The art of shaving: male grooming #3

Achilles pointed out to me that there is really no use in going any futher with skincare for men until we get one thing straight. Shaving is an art, and most men it seems, don't do it properly. Do it right and you're well on the way to smooth, well groomed skin. Do it wrong however and you're left with dry flaky skin, ingrown hairs, patchy stubble and razor bumps.

So I jotted down a few of his tips and did my research by reading a bit about it and asking an expert or two. Here is the distillation of my efforts.

  • The first trick that seemed to be universally agreed upon is this: shave in the shower. Your skin is warm, your pores are open and your skin is more receptive to the razor - i.e. the blade is less likely to scratch or irritate your skin.
  • Use a good face scrub in the shower before you shave. A good scrub will open pores, get rid of dead skin and lift ingrown hairs and stubble, for a closer shave.
  • Use a high quality shaving formula. If you don't, your skin won't be sufficiently lubricated and you'll end up with razor scraping.
  • Chuck out razors after four or five uses. You need to use an ultra sharp blade and they don’t stay sharp enough for much more than that. Don't scrape the razor over your face - gentle shaving is best.
  • Steer clear of alcohol or menthol based cologne or aftershave. Don't use anything that might irritate your skin as this can lead to infection, clogged pores and ingrown hairs. You need soothing, moisture rich formulas, that will give your skin back the oils you just scraped off with the razor.

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