For most men, learning how to shave was a right of passage and a pretty straightforward process. But did you know there’s a right and wrong way to shave your face? If you’re constantly dealing with skin irritation, razor burn, and ingrown hairs, then you don’t know how to shave your face correctly. This guide will teach you what changes you need to make for smoother, softer skin that’s free from irritation and leaves your skin looking glowing and healthy.
Table of Contents
Preparing the Area
Most men don’t prep the area, which is actually one of the most important steps in the process. If you want a close, irritation-free shave and smoother skin, then you need to follow the proper regimen and go slow. There are many products available that are specifically designed for each step of the shaving process and they allow you to properly prepare your skin, get a great shave, and treat your skin after. When you take your time shaving and use the right products, you’ll be much more likely to avoid ingrown hairs, skin irritation, and razor burn.
Before you start shaving, first, you need to wash it. Washing your face will get rid of any debris, gunk, and oils, all of which can get trapped in the razor’s blade, which can lead to skin irritation. Wash your face using warm water which will open the pores and relax the skin. This will make your skin more receptive to the razor blade, so your skin will be less prone to razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Your skin should also be exfoliated before you shave. Using a facial scrub will get rid of any excess dead skin that can clog the blades. It also helps to open the pores more. Make sure you gently exfoliate in order to avoid causing skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid using a facial scrub that’s scented.
Next, you’ll use a pre-shaving oil that will soften the hair and the skin, which makes them more receptive to the razor blade. This type of oil will also create a layer that’s nutrient-dense, causing the blade to easily glide over the contours of your face with minimal resistance. Again, if you have sensitive skin, make sure you pay close attention to the ingredients in this product and ensure it’s unscented and free from harsh chemicals that are drying to the skin.
When you apply the shaving cream, make sure you use an upward motion. This will lift the hairs away and up from the face. When you apply the shaving cream correctly you’ll enjoy smoother results. Make sure the cream you choose doesn’t lather excessively, which can end up completely obscuring your hair and face.
The best razors for men will offer a smoother shave, thanks to an innovative blade design. I recommend the VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain Double Edge Safety Razor, which is very user-friendly and features an ergonomic handle design that makes it easier to grasp the razor. Razor hygiene is also important. A razor needs to be replaced every six to nine shaves. After this time, the razor blade must be tossed and replaced with a new one. When you shave your face you need to use a razor that’s clean and sharp.
When you’re shaving, make sure that you’re using hot water to rinse the blade. The razor should be stored upright in a dry place. As long as the razor blades are clean, it doesn’t really matter if your razor has two or six blades.
When you’re shaving, make sure that the blade is going in the direction that your hair moves. Basically, you need to shave in the same direction that you would run your hand over your face and feel smooth skin instead of friction. If you shave forward with the razor, you’ll minimize the chances of razor burn and ingrown hairs which are caused by trapped hairs under the surface of the skin.
While hot water should be used to open the pores, cold water should be used to rinse off any hair and shaving cream, flushing out debris while also tightening the pores, causing them to shrink back down to their normal size. This will help to prevent trapping any bacteria and debris.
When you apply a balm, lotion or oil after you shave, this is done to soothe the skin, while creating a protective layer over it and disinfecting it as your skin recovers from the shave.
How to Shave Off a Beard
Some men will shave off their beard in the hope that it will increase beard growth, while others will shave once they grow tired of having a wild and bushy beard and feel like it’s time for a change. Whatever your reason, there’s a proper shaving process you should follow in order to prevent skin irritation.
Soften the Beard
Begin by softening and hydrating the beard. This can easily be done by washing your face in the shower. Additionally, the steam from the shower and your facial cleanser can help to prepare the skin for shaving by softening the beard.
Begin by using a sharp blade in order to shave in the direction of your beard growth, gently. The blades should be rinsed off frequently in order to remove any hair and excess shaving product. While it’s not recommended, some men recommend going against the grain after you complete one pass with the grain. This can result in a smoother shave. However, if you have very sensitive skin, I recommend applying an additional layer of shaving cream, before you shave against the grain. Did you know that shaving against the grain using a forty-five-degree angle leaves the hair at a sharp point? If you have hair that’s curly, then it can grow back easily into the follicle, which will cause an ingrown hair. So, if you want a smoother shave and decide to go against the grain, keep this fact in mind.
Rinse your skin using warm water to remove debris and any residual shaving products. Next, you’ll splash your face with cold water to close the pores before you use a conditioning product. You can use any type of toner, which will calm any after shave skin irritation and can also help to regulate the skin. Finish up using your favorite moisturizer in order to prevent razor burn or general irritation, while leaving behind smoother skin that feels great.
More Shaving Tips
- Shaving can be trickier, especially if you have thick coarse hair or very sensitive skin. Below, you’ll find more helpful tips that can help prevent skin irritation and leave behind healthy, smooth skin.
- The lip area is considered one of the most sensitive parts of the face. Even a small cut can cause excessive bleeding. In order to prevent cutting this area, fill in your cheeks with air. This will help to expand the skin around the mouth and allow the razor to glide over the skin easily.
- Use short strokes when you shave. These strokes should only be one to two inches. This will prevent razor burn and other skin irritation, especially if you remember to rinse between strokes.
- Always re-lather if you plan to re-shave. While it can be slightly more time-consuming it will also help to cut down on skin irritation.
- Make sure you shave your neck last. This area is also much more sensitive compared to the sides of your face and the chin area, so save it for last in order to give the shaving cream more time to soften up the hair here, making it easier to shave. Make sure you tilt your head back as far as possible while pulling the lower portion of your neck down in order to stretch the skin slightly and allow the razor to glide over it smoothly.
- Many men tend to skip using an aftershave, but it can really go a long way toward skin health. When you shave, you end up removing two layers of skin. When you apply aftershave it can do wonders when it comes to replenishing moisture and soothing the skin. Be sure and choose a product that’s designed specifically for men. Try to avoid using an aftershave that contains alcohol since it can burn and increase the chances of skin irritation. It’s also very drying to the skin.
Learning how to shave your face the right way isn’t exactly rocket science, but you’d be surprised to learn how many men skip these important steps, only to complain later when they break out or have to deal with razor burn or ingrown hairs. The techniques that I’ve included here will leave your skin looking healthy, feeling soft, and can prevent skin irritation, even for men with very sensitive skin. Keep in mind, skin irritation can also occur if you use a product that’s too harsh, you shave too often, or you use a dull razor. By following the steps here, you can expect a closer shave, not to mention smoother skin, instantly.