"Of the Seven Dwarfs, the only one who shaved was Dopey. That should tell us something about the wisdom of shaving." ~ Tom Robbins
While shaving seems a simple everyday affair for men, one has to be skillful at it to get a comfortable and fine shave. Whether one is a beginner or a pro, here are the top five tips on getting that smoother and smarter shave.
Shaving Tips For That Sophisticated Shave…
1. Follow the Prerequisites for a Smooth Shave:
The key to a successful shave is proper preparation. So here are the essential preparatory tips:
It is best to keep the skin hydrated before shaving. A shave post-shower is ideal as it helps in softening the skin and hair and opening the pores. One can also wet the skin with warm water. By doing this, you can get the razor to glide smoothly. Also, exfoliating the skin with scrubs or facial packs before shaving helps in removing dirt and oil.
2. Use Shaving Gels, Foams or Natural Shaving Creams
"A good lather is half the shave." ~ William Hone
The use of shaving gels and foams enables rich lather, which in turn helps in reducing irritation by allowing a perfect glide. Further, a good lather helps you keep track of the areas shaved as you keep removing the cream through the process of shaving. This ensures no spots are not left unshaven. One of the differences between foam and gels is that while gels produce light lather and are airier, foams produce thicker lather and lubricate the skin well, paving the way for a smoother glide. Also, gels are comparatively easy to wash off, as they are light.
However, if one has sensitive skin, then it is better to opt for a natural shaving cream, which uses jojoba, aloe vera, glycerin, and the likes. Since these creams are chemical-free, they might not produce great lather, but they are gentle on the skin.
3. Adopt a Proper Shave Technique:
It is always advisable to shave in the direction of the grain first with gentle strokes. Later on, if needed, one can go against the course of the grain for a sharper, closer cut. Use a proper aftershave to replenish the moisture removed during the shaving process.
4. Check the Blades:
Practice a proper and regular razor maintenance regime by cleaning the razors properly after every shave. Keep a check on the blades, as dull blades require more effort and, also, irritate the skin. Air-dry the blades and change them regularly.
2. Tips for Managing Razor Bumps:
While skin irritation is quite common during shaving, some men are likely to develop razor bumps. These bumps (differentiated from razor burns or rashes) are also called Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB), although not all PFBs are razor bumps. Ingrown hair and aggressive shaving coupled with dull blades, may also lead to such cracks. These bumps are quite painful and are commonly caused by dryness of the skin. Hence, it is necessary to properly cleanse and moisturize the skin before shaving and use a good aftershave lotion.
- Use a hydra gel-based cooling shave gel or the gels which serve sensitive skin well with coolants, like aloe vera.
- Coconut body oils also cure razor bumps well.
- Witch hazel, a natural antiseptic, is another good option for minimizing irritation and redness.
3. Shaving Tips for Skin Prone to Acne:
It can be a struggle to shave a face that is prone to acne. However, one need not fret as the trick lies in adopting the proper step-by-step technique to get a pain-free shave.
Cleansing the face with hot water is the first step. A hot shower would also be ideal. However, if one cannot find time for a hot shower, then there is always an option of patting and wiping the face with a towel soaked in hot/warm water to soften the skin.
Applying shaving oil before shaving can help in lubricating the skin and preventing irritation. Go for plant-based oils, like jojoba or argan oils, As these do not clog pores or leave a residue that could affect the complexion. Plain old olive oils can also do the trick.
Use Proper Aftershave:
Complete the shaving procedure with an alcohol-free aftershave. Aftershave not only aids in cooling but also prevents infection arising from razor cuts.
- Alcohol-free aftershaves do not burn the skin.
- Paraben-free aftershave lotions are the most effective.
- Natural plant-based aftershaves are the best bet for acne-prone skin. One can also choose aftershaves loaded with essential oils like sandalwood oil.
- Aftershaves come in the form of gels, lotions, sprays, and balms. For people who are either affected by acne or have oily skin, it is better to go for sprays, lotions, and gels.
For those prone to acne, it is strongly advised not to shave against the grain and, also, avoid multi-blade razors.
4. Wet or Dry Shave?
This is a common question most men have in mind each morning.
A dry shave is versatile and offers the freedom to switch between a clean shave and a stubble. A dry shave with electric razors can save considerable time and offer a less irritable shave, as few people are sensitive to razor rashes or overlooked patches. A dry shave does not provide a close-cut shave as it cuts hair from above the skin’s surface. This can, however, be beneficial for people with sensitive skin.
When using dry shavers, hold them at a right angle to the face to ensure the best contact. Foil shavers, however, need to be used in a back-and-forth fashion, and rotary shavers have to be moved circularly.
Wet shave, on the other hand, may take a little longer, as it requires a more focused approach. It, however, helps in giving a clean and close shave. When going for a wet shave, opt for a heavy double-edged razor with sharp blades and apply less pressure when shaving. Gently stretch the skin with one hand before shaving along the grain to avoid having to put in force.
One can choose from the types of shaving methods mentioned above based on their convenience, skin type, and budget and can also keep switching between them.
In case a person wants to get the benefit of both wet and dry shaves, then he should go for high-end, branded electric razors that can be used in the shower or water-filled sink.
5. Dry Skin and Tight Skin Shaving Tips:
Dry skin can be problematic when it comes to shaving. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth shave:
- Do not take long hot showers as these may strip the body of natural oils, which are a prerequisite for moisturizing the skin and keeping it smooth. Opt for short, quick, and warm showers.
- Use soap-free cleansers or mild soaps that are not harsh on the skin.
- Ceramides help to hold moisture in the skin. Hence, go for skin care cleansers which contain ceramides.
While getting that perfect shave could seem like an impossible task to some men, one can make this task relatively easier by following the above tip,s, using the proper shaving products and developing a regular shaving routine.
After all, even Einstein has conceded that “one can get the best ideas in the morning while shaving!” So, go ahead, shave smart and think big!