Whether you have a beard or not, you never really stop shaving your face completely. While it is a daily routine if you decide to go for the clean-shaven look, it is still something you do regularly even if you have a beard, unless of course you decide to go completely wild.
Clean cut or not, there are ways to make it easy on your skin and to make sure the shave goes smoothly. Granted, everyone develops their own routine based on what feels right, but still there are some general guidelines for a better shave that have stood the test of time.
Typical skin care issues caused by shaving
Not all shaves were created equal and that means you can't just run any old razor over your skin and expect results. Your shaving tool needs assistance to make sure it glides right over without irritating the skin and creating razor bumps we all hate.
Issues like pseudofolliculitis barbae are the result of shaving as well as other types of epilation, causing cut hairs to curl in on themselves and puncture the skin. This results in an inflammatory reaction caused by a foreign-body that creates a painful red bump on your skin that doesn’t go away for a while. Not only is it painful but it also hurts your look.
Most of us have probably experienced it at least once in our lifetime, especially due to sensitive skin or inexperience. This condition affects everyone, but studies show that African-American and Hispanic men are the two most affected groups, followed by Asian and Caucasian males.
Now that we have looked at the issue, it’s time to learn how to avoid it. The simple truth is, the best way to avoid ingrown hairs overlaps with general guidelines for a proper shave and that’s good news because who wouldn’t want to improve their shave experience if it also means avoiding more serious skin issues.
Embrace the barbershop experience
Most figure out the basics by trial and error, but also tend not go any further than using a sharp razor and hot water. Anything more feels like pampering, but if you got to a barbershop for a shave, that’s the part that makes all the difference. So why not imitate a professional shave at home? We have everything you need already bundled up at our store.
There are so many different ways to ensure a proper shave and they often work best in combination with one another. Smooth strokes of a sharp razor that you’ve run under hot water, will work even better if you use some sort of shaving product to help lift the hairs and your skin will be in better shape if you apply aftershave at the end.
Let’s explore various products in more detail:
• Shaving cream helps lift individual hairs creating a smoother glide and helping the razor make a cleaner cut. Not only is this better for your skin, but you also get a cleaner shave that lasts longer.
• Figure out what works best for you and your skin in terms of aftershave. Anything from a classic cologne to cleansing balms will complement your skincare routine. Find a product with the right balance of antiseptic/antibacterial effect that will help with any small nicks or cuts that will also moisturize and act as an astringent that soothes your skin.
• An aftershave balm will help repair and protect your skin, minimizing the adverse effect of your shaving tools.
• While cartridge razors work fine, it pays to invest in a shaving brush and an artisan safety razor. Both tools make shaving easier on the skin and provide a cleaner shave while protecting from irritation and any other negative effects that may develop.
Try out different shaving tools and products to develop a routine that works best for your beard and the skin underneath.
Build proper shaving habits
You don’t need to spend much time in front of the mirror if you know exactly what you’re doing and use the right kind of shaving tools and beard care products that protect your skin.
If you feel the razor is getting blunt – toss it. Saving a little money is not worth the irritated skin and razor burn that maybe develop into razor bumps and even ingrown hairs that were cut at the wrong angle leading them to curl in onto themselves. Inexperience is the main cause of these issues, but you don’t have to learn from your own mistakes if you take our word when it comes to the right approach to shaving and skin care.
Tips for better skin care
It all starts with hot and cold water to open up the pores before shaving and then close them once you are done. You probably noticed that you get a better shave right after the shower when your skin is wet and the pores are open. Granted, there is no need to take a shower every time, but the appropriate use of hot and cold water should definitely be part of your shaving routine.
Use shaving cream to get a cleaner cut and protect the skin from excessive irritation. Last but not least, go with the grain in the beginning because it’s easier on your skin. It is fine to go one time against the grain at the end of the shave to get a cleaner cut, but don’t overdo it.
How to use aftershave
Once you’ve sculpted and trimmed your beard as well as shaved the exposed facial areas, it is time to rinse with cold water, pat your face dry with a soft towel and apply an aftershave of your choice to help soothe the skin and prevent any of the aforementioned issues. We recommend using an aftershave balm rather than a cologne because alcohol is naturally more irritating to the skin.
Nowadays aftershave balm offers a variety of fragrances that will rival a classic cologne any day of the week. You should still be careful not to use too much balm either because your skin can only absorb so much. Use it in moderation and with time you will figure out exactly how much you need to apply. Always better to start with less and, if necessary, apply a little more.
Soon this will turn into a habit that doesn’t take up much of your time making your routine seamless and effortless.