Shaving can be a daily challenge for many men. Learn how to get a closer shave (without the skin irritation) with these 11 tips
Depending on your facial hair situation, you may need to shave nearly every day. And a clean-shaven face is the key to looking fresh, clean, and well-groomed, especially if you’re going to a job interview or client meeting.
But something as simple as shaving comes with its own set of challenges, whether it’s itching, facial nicks, razor burn, boils and bumps (folliculitis), or ingrown hair.
Here are 11 tips to help you achieve a closer shave without the irritation.
11 tips for getting the perfect shave
- Wet your skin and hair before shaving. This softens the hair and helps you avoid itching and post-shave redness. The best time to shave is right after a shower because your skin is moist and your hair is softer, and the chances of dead skin cells clogging your blade are lower.
- Use a mild physical exfoliant before shaving. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells. You can use a loofah or bath sponge but avoid chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid.
- Apply pre-shave oils and creams. These provide lubrication that allows the razor blade to glide on the skin with ease.
- Select the right type of shaving cream or gel. If you have sensitive or dry skin, use shaving products that are designed for sensitive skin. Look for ingredients such as aloe, glycerin, or ceramides that are soothing and hydrating.
- Use a sharp blade. Multi-blade razors (cartridge razors and disposable razors) provide a close shave due to their lift-and-cut technique. Make sure to regularly replace razors after 4-5 shaves, repeated use blunts the blade and affects your shaving experience.
- Shave in the direction that the hair grows. Moving your blade in the direction your hair grows can help prevent razor bumps and burns.
- Rinse the razor in water after each swipe. This prevents the blades from getting clogged with hair and dead skin, thus preventing the risk of infection.
- Keep your razor in a clean and dry area. After you finish shaving, dry the razor and then put it away to prevent bacterial and fungal growth on the razor. Never leave your razor in the shower or near a wet basin.
- Rinse your face with cold water. After you shave, rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of foam. Then rinse with cold water to close the pores.
- Remember that aftershave is your best friend. Aftershave helps calm irritation, disinfects nicks, and soothes your skin after shaving.
- Use sunscreen and reapply every 3 hours. After shaving, your skin is more sensitive. It’s crucial to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
Is a trimmer better than a razor?
If you are not into the clean-shaven look, a trimmer may be your go-to for facial shaving. Advantages of using a trimmer include the following:
- Typically faster than a razor
- Don’t require shaving creams, gels, or oils
- Don’t cause razor bumps, ingrown hair, or nicks
However, aside from the fact that trimmers don’t give you as clean a shave, they also can’t get wet, meaning you can’t use them to shave in the shower.
How frequently should men shave?
How often you should shave depends on the amount of facial hair you have, how quickly your hair grows, and the type of look you prefer.
Shaving is an aggressive type of physical exfoliation, since the razor blades remove a thin layer of dead skin cells and natural oils on your skin each time. So while shaving daily may be desired for a clean look, you may want to shave every 2-3 days if you have acne or sensitive skin so your skin has enough time to recover.
It’s also important to moisturize your skin after shaving to protect its natural moisture barrier. Look for soothing ingredients such as ceramides, aloe, and jojoba oil.
Medically Reviewed on 7/29/2021