We all like a good shave. Probably more so, we hate a bad shave! Razor burn, cutting yourself, even missing stubble in the corners of your mouth that bother you the rest of the day whenever you talk, these are never fun. And though how our skin feels after we shave can often set the tone of how comfortable we are the rest of the day, we tend to rush through our shaving routine, and swipe the razor up and down our face like a we’re mopping a floor. How can you have a good shave? How can you have a close and smooth shave, without feeling like you stripped off a couple of layers of skin?
Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your shave.
- Find a good razor. If this means testing several different razors and brands, do it. Use blades that feel best to you. Just because you may pick up any ole dull blade and scrape half your face off doesn’t mean your tough and manly. It means you scraped half your face off. If you don’t have sensitive skin then you may be able to use any ole blade. But your face will tell you if what you are using is working for you or not. Listen to it. Razors come in all different styles, from two blades to five. Or, even the one blade safety razors that are still very popular (I have yet to use one but very badly want to!). And if you are brave, the straight razor. I used to always be left with razor burn and feeling like my skin was all tightened up. Then I started using the Gillette Fusion ProGlide, which was working out much better. But the replacement blades were so pricey that I started looking again. I found Harry’s. Tested them. And found my match. No razor burn, no irritated skin, just a smooth close shave.
- Use good cream. When I switched to cream from gel, it made a huge difference. It does a much better job conditioning and softening your skin and preparing it to take the blade. I have tried several different brands of cream, and my favorite, that works best for me, is The Art of Shaving. I love their cream. And if you use it right, it does last quite a while. You can, and should get, a minimum of 3 months to even 6 months out of one jar. You can find good creams at Target also. They have several options of brands that they offer for you to choose from.
- Don’t leave your razor in the shower. The blades will wear down much faster and will rust. Rusty blades are not good for your skin and for a close, smooth shave. Dry the blades off, and store away between uses.
- A steamy bathroom. Presumably, you shave in the bathroom. My ideal is to shave in the shower. Let that heat and steam and hot water work your skin which will soften it and open up your pores to allow a smoother and closer shave. If you don’t want to shave while in the shower, then shave as soon as you get out. Don’t open the bathroom door letting steam out, but go straight to the sink and use as hot of water as you can stand.
- Lather up. When I was young, whenever we went to my grandfather’s house I saw something in his bathroom that intrigued me. And each time we were there, I would check to see if it was still there. On a shelf in his bathroom, he had a cup, a coffee mug with a print of a Model T named “Lizzie”on it, and a shaving brush inside. At that time, as a kid I thought, “No one uses those anymore.” The older I got, the more I thought about that brush and really wondered how well that brush worked. So I started looking into them, and my wife seeing my research on them, surprised me with one from The Art of Shaving one day! I quickly realized why my grandfather still had that old brush in his bathroom. A shave brush creates a lather unlike anything your hands could come close to creating. The brush also aids in opening up the pores of your skin more, and lifting up the hairs from off your face, creating a closer and smoother shave. I’m telling you, get a brush and lather up! You will thank me later. Just make sure you get a brush with pure badger hair. And lather for 30 to 60 seconds. When my grandfather passed away, I asked my mom about that old cup and brush. I figured it was long gone. But to my surprise, she actually had it and gave it to me! Here it is pictured below. Now, it sits in my bathroom.
- Shave with the grain. You want to shave with the grain of your hair first. After you do this, if you still want your shave even closer, re-lather and then shave against the grain. But if you follow the first 5 steps, you probably won’t even need to.
Don’t settle for a poor or even OK shave. Have a good, close, smooth shave! You deserve it. Shaving is something you do multiple times a week if not everyday. So do it right, and you will enjoy it.