Shaving and the shave facial process
Most men will readily admit they are unaware of how to shave properly, are not too sure of the benefits or the correct products to use.
Shaving should be so much more than a chore. A clean shave should result in healthy, youthful & blemish free skin.
A simple but effective routine can help reduce well documented shaving issues.
Before you even begin the process of shaving, it is worth spending a few minutes in a well lit room with a mirror you can get close to and observe the growth patterns of your stubble or beard. This is known as face mapping. Being aware of the direction your facial hair grows and following the principle of shaving with the direction the hair grows will drastically reduce shaving issues.
The direction facial hair grows will usually change around the area a shirt collar would sit when buttoned up, with the majority changing direction completely and growing upwards. Shaving directly against the way this area of the hair grows will result in damage to the skin causing redness, irritation and soreness. See the shaving process below to help deal with this.
Applying shave crème using a man-made bristled brush will stimulate the blood beneath the surface of the skin which in turn will stimulate the hair helping it to lift away from the skin allowing the blade to slide across the area with less resistance.
The shaving process
The optimum time for a shave is directly after a shower. Before stepping into the shower, fill your basin with very hot water and submerge the razor and shaving brush. This will allow the hardware to warm up nicely, helping create a drag free shave.
Just before exiting the shower, hold your face up to the flowing warm water, heat and moisture soften the beard and will aid with lubrication alongside the shave crème.
Remove the brush and the razor from the hot water in the basin and splash some of the hot water on your face. Do not dry.
Give the shaving brush two vigorous shakes into the basin to remove excess water and apply shave crème to the tips. Starting at the Adam’s apple, apply the shave crème using firm circular motions all the way up to the base of the sideburn, on one side of the face, use the same technique to make sure all the hair on the chin, cheeks and top lip are covered in crème. Return to the Adam’s apple and repeat on the other side of the face. When all the hair is covered in creme, vigorously go over the beard once more before commencing to shave.
Place the brush on the side of the basin, not back into the water.
When it comes to shaving, mark out by drawing a line in the shave crème, the point that the beard changes direction. This usually below the chin around the Adams Apple area, only shave down to this line, following the direction the beard grows. Do this on one side of the face right up to the center of the nostrils and half the chin. Leave the hair below the line you’ve drawn as this will require a different technique to avoid a shaving rash, redness and soreness. Repeat on the opposite side of the face.
When this is complete, turn the razor upside down and shave the hair around the collar line in an upward direction.
Before continuing, pick up your shaving brush and quickly apply the remaining shaving crème in the same circular motions. At this point, change the direction of your shave by shaving across the direction the hair grows (Not against it). This process would normally result in a smooth, irritation free finish. If your skin does not get sore or red, then a third technique of shaving against the direction the hair grows can be introduced to provide a glass smooth shave. It is worth noting that if you struggle with red, sore and/or irritated skin as a result of your shave, it is worth not using the against the direction the hair grows technique for a few weeks and just use the first two techniques. You can then gradually introduce the third technique every second or third shave to allow the skin to adjust and prepare.
After you’ve finished with the razor
On completion of the razor work we need to follow a quick and simple routine to leave the skin in a healthy condition which in turn prepares the skin for future shaves.
Once you are happy you have removed as much of the hair as you set out to do, remove the plug from the basin and allow the dirty shave water to flow away. Rinse the loose hair and any other detritus from the basin and fill with clean warm water.
Splash your face with the warm water removing any loose hair, dead skin cells and dirty shave cream. Use a healthy facial wash to cleanse the open pores. Men-u healthy facial wash contains Witch hazel and Tea Tree oil which combined acts as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and an anti-bacterial cleanser which will reduce redness and irritation and leaving the skin clean and fresh and ready for the day ahead. Rinse the facial wash away with the warm water.
Remove the plug from the basin a final time and turn the cold tap on and allow it to run for a few seconds. Splash cold water on your face. This will close the pores leaving the face protected from the elements.
Using a toner type product on the skin at this point will help to reduce excess oil settling on the skin, it is excess oil that blocks the pores causing spots and blemishes.
The final step in the process is to condition the skin. It is important to add moisture back to the skin using a good quality male specific moisturisers. Men have oilier skin than women so to reduce the oil build up and keep the pores clear a moisturiser specifically designed for men should be used.