Shaving may seem simple. Just slap on some cream, wet the razor and drag it across your face. Soon after you find your face is burning and irritated from the shave. Many men experience razor rash and razor burn after shaving, and most just conclude that it is due to sensitive skin. Most men don't realise that the products they use are a major contributing factor to this irritation.
An old razor and a cheap shave cream are two things that sound uncomfortable for your skin. Surprisingly, men are still willing to shave with both these things, oblivious to the fact that they are doing their face a lot of harm. Men always ask us here at Milkman Grooming Co if we have anything to shave with for sensitive skin. Our first query is – what are you currently using to shave? Most will come back and say “oh just a foaming cream and a disposable razor.” Well there’s the first problem. Budget products are a recipe for disaster.
Disposable razors are cheap for a reason. Their quality is inferior compared to reusable blades. They are made with a lower grade steel and are only designed to give one or two full shaves before they go blunt. Therefore, if you are using the same cheap, blunt razor over and over again, you will start to really irritate your skin.
This is because you will go over the same spot repeatedly because the hair is simply not shaving off after the first stroke. In doing so, you are increasing the friction between blade and skin causing razor burn and razor rash. Men with any skin type (sensitive or not) will experience this discomfort. On the other hand, cartridge or safety razors are made from higher quality steel and stay sharper for longer.
A cheap shaving foam or soap will also have an irritating an effect on the skin. These foams contain cheap chemicals and generic soaps that significantly dry out the skin. They bind to your face’s natural oils and strip them away. This leaves your skin with little to no protective or moisturising properties. As a result, your skin will become inflamed during the shaving process.
We’re not telling you to go out to buy the most expensive products, but there are razors and shaving lubricants that are really good value for money at moderate prices. For example, our Milkman Shaving Gel is soap free and full of glycerine and aloe vera. These ingredients give exceptional lubricating properties without the worry of soaps drying out your face.
The key mistakes most men make when shaving include:
- Not pre-washing the face to remove grime and dirt
- Not pre-soaking the beard hair
- Using the wrong lubrication
- Using the wrong blade
- Using the wrong shaving technique
- Skipping post-shave moisturising
When shaving, be sure to pre-soak the hairs with warm water for 2 minutes or wash your face with warm water in the shower. This is the most important step of the shaving process because it has been scientifically proven to dramatically weaken the hair and contribute to a closer and smoother shave. Then, apply lubrication such as a shave gel or shave cream with nourishing skin properties. This will maximise comfortability when shaving.
After, using a clean, sharp razor blade, shave your face and remember to use the weight of the razor to guide you rather than applying more force. This will reduce razor rash, nicks and cuts. Remember to shave with the grain (not against) to reduce irritation. If you have some of those stubborn hairs that just won't cut properly with the grain you can go diagonally (not directly) against the grain.
When done, rinse your face with cold water. The cold water will close your pores reducing the capabilities of dirt from entering your skin, therefore minimizing ingrown hairs and pimples. Finally, use a post shave hydrating product to help cool down, soften the skin, reduce irritation and inject moisture and vitality into your newly shaven face.
By following these simple rules, you will soon notice that your face isn’t as sensitive as you once thought. Instead, you will realise that you were just using damaging products – and your skin could not cope. If you treat your skin well, there is no need to suffer from irritation again.
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