Shaving can be a pain.
If you can’t grow a great beard of super stubble, you need to shave every day. But getting a close shave can leave you with a sensitive neck of nicks and razor burn.
It’s frustrating and embarrassing!
You try to shave every day to maintain your appearance but can’t figure out why you’re left with razor burn instead of a freshly groomed look.
It’s easy to get so frustrated that you give up shaving, forget about maintaining your freshly groomed appearance and skip the daily shaving ritual.
Should Men Shave Every Day?
There are a few benefits to shaving every day, even when it’s a struggle.
- Skincare is easier: a beard or stubble can trap dirt and oils next to the skin and prevent deep cleaning.
- Shaving removes dead skin cells, which helps prevent acne.
- Short hair cuts with less friction than long stubble, so shaving frequently means less irritation.
With the proper routine, shaving every day can leave your skin healthy and smooth. This article will give you the tools and information to help you achieve the perfect shave every day.
What is the Best Way to Shave?
Step 1: Prepare to Shave
Before you shave, use warm water to soften the hair. The razor can cut cleanly through the soft hair instead of snagging the hair, causing skin irritation.
Options to warm your face:
- Lay a warm towel or washcloth over your face to achieve barber-quality preparation.
- Keep it simple by just splashing your face with warm water.
- Shave after a warm shower when your skin is already well prepared.
Protip: Only use warm water. Hot water strips your body of the natural oils which keep your skin pliable and protected during shaving.
Step 2: Cleanse & Exfoliate
Use a gentle facial cleanser to remove bacteria and dirt from your skin that could infect any nicks.
Avoid soaps with harsh sulfates that strip natural oils from your face leaving it dry and causes your body to compensate by producing too much oil.
Next, exfoliate your face gently. This deep cleans your pores and removes dead skin. Your razor will glide effortlessly over the freshly cleansed and exfoliated skin.
Step 3: Use Pre-Shave Oil
Your body produces oils that naturally protect your skin and keep it pliable. Pre-shave oils are designed to enhance those benefits.
- Pre-shave oil reduces friction on the razor to prevent razor burn.
- “Heavy” oils like castor oil create a barrier between your skin and the blade to prevent nicks.
- Pre-shave oil helps the razor float over the skin, so it just cuts the hair, not your skin.
Don’t use any products with synthetic dye or fragrances (which dry out your skin) or petroleum (which leaves your skin oily). Look for Jojoba oil which has a similar consistency to your natural sebum.
Step 4: Use Natural Shaving Cream/Gel
Shaving creams and gels create the final lubrication that is essential to preventing razor burn. Massage the shaving cream into your face to work up a lather and lift the hair from your face, making it easier to cut.
Whether you use shaving cream, shaving gel or traditional aerosol is up to you.
Pros and Cons of Shaving products
- Aerosols are very convenient - just spay and apply. The compressed gas can make traveling difficult, though.
- Propellants in the product are often petroleum-based and can be toxic.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is added for lather but irritates your skin.
- Surfactants in shaving foams increase the foaming action but prohibit effective lubrication and moisturization.
Natural Shaving Cream
- Natural products can be expensive. Thankfully, many companies are making their products more affordable as natural well-being gains popularity.
- Most natural shaving creams and gels are easy to apply and very travel-friendly (depending on the size) as they don’t have compressed gasses.
- Natural lathering ingredients like coconut oil provides excellent lubrication without irritating your skin.
- Shave gels that use aloe or cucumber are easily absorbed to hydrate your skin.
Step 5: Develop the Perfect Shaving Routine
What’s the difference between a 3-minute shave and a 5-minute shave? The only difference is a neck full of nicks and raging razor burn!
How you shave is just as important as your preparation and your shaving tools.
- Shave with your hair growth; this cuts the hair instead of snagging it. You can get a closer shave by shaving against the grain, but it causes skin irritation and pseudofolliculitis (a fancy dermatologist word for “ingrown hairs”).
- Balance the angle of your blade. If you shave at an aggressive angle, you’ll scrape and damage the skin. When you shave at a moderate angle it protects your skin but leaves longer hair.
- Gently pull your skin taut to help lift the hair and slowly maneuver the blade around the angles on your jaw and neck.
- Run your blade under hot water to keep it clean. A clean razor will cut better and a sanitized razor will prevent infection.
Step 6: Rinse With Cool Water
Prevent bacteria from entering your pores by rinsing with cold water to close your pores. Rinsing with cold water also helps lock moisture into your skin.
If you’ve cut yourself, the cold water will constrict your blood vessels to limit bleeding.
The final reason to rinse with cold water? There’s nothing more refreshing than a splash of cold water to revive your senses!
Step 7: Apply Aftershave Balm
Any damage to the skin from razor scraps or cuts can cause infections. Prevent infection -which could turn into acne, razor bumps or ingrown hairs - by cleansing your skin with an aftershave.
Look for balms that use tea tree oil. This essential oil is a powerful natural antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and antiseptic agent.
Alcohol in common aftershaves will kill bacteria. But just like hand sanitizer, it also dries out your skin, leading to irritation, bumps and itchiness. Aftershave should add moisture (unlike alcohol) to soothe your skin.
Aloe vera is common in natural products for its moisturizing effects. If you have an aloe plant at home, slice a leaf open and apply the gel to your skin. Shea butter also has excellent moisturizing properties and is anti-inflammatory, but shea butter a little harder to find locally.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes can further dry out your skin. An aftershave that leaves a pleasant scent is enjoyable but should not be at the expense of your skin’s hydration. Look for natural scent options:
- Tea Tree oil- As mentioned, it’s a great cleansing agent. Tea tree also has a sharp, fresh, herby scent.
- Eucalyptus oil-oil distilled from the eucalyptus leaves in Australia has strong cleaning properties and a spicy, “tingly” and almost “pepperminty” scent.
- Menthol-smells like peppermint and leaves your skin feeling cool and fresh.
- Lemon oil- since ancient Egypt, people have used lemon oil became of its ability to improve skin tone and complexion. The bonus is that you’ll smell like a citrus grove!
Step 8: Use Moisturizer
Your final step to the perfect shave is to moisturize. Optimal moisture also means less dry/dead skin and plugged pores.
With this last step, you’re ensuring that the next shave will be even better than the previous one.
How You Can Get The Closest Shave Possible
If you’re shaving, you probably want to look freshly shaved all day. And you don’t want to be left with razor burn, cuts or blotchy patches.
Understanding the reason behind these common problems can help you prevent them. Now that you know that dead skin can plug up your razor and create friction, you can use an exfoliant to remove dead skin before shaving.
When you understand that scraping a razor across your skin tears up bits of skin and leaves you with razor burn, you know how to prevent this. You can modify your routine to add a pre-shave oil, so the razor just cuts the hair, not your skin.
Click here to discover our Barber Quality Shaving Kit - it includes five natural products designed specifically for men’s shaving to help you achieve the best shave of your life. You can also test drive the products with the FREE sample kit.
If you prepare well, take your time shaving and use the best products available, you can achieve a barber quality shave every day, even from home.