The average man spends more than six months of his life shaving, so to make shaving a more effective, enjoyable ritual, follow these tips from our skin experts. Your skin will feel smoother and calmer than ever before.
1. Shower first.
The moisture and warmth from your shower will pre-soften your skin and hair, making it easier to get a close shave.
2. Banish the bumps.
Razor bumps and ingrown hairs form when hair emerges from one hair follicle, turns, then enters an adjacent follicle. This is especially common in the beard and bikini areas. Using an exfoliating cleanser such as Daily Clean Scrub will help clear buildup on the skin, keeping razor bumps and ingrown hairs at bay. (If you have sensitive skin, try exfoliating at night and shaving in the morning.
3. Go with the grain.
Shaving against the direction of hair growth can increase the chances of ingrown hair and razor burn. You're better off shaving with the grain. Not sure how to figure out which way your hair grows? Wait one to three days after shaving, then run your hand along the same area to determine which direction the hair is moving.
4. Coarse, heavy beard?
Shaving might leave your skin irritated. To help ease discomfort, you need to lift and soften the hair follicles prior to shaving. Apply a shave guard, like Pre-Shave Guard, before shaving. This provides a cushion between the razor and your skin. Also, be sure to use a softening, moisturizing shaving cream.
5. Ditch the alcohol.
For men: You know that sting that occurs when you slap on your after-shave? That's alcohol. While it might have antiseptic properties, it can cause irritation and fail to replace your skin's natural protective barrier. Instead, use a product like Post-Shave Balm, which contains Licorice Root to help reduce irritation and discomfort from shaving. For women: If skin feels red or stings post-shave (or wax), try smoothing on After Sun Repair. It contains Lavender, Algae and plenty of skin-soothing botanicals.
6. Lighten up.
Pressing too hard with your razor won't deliver a closer shave. It will just cause more irritation, or if you're not careful, a painful nick.
7. Slow and steady wins.
Using a steady, constant motion when shaving will yield the best results. Aim to make each stroke between one and two inches long.
8. Rinse your razor.
Every time. To get a closer shave, make sure you rinse the blade clean before each stroke. The more buildup accumulates in your razor, the patchier your results will be.
Bonus tip: Shaving is a form of exfoliation, which can make skin more vulnerable to sunburn. So if you go outside after you shave, always apply SPF to exposed skin.