No matter your gender, proper grooming is an essential process of modern living. Taking care of your overall appearance means practicing good hygiene and wearing clean clothes. Your personal appearance often represents your etiquette and habits as a person.
For many women, grooming means having a great skin-care routine and some makeup. For most men, it’s shaving and getting a neat haircut. Shaving is a simple task for getting rid of facial hair like whiskers or stubble and has been practiced for hundreds of years with some generations passing down the perfect shave secrets from father to son in a ritualistic way.
Most people think that shaving is simply just using a razor and shaving cream. There are many things that could go wrong if you don’t have a proper technique and it may involve blood from nicks and cuts, ingrown hairs, and even razor burns. You can certainly go to a barber to get a good shave but if you need to get rid of facial hair once every few days, the costs can really add up.
Why pay a lot when you can shave yourself and do it in the comfort of your own bathroom? If you’re not learned in the manly art of shaving, here are some tips to help you out:
Most men think it’s sufficient to slather drugstore shaving cream and use a cheap razor to get a good shave. This can do in emergency situations but a lot of terrible things can happen if this is your routine every morning. Cheap plastic razors won’t give you quality so don’t expect a smooth shave no matter how good your technique is. Their designs are not efficient and therefore using cheap razors won’t be comfortable which can lead to painful nicks and cuts.
Having quality tools such as a safety razor and using pre-shave oil and shaving cream as lubricants can definitely help make the experience better. If you want a closer shave, you will want to open up your pores and one of the ways to do that is to use hot water. If you have an important early morning meeting, you might as well take a hot shower to rejuvenate your body and make you feel more awake. If you’ve already taken a bath the night before, you can soak a washcloth in hot water and apply on the area you plan to shave for a few minutes to help loosen stubborn stubbles.
Use Pre-shave Oil and Shaving Cream/Gel
Most men have never heard of a pre-shave oil before but it can change your shaving game. Dabbing on the oil on your face can help the razor glide on more smoothly on the skin and prevents any irritation or cuts. Additionally, the oil can help lock the moisture in so apply it as soon as you get out of the shower. If you don’t have pre-shave oil yet, you can use olive or coconut oil.
It’s not good to cheap out on shaving creams. The drugstore brands that are in aerosol cans are often filled with alcohol and while foamy and does the job, the harsh chemicals in it can contribute to rashes and razor burns. Not to mention, some of its ingredients like parabens and silicone can dry up the face or irritate sensitive skin.
Good quality shaving creams or gels should be creamy and can be worked to a lather easily. If you want to truly set the product in your beard or stubble, use a shaving brush to lift the facial hairs using a circular motion and let it sit for a couple of minutes before you start shaving.
Slow, Gentle, and Short
There’s a proper technique for shaving and that is to keep strokes in slow and short motions while keeping it gentle so as not to press the razor too hard on the skin. Remember to shave with the grain because going against the direction of hair growth can result in razor burns and ingrown hair. This is an especially useful tip for those who have thick hair. Never rush shaving or you might end up with nicks!
Rinse Blade and Face
After every stroke or two, rinse the blade to remove the hairs that are lodged in between. Another tip for getting a closer shave is to pull the skin taut to help the razor glide better. Once you’re done shaving, remove any shaving cream or pre-shave oil by rinsing your face with cold water. Doing this will close your pores and tighten the skin of your face.
Use Quality Aftershave
Most aftershave solutions have alcohol in them and that is why you feel that sting when you put it on after shaving. While the alcohol’s antiseptic properties can help reduce bacteria especially if you have cuts, it can erode the skin’s natural protective barrier. Go for an aftershave with no alcohol content but with soothing ingredients like witch hazel or aloe vera.
A moisturizer is just an extra step but it can help your skin out especially if it’s been feeling dry especially after shaving. Think of a moisturizer as a lotion for your face to help rehydrate your skin. Work it in dry areas gently using your fingertips. Go for moisturizers that have SPF protection to help protect your skin from the sun.
Invest Time to Develop a Routine
Given the variety of products out there, it will take time to look for the right products that will work for you. If you know your skin type and sensitivity, then you know what ingredients to go for or stay away from. Additionally, having a set shaving routine will be beneficial if you have a busy schedule so invest in time to perfect one that you can do a couple of mornings a week.
What is your shaving secret? Share your tips in the comments.