It’s something you probably do everyday as automatically as dressing. You reach in the cabinet for your razor and foam or gel and shave the way you always have – the way you saw your dad shave. You see it as a necessary chore, but a chore all the same. But are you doing it right? Does it need to be a chore? And does it have to leave your skin feeling like it’s been attacked with a machete? Especially when the biggest day of your life so far is looming on the horizon! Well the simple answer is no.
We’ve picked the brains of the experts at King of Shaves who have put together a simple (yet comprehensive) guide to help you achieve a great shave.
If you can’t be bothered to read it all then we’ll quickly sum up: shave after warm bath / shower, wash face first, massage in a quality shave gel or oil, shave carefully in direction of hair growth, rinse blade frequently, rinse face afterwards, apply a moisturiser!
But if you can spare a couple of minutes then here we go…
1. Forget everything you know:
Lots of lather does not equal a good shave. Foam sitting on top your skin does nothing (except give you a comedy Father Christmas look) so move on. Choose a quality modern shaving gel, oil or serum, not a soap-based foam that will dry out your skin. Nor does the number of blades on your razor really matter – is the blade(s) clean, sharp and of a decent quality are the questions you should be asking yourself.
2. Don’t shave as soon as you get up:
Have breakfast first. Give your skin a chance to wake up!
3. Invest a little time preparing your skin:
We don’t recommend you wash your face with ordinary soap as it is usually very drying on the skin and, coupled with shaving (which also can be drying), you will make your skin tight and uncomfortable. To effectively (and kindly) cleanse your skin and prime it for a great shave use a deep cleansing soap-free face wash and alternate twice a week with a gentle face scrub / exfoliator. Thoroughly rinse off with warm water afterwards. All this preparation will help soften and lift your bristles up ready for shaving.
4. Ideally, shave in the shower or bath:
Dry stubble can have the same tensile strength as copper wire so the hot, steamy environment of a shower or bath will seriously help soften your bristles. On average it takes 3 to 4 minutes for stubble to ‘wet out’ properly making it so much easier to shave. If you prefer the old fashioned water in a bowl (or sink!) method, wash your face first with plenty of hot water to ensure those bristles are really soft. Then spend a little time massaging your chosen shaving preparation into your face as this will help to further soften and lift the bristles.
5. Ensure you have a clean sharp blade and shave using short strokes:
Shaving against the direction of hair growth is the primary cause of razor burn, redness and rashes so it’s key to shave in the direction of your hairs’ growth. Generally speaking this is down on the cheeks / chin and upwards on the neck. If you are at all unsure, run your finger across your stubble to see which direction the hair is growing. Take special care when shaving around the sensitive neck area.
6. Rinse the blade regularly:
Rinse the blade thoroughly as you shave and don’t press too hard against the skin – let the blades do the work!
7. Afterwards rinse skin thoroughly:
After shaving rinse your face thoroughly with cool water and pat dry (don’t rub).
8. Apply a post shave product:
Protect your skin with a moisturiser or face balm as this will leave your skin feeling smooth, supple and soft – not tight and dry. For maximum effectiveness we recommend applying a moisturiser or balm within five minutes of shaving or washing. Ideally use a moisturiser or balm with UVA / UVB filters or with a sun protection factor (SPF) – the sun and wind can be very damaging to your skin so these will further help to protect your face.
9. Don’t apply aftershave to your face:
The days of ‘splash it all over’ are long gone. Aftershave is primarily made from alcohol and alcohol, like soap, has a drying effect on your skin. To wear aftershave or a fragrance, simply apply it to the back of your neck or your wrists.
10. Optimise your blade’s life:
For optimum blade life, after use shake off excess water and allow your blade / cartridge to air dry naturally before storing.
For more skin care and shaving tips form the experts check out King of Shaves Care & Know How Guide.