Movember will be over within a few weeks and then Christmas will be upon us. The only person who should be unshaven around the Christmas table is Santa Claus so take a quick minute to read our guide to getting that perfect shave for Christmas.
Step 1: preparation
This step is the most important and overlooked part of the shaving process. A good prep cleanses the skin, opens the pores, and softens the skin. To prepare the skin for a smooth shave, always shave after or at the end of a hot shower. This will soften the beard and open the pores. In a pinch, a hot towel and splash of water can be used.
Always use a high quality shave cream (look for those that are glycerine based) and stay away from products that contain menthol, which can close your pores and stiffen your beard. For those with especially tough beards or sensitive skin, a Pre Shave Oil may be applied to further soften the beard and reduce razor drag. When applying the shave cream, use a badger shaving brush to apply the cream in a circular motion. This action will help produce a better lather, lift the whiskers, and gently exfoliate the skin.
Step 2: The shave itself.
Two of the leading causes of ingrown hairs and razor burn are poor lubrication and dull blades. Step one provides tips for proper lubrication, but a good blade is also essential to a close, comfortable shave. I recommend using a three blade razor such as the Gillette Mach3 Turbo. Make sure to always use a sharp blade.
With your free hand, hold the area of skin to be shaved taut and glide the razor gently over your face. Avoid applying pressure, rinse your blade often, and shave with the grain. If you require a closer shave, re-lather and shave lightly against the grain. If you nick yourself, apply a moist alum block or styptic pencil to stop bleeding.
Step 3: Repair and protect.
After shaving, always close the pores with a rinse of cool water. Gently pat the face dry with a soft cloth and apply a good aftershave balm. I don’t recommend using products that contain alcohol, as they can cause unnecessary drying of the skin. The right aftershave balm will help promote quicker healing and moisturize the skin.
There’s no magic secret to getting a great shave. Just follow the steps above every morning and put your best face forward. Here are some products that we recommend.