Look no further for the secrets to a really good shave
Getting a clean shave sounds simple enough, but throw razor burn, ingrown hairs and cuts into the mix and it’s actually a lot harder than it looks.
Master your technique and enhance your routine with our top tips and products for a super smooth shave.
5 dos for a clean shave
1. Do prep your skin
The key to a close shave is all in the prep. Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any build-up of oil, sweat and dirt that could get in the way of your razor.
Next, make sure your face is hot and damp to help soften your hair and skin. If you’ve just showered, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, drape a hot flannel over your face for 30 seconds to prepare the area for shaving.
2. Do lather up
When it comes to a clean shave, soap just won’t cut it (hello dryness and irritation). Instead, use a dedicated shaving cream, gel, foam or oil which will help your razor glide smoothly and keep your hair and skin moisturised.
Lather in your chosen product by massaging upwards in circular motions and consider using a shave brush to really work it into your hairs and lift them up in preparation for shaving.
3. Do shave with the grain
Whilst shaving against the grain can achieve a closer shave, it’s a sure-fire way to increase your risk of cuts or ingrown hairs. It’s always best to shave with the grain in the direction that your hair grows to get a smoother feel with less risk of irritation.
Only shave against the grain if you feel you need a second pass after shaving with the grain first time round.
4. Do clean your razor
To get the best out of your razor, you need to keep it clean both in between uses and during the shave. Rinse it regularly after every few strokes to avoid any build-up of hair and product that could dull down the rest of your shave. Once you’re done, rinse the blade thoroughly in water to remove any traces of hair and bacteria. Don’t forget to switch to a new blade after every six shaves for best results.
5. Do moisturise afterwards to soothe skin
It doesn’t stop once you’ve finished your shave. To keep your skin feeling soft, hydrated and protected, splash your face with cold water and follow up with a moisturiser or post-shave balm. Just make sure to choose one without alcohol which can dry your skin out and cause stinging or irritation.
5 don’ts for shaving
1. Don’t use a dull blade
A dull blade can lead to irritation and ingrown hairs. Why? Because it can tug and pull at your hair and potentially make the surrounding area feel inflamed. It also doesn’t cut the hairs as sharply, so you may feel you need to go in for a few passes before you’ve got the result you want. Always use a sharp blade for a quicker, smoother and easier shave.
2. Don’t rush
Slow and steady wins the race. If you rush through your shave, there’s more chance of nicks and cuts occurring. Take your time and enjoy it! Go for shorter strokes rather than longer ones to help maintain an even pressure and shave throughout.
3. Don’t press too hard
Many make the mistake of pressing too hard, thinking it will give a better shave. But that can actually lead to razor bumps and a higher chance of cutting yourself. A light touch will give you far better results. Let the razor do the work and apply just enough pressure to keep the blade in contact with the skin.
4. Don’t store your razor in a wet environment
Although it might be more convenient to store your blade in the bathroom, the warm damp air is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and build-up. Not to mention the chance of your blade going rusty. Instead, store it somewhere cool and dry to keep it in good nick.
5. Don’t use the wrong products for you
If you’re not getting the shave you want, then it could be down to the products you’re using. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you and it can take a little trial and error finding your perfect routine.
For example, if you’ve got sensitive skin then a shaving foam might be too harsh for you. Why not try a shaving cream instead, which tends to be more moisturising? Or if you’re someone who likes really clean lines, then a shaving oil could do the trick. It goes on clear so you can see exactly where you’re shaving.
Similarly, if you like a low maintenance shave, then a multi-blade (cartridge) will probably be a better option since they’re quick and easy to use, rather than a double edge or single-blade (straight) razor which both take a little more practice and know-how to get the angles right.
If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, here’s our round-up of seven of the best shaving products…
Soothe & condition
No7 Men Energising Face, Beard & Stubble Moisturiser – 50ml
Formulated by skincare experts at No7, this lightweight moisturiser is designed to soften facial hair and stubble whilst giving 24-hour hydration. It’s a great option for those with sensitive skin to leave it feeling energised and refreshed.
Revolution Man Conditioning Beard Oil – 30ml
If you’re taking a break from shaving and letting your beard grow out, then help keep it nourished with a conditioning beard oil like this one from Revolution. The non-greasy formula will transform your beard from dry and brittle to soft and silky, without weighing it down.