Bad shaving practices can often leave your skin feeling tight, sore and looking less than its best.
Because shaving is a fact of life for so many men, we assume that we all know how to shave correctly. But the truth is there are several common mistakes made by men of all ages that contribute to all kinds of shaving dilemmas. Eradicate these mistakes from your performance, and you’re much more likely to achieve a smoother, more comfortable shave.
1. Inadequate preparation
As the old saying goes; “fail to prepare and you prepare to fail”, so before you jump straight in with your razor and tear up your face, you’ll need to do a bit of ground work. Firstly you need to wash your face with warm water in order to open your pores, gently exfoliate the skin, bring out ingrown hairs and raise your beard. Exfoliate the skin by using facial scrub.
If your beard is particularly course, or your skin extra sensitive, it may also be a good idea to use pre-shave oil. This will further soften your stubble and act as a protective shield for your skin.
Tip: Steam is great for opening open pores and softening stubble, so where possible, shave straight after a shower (or even in the shower if you can).
2. Blunt blades
You need to regularly change your blades if you have any hope of shaving success.
Depending on the blades you buy, how often you use them, and your beard type you may need to change your blades as often as every 4 or 5 days.
3. Forgetting to rinse
As you shave, a mixture of product, hair and dead skin builds up on your razor. If you don’t rinse your blade with warm water after every stroke, this build up not only makes your shave less effective, but can further irritate your skin along the way.
4. Shaving against the grain
Shaving against the direction of hair growth (or against the grain as it’s also known) will almost guarantee stressed skin and shaving irritation. Many men are tempted to shave against the grain thinking that this will help then achieve a closer, smoother shave, but unless you are very lucky it will lead to unnecessary skin scraping and a whole host of shaving woes. So if you don’t fancy reaching for the fire extinguisher to put out that shaving rash, always shave with the grain and not against it.
Tip: After a few days growth, run your fingers across your stubble and you should be able to feel the direction of your hair’s growth (grain). Bear in mind that it may not grow in the same direction all over your face, normally growing in the other direction on your neck.
5. Neglecting a post shave routine
In this writers humble opinion, not having a post shave moisturizing routine is not only one of the worst shaving crimes, but one of the worst grooming mistakes a man can make. As you’ll have realized by now, shaving puts your skin under a lot of stress, often drying and irritation along the way.
A post shave routine is designed to put that moisture back in, extinguish razor burn, sooth and rejuvenate your skin and prevent ingrown hairs.
Use a moisturizer that is light and easily absorbed, it soothes small nicks and razor burn while protecting, moisturizing and conditioning for super smooth skin.
Tip: Something as simple as splashing your face with cold water after shaving will also help, closing your pores and cooling the skin.