The humble beard. Whether it’s on your face because you couldn’t be bothered to get rid, or it’s more of a well-crafted labour of love, it’s hard to not to be a fan. When it comes to sculpting, there are a number of styles to choose from (aside from ‘letting it do its thing’), so here’s five of them. The most popular, if you will, ready to present to the barber at your next grooming appointment. By Rachel SpeddingRead more
Remember in 2013 when hipsters started dressing like lumberjacks and beards were literally everywhere? Until this year, that was the reigning Year of the Beard. Then, of course, we were all bound to our homes for months on end and nobody in their right mind was bothering to shave (right?). Well, now lockdown is easing so – if you’re reaching for your razor again – here’s a refresher on how to go clean-shaven, without the shaving rash.
By Beth Ludolf
Cleanse and exfoliate
First things first, always clean your face first. Use a face wash to remove any impurities and then go in with a light scrub. Skipping cleansing means dirt and dead skin cells can clog your razor and blunt the blade which is a definite shortcut to razor burn, nicks and cuts. The exfoliation helps with ingrown hairs too – it’s a win-win.
Prep the skin
The best time to shave is after a shower. The warmth of the steam hydrates the skin, opens the pores and softens the hairs – making them easier to cut and reducing friction against the skin. If you’re not showering first, using a hot towel does the same job. Run a small towel under warm water, wring it out and hold it over your face until it cools. 3 minutes is the optimum time so you’ll probably have to repeat the steps a few times.
Use a clean, sharp razor
Skin irritation is pretty much guaranteed if your razor is old or dull so make sure you change the blades regularly. How often? Well, about every 5 to 7 shaves. Rinsing your razor properly (after every stroke) helps keep it from dulling prematurely. If you’re still getting razor burn, switch to one with fewer blades. If you’re prepping the skin properly, 3-blades are often just as effective (and cause less stress to the skin).
Always use shaving cream (and try out a brush)
The number one commandment of shaving; never dry shave. Shaving foam (gels and creams, too) are specifically designed to lubricate and reduce friction. Basically they form a barrier between the razor and the skin. Bonus points if you use a shaving brush. Apply your shaving cream in circular motions to lift the hairs away from the skin and better coat them with the cream.
Be more light-handed
If your razor is clean and sharp (check) and you’ve properly prepped your skin (check) then you really don’t need to be heavy-handed. Too much pressure, or going over the same spot too many times, is bound to cause irritation. If you do need to shave the same bit more than once, make sure you always reapply your shaving cream.
The post-shave routine
Rinse your face to get rid of any additional product then splash it with some cold water to close the pores. Pat it dry with your towel – no vigorous rubbing – and apply some post-shave balm to soothe and nourish. Exfoliating every couple of days helps keep ingrown hairs at bay.