Whether it is a big event you want to look extra sharp for, or you just want to feel a bit more dapper today, we're here to walk you through how to shave your face, the right way.
The last thing you want is an uneven shave and a bad case of razor bumps.
Tip #1: Cleanse Your Skin
Before you get to it, grab your MadeMan facial cleanser to start your shave off right.
Cleansing your face before your shave is essential to ensuring a clean and proper shave. You want your skin clean and free of any dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria before you shave.
Tip #2: Exfoliate
Exfoliation should only be done once or twice a week. As long as you're only shaving here and there, you should always exfoliate before you shave.
Exfoliating ensures no dead skin cells or bacteria are left from your cleanser. Facial cleansers are good for day-to-day use as they clean without stripping the skin, but a deep clean is sometimes needed.
If your skin isn't properly cleaned or exfoliated before a shave, you may notice more ingrown hairs, razor bumps, or breakouts after your shave.
Tip #3: Moisturize
Moisturizing your skin is essential whether you're shaving or not. You want to use a high-quality and versatile moisturizer every day.
Benefits of Moisturizing Daily
Keeping your skin moisturized helps it remain youthful. When you moisturize daily, your skin looks younger and healthier as you reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Every man likes to look younger, but there are other great benefits to moisturizing. Keeping your skin moisturized ensures your skin is healthy and nourished throughout the day.
It reduces skin problems like developing ultra-dry or ultra-oily skin. Both of these can cause an increase in breakouts.
Tip #4: Watch Your Water Temp
This might come as a shocker to you, but your water temperature plays a part in getting the best shave. Chances are you've always used lukewarm or cold water while shaving, but we're here to tell it's time to switch it up.
There's a science to shaving and what water temp you should use. You should use lukewarm water to start your shave, aka when cleansing and exfoliating — don’t go hot or it can irritate your skin before you’ve even put a blade to it.
After you cleanse and exfoliate, you want to use cold water during your actual shave.
There are many reasons why cold water is better for your skin and your blade. The first is that it helps keep the blade sharp. Cold water causes the molecules of the blade to contract, leaving the edges extra sharp.
Increases Blood Circulation
Washing your face with cold water is optimal. Of course, if it's pre-shave, we still stand by our tip to use hot water, but cold water is the better option most of the time.
Shaving with cold water helps increase blood flow and circulation. When you shave with cold water, this causes the blood vessels to constrict, which causes your blood to better circulate through the body. This is why a cold shower once in a while can be beneficial, too.
Tightens and Closes Your Pores
Shaving with cold water will tighten and close your pores, ensuring the moisture is locked in tight all day.
Minimizing The Risk of Burns, Bumps, Nicks, or Rashes
Cold-water shaves are especially helpful if you have sensitive skin. The cold water helps minimize the chance of getting razor burn, bumps, nicks, or rashes as the cool temperature soothes the skin.
Tip #5: Use a Pre-Shave Oil
If you're the kind of guy that just puts shaving gel on his face and goes to town, you may want to reconsider using pre-shave oil before your shave.
Using pre-shave oil can have tons of benefits for your skin.
Reduces Risks of Ingrown Hairs
Whenever you give extra effort to your shave routine, it will help reduce the risks of ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs are caused by rushed shaves, dull blades, or unwanted friction. When you use a pre-shave oil, it ensures your razor glides smoothly over your skin.
Reduces Razor Burn and Itchiness
Post-shave burning and itchiness are painful and frustrating. You finish your shave — you look good and feel good, just to experience irritation minutes later.
Razor burn and itchiness happen when there’s friction between the razor and the face and neck. Essentially, you can blame razor bumps on a lackluster shave routine. (Luckily for you, MadeMan provides you with the top products and advice on achieving the perfect shave!)
Tip #6: Apply Shaving Cream In Upward Motion
Yes, the direction you glide your razor is important, but the direction you apply your shaving cream is, too.
You want to make the shave as close as possible. Applying your shave gel or cream in an upward motion will push the hairs up, making it easier to get a closer shave.
Tip #7: Always Keep a New Razor
Using a sharp razor is essential to getting the best shave possible.
Razors should be stored in a dry area. Getting into the habit of leaving it on the edge of an always-damp sink can be a tough one to break, but it's crucial to your razor's life span. Razors are metal, so they can rust very easily.
A razor should last you around five shaves, ten max. So, depending on how often you shave, that’s about two to four weeks.
When you use a dull or old razor, it can be detrimental to the health and appearance of your skin. If you use a razor blade that is too old, you're increasing your chances of nicks, cuts, and even infection.
It may seem like using a sharper blade would increase your chances of getting nicked or cut, but it's the contrary.
A sharper blade helps cut the hairs more effortlessly and smoothly, preventing the razor from getting stuck on your skin while you glide over.
An older razor also has more time to accumulate rust and bacteria. Pair that with a dull blade that will likely cut your skin, and you may have an infection on your hands.
How To Avoid Using Old Razors
It may seem like a silly statement, but we understand the struggle of forgetting to replace your razor. You don't think about it until you shave and notice the blades have become significantly duller since your last use.
That's why MadeMan makes it easy — just sign up for a monthly subscription for your razors and skin care products. Done, and done.
Tip #8: Shave With the Grain
We're sure you’ve probably heard this from someone by now, but the holy-grail rule of shaving your face is that you must shave with the grain.
It may feel like you aren't getting a close enough shave, but shaving against the grain can result in a serious case of razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
Shaving against the grain means you shave in the opposite direction of hair growth; instead, you should always shave in the same direction of hair growth.
How To Find “the Grain”
To shave with the grain of your hair, you first have to find it. We suggest running your hand through the stubble — the direction it feels “prickly” is the grain, and you want to shave opposite that.
Tip #9: Skin Stretching (When Using a Straight Razor)
If you're going traditional with your shave routine, you may want to implement skin stretching into your routine.
Skin stretching is used when you're using a straight razor. Professionals usually do it at barbershops, so it's not something you should randomly pick up and try. However, if you're familiar with using a straight razor, we say go for it.
Skin stretching is when you pull your skin tight with the opposite hand. This ensures your skin is tight and can result in a closer shave. A straight razor is very sharp and takes a steadier and more precise hand than normal shaving.
If your skin isn't tight enough, it leaves you more prone to cutting and nicking, especially with a straight razor.
Tip #10: Shave With a Pivot-Stroke
Even if you feel you're a pro at shaving and have been doing so for years, everyone misses hair sometimes. At any age, you can still implement different techniques and strokes to ensure a cleaner and closer shave.
A pivot-stroke is when you draw the razor down your face and then pivot in a J-motion along your chin (or wherever you’re shaving).
This technique helps remove any extra tiny hairs you may miss otherwise, and can be reversed to an upside-down pivot-stroke for the same effect.
Tip #11: Apply Aftershave
Aftershave is essentially any oil, gel, or other formula you apply to the skin after shaving. Some people prefer aftershave with natural oils like jojoba or coconut oil to soothe and nourish skin, while others prefer classic aftershave that is mostly ethyl or isopropyl alcohol that helps prevent infection in a freshly shaved face.
Either one will do the trick — as long as this step isn't skipped, your skin should be a-okay.
Applying an alcohol-based aftershave works to sterilize the area by killing any bacteria or germs left from your razor or hands. Alcohol-based aftershave is needed if you were unlucky enough to get any battle wounds from your shave session.
Tip #12: Moisturize Post-Shave
Moisturizing after you shave is just as important as moisturizing as part of your morning routine. Shaving can cause irritation to the skin, but moisturizer helps to remedy that. In fact, moisturizing can help lessen the appearance of eye bags and other signs of aging, working in multiple ways to make your skin look just plain good.
Tip #13: Apply Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen after your shave won't necessarily affect your final results, but it's still a necessary step.
The sun has harmful UV rays that can cause permanent damage to your skin. If you don't apply sunscreen daily, you may notice an aging change in your skin's appearance. When your skin has fallen prey to sun damage, it may seem dull and worn out, or have dry or discolored patches.
Not only can applying sunscreen every day help keep your skin healthy, but it can also help reduce the appearance of aging by proactively reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that are caused by sun overexposure.
Tip #14: Don't Store Your Razor in the Shower, Either
You must keep your trusty razor dry and free of bacteria. If you leave your razor in the shower or on the counter, it will likely rust quicker than expected.
When your razor is stored in a dry area, it is more difficult for bacteria to grow or for the blade to rust.
Tip #15: Don't Shave Over Acne
If you have any pesky pimples, be sure your razor is steering clear of breakout spots.
Shaving over acne can nick the skin and cut those bumps open — no thanks.
If you're experiencing a bad breakout, it may be hard to get a good shave in. If your acne is especially bad, you need to either be extra careful during your shave routine or consider skipping until that breakout calms down just a little.
Tip #16: Skip the Soap
Even if you grew up watching someone shave with just bar soap, that is a thing of the past. Using shaving gel or cream protects your skin while keeping it moisturized.
Any soaps or products geared towards men often have harsh chemicals. It's not uncommon to just grab the first soap you see and go. However, it’s a good idea to take a second to read the ingredients label.
Tip #17: Don’t Dry-Shave
Dry-shaving can lead to all kinds of skin problems, from dry skin to razor bumps and nicks. Some razors are made and intended for dry-shaving, but you must be sure it's intended for that before trying.
Tip #18: Sharing Isn’t Caring
Sharing razors is never good, even if you're just doing it occasionally in a pinch. We say an extra day of stubble is better than shared bacteria.
Tip #19: Don't Shave Over the Same Spot
You don't want to shave repeatedly over the same spot when shaving. You should go over your shave the first time and then reapply shaving cream or gel before going over your skin again.
Other Ways To Care for Your Skin
Caring for your skin shouldn't be chalked up to just your shave routine. It starts with your skin, so you want to ensure you're caring for your skin in every way possible.
Watch Your Water Temperatures
Just like we suggested during your shave, you should watch your water temps at all times. Continuously showering in or washing your face with water that's too hot isn't great for your skin.
Extremely hot water strips the natural oils from your skin, leading to dry or excessively oily skin.
Have a Skincare Routine
Your skincare routine is just as crucial as your shaving routine. It doesn't have to be overly complicated or consist of 20 different products.
Here at MadeMan, we design our products with ease and simplicity in mind. Our Re(Set) collection is easy with just two steps in under two minutes.
Our hydrating cleanser is paired with our rejuvenating moisturizer to ensure you start each day off right, giving even the roughest skin a chance at that youthful look again.
Even though shaving can be an everyday task for some, it may be a bi-monthly or even twice-a-year event for others. Whether you shave every day or once a year, there is always room for improvement.
Getting the closest cleanest shave is almost an art and has tons of variables that come into play — it doesn't just take a good razor and some shaving cream. You have to be meticulous with your product choices and have an unmatched routine.