Every guy knows the crushing disappointment of stepping out of the house, thinking you’ve just completed a nice, clean shave, only to find out that now your face is on fire and you have a severe case of razor burn. Even worse, sometimes the same razor used following the same shaving routine can result in severe razor burn one day and absolutely no irritation another day.
Thankfully, there are a few simple tips you can follow to make sure that a nice close shave never results in irritation and razor burn.
The Power of Humidity
We all know that a shave goes much differently when your skin is wet than when it is dry. That’s because our facial hair can hold up to an astonishing 30% of its volume in moisture. When your facial hair is filled with water, the cellular walls become weakened and the hair becomes much easier to cut. Many guys like to shave their face right after completing a hot shower, but if you’re looking for a faster way to do it, steep a cloth in hot water and hold it to your face until the skin feels soft and moist.
Exfoliation is Not Just a Word in the Dictionary
Our skin cells are constantly regenerating and replenishing, and the surface layer becomes clogged with dead cells, dirt, and other detritus. When you exfoliate right before shaving, you’re removing that layer of dirt and debris, allowing the skin to relax and open up while softening the facial hairs. The razor blade can then make a clean pass over the skin without causing rashes or irritation.
The Significance of the Razor
Of course, every shave is completely dependent on the quality and the sharpness of the razor that you use. Whether choosing a premium brand or sticking to a cheap razor from the bottom shelf, the critical factor is the sharpness of the razor blades, as a dull blade will slide and scratch your skin with each pass, chewing up the surface of your face and leading to rashes and razor burn. Double-edged single blade razors are considered to give the cleanest shave.
The Shaving Process
The secret to understanding facial hair growth is that not all of your hairs are growing in the same direction. Most barbering experts agree that the smoothest shaves are performed in the direction of the hairs, or “with” the hairs. Instead of simply always using long, downward strokes, it’s best to use short, controlled strokes in the direction of the hair, always being sure to adapt to the contours and curves of your face.
Clean and Dry
Once you’ve enjoy a fresh, clean shave, it’s time to take a few simple steps to make sure that your skin doesn’t succumb to irritation or razor burn. When you’ve completed shaving, thoroughly rinse off your face with warm water until completely clean, and then perform a final rinse with cool or cold water. Then use a towel to gently pat your face dry, being sure not to rub or scrub the towel on your face.
Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise
Even the sharpest razor blades passing over lubricated skin still remove several layers of skin tissue from the surface of your face. This is far harsher treatment than your facial skin receives from any other activity, so it is essential to use a quality moisturiser after every shave. A good moisturiser will dry quickly and not leave behind any greasiness or shine to your face, while leaving your skin feeling cool and refreshed.