Ever get razor bumps, razor burn, or just a bad shave? Chances are, it's not your skin or your razor that's to blame, but your technique. Shaving is one of those things that's so easy, we often don't think about it. But if you want a good shave, it's important to take the time to do it right.
Let's take a look at 5 of the most common (but often overlooked) shaving mistakes that guys make, and how to avoid them.
1. Shaving Without Exfoliating First
If you've ever had razor burn, you know how painful it can be. Razor burn is often caused by dead skin cells that get trapped under the blade, causing irritation. One way to avoid this is to exfoliate your skin before shaving. This will remove any dead skin cells that could cause razor burn.
What is exfoliating? Well, your skin tends to build up a lot of dead skin cells, which can make it dry, flaky, and dull-looking. Exfoliating helps to remove these dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, that could otherwise cover where your hair would grow in, which can lead to razor burn, ingrown hairs, and other irritating skin problems.
So by exfoliating before you shave, you're making sure that the hairs that grow in don't get trapped under dead skin cells, which can lead to razor burn.
2. Hot Water is Not Your Friend
It feels good, we know. But hot water actually strips away the natural oils in your skin that help to protect it. This can leave your skin feeling dry, tight, and more susceptible to razor burn.
Instead, use warm water. Warm water still opens up pores and washes away dirt and debris, but it won't strip away the natural oils that help to protect your skin as hot water does.
Be sure to have washed your face and exfoliated thoroughly before you start shaving. This will help to remove any dirt, oil, or dead skin cells that could clog up your razor and cause razor burn. When you're ready to start shaving, use a sharp razor and shave in the direction that your hair grows.
3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to moisturize your skin after shaving. This will help to soothe any irritation and help to protect your skin from razor burn. Look for a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or chamomile, as these ingredients can help to soothe irritated skin.
When you've finished shaving, rinse off with cool water and apply a generous amount of moisturizer to your skin. The barrier that moisture creates will help to protect your skin from razor burn, and the ingredients in the moisturizer will help to soothe any irritation that may have occurred while shaving.
Plus, keeping your skin moisturized will help to prevent ingrown hairs as well!
4. Forget Your Old Blades
It can be tempting to keep reusing your old blades, but it's time to let them go. When you first start shaving with a new razor, it will cut more smoothly and smoothly. But as you continue to use a razor, the blades will become dull and you will be more likely to experience cuts and nicks, and over time, your skin may become irritated.
The best way to avoid this is to replace your blades regularly. If the cost of disposable razors is adding up, switch to a safety razor, which will give you a closer shave and last longer. Safety razors are a little more expensive upfront, but you will save money in the long run, because all you'll have to do is replace the blades, which tend to cost very little. Plus, safety razors are stylish, and you'll look like a boss when you use one.
5. Pay Attention to Ingredients
When using a shaving cream and an aftershave, take some time to read the labels and pay attention to the ingredients. Many shaving creams and aftershaves contain alcohol, which can dry out your skin. If you have sensitive skin, look for products that are alcohol-free. You should also avoid products that contain fragrance, because this can also irritate your skin.
There are many great shaving creams and aftershaves on the market that are designed for sensitive skin, and these products will help you avoid irritation. Take some time to experiment with different products until you find ones that work well for you.
Remember, expensive doesn't always mean quality. Look for ingredients like aloe vera, which will soothe your skin, and glycerin, which will help to keep your skin hydrated. Additional ingredients like vitamin E and jojoba oil can also be helpful for your skin, and these ingredients can be found in both drugstore and high-end products.
Fragrances can be tricky, as some people are sensitive to them while others find them refreshing. Natural fragrances tend to be less irritating than synthetic fragrances, so if you're looking for a scented product, look for one that contains essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances.
6. To Go With or Without the Grain?
You may have heard that you should always shave against the grain to get the closest shave possible. And while this is true, it can also lead to irritation, because you're more likely to experience razor burn. Why? When you shave against the grain, you're actually lifting the hair up before cutting it, which can cause the hair to become ingrown as it grows back.
If you're prone to razor burn, try shaving with the grain instead. You may not get as close of a shave, but your skin will thank you. The only downside is you'll be shaving more often, as the blade isn't able to cut as much hair at a time. But that's a small price to pay for happy skin.
The Bottom Line
Shaving can be complex, especially on your face. When you shave, you need to be very careful to avoid nicks and cuts. A good way to avoid these is to shave slowly and carefully. In addition, you should use a sharp razor and exfoliate before shaving. Avoiding harsh chemicals and using a shaving cream or gel can also help reduce irritation. So if you want to know how to shave properly, be patient, use a sharp razor, and be sure to exfoliate and use a shaving cream or gel that contains natural ingredients.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.