Whether you have a smooth face or a growing beard, your shaving habits are very important to benefit your skin and overall appearance. No matter how long you've been shaving, the routine you've had for years may not include specific tips, tricks, and products to ensure that you get the perfect shave. It’s never too late to get started and add more to the quality of your shaving routine. Here are a few tips that may help jump-start your shaving routine.
1. Open The Pores
Before you shave, make sure that your pores are open. If you don't do this, you're opening the door to irritated skin and even ingrown hairs. The best way to open up the pores is with a shower, which is why most men tend to shave in the morning. But if you need a shave and a shower isn't possible or convenient, at least use steam or some hot water. Much like in a barbershop, a hot washcloth or towel is a good way to open the pores before a shave.
2. Use a Quality Shaving Cream
The shaving cream you use is more important than you realize. Some creams like the SLEEK Pre Shave + Shave Cream include a moisturizing feature that keeps the skin properly hydrated before and after your shave. Pay close attention to the ingredients. Products that are alcohol-based will dry the skin out. Shea butter is a common ingredient in high-quality shaving products, as is coconut oil. These are moisturizing ingredients that will keep all types of skin, easing itch and irritation. Those with dry or sensitive skin may consider a shaving gel over a shaving cream.
3. The Blade Matters
The blade you use on your skin matters a great deal. While the shaving cream plays a large part, it won't matter if you are using an inferior blade or a blade that is exceptionally dull. Stainless steel blades that are designed for a close shave are the best. Keeping your blade sharp ensures that you will be avoiding irritating bumps and ingrown hairs. A quality razor should be kept sharpened and well cared for in order to avoid it becoming dull so that you can get your best shave. Combining the right razor blade with the right shaving cream or gel can go a long way in conditioning the skin and keeping it protected and moisturized.
4. Your Shaving Technique
As mentioned before, your pores should be open before a shave. Without doing this, you are almost guaranteeing skin irritation. The stroke of the razor that you use is important. According to Men's Journal, a long stroke of the razor following the direction that the hair grows is the best way to keep your skin from irritating and preventing ingrown hairs. This is great for a day-to-day shave, but to get an even closer and smoother shave, apply a second round of shaving cream and shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth. This gets all the extra stubble that was leftover and maintains a great smooth feel.
5. Applying Aftershave
Applying aftershave is a step that is often skipped is actually very important. If you want your smooth face to last longer throughout the day, use aftershave that has moisturizing qualities. If your aftershave comes with a toner, this works even better! This also helps to lessen the blow of any irritation that may have been caused. Apply the aftershave and toner right away. It usually has a nice scent and can take the place of cologne.
Ultimately, if you expect a high-quality shave then you have to use high-quality materials. Above all else, don't rush the shave. Make sure that you are taking the time to follow the steps above so you avoid razor burn and ingrown hairs. It's always evident when someone doesn't shave correctly. Go the extra mile to look your best.