It's been said that about 60% of men believe they have sensitive skin. While many men do indeed have issues with sensitive skin, the truth is that the actual number of men facing this problem is much lower. The reason so many men believe they have this kind of skin, when they actually don't, is because of the way they shave.
Sure, they might buy all the right products and spend extra to get the brand name shaving kit, but their practises are actually causing their skin to feel sore, tight, and not look its best.
Because shaving is just a fact of life for most men, most of us believe we know how to shave correctly. After all, it should be in our nature, right? While you may have mastered others areas of your life that are true to your nature (always being wrong in an argument with a women, for instance,) there may be several mistakes you're making when it comes to shaving. Don't worry; you're not alone. Men of all ages are making these same mistakes right beside you.
Want a closer, smoother shave that leaves you with great looking, and more importantly, comfortable, results? Let's take a look at what you're doing wrong first.
You're not Preparing- Shaving correctly is a lost art for some men, but it doesn't have to be. It's like any other task in life. Think back, for instance, to when you were in school. When your teacher warned you on Monday that she would be giving you a test on Friday, did you walk into school at the end of the week without having cracked open a book? No. You studied. You prepared.
You need to do the same thing with your face. Before you take a razor to it, lay the ground work. Wash your face with warm water or get into the shower. Hot water and steam will open up your pores and soften your stubble, making it easier to shave. It will also gently exfoliate your skin, raise your beard, and bring out any ingrown hairs. You can also use an exfoliating scrub made for men to help rid your face of dead skin, dirt, and grime.
If you have a beard that is particularly course, or if your skin is really sensitive, take addition steps to protect it. Use a pre-shave oil before you begin shaving. This will make the stubble even soften and protect your skin at the same time.
Your Blades- There's no doubt you've watched many commercials for today's top shave brands, urging you to change your razor blades regularly. While they of course have an agenda- they want you to buy more of their product- they aren't wrong in theory. If you want your next shave to be successful, you have to change your blades on a regular basis.
How often you change the blades will depend on what kind of blades you buy, how often you shave, and how coarse your beard is. In some cases, you might need to change your blades every four to five days.
Rinse- When you shave, dead skin, hair, and shaving cream builds up on your razor. It's important to rinse these off with warm water after every stroke you make. Why? Because if you're not doing it, your razor won't work as well. It can also lead to skin irritation and razor bumps. It won't matter if you're wearing your best suits or tweed jacket; your irritated skin will be all anyone will see. And it won't be pretty.
Shaving Against the Grain- Let's say for a moment that you're preparing to go to a company dinner. You chosen your best men's suits to wear, have showered, and are now preparing to shave. You want as close a shave as possible though, so what do you do? If you're like many men, you'll be tempted to shave against the grain, or the direction of the hair growth. If you're lucky, this will indeed give you the closest shave possible.
Of course, that's only if you're very lucky. If you're not, you'll scrape your skin unnecessarily and end up with a shaving rash you'll want to use a fire extinguisher on.
Avoid the burn and look good in your suits. Shave with the grain at all times. You'll be able to tell which direction it is growing by running your fingers through the stubble on your face. Keep in mind, though, that all of your hair may not grow in the same direction. Your facial hair may grow in one direction, for instance, while the hair on your neck may grow in another. Pay attention and change directions when necessary.
Forgetting About After the Shave- You've finished shaving and rinsed off the shave cream you used... now what do you do? Do you put on your men's tweed jacket and walk out the door?
While it may seem like you're done with the shave, there are a few things left to do. Keep in mind that when you shave you put your skin under extreme duress. It's stressed, drying, and irritated. Now you have to deal with it. You can do this by creating a post-shave routine that involves moisturising, protecting, and conditioning your skin again. An after-shave moisturiser is the perfect solution for this. By using it, you can quell the fires of razor burn, prevent ingrown hairs, smooth your skin, and soothe any small nicks that may have occurred.
In a rush? If you can't take the time to use the proper moisturising tools after you shave, simply splash your face with cold water. This will cool your skin and help close your pores.
Shaving is an important part of male grooming, but many men simply don't know how to do it correctly. If you want to look your best, whether you're wearing men's suits or a tweed jacket and a casual pair of chinos, pay attention to what your face needs. Avoid these mistakes by making the necessary changes to your grooming routine.