If you’re new to it, the world of male grooming can be a bit like stepping into the gym for the first time. Technique is crucial, and without somebody there to spot you and offer guidance on how to get the most out of your routine, it’s easy to waste your time. So, consider us your personal trainer. But instead of building your biceps, we’ll be focusing on building your personal care regime so you can look and feel fresh every day.
Shaving is one of the most masculine rituals at our fingertips - but if you’re not doing it right, you run the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs. Most of us have learned the basics of shaving, like not going against the grain unless you like itchy skin and little bits of tissue stuck to your cheeks to stop the bleeding. But if you’re keen to really finesse your morning shave, here are a few less obvious tips to help you look your best every day.
Got the Time?
Getting the best shave possible is all about watching the clock. If you shave in the morning, you need to take puffiness into consideration. Due to dehydration and water retention, our skin has a tendency to be a bit plump when we first wake up. So, when you roll out of bed and stumble to the bathroom, you should probably give yourself around twenty minutes for your skin to settle before you reach for the razor. That’s the perfect amount of time to drink a glass of water and take a steamy shower to help soften your bristles in preparation for the closest shave of your life.
You could get by with a quick blast of shaving foam, but a true gentleman knows the importance of pregame. Using a pre-shave oil will add lubrication to your skin’s surface, helping you get that extremely close shave you’re looking for without bothering your skin too much. After your shower, put two or three drops of oil in your palms and warm it before massaging into your face. You want to end up with a thin, even layer across the area you’re going to shave. Leave it for a minute to make sure it has time to soak in and nourish your skin, then apply your shaving foam or gel on top.
Badgered Into It
Every shaving expert out there recommends investing in a decent shaving brush to see the best results. A good quality brush will create a thicker lather from your shaving gel or cream, and it’ll help to buff your skin and lift the bristles in preparation for your shave. You can invest in badger hair or stick to man-made fibres, they both do the trick. Wet the brush with warm water, add a little shaving gel to the centre of the brush, and then spread the lather over your chin using circular motions. Once you’re done, rinse the brush with warm water and pop it on the side to dry.
Home and Dry
After dragging something sharp across your skin, you’ll need to show it a little TLC. Take your time finding a moisturiser that doesn’t contain drying alcohol - that’s what makes some moisturisers or shaving balms ‘sting’ when you apply them after a shave. A lot of brands use alcohol to give their moisturisers and serums a ‘smoother skin’ feeling when you use them, but the last thing you want to do is irritate that sensitive skin on your neck when it’s just been aggravated by a razorblade. Hunt down a moisturiser that’s rich in essential skin nutrients, and keep that moisture trapped instead of banishing it with alcohol.
The best route to a great shave is the scenic one - take care not to rush - set aside enough time in your morning to do a proper and try turning it into a relaxing morning ritual.