Step 1: Soften the Beard
Action: Apply a warm towel to your face or shave after showering
Benefits: The steam during your shower naturally opens up your pores and softens coarse hairs for a close and smooth shave. Nothing beats a clean face free of dirt, so use a gentle cleanser before you shave to reduce the chance of razor bumps caused by debris re-entering open pores.
Step 2: Lather Up
Action: Apply a quality glycerine-based shave cream or shave soap using a badger brush in a circular motion
Benefits: The massaging motion will generate a rich lather, exfoliate, and lift hairs away from the face for a close shave. Unlike aerosol gels and foams, which contain high levels of alcohol that tend to dry out skin, creams are often made with nourishing ingredients and ensure your blade glides smoothly without the need to constantly re-lather.
Step 3: Shave
Action: Select a razor blade handle that has a little bit of weight and check that the blade surface is clean. Keep your skin taut and flat with your free hand and shave with short strokes in the direction of hair growth. Start with cheeks and neck then finish off with the chin and lip, which requires more time for the shaving cream to soften. For an even closer shave, gently give the blade a second pass, this time in the opposite direction.
Benefits: A weighted shave handle, be it a double-edge safety razor, straight blade, or one that accepts disposable cartridges, allows gravity to work in your favour and lets the blade cut the hair effortlessly. Never apply pressure to your face in hopes to achieve a closer shave – this will only irritate your skin and make it more susceptible to nicks and cuts. Shaving in the direction of hair growth minimizes the risk of razor bumps, especially if you have sensitive skin. Remember to rinse the blade every few strokes to eliminate product build-up.
Step 4: Rinse & Aftershave
Action: Rinse your face with cool water and gently pat dry. Next apply an aftershave balm or razor relief moisturizer.
Benefits: Your newly-shaved face is thirsty and needs hydration. Cool water helps to close pores and reduces the risk of pimples. Applying a quality aftershave moisturizer will freshen, soothe, and seal in smoothness for longer. Opt for alcohol-free balms since alcohol-based tonics may burn, irritate, or dry out skin.
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