Shaving is a part of the weekly, if not daily, routine for most men. If something goes wrong during that routine, it’s certainly noticeable (and likely painful). To help achieve the perfect shave that will be both comfortable and close, it’s important that you incorporate the right products for the best results.
Below we will highlight all the essentials that you must be doing in order to bring your morning shave to the next level. When you follow this outline, not only will your shave be more comfortable, but you will also realize the secondary skin care benefits that will leave your skin well-nourished and moisturized.
Here’s what you need to be doing:
THE PRE-GAME SETS YOU UP FOR SUCCESS
If you’re in a rush, and need to shave before you run out the door, you may be tempted to just splash some water on your face and quickly shave. However, we all know that never turns out well. If you do not take the time to prepare your skin and hair properly, you will leave your skin susceptible to nicks along with post-shave irritation due to a rougher cut on the hair follicle.
Why is this so important? You see, when you splash a bit of warm water on your face, it won’t be enough to both open your pore and swell the hair follicle. Open pores are preferred for the ultimate shaving comfort. An open pore will ensure that the razor can get a much closer shave on your follicle as opposed to one that is a bit more constricted.
Secondly, when you keep warm water on your face for several minutes, your whiskers will swell and soften. Swollen whiskers will ensure that the razor blade can get a clean cut with little effort. Softer whiskers will further ensure that there is no incidental tugging on the follicle which translates to reduced post-shave irritation.
If you are in too much of a rush to shower, simply apply a hot wet towel to your face, and let it sit for several minutes as this will achieve similar results. While hot water allows the pores to open and follicles to swell, to make the process even easier, you should use a pre-shave oil like the ones offered by The Mod Cabin. These quality oils are made with all natural ingredients such as avocado oil and meadowfoam seed oil, which soothes the skin and allows your hair to soften and detangle.
Furthermore, pre-shave oil also provides an extra layer of lubrication between your skin and razor blade. This will help the razor blade to glide effortlessly on your skin with each pass. The Mod Cabin’s pre-shave oils come in a variety of scents such as Miner’s Mint, Backwoods, Honeysuckle, and more. Pre-shave oils also come unscented, but are still made with the helpful ingredients that prepare your hair for the perfect shave.
A PROPER SHAVING SOAP CAN MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
The go-to shaving cream tends to be your run of the mill pharmacy aerosol—and men often wonder why their skin is irritated after they shave. Common aerosol creams prove problematic for several reasons. The use of shaving cream is necessary because it functions as another way to soften and swell hair follicles, while also allowing a lubricated layer between the skin and the razor to lessen irritation.
However, when we use cheap aerosols, the lather is not as full and will contain air pockets that create an uneven layer. When air pockets form, the razor blade may skip across the skin which can cause painful and unsightly cuts. In addition, cheap aerosol’s are loaded with filler ingredients, such as alcohol, which will dry out your skin. This exacerbates post-shave dryness and irritation.
The solution to this problem is to use a quality shaving soap. Top-rated shaving soaps are made with natural ingredients, commonly including vegetable oils such as olive, coconut, and castor bean oil. They are also made with natural glycerin and usually scented with essential oils.
Because shaving soaps are a solid bar, you do not run into the same problems you would with aerosol shaving creams. When shaving soaps are used correctly, they create a thick and even lather that allows for a much more comfortable shaving experience. Shaving soaps also come in many scents created with essential oils extracted from natural sources. The Mod Cabin sells many different types of shaving soaps including Birch Tar, Amber, Mint, Honeysuckle, and more.
A SHAVE BRUSH WILL HELP WITH THE SHAVING SOAP APPLICATION
When using shaving soaps, it is important to own a quality shaving brush. Without it, you will not be able to create the thick lather that allows for flawless shaving. The shaving brush has many other benefits as well. It lightly exfoliates your skin prior to shaving, and lifts your hair to stand on end, as opposed to the hair being matted down by your hands. This allows a cleaner cut on the shaft of the hair follicle.
The Mod Cabin is a supplier of quality and durable shave brushes that you need in order to achieve a close and perfect shave.
YOU CAN’T COMPROMISE ON RAZOR QUALITY
There is no doubt that multi-blade cartridge razors are great for speed and convenience, however, many men loathe them for three reasons – cost, razor burn, and razor bumps. With their ‘lift-and-cut’ technique, they can cut a hair just below the surface of the skin, which is smooth at first, but nearly always leads to unsightly razor bumps. While a six-blade razor may seem great from the onset, passing a blade across your skin 6 times will inevitably lead to irritation.
Given their cost prohibitive nature, many men as of late have started to opt for the traditional safety razor of yesteryear. The reason for this is two part – traditional safety razors are much more cost efficient and reliable.
The Mod Cabin sells a traditional safety razor that is constructed from a rust-proof chrome that should last you for years – not days. Being that a safety razor only has one blade, you can easily limit the number of passes that the blade comes in contact with your skin, ultimately leading to less irritation.
Lastly, blades for safety razors are easily changeable and universal allowing you to find one that perfectly complements your skin for maximum comfort. Here’s a list of the best double edge razor blades to get you started.
Shavette razors, used by barbers all over the world, are a great way to get a great straight razor shave without having to hone or sharpen the blade. They use the same inexpensive double edge blades as safety razors. Just snap the blade in half and insert it into the razor. The razor itself is also much less expensive than a traditional straight razor.
NEVER SKIP ON AFTERSHAVE
Once you are done shaving, it is helpful to finish with aftershave. Aftershave is vital to providing relief to any irritation that you may have experienced, while doubling as a moisturizer for your skin. However, like shaving creams and razors, there are cheaper items that can be damaging and painful.
Aftershave comes in four principle types: splashes, lotions, serums and balms.
Splashes and lotions commonly contain isopropyl alcohol, often found in cleaning products. The alcohol dries out your skin, leaving it blotchy and flaky. Secondly, the alcohol in a splash or lotion will be extremely painful when applied if you experienced any tiny cuts while shaving.
However, serums and balms are made with natural ingredients such as Shea Butter, which is a natural moisturizer, and vitamins A, E, and F which act as natural in antioxidants and skin rejuvenators. Being that aftershave balms are absent of alcohol, there is no painful experience when its applied to a freshly shaved face.
The Mod Cabin supplies all natural, quality balms, infused with essential oils that will take your skin to the next level, as well as alcohol-free toner and aftershave spray, which is a great replacement for aftershave splash, and comes in a convenient spray bottle.
WRAPPING IT UP
As you can see, it doesn’t boil down to how many blades are on the razor. To shave properly, there is a lot more to it than that! A long soak of your whiskers coupled with the right set of products will serve both the razor and your skin well.
From beard to blade and everything in between, Shawn is the founder of Tools of Men, a men’s grooming blog that helps men get the most from their morning routine. Featuring in-depth guides, product review roundups, and common questions that men are too afraid to ask, this site should set you in the right direction when it comes to how to care for your body.