Studies suggest that a good number of men consider themselves to have sensitive skin when it comes to shaving. These men consider the breakouts, irritation, and bleeding as a reflection of their skin type more than faults in their shaving routine. In actual sense though, the reverse is true, since most men do not know how to shave properly.
That said, shaving everyday can be too tough on the skin for some men. If this is the case, it is advisable that you take extra precautions when shaving, and perhaps break for one or two days between “blading”. After all, a little scruff is probably better than severe irritation. Men with sensitive skin often suffer from:
- Intense Dryness
- Severe ingrown hairs
Whether you have sensitive skin, or experience severe irritation or breakouts after shaving, you can follow these simple tips on proper skin care and shaving to overcome most of these issues.
1. Shave in the morning
It is important that you shave at the right time, when your skin has had enough rest. During the day, your skin has to cope with the suns radiation, rain, and pollution, which causes the pores to close, makes the skin tense, decreases its elasticity, and toughens facial hair, with the latter two being the major causes of shaving comfort.
It is advisable to shave in the morning, right after taking a shower, because your skin is clean and elastic, and the pores are open. When cleaning your skin, use a soap-free cleaning lotion to reduce irritation and enhance the shaving experience.
Also, make sure that your shaver is cleaned and that you change your foil and cutting block roughly every 18 months.
2. Prepare your skin properly before shaving
Instead of rushing through a shave, you should spend a little time prepping your skin for the blade. Since you have already cleaned your face,
- Apply a small amount of shaving gel or foam to your shaving area in a circular motion to create a uniform layer. Smear it back and forth over your skin and against the grain of the hair to smooth the skin, lift and soften the hair, and facilitate a closer, less irritating shave.
- Use a good brush to lather the shaving foam, instead of your fingers, to push the cream into your hair for an easier shave
Let the foam or gel rest on your skin for about 3 minutes before starting, in order to increase shaving comfort and prolong the life of your razor.
3. Shave with the grain
While you may get a closer shave shaving against the grain, it is recommended that you shave in the direction the hair is growing to avoid ingrown hairs or razor burns. It is important to note that hair does not grow the same direction on the chin, cheeks, and the neck, plus you may still need to shave against the grain for a closer shave, after removing most hairs.
4. Use cold water to rinse your face
After shaving, rinse off the excess gel or cream foam with cold water to allow your pores to close, reducing any possible razor burn or skin inflammation.
5. Apply an aftershave
When your skin is dry, smear an alcohol-free aftershave to re-moisturise your skin.
When shaving, you may also want to stretch your skin when shaving to avoid pinching with a blade, which reduces the risk of cuts and nicks. Additionally, you should use short and smooth strokes for a more precise and less irritating shave.
And last, but not least - use a good shaver!