When it comes to getting a proper shave, the prep-products you use are just as important as your snazzy multi-blade razor. Shaving was and still should be considered a patient ritual. So word to the wise: breaking your routine up into three steps with the right products will deliver a precise performance.
Steam: Here’s the gist: to achieve a close shave, you need to have relaxed skin. And to get that, you need to open up your skin pores through steam. While a shower is ideal, placing a hot towel around your neck for a few minutes is fine if you’re running on a tight schedule.
Scrub: Before shaving, it’s important to actually begin washing your face with something more than just sink soap. In fact, never use sink soap. The right pre-shave step should include a facial scrub to fully clean and soften your beard. The Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub ($22) from Kiehl’s Canada buffs through dead skin cells and breaks down rough facial hair for a softer shave. And then just for a “good morning” bonus, it also includes energizing qualities like Caffeine, Menthol and Vitamin E.
Lather: Once your face is ready to apply shaving cream, you’ll want to find a product that will develop a thick lather to coat your mug. Kiehl’s Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream ($22) definitely does the trick and also contains natural ingredients like camphor (to treat oily skin) and sesame oil (to soften the skin). Did we mention that you can apply it straight to your skin without any water?
Small strokes: You may have heard otherwise, but using short strokes with your razor provides a much more efficient shave. Avoid applying too much pressure on the razor. To maximize the opportunity, use small quick strokes while going with the grain of your facial hair, and then if you want, perform the same technique again but against the grain for a smooth finish.
Cold Water: After you’ve finished shaving, you’ll want to rinse your face quick with cold water. Why? It’ll tighten the skin and close the pores, stopping any dirt from seeping in.
Moisturize: Many men miss out on this final step while shaving. Once your skin’s dry, it’s important to apply a lotion to ease and heal any razor burn. Try Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Razor Bump Relief ($37) It not only provides relief but also leaves the skin with a refreshing kick thanks to ginger root extract and willow herb.
Jeremy Singer is a freelance writer and reporter from Toronto. He has a journalism degree from Ryerson University, and enjoys covering all aspects of men’s lifestyle and pop culture. He hopes to one day try on an $8,000 suit but not buy it, because he’s afraid of commitment. Feel free to contact him on Twitter or at his website.
Photo courtesy of David Wright.