Many men are leery of wet shaving. The primary reason is because avoiding blemishes can seem like an impossible feat, regardless of razor or shaving technique.
Fortunately, avoiding the plague of razor burn, bumps, ingrown hairs, and even shaving nicks and cuts isn’t very difficult; it may just mean you need to find the right type of razor and skin care regimen that works best for you.
Straight/Safety Razors vs. Cartridge Razors
There are many different wet shaving techniques, but perhaps the most important is switching from cartridge blades to using a safety razor.
Safety razors are typically a better option for avoiding razor burn and blemishes. The number one reason why blemishes and breakouts inevitably follow shaving is due to friction. Cartridge razors are designed with multiple blades, which glide along the skin. However, their weight and design forces shavers to apply more pressure, which creates more friction.
On the other hand, a safety razor allows the blade to glide evenly against the face, without requiring additional pressure. This reduces drag and friction, which inevitably reduces blemishes and breakouts.
In addition to using a safety razor, there are several other methods and techniques that can help improve the overall look, feel, and condition of your skin.
Read on for some tips on how to avoid post-shaving blemishes:
– Brush Yourself Off: There is a reason why professional barbers use shaving brushes – and it’s not because it provides customers with that 1950s barber shop experience. Using a shaving brush provides many functions, one of which is exfoliation.
Exfoliating when shaving is very important. The surface of the skin is full of dead skin cells. These dead skin cells then form a barrier between the blade and your skin, which often causes ingrown hairs. However, exfoliating with a shaving brush helps to thoroughly remove dead skin cells, allowing you to shave without worrying about blemishes and painful ingrown hairs.
– Nourish the Skin: Similar to the way alcohol dries out your body after a long night, it does the same to your skin – even though it’s not the same alcohol. The key to healthy skin is moisturizing and hydration.
For example, alcohol astringents aggravate the skin and cause redness and irritation long before you shave. Moisturizing does the opposite. It promotes proper skin cycles. Ensuring that your skin is well-moisturized and hydrated also allows the razor to glide rather than drag, which helps to create the ideal shave.
– Go with the Grain: Many shavers will do all the right things, such as use a shaving brush, a quality shaving cream, and moisturize, only to reverse it all by shaving improperly. Be sure to shave with the grain rather than against in order to avoid razor burn, bumps and cuts.
Going with the grain avoids cutting hair into the hair shaft, and it also involves less drag along the face. And as you now know, the less drag, the better.
Shaving the right way and ensuring a regular, proper skin care regimen are the best ways to avoid blemishes—and you will also likely notice that shaving will become that much easier.
Mastering the art of shaving isn’t very difficult, but it is definitely a lost art. A blemish-free shave is entirely possible. By following the tips above, using a safety razor, and ensuring a great skin care regimen, your face will be in good hands.