To ensure your shave is close, clean and free from irritation and ingrown hairs, here are 10 essential shaving tips to remember.
1) The 20 Minute Rule
Skin tends to be puffier first thing in the morning, often caused by dehydration and the body holding on to its remaining water. If you want a closer shave with fewer cuts and shaving rashes, don’t rush to the razor the minute you wake up.
Give your skin at least 20 minutes to settle before you start shaving. Have a shower (the steam will also help to soften hairs in preparation) and drink a glass of water before you shave and you’ll find you have a better surface to work with, reducing the risk of accidental cuts or razor burn.
2) Scrub for Shaving Success
While you may think that exfoliating is best left to the ladies, scrubbing once or twice a week is one of the most essential shaving tips for men who wish to achieve a close shave with a smooth finish.
Exfoliating your face with a phyto-active scrub helps to remove dead skin cells and grime that can clog, blunt and reduce the life of your razor blades. Exfoliation also helps to prevent ingrown hairs that can turn into angry red bumps or even become infected.
Ingrown hairs occur when a hair that should grow from the hair follicle and out of the skin, curls back or grows sideways into the skin. People with course or curly hair are more prone to ingrown hairs, so regular exfoliation is important to help to remove any dead skin cells, dirt and oils that could be trapping the ingrown hair.
Use a naturally purifying exfoliator before you shave to help prevent ingrown hairs and get a much closer finish. Plant extracts such as Bamboo, Cranberry seed powder and Bentonite clay, found in Green People For Men - No. 1 Exfoliating Face Scrub, actively cleanse your skin and prep your facial hair for a clean, smooth, comfortable shave.
3) The Warm Up
To prepare your skin before shaving, gently cleanse your face using an organic SLS and alcohol-free face wash such as the No. 2 Soothing Shave Gel. SLS is a harsh foaming agent that strips the skin and is a known irritant; alcohol is also very drying so using a face wash that contains either of these harsh chemicals can lead to dry skin that is prone to shaving rash and irritation.
Use warm water or a warm wrung out flannel to gently heat your skin. Try to avoid using hot water as this can dry out your skin and make the surface rougher, leading to irritation and a stubbly end result.
Hot water can even cause tiny blood vessels near the skin’s surface to break, causing a blotchy, uneven complexion.
4) Shaving Oil is a Man’s Best Friend
Using a pre-shave oil can help to give an extremely close shave, thanks in part to the added lubrication on the skin’s surface. But you needn’t shell out on expensive shaving oils, an organic Sunflower or Safflower oil that you can pick up at health foods stores will provide the necessary lubrication and nourishment for a close, smooth shave.
We don’t recommend using an Olive oil for this purpose because it's quite greasy and can interfere with the foaming action of your shaving gel as it tends to sit on the outer surface of the skin when applied neat.
If you choose to use pre-shave oil, first thoroughly rinse your face then take two or three drops of oil and warm it between your palms. Massage the oil gently over your face so that you have a thin, even layer across your shaving area. Leave the oil to soak into your face for around 1 minute, allowing it to nourish your skin and ‘set’, then apply your shave gel on top and shave as normal.
5) Not got a Shaving Brush? Get One!
A top tip from professional wet shave experts is to invest in a shaving brush for optimum results from your razor.
A good quality shaving brush helps create a thicker lather from your shave gel, cream or soap, whilst buffing the skin and lifting hairs in preparation for shaving. Most shaving brushes are made from badger hair, but some use man-made fibres that work just as well to enhance your shaving experience.
How to use a shaving brush
- Wet the bristles with warm water
- Add a small amount of shaving gel to the centre of the brush
- Spread the lather using circular motions over the shaving area
- Shave as normal
- Rinse brush with warm water and squeeze to remove excess
- Hang upside down on a brush rack to dry, or lie the brush on its side with bristles hanging over the edge of a table or counter
Expert tip: Only apply enough pressure to the brush to create a sufficient lather, excessive pressure can damage the brush fibres and reduce its lifespan.
6) Take it Easy
Although shaving may be a chore for many people, a rushed job with the razor will inevitably lead to itchy skin, accidental cuts and patchy results.
Set aside enough time to shave and you will find it much less of a daunting prospect – who knows, you may even start to enjoy your morning ritual!
Shave using shorter strokes of around an inch. If you have prepped your face correctly and have a clean, sharp blade you should only need one stroke on each area of hair. The more times you go over an area, the more irritation will occur so a little extra time before you take out your razor will go a long way to improving your shave.
7) Go with the Flow
Always shave WITH the grain; shaving against the grain is a one way ticket to itchy irritated skin, ingrown hairs and inevitable bits of tissue stuck to your cheeks to stem the blood flow. Take a minute to examine the direction of hair growth on the neck and jaw line, as hairs tend to grow in all directions in these areas.
Shaving against the direction of hair growth will not only irritate the skin, it can cause ingrown hairs to form. This is because shaving against the grain pulls the hairs in a direction it’s not used to, which can damage the hair follicle and cause hairs to re-grow inside the skin rather than through it.
It is easy to tell when you’re shaving against the grain as you will feel an increased drag on the razor, a bit like stroking a dog’s fur the wrong way!
8) Après Shave
Once you’re finished with the razor it’s time for the finishing touch - moisturiser. You may have been put off using an aftershave or moisturiser post-shave due to increased likelihood of irritation and stinging on sensitive, just-shaven skin.
Did you know that one of the main culprits for post-shave irritation is actually drying alcohol, which is included in many mainstream moisturisers and shaving balms?
Not only does alcohol cause a stinging sensation on a freshly shaven face, but because it evaporates on contact with the skin, it is also extremely drying. Synthetic skin care brands use alcohol to give moisturisers and serums a smooth skin feel, however drying alcohol is your skin’s worst enemy, stripping it of vital hydration.
To reduce dryness after shaving, we recommend using a naturally concentrated formula that is rich in essential skin nutrients that lock in moisture. Dryness and skin irritation is linked with low levels of Squalene, your skin’s natural moisturiser. No. 3 Cooling Moisturiser uses organic Jojoba esters alongside Squalane from Olive oil (which converts to Squalene on the skin) to maintain skin hydration for over 8 hours.
9) Schedule a Rest Day
Just like your muscles after a workout, your skin needs to rest and repair after several days of shaving in a row. For many people shaving is a daily ritual, but shaving every day can leave your skin feeling sore and in need of a break.
If you tend to shave every day, try taking at least one day off a week. Simply moisturise as normal on your rest day and when you shave next, you’ll find you’ll get a closer, smoother finish.
10) Tailor Your Toolkit
When it comes to your shaving kit you might invest in the best blades, but lots of men don’t give as much thought to the skin care products they use when shaving.
Many high street or supermarket skin care brands contain a very high percentage of non-active ingredients in the form of water (often 70% or more) and synthetic fillers. In the short term – sure, these cheap ingredients will make the product feel nice, but in the long term they won’t do anything to nourish your skin, they could even cause more skin problems.
Green People For Men is a range of organic skin care products, which are naturally super-concentrated with no fillers or bulking agents, every drop works hard to fuel your skin. Green People For Men is formulated for pure performance, tailored to male skin with organic plant actives that nourish, protect and balance even the most sensitive skin.
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For more shaving tips for men please get in touch by commenting below, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or giving one of our friendly customer care team a call on 01403 740350.