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If your shaving routine involves bar soap and a disposable 50-cent razor, we need to talk. Shaving doesn't have to be a dreaded chore - by switching out your grocery store brand razors and shaving cream for a double edge safety razor, luxurious shaving soap, and a refreshing aftershave, you’ll be more inclined to wake up those few minutes earlier. Shaving after a hot shower, or after using a hot wash cloth will give the best results. Steam opens your pores, which will soften the hair and allow for an easier shave.
The preparation of your skin before you begin shaving is essential. There are a number of ways to do this, but no matter which method you choose, your skin needs some love before tackling your facial hair. Exfoliation is key to softening your skin and letting your pores breathe by buffing away dead skin cells. Next, you’ll want to apply a pre-shave oil, pre-shave soap or pre-shave gel/emulsion to soften and lift facial hair, making it easier to slice through. This will reduce irritation and make your shave as easy as possible.
Now for the main event! Choosing the right razor is crucial, and there are certainly many options, from a wide variety of safety razors, straight razors, cartridge razors, and shavettes. You’ll also want to discover whether you prefer soft shaving cream, hard shaving soap, shave oil or shave gel, and whether or not you want to use a shaving brush.
To create your lather. Apply the lather to your face in a circular motion to lubricate and soften your skin, protecting against irritation. Take your razor of choice and shave in the direction of beard growth, without using too much pressure. First, run your razor with the grain, then across the grain, either directly across or at a slant. Only the final pass will be against the grain.
After you've removed the desired amount of hair from your face, you’ll need to keep your skin soft, smooth and protected. Wet an alum bloc and apply directly to face - they contain antiseptic properties that speed the healing of nicks, cuts and other shaving irritations. Rinse your face with cool water after 30-60 seconds to snap your pores shut and remove excess alum.
Apply aftershave to soothe your skin - you can choose between a moisturizing balm, or a refreshing splash (keep in mind, aftershave splashes typically require a separate moisturizer). Your post-shave rituals are essential to restoring moisture to your skin and preserving that perfect shave. It’s important to hammer down a proper skin care routine as an adult. Knowing your skin type and finding the right products is imperative to treating your skin right!
Find a men’s facial cleanser that matches your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, find a face wash with ingredients that won’t irritate your skin. If you have dry skin, find a cleanser that won’t dry your skin out. Pay attention to the oil levels of your skin!
Men’s facial toners can work to lightly cleanse, typically removing a light layer of dirt and oil, depending on the combination of ingredients and alcohol content (however, don’t rely on a toner as your only method of cleaning your face). Toners decrease the appearance of pores and tighten skin, improving your skin’s overall look and feel.
You can never ever skip the face moisturizer. No matter what your skin type, there is a moisturizer that is right for you, and you should most definitely be using it. Many people incorrectly believe that if their skin is oily they don’t require a moisturizer after cleansing, however there is a huge difference between accumulated oil and proper hydration.
Exfoliation is a very important aspect of skin care, yet it is often ignored. Work a small amount of exfoliator into your skin to gently buff away dead skin cells. Use no more than three times a week, depending on the strength of the exfoliator and your skin type.
Clay Masks are another weekly treatment that is beneficial to indulge in. Using once a week, work the clay mask into your skin and leave for 10 mins to dry. Wash off with warm water using a wash cloth. You’ll be amazed at the gorgeous skin underneath!
You may think “what’s the difference” when making your skin care purchases, but the fact of the matter is that these products have different labels for a reason. If the bottle says it’s for oily skin, it’s going to completely dehydrate your dry skin. If the label doesn’t specify that the product is for sensitive skin, you may be loading your skin with chemicals it simply can’t handle. Figure out what skin type you have, and buy your products accordingly.