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Unsure how to best prepare for your shave? Suffering from razor burns or ingrown hairs? Follow these simple steps and you’ll nail the perfect shave in no time…
Skin tends to be puffy first thing in the morning thanks to an accumulation of fluid during the night, so give it time to settle before you go to work with the razor and you’ll get better results (not to mention fewer nicks and cuts)! Better still, shave after a shower – steam is great for opening open pores, dislodging dirt and softening stubble.
Ask any professional barber what the key to a great shave is, and they’ll tell you it’s all in the preparation. Stubble is as tough as copper wire of the same thickness, so needs to be adequately softened before shaving. The best way to do that is with plenty of warm water, but in order for the hairs to absorb water they need to be free of any oil secreted by the skin. So cleanse thoroughly first with a face wash like Men-U Healthy Facial Wash, or use Anthony Logistics Glycolic Facial Cleanser which also exfoliates skin, helping to remove razor-clogging dead cells. Combine with lots of warm water and then massage in. Pat your face to remove excess water, but ensure that it’s still slightly damp to the touch.
Shaving creams, like the super-lubricating Trumpers Shave Cream, and high-performance gels like Nickel Smooth Operator Shaving Gel provide an important ‘cushion’ between your skin and the razor, protecting it from damage by improving razor glide. To maximize their effect, start by placing a small blob in the palm of your hand, along with some warm water, and rub together with your other palm to create a lather first. Then, spend a minute or so massaging into warm, damp skin with gentle circular motions to help lift hairs.
Better still, invest in a good quality shaving brush like Men-U Pro Black Shaving Brush and use with a shaving soap like Trumpers Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap. Not only will this help whip up an unbeatable lather, it’ll also help lift hairs and exfoliate skin in the process. Think of it as a three-in one grooming tool!
Tip: If you have particularly tough stubble use Jack Black Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather as part of your pre-shave routine, as it’s specially designed to maximize beard softening whilst protecting skin form razor burn.
Like antiques, women and expensive cars, razors need careful handling. To get the most out of yours use light, short and swift strokes, letting the razor do the work. Use the fingers on your free hand to gently stretch the skin in front of the razor and begin by shaving the softer stubble on the cheeks and neck, leaving the toughest bits (usually found around the chin and lips) until last – that way they’ll have had more time to soften and will be much easier to cut.
Always shave in the direction of hair growth (if you go against the grain you’ll pull hairs back on themselves and cause unnecessary irritation) and rinse the razor regularly with warm water to prevent clogging. Don’t wipe it with a towel (or toothbrush!) though or you’ll damage the fine shaving edge. And never underestimate the importance of a good quality razor – invest in a well-weighted one like the Geo. F. Trumper PBSRB Black Safety Razor and like an expensive sports car it’ll handle beautifully, especially around those tricky bends!
Once you’ve finished your shave rinse your face thoroughly with cool, running water to close pores and remove any shaving residues, then gently pat dry with a towel. Never rub as this can irritate the skin.
The final stage of your perfect shave is to protect skin with a shaving balm like Lab Series for Men Triple Benefit Post Shave Remedy. This is a crucial step since shaving doesn’t just remove stubble – it removes the top layer of skin cells too and leaves tiny microscopic abrasions as the razor’s blades pass over the uneven surface of the skin. Better than aftershaves, which have high alcohol content and can irritate and dry sensitive skin, balms are immediately soothing, reducing redness, irritation and razor burn whilst moisturising and re-hydrating. Simply massage in with your fingertips and you’re done – the perfect shave is not quite rocket science but is definitely an art!
Complete your shaving routine with one of these specially-tailored post-shave wonders from Mankind:
Susceptible to spots? Then use the Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel. As well as containing skin-soothing aloe to treat razor burn it also contains a raft of skin-clearing ingredients to soothe spots and limit future breakouts.
Ingrown hairs form when a hair curls back on itself and pierces the skin causing a painful and unsightly bump. To help prevent them, use Tend Skin Ingrown Hair Solution. Utilising professional-strength ingredients, it helps to release trapped hair and exfoliates skin to prevent pore blockages and further ingrowing.
Sore, red and damaged skin doesn’t just need repairing it needs instantly soothing too. Murad Man Razor Burn Rescue does both, taking the sting out of shaving with the help of Glycolic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin E and more. If you use a razor, you should use this too!
Achieved the perfect shave with help from lesson 6? Head over to Lesson 7: Combating Dry Skin.
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