Several weeks ago, we posted a blog helping gals to avoid razor burn. Now, it’s the guy’s turn.
If you’re tired of beating your face up every morning, suffering from nicks and cuts, and just feeling like your face is raw and red, we have tips for you.
A close shave doesn’t have to be painful—try these tips to make daily shaving more comfortable.
Guys Say Shaving Hurts
Guys may not want to admit it, but for many, shaving can be uncomfortable, and for some, it can be downright painful. Here are just a few of the injuries guys may put up with on a daily basis:
- General irritation: Skin gets dry, irritated, and itchy, making you anything but comfortable as you go about your day.
- Razor burn or rash: This is not only painful, but it can be embarrassing. Particularly men with sensitive or occasionally inflamed skin may end up with redness and little bumps that are hot and itchy.
- Nicks and cuts: When the blade catches on the skin, ouch! There’s the pain, the bleeding, and the embarrassment of having stuck tissue or styptic pencil white spots on your face.
- Ingrown hairs: When hairs aren’t completely shaven off, they may curl back to grow into the skin, causing temporary redness, irritation, and inflammation.
- Deeper wounds: Sometimes, particularly if guys are in a hurry, deeper wounds can result from shaving that leave scars.
Shaving Tips to Make it More Comfortable
The truth is that shaving daily can take a toll on skin. Even if you never noticed a problem in your twenties, as you get older, your skin may start to rebel and react more often. Still, most men can’t go without shaving either because of their work or because of their own personal grooming preferences, so we have some tips to help care for your skin so you’ll feel more comfortable.
- Soften up first: Soft hair shaves better, so if you can, shower first. The warm water and steam will make shaving easier. If you’re not showering, moisten your face with warm water for a couple minutes beforehand.
- Exfoliate: It may seem counterintuitive to exfoliate before shaving. Doesn’t shaving exfoliate? Well, yes, but your shave will go better if you bring potential ingrown hairs out of hiding, first. Try our Ayurvedic Facial Scrub while you’re in the shower or at the sink. Just after cleansing, put a little on and gently massage over your face and neck. Rinse clean and you’re ready for the next step. (If you have sensitive skin, you may need to do this step only a couple times a week.)
- Lubricate: If you skimp on this step, you’re likely to end up with painful wounds. Lubrication is extremely important to shaving comfortably. Your standard shaving cream—which may be full of potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, propylene glycol, alcohols, chemical fragrances, dyes, and others—can actually further irritate skin. (Check your favorite cream or gel on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to see how it measures up.) Treat yourself right and find something that will be really good for your skin.
- Use a brush: Apply your cream or gel with a brush. It helps raise the hair, creates a creamy lather that protects the skin, and helps make a closer cut easier. Most experts recommend a badger hair brush as the best. Use in a circular motion.
- Make sure you have a clean, sharp razor: It can be tough when you’re trying to save money. You’ll likely use the same razor more than you should. But a dirty, dull razor increases the risk of nicks, cuts, and temporary irritation. In fact, a dull razor is one of the main culprits in making shaving uncomfortable. If you find the multi-blade ones too expensive, try the single blade ones and change them more often. They may actually be better for your skin in the long run if you discard them regularly. Experts recommend switching after every two shaves for the best results. Even better—invest in a well-crafted shaving razor that you don’t have to throw away, and clean and disinfect it regularly.
- Shave slowly and carefully: Shaving quickly is one of the best ways to get yourself nicked. Mornings can be hectic, but remember that the difference between shaving slowly and quickly is probably only a minute or two. Slow down, shave in the direction the hair grows, and use light, short strokes. (This can also help you reduce pressure.) Try not to go over the same area too many times. Don’t press too hard, as this will cause razor bumps. If you want a closer shave, apply the lather again before a second pass with the razor.
- Rinse: After rinsing with cool water, try a tea tree oil or a witch hazel wash to protect the skin from bacteria, then place a cold cloth over your face to help cool it down and reduce inflammation. Don’t forget to thoroughly rinse the blade (use tea tree oil to get rid of bacteria) and place it somewhere it can air dry.
- Moisturize with quality products: The main thing your skin needs after shaving is soothing, calming moisture. You’ve just removed the outer layer of skin, leaving newer, fresher cells vulnerable. Unfortunately, many of the typical aftershave products are filled with drying alcohols, irritating chemical fragrances, and preservatives. Invest in a quality moisturizer or shave balm instead—something that will help your skin bounce back from shaving. Some ingredients to look for—witch hazel, aloe, chamomile, evening primrose, calendula, sesame oil, coconut oil, peppermint oil, olive oil, and tea tree. These are all soothing and cleansing ingredients that are good for skin, and will help reduce shaving irritation. You can try our Coconut Body Oil, which contains super-hydrating coconut oil and milk thistle seed, which helps calm. Using our Coconut Honey Mask a couple times a week will also help keep your skin soft, smooth, and ready for the next shave.
- Protect: Don’t forget the sunscreen! Men often think they don’t need sunscreen, but they are also more likely to fall victim to deadly melanoma. Your newly exposed skin cells are vulnerable to UV rays. Choose a safe sunscreen with zinc oxide.
Do you have tips for achieving a comfortable shave? Please share.