind that just because you have a beard does not mean that this advice on shaving properly does not apply to you. Even if you simply shave that short strip on your cheeks on a regular basis, it’s best to do it correctly.
How Is How To Get A Smooth, Bump-Free Shave
“A person’s pre-shave procedure is just as crucial as the actual shave,” says Wil Allen of Babe of Brooklyn, adding that most males don’t give themselves enough time for a thorough shaving practice. So, whether that means getting up a little earlier or arriving a little later, allow yourself adequate time for good preparation.
Begin by washing your face gently with a light cleanser and allowing your skin to warm up. This lifts the whiskers and softens the skin. Wait until you’ve bathed before shaving, or follow Allen’s advise and invest in a face steamer. Then, exfoliate gently to achieve a smooth surface, but avoid using a scrub, which can irritate the skin when followed by shaving.
Instead, Pacific Shaving Co. co-founder Stan Ades suggests using a konjac sponge, which provides mild yet efficient exfoliation to remove the thin layer of dead skin cells that might lead to subsequent ingrown.
Make a lather
Start with a pre-shave oil on warm, moist skin to offer extra lubrication and soften the hair if you have extra-sensitive skin or coarse hair. This is where you should be selective when it comes to shaving cream. “Look for shaving creams that assist both wet and dry shaving,” Allen advises.
Instead of soap-based foams that dry out your skin, they often contain glycerine as their major component, which cushions your skin against the razor and keeps hydration in. Menthol and camphor-containing products should also be avoided since they might irritate newly shaved skin.
You may also like: Men’s Guide: How To Treat and Prevent Ingrown Facial Hair?
Select Your Razor
Although the idea of a self-heating or vibrating razor appears to be something that every self-respecting guy should have, it isn’t. For most males looking for a quick shave, the traditional Gillette Mach 3 is generally sufficient. Ades, on the other hand, suggests that people with acne-prone skin use a razor with fewer blades.
If you prefer something more conventional, like a straight razor, and you have the time and dexterity to use it, go ahead and get one. The sharpness of the blade, rather than its kind, is the most significant consideration. Sharp blades result in cleaner cuts, which means less irritation and a lower chance of future issues.
This is the section where we really show you how to shave properly. After lathering, use your free hand to pull your skin taut and gently glide the razor over your face, going with the grain. There’s no need to press hard—just let the razor do its thing.
After each shave, rinse your razor in hot water and repeat until you’re clean-shaven. If you want a closer shave, re-lather and shave against the grain, but avoid doing so if your skin is acne-prone or prone to ingrown hairs.
If you nick yourself by mistake, keep an alum block or styptic pencil on hand to stop the bleeding. Getting around Adam’s apple is one of the toughest parts of shaving, but Ades offers some advise for that as well. “Force yourself to swallow and then ‘hold’ that swallow without finishing it.” That action will move your Adam’s apple out of the way, allowing you to shave cleanly and safely over the region.”
Soothe and protect
Forget what you’ve heard about all aftershaves stinging. That implies they contain alcohol, which makes them dry, which is just what your skin needs. If you like the sensation of an aftershave tonic, try a refreshing toner to soothe skin and clean dirt from follicles.
Allen suggests Babe of Brooklyn’s Herbal Toner, which has relaxing herbs as well as charcoal to pull away impurities that can block hair shafts.
Then it’s time to moisturize and soothe your skin. If you want an all-in-one aftershave type product, apply a post-shave balm to keep your skin nourished.
If you have a routine, you can continue as usual, but avoid products containing irritants like as retinol, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin C, which might irritate newly shaved skin.
Ingrown Toenails: Prevention and Treatment
Most guys should be able to avoid ingrown hairs by following our tips on how to shave properly. Ades informed us that shaving more regularly keeps ingrown hairs at bay by preventing the follicle from growing long enough to curl back into the skin.
If you get ingrown toenails on a frequent basis, take Allen’s suggestion and consult a dermatologist. To remove trapped hair and minimize irritation, use a warm compress 2-3 times per day, then spot treat with an ingrown hair treatment like TendSkin. Avoid shaving over the afflicted region for a few days, or until it has healed completely.
Whether you shave every day, once in a while, or have a thick beard that requires some upkeep here and there, it’s worth the effort to achieve the greatest shave possible. Your skin will appreciate it afterwards.