Shaving is a daily routine for most men, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a boring drudgery. Approach each shaving experience as an opportunity to enjoy a feeling of luxury along with the satisfaction of achieving a job well done, with the assistance of the best shaving products available. Make every time you shave a small block of time you set aside to relax and prepare yourself for the adventure ahead.
What is the worst part of shaving? For most men, it’s the raw feeling of scraping a razor across their face, with nothing to look forward to other than a burning, stinging feeling afterwards. Try a new approach. Take the time to prepare your skin and beard properly; transform shaving from a chore into a pleasurable experience. You can’t just start attacking your face with a naked blade without preparation; any man who has rushed through a “dry shave” can tell you that it’s an experience he’ll never forget – and always regret.
Prepare your skin and beard: Your skin needs to be supple, so the blade will glide over it smoothly, while the beard hairs should be softened and ready to cut. Pre-shave oils are a very effective way to achieve this goal. There are natural products that contain essential oils which relax and smooth the skin, providing a protective cushion, while simultaneously softening the hairs. Tougher beards can be prepared by using formulas which combine soothing oils with zeolite. The exothermic (heat-producing) properties of zeolite warms the oil as it is applied to your face, providing a wonderful relaxing sensation while it prepares your skin and beard for the shave ahead. For men who use electric razors, try a solution which prepares the skin and beard just for this method of shaving.
The choice of a shaving cream is a very personal one. Some men prefer a large lather, while others are inclined to use low-foam gels; some even use several different shaving creams, choosing one or another depending upon their mood or specific needs for a shaving occasion. Fortunately, there is a wide range available. Fans of luxurious lather can choose from a wide selection of foaming shaving creams. They can be applied with your fingers or, if you’re a traditionalist, with a shaving brush. Emollients and hydrators can help provide a smooth, healing shave. Men who have to shave frequently can find relief in choosing a shaving cream that provides exceptional lubrication with de-sensitizing agents such as benzocaine to make the process more comfortable.
Fans of shaving gels also have a wide selection. The foamless formulas soothe the skin while the gel allows the blade to glide smoothly. Gel products often contain ingredients such as aloe vera which soothe sensitivity and lock in hydration.
After the last part of your face has been shaved and the last bit of foam or gel has been wiped away, the task still isn’t complete. Some post-shave care should also be taken. Even the best preparation can’t always avoid a little feeling of razor burn, particularly if you suffer from ingrown hairs or chronic razor bumps. But “aftershave” doesn’t mean slapping on some raw alcohol. No, let’s be rational about this stage of the shaving regimen.
Healing and soothing are the goals here, which post-shaving products provide, along with antibacterial and antioxidant protection. Cooling, soothing oils and extracts can also restore the pH balance, with antiseptic and antibiotic ingredients. For more than a century, particularly when many men had barbers shave their faces, barbershops always had a bottle of witch hazel handy as an aftershave lotion. The reason is that witch hazel is a very good astringent that does not cause a burning sensation, which is why many after shave products include this ingredient in their formulations
Post-shaving discomfort can take several forms, individually or collectively, such as a burning or stinging sensation, redness or “razor bumps.” Addressing these collectively, specialized after shave products can offer immediate relief and promote healing. Many of these products can also help to keep the pores clear and prevent ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs, sometimes caused by shaving too closely or too often, can be relieved and prevented with the help of glycolic or salicylic acid. These ingredients help to eliminate dead skin cells which can clog the hair follicle.
Don’t feel as if shaving can only be a chore – and a dangerous one at that. There are so many great products available that can make your routine into a positive experience. Embrace the shave!