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Shaving is a frustrating endeavor that leaves their skin feeling scraped raw, smarting from razor burn, and speckled with nicks. What good is having a face free of stubble if your chin is covered with patches of crimson-stained toilet paper and your neck looks like hamburger?
Did you know shaving is the hair removal method used most by women, yet more than a third of them don’t like doing it It’s true!
To make shaving a more effective, enjoyable ritual, follow these tips from our skin experts. Your skin will feel smoother and calmer than ever before.
The following remedies will help you make peace with your razor and put an end to the morning madness in front of the mirror.
Get ready. Proper preparation is the key to a good shave. That means moistening and softening your face before you even apply the soap. For the best results, do it with a warm, moist towel or washcloth held to your face. At the very least, splash warm tap water on your face. (Women should try soaking in the tub for a few minutes before shaving their legs.)
Go with the grain.
Shaving against the direction of hair growth can increase the chances of ingrown hair and razor burn. You’re better off shaving with the grain. Not sure how to figure out which way your hair grows? Wait one to three days after shaving, then run your hand along the same area to determine which direction the hair is moving.
Shave in the shower. It’s the perfect place to shave, because the steam and hot water soften and moisten your skin and beard. Shaving your face as your final shower duty makes good sense for your skin.
The moisture and warmth from your shower will pre-soften your skin and hair, making it easier to get a close shave.
Trim your discomfort: Well, don’t believe it. Shaving is rough on the skin, say dermatologists, and when it comes to discomfort, the closer the shave, the greater the pain. Try trimming back your daily growth a little less closely to spare yourself a lot of discomfort.
Stop playing doubles — and triples. Many dermatologists think razors with double and triple blades are overkill and do more harm than good. That’s because after the first blade pulls up the skin around hairs, the following blade or blades shear off the nubbin of skin. Try a single-blade disposable razor instead.
Froth your foam. Many men think that foam out of a can is moist enough to apply directly to dry skin. Not quite: You need added moisture, or it will almost be like shaving dry skin. Splash water on your face liberally before adding the foam.
Be sharp. A dull blade can scrape your skin, so don’t try to get too many shaves out of one razor or blade. Some men’s beards are so coarse that a razor will be effective for only one shave.
Go electric. Electric razors don’t shave as closely as a double-track razor, so they may be less likely to irritate the skin.
Use a quality aftershave. Alcohol is the main ingredient in cheaper brands, which is why splashing them on freshly shaved skin causes stinging torture. A good aftershave should refresh the skin and cleanse it of bacteria, plus heal it from the shaving. Read labels and look for aloe vera or other natural healers as included ingredients.
You know that sting that occurs when you slap on your after-shave? That’s alcohol. While it might have antiseptic properties, it can cause irritation and fail to replace your skin’s natural protective barrier.
Try a sunscreen. Another home remedy is to skip the aftershave altogether and smooth on some sunscreen after shaving, instead. The lotion will guard against skin cancer and keep your face looking young.
Heal thyself. If you have razor burn, use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone lotion as your aftershave, which will make your skin heal faster.
Shaving might leave your skin irritated. To help ease discomfort, you need to lift and soften the hair follicles prior to shaving. Apply a shave guard before shaving.
Quit shaving. If you need to be clean shaven on the job, how about putting away your razor for the weekend? Letting your beard grow just a quarter-inch can make razor burn and bumps disappear. When it’s time to shave again, don’t shave too close, or the irritation will reappear just as quickly.
Slow and steady wins.
Using a steady, constant motion when shaving will yield the best results. Aim to make each stroke between one and two inches long.
Banish the bumps.
Razor bumps and ingrown hairs form when hair emerges from one hair follicle, turns, then enters an adjacent follicle. This is especially common in the beard and bikini areas.
Rinse your razor. Every time.
To get a closer shave, make sure you rinse the blade clean before each stroke. The more buildup accumulates in your razor, the patchier your results will be.