The Perfect Shave
The Perfect Shave
Shaving can be sore, it sometimes feels like a necessary evil as it can bring redness, spots and irritation all in the pursuit of a smooth face.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Here we’ll look at how.
The perfect shave is a combination of great products and a good routine.
You’re routine, habits and overall care will play a big part in having a great shave that will leave you feeling fresh and, most importantly, not sore or dry.
But all the best habits in the world are useless if you’re using bad products, a combination of both will get you to that perfect shave.
Get in the swing
Establish regular shaving days. Whether that’s everyday or every week, regular intervals will mean you’re stubble won’t be getting too long for your razor to comfortably pass.
Wash Your Face
Before you shave you should wash your face, ideally with something to exfoliate as well, like a cloth or a facial scrub.
Tip: This will get rid of any loose or dead skin around your beard area making for a smoother shave.
Tip: It will also soften the hair, making your razors job easier as well as minimising the chances of infection.
Tip: As you shave you’ll be removing that top layer of skin, leaving you open to infection which leads to redness and spots, washing your face will help mitigate that.
Do this with warm water. Not hot, as you don’t want sore skin before you even start.
Just a little off the top
If it’s been a while since your last shave and your hair is a little long then you might want to consider trimming it before shaving. Do this before you wash your face so your stubble is dry.
Tip: The longer hair will increase the friction on the razor as well as clog it up, which basically means you’ll be pulling it as opposed to cutting it.
Slip ‘n’ Slide
This isn’t essential but definitely makes for a more comfortable pass. If you shave with a safety razor or a cut-throat then you might want to give this a go.
The point of this is pretty obvious, it basically makes your face a bit more slippery as well as offering another layer of protection for your skin.
Creme de la creme
Cream is probably the best as it won’t dry out your skin like foam does.
Gel is the next best thing.
Cream has become less common as bowls and brushes aren’t as popular but a bowl and brush are very useful. There are some great brushless creams available.
Firstly you can whip up your shaving cream in them, secondly you can get even distribution on your face and thirdly you’ll minimise waste as you won’t be rinsing it off your hands and it’ll just wait in your bowl for your second and third pass.
A decent layer of shaving cream means you won’t see any skin through it, this ensures you’ve good coverage and protection.
Tip: Make sure that you only shave on skin that is covered with cream. Don’t go back over parts or touch up unless you’re skin is covered with cream.
Going over bare skin with a razor is sure to irritate, especially if you’re skin has already had a razor over it.
Now down to business
Make sure your razor is sharp and clean.
In total you want at least 2 passes, maybe 3 if you want a really silky smooth face.
On your first pass you want to make sure you go with the grain, on your second go perpendicular to it and then your third go against it.
Be warned, going against the grain can be sore, only do it if your skin isn’t sore and you want that extra silky finish, otherwise 2 passes will do nicely.
Tip: Be sure not to pull your skin too tight when doing your shaving, like on your neck.
If your skin is pulled tight it’ll be easier to damage it with the razor, like when you want to cut something soft you’ll tend to pull it tight so it’s easier to cut.
Also, you might cut the hair under the surface of your skin and get an in-growing hair.
Make it rain
After you’ve shaved, and you’re happy with the results, rinse off all the leftover cream with warm water.
Hot water will be sore and cold water will tighten up your skin. Warm should be just warm enough to stop your skin from tightening up and cool enough to prevent any irritation.
Tip: As you rinse, make sure you don’t rub your skin, or if you do, do it gently. Splashing and dabbing is best.
Drying seems really simple, and it is, there’s just one rule. Dab don’t rub. Your skin is a little raw and dragging a towel over it isn’t ideal.
Just gently dab and soak up the water on your skin.
Post Shave Balm
A post shave balm is better than a moisturiser here because it’s a lot runnier, which makes it easier to apply and spread so you don’t have to rub your face too much.
They tend to have a cooling agent of sorts in them and are generally geared towards that post shave relief.
They should offer that initial moisture replenishment that your skin will desperately need.
Keep your hands off your face.
Your skin will need a bit of time to settle and in the meantime will do better without being touched.
Again this just stops any outside irritation and will also prevent any bacteria from your hands getting on your raw skin before it has time to repair itself.
After a short time, apply your moisturiser [with clean hands].
Moisturisers are thicker and will, on the whole, give you a longer lasting effects.
Tip: It’s good to leave it a little while before applying your moisturiser as it’ll let your skin calm down a bit before you start rubbing it as well as letting your skin breathe a little before putting more product on it.
Top it all off
Finally your fragrance. An absolute must for anyone and everyone.
Tip: The only thing you need to remember here is not to spray it anywhere that has just had a razor over it.
Your skin will still be sensitive, but not only that, the skin on your face and the front of your neck is delicate and could do without the harshness of aftershave on it.
That stinging feeling isn’t a good sign
The reason people used to put it on their face was for the alcohol to disinfect any cuts. We know better now. We have better products and better routines to take care of that for us.
Instead, spray it where the skin is thicker, less sensitive and hasn’t been shaved: on the back of your neck, your chest, in your hair, basically anywhere that isn’t your face.
Remember, you only get one face so look after it.