Men, let’s face it: There’s much more to a perfect, close shave than just dragging a razor across your skin until the stubble is gone. A great shave is a true form of art, and thankfully, it is one that can be easily mastered.
Even if you’ve been shaving every day for decades, chances are good that a dermatologist can teach you a few new tricks that will have you doing more than just reaching for a razor and will let you truly enjoy a great complexion without irritation.
Here are five, simple to follow do’s and don’ts that will help you face the day with the best shave possible.
1. Don’t rush.
Make time to get a great shave and don’t hurry through the process. For many men, shaving is a multi-step process that starts with cleansing and prepping your skin for the razor’s edge.
Let your great shave start with a great cleanser. Dr. Doppelt recommends that men use a gentle facial cleanser before shaving their faces, as regular soap can strip the skin of hair-softening oils. Consider gently massaging the cleanser around your face for at least a minute to remove pore-clogging sebum, dirt and skin cells before rinsing.
After cleansing your face, it’s time to lather up with shaving cream or gel – either option is fine. Don’t be afraid to use a formula for sensitive skin if you need it. Work the product into a nice lather and leave it on your face for up about two minutes. If you’re in a hurry, consider using this time to brush your teeth or style your hair.
2. Do consider brushing up.
Sure, you can use your fingers to work your shaving cream into a lather. But if you really want a luxurious, skin-softening experience, consider letting a shaving brush do the work for you. A natural badger hair brush can lift facial hair and stubble to coat hairs to be removed with cream. This provides additional lubrication, which reduces friction and irritation.
3. Do know when to change razors.
If you’re among the vast majority of men, you shave with disposable razors or cartridges. This is ideal because it gives you an easy opportunity to replace the blade before it gets dull. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests swapping out razors every 5 to 7 shaves.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t matter how many blades your razor has. Though you might see varieties with three, five or even more blades at the drug store, many dermatologists and barbers agree that one or two will do the trick. The most important factor is how sharp and smooth the blades are.
4. Don’t go against the grain.
Dad might have taught you that shaving against the grain produces a closer shave, but what he didn’t tell you is that this can also lead to irritation. Shaving in the direction that your hair grows can help prevent unwanted shaving side effects like ingrown hairs and razor burn. If you have thick or curly hair, this tip might prove even more useful.
It is also important that men who are prone to acne and irritation shave as lightly as possible. The AAD suggests that men who are acne prone experiment with both electric and disposable razors to find the least-irritating option. Regardless of which you choose, it’s important that you never try to shave off a pimple or breakout and you maintain as light a hand as possible.
5. Do treat yourself sometimes.
A professional shave by a barber or hairstylist is a simple luxury than can help you put your best face forward. The hot towel and facial massage experience can leave you feeling rested and restored, and can inspire you to take great care of your skin.
Looking for more ways to take care of your skin? Consider calling Dr. Doppelt for a consultation. He understands men’s unique skin care needs and can help you have the best skin of your life.