Before we dive into how to do it, you’re probably wondering why it might be worth it to think a bit more about your shaving routine. A fair question sir, a fair question. In addition to the added benefits of less irritation and razor burn (especially if you have sensitive skin), the cumulative effects of a crappy shaving routine on the delicate skin of your face is pretty significant. In addition to breakouts, ingrown hairs, and rough stubble, ultimately you can be contributing to premature aging and wrinkles. So, yeah, it’s pretty important.
Now, as promised, the “how to” and trust us, it’s easy and doesn’t require a bunch of fancy products, just a little bit of extra care and planning.
Tip # 1 - Use an exfoliating face wash regularly
The road to a better shave actually starts by preparing your face for a great shave. Just like you’d warm up your car in the winter before driving it, you want to set yourself up for success. Taking an extra minute or two in the shower or at the sink and using an exfoliating cleanser will help scrape off the excess dead skin and dirt on your face which will lead to a closer, smoother, and much more comfortable shave in the long run. Exfoliating cleansers can be found everywhere from the department store to your local drugstore. Just be gentle when you start and only use once per week. You’ll notice the difference almost immediately.
Tip #2 - Shave in or after the shower
An oldie but a goodie, this tip is critical to shaving success. After you take a warm shower your skin is naturally more soft and elastic, two key factors in a comfortable shave. Plus, your stubble or whiskers will be much softer and easy to shave after the warm water and steam. Obviously shaving in the shower is the optimum experience but you’ll need to invest in a fogless mirror (available on amazon) and take extra care and keep that razor away from, uh, sensitive situations.
Tip #3 - Use a pre-shave oil
Like a little bit of extra grease on a squeaky door hinge, a pre-shave oil, applied to your face before you apply the shaving cream, is going to give you an extra layer of glide and protection. Let’s face it, you are literally dragging a sharp-ass blade across your face, and it’s naturally going to be harsh, so a little extra protection is going to help. A pre-shave oil is definitely going to help those who are prone to nicks or cuts too.
Tip # 4 - Use the right shaving cream
Yeah, we know it’s tempting to grab that three pack of cheap foam or gel from the drugstore, but know that you’re not giving yourself the best shave possible. There is definitely a difference, and you'll feel it. Typical mega-brand shaving foams and gels have a ton of alcohol in them and that will really dry out the skin and lead to more irritation. Ideally you want to find a shaving cream that is alcohol-free and has a thicker consistency, the smooth factor is going to be much better and it will leave you far less irritated. If you want to take it one step further, invest in a shaving brush. The brush will help you apply the shaving cream evenly as well as grab and lift the hairs on your face leading to a smoother, closer shave.
Tip # 5 - Use a post-shave balm or moisturizer
Hopefully you’re already on the regular moisturizing bandwagon (you are aren’t you?), and the same benefits apply to your shaving routine. Post-shave your skin is in a vulnerable state, it’s potentially irritated and starving for moisture. Soothe and calm the skin and give it the moisture it needs with a proper post-shave lotion. Regular use will gradually strengthen the skin and keep it properly hydrated which will then have a kickback effect on your shave, making it easier and smoother.