Thursday, October 11, 2012

Men: Perfect Your Shaving Technique

Dragging a blade across your face may seem like a daily act of violence, but shaving actually keeps your skin fresh. "Low grade friction from shaving stimulates collagen production and smooths the skin," says Kenneth Beer M.D., a dermatologist based in West Palm Beach, FL. The key qualifier: low-grade friction. Research shows that as little as a quarter of shaving debris can be hair; the remainder is sloughed-off skin cells. A rough cut removes cells that aren't ready for eviction, causing irritation says Dr. Beer. Your job is to ensure a smooth transaction.

Take Your Time - Shave in the shower or right after you step out. A study in the Journal of Materials Science revealed that moistened hairs require 30 percent less blade force to cut than dry ones do. Stubble and the skin beneath it needs at least three to four minutes to absorb moisture. Less pressure can reduce agitation of the hair follicle and create a cleaner cut along the middle of the hair.

Lube up - A preshave oil helps plump up dead skin cells with moisture, pushing them away from the face and leaving them exposed for cutting. Prepping with a hot washcloth on your face can further prepare your skin and hair.

Brush Your Beard - Shaving with a brush is the easiest and fastest way to prepare your skin and facial hair for a close and painless shave says Danielle Malka, founder of the grooming retailer 'eShave'. You make lather instantly as you swirl the brush against your face, lifting beard hair off the skin. Leave the cream on for 30-45 seconds and your beard will come off far easier.

Work the Angles - For an especially close shave, go with the grain, then lather up again and mow gently against or across your whiskers.

Close up Shop - Finish your shaving routine with a hydrating postshave cream to protect pores and nurture the rebuilding process beneath.


  1. I would also recommend using a glycerin-based shaving cream like Proraso or Truefitt & Hill (I personally use T&H's 1805), shaving soaps, or a combination of cream and soaps (yes, it's OK to do this!). Aerosol-based creams/gels can be harsh and cause your pores to close, something that's counterproductive during a shave.

    A longer initial brush and allowing the cream to break down the cuticle helps A LOT. I'm not sure if you were doing a follow-up post on equipment, but eschewing the multiblade cartriges for a double-edge safety razor is a great decision, especially for those with thick beards like myself.

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    1. Great to hear! Thanks so much for reading

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