Bumps and rashes, nicks and cuts, a neck that looks as if Sweeney Todd’s had a go at it? If you haven’t nailed your shaving routine, this daily task can be at best uncomfortable and at worst a disaster. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. Follow a few simple rules and razor regrets will be a thing of the past.
Soften your skin
Barbers don’t just put a hot towel on your face cos it feels nice – heat softens your skin and beard. Get the same effect by shaving just after a hot shower.
Try a shaving oil
Rub a little shaving oil over your skin before adding your foam or gel, to lubricate skin. This is especially useful if your skin is dry or easily irritated.
Check your blades
Rusty? Dull? Clogged with hair? Time to replace your blade. How long a blade lasts is different for everyone, but as a general rule it’ll be good for two to three weeks if you shave daily, but if your hair is very thick or coarse, it will blunt sooner. Don’t store your razor too near the shower, as the steam will rust the blade.
Get in a lather
The thicker your hair growth, the thicker the lather you should aim for with your foam.
Shave in the direction of hair growth
If your skin is sore or irritated, try shaving in the direction of your hair growth. You won’t get quite as smooth a shave as going against it, but the blade will be gentler on your face.
Pull your skin
Hold the area you’re shaving taut. This stretches the skin and makes the hairs easier to get at.
Finish your shave with a splash of cold water, then pat dry. Don’t rub as this will further irritate the skin.