Ok, so if you’re like most guys your morning routine is just blurry. A quick shower, slap on some spray foam, and dragging some cheap (sometimes a disposable) razor across your face. Never thinking twice about preparing your face for shaving before ever putting a blade on your face! If you’re anything like me, my introduction to shaving was mostly things I picked up watching a Gillette Razor commercial… Not Good, lol! Just slap that spray foam on and drag that razor across my face. Sometimes with more blades than I really wanted to count. Afterward splashing water all over the bathroom as I washed off the excess lather.
Yeah, that didn’t work out too well! Ending up with a face covered in small bits of toilet paper and raw skin from razor burn. Topped off the next day with a neck covered in pimples and ingrown hairs. Not to mention the hassle I endured from my mom about how I left the bathroom looking.
It wasn’t until years later that I really started looking into the best practices to keep a groomed look while saving my face. Yes, there are some shortcuts on busy days. But for the most part, your face deserves to be pampered just a little. Especially before pulling an extremely sharp blade across your skin.
Preparing Your Face for Shaving With Warm Water
Now if you have ever been to a high-end barbershop you know they love wrapping your face in wet warm towels. Yet most experts advise preparing your face for shaving by washing your face first. Many suggesting that you use some sort of scrub. Mostly to remove any dead skin cells that may create a drag as you shave.
And to be honest all of those ideas are great. And if you have time in the morning to add them to your routine great. Though I would advise you to shy away from abrasive scrubs on your face. One of the best nonabrasive washes or soaps for your face should include sugar, preferably brown sugar. This is because sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid. An alpha hydroxy acid(AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down what bonds skin cells. In other words, it exfoliates your face without the rough scrubbing. One such soap that we offer is our Sangria Brown Sugar Soap.
However, even on your most rushed morning if you’re going to pull that blade across your face opt for the warm towel! Just throw a washcloth in the sink as you fill it with hot water for your shave. Trust me, your face will thank you. Then wring out the cloth and let it sit on your face and whiskers for a few minutes. This will open your pores and soften the facial hairs. Making them easier to cut without pulling.
The Pre-Shave Debate for Preparing Your Face for Shaving
Ok, you will hear a lot of differentiating comments about pre-shave oils. With debates from detractors over the oils preventing the whiskers from absorbing water. To them causing breakouts from clogging pores. And I will agree to some of this if they are used in the wrong order or if the oil you’re using wasn’t formulated correctly.
But for someone with sensitive skin preparing your face for shaving by adding a preshave oil can be a godsend. As I mentioned in the paragraphs above, the whole idea of washing your face or soaking it in a wet hot towel is to moisturize and prepare it for the cut. Whereas, adding pre-shave oil conditions the skin leaving an invisibly thin layer of oil for the blade to glide on.
But that’s not to say that there are many ill-formulated oils out there. Make with high comedogenic properties. Oils such as almond, avocado, or olive oil which are known to clog pores. If you’re interested in looking up the comedogenic properties of the oils in your pre-shave this is an excellent site.
When formulating our Pre-Shave Oil we took extra care to provide the skin with soothing oils with mostly low comedogenic ratings to give the best glide without risking possible breakouts.
Gels, Creams, or ShaveSoaps
Once you are through preparing your face for shaving it is time for the final layer before using a razor. Of course, there are many choices between gels, creams, and shave soaps. With the ultimate preference being your own. Some push for a gel believing it will lubricate the skin more. However, I personally prefer a thick shave soap foam. From natural soaps without the harsh chemicals found in most commercial shave foams and gels.
After all, there are four reasons for using this step:
- To hydrate and hold moisture in the beard hairs during the shave, thereby keeping them softer and easier to cut. When less force is needed to cut each hair, your shave can be more comfortable.
- To lubricate the skin and form a layer of protection between the blade and the skin, ensuring less friction to minimize the risk of redness, razor burn, and irritation with fewer nicks and cuts.
- To track your progress, while we don’t really think about it as we shave. The act of removing shaving cream as we shave helps us keep track of where we’ve already run the blade. Ensuring that you don’t miss a spot or over shave a spot.
- And finally, to soothe the skin as we shave. A good shave soap will include added glycerin which acts as a humectant. Increasing the skin’s hydration, relieving dryness, and refreshing the skin’s surface.
Whichever you choose as a preference, the main point of adding this protection layer is to lift the beard hairs away from the face for shaving. As you run your hands across your face you should notice that your beard grows in various directions on your face and neck. This is often referred to as with or against the grain. As you add shave cream to your face you should always apply the foam against the grain, so the whiskers are lifted away from the skin.
And now you are ready for a close comfortable shave. Personally, I use a double-sided safety razor. As I don’t really buy into the multi-bladed latest fad. I like my single-blade Ole-Skool razor, for a close, economical, comfortable shave you can’t beat them.
But no matter what your choice your first pass should always be with the grain! And for a lot of guys that one pass is close enough for them. But generally, I like to do three passes. The first as I said before is with the grain. Then after lathering my face again (never dry shave your face). The second pass is across the grain. Then a final lather and one pass against the grain for a close shave that lasts all day.