Helpful Tips & Tricks

How to Prepare Your Skin for Shaving

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A good shave will start before the blade even touches the skin. Because using a metal blade and rubbing it all over your skin isn’t natural you need to learn how to prepare your skin for shaving. If you normally struggle with razor burn or other types of skin irritation after a shave, learning how to prepare your skin properly can result and a smoother shave and a cleaner look.

Avoid Shaving in the Morning

Many barbers claim that shaving first thing in the morning is the worst thing you can do to your skin. But why?

As you sleep, blood and fluids will build up in the head which can cause your skin to appear very puffy. When the skin is puffy, the whiskers will not protrude as far as they normally would. While it may not seem conventional, the best time to shave is actually before you go to bed. However, if you’re like most men and you have to shave first thing in the morning make it the last thing you do before you leave.


I recommend shaving right after a shower and avoiding doing so during or right before. A good hot shower will steam the skin and cause the hair follicles to open up wide. This will allow the whiskers to protrude further which can result in a smoother shave.

Cleansing the Skin

Using an all-natural good face wash, you can get rid of dead skin cells, sweat, and oil before you shave. Be sure to use a natural face wash that’s designed for your specific skin type. You can use a face wash in the shower or right after you rinse your face with some hot water.

You should also use an exfoliating scrub two to three times a week in order to remove any dead skin cell build-up. It will also help to loosen up hair follicles which will be crucial if you have coarser hair. For best results,

find a gentle facial cleanser that you can use one to two times daily in order to promote skin health, and for use right before a shave.

Oils and Moisturizers

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When it comes to smoother and softer skin after a shave, nothing is more important than moisturizing the skin.

When you shave your face there will be a significant loss of moisture. Did you know that shaving will deplete the skin cells of hydration which can lead to redness and inflammation? When you hydrate the skin prior to shaving you can help prevent moisture loss before it occurs. Men usually use a pre-shaving oil before they shave, however, you can also use moisturizer as well. If you use a brushless shaving cream prior to

shaving then you probably won’t have to use a pre-shaving oil. This is because the cream works by sinking deep down into the skin and hydrating it instead of the typical lathering and foaming formula that will only rest on top of the skin.

Use Some Heat

While you won’t have the same type of cool towel steamer that you’ll find at your local barbershop, you don’t have to have one to enjoy the same effects. Heat is excellent right before you shave. Use a hot towel and press it on your face for 1 or 2 minutes. This works to warm up the previously applied oil while helping to soften hair follicles.


The quality of a lather is something that can easily make or break a shave. A poor-quality cream or soap can render all of your previous prep work worthless which is why it’s so important that you invest in a high-quality product. Always apply the shaving cream using a shaving brush. Shaving brushes hold in necessary moisture. Lathering with a brush will also properly lift your facial hair in preparation for the blade.

New Blades

A clean blade will keep your shave nice and comfortable and prevents post-shave irritation. Shaving with the best electric razor will give you a shave that’s close and smooth.  Regardless of whether you have a disposable razor, straight razor, or an electric model, regularly

cleaning and caring for the blade are crucial. To learn more, click here to read my guide on how to clean a razor blade.

Shaving with the Grain

If you’re prone to ingrown hairs and razor burn then shaving with the grain will be a surefire way to prevent them. Take a close look at your facial hair and feel for the direction of growth and make sure you shave with it. Always use light pressure and allow the razor to do the work for you. You also want to make sure you take your time since rushing through a shave can also cause skin irritation.

Skincare Products

If you want to further reduce the chances of razor burn, ingrown hairs, and general skin irritation, use an aftershave cream or lotion immediately after you shave. These products can also help to keep your skin looking good and feeling soft for longer. Many of these products are specially formulated to hydrate the hair follicles while softening the skin. Be sure you choose an all-natural product, one that doesn’t contain any alcohol or scents, both of which can lead to skin inflammation and irritation.

Final Thoughts

There are many great skincare products on the market that are designed to help prepare your skin for shaving or aftercare. But even using the best products is not enough. There are many steps you need to take prior to a shave that can give you the type of results you’re looking for. Learning how to prepare your skin before shaving will leave you with smooth and soft skin. It will also help to prevent swelling, razor burn, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs. Using the right shaving products, tools, and accessories, can also go a long way toward a smoother shave.