We’ve all been there before. Dried-out skin screaming for moisture, sensitive inflamed skin, pieces of toilet paper covering your razor wounds. We know that shaving can be a personal induced hell… but we want to let you know, it doesn’t have to be that way. Now, there can be many reasons why you need to shave, whether it’s being in a professional career, a nagging lover, or just a personal preference. Regardless of the reason, we want to arm you with the type of products we use in our Barbershop so you can get the perfect shave each and every time.
What You Need
- Shaving Cream/Gel
- Aftershave Moisturizer
Choosing Your Razor
First things first, we want to make it clear that most people run into problems with shaving because of the technique they use and how they shave (We’ll be writing an article on shaving technique very soon!). Not the products they’re using on their skin. Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about razors!
Regardless of if you use a single blade or a multiple blade razor, you need to make sure your blade is SHARP! If your blade is dull, you end up pressing the blade into your skin, increasing the chances of cuts, ingrown hair and you also irritate your hair follicles, ending up with red, bumpy inflamed skin.
In terms of picking the ideal razor, we choose to use single blade razors. The main reason is because you can get a much more precise and close cut shave as opposed to the multi blade razors. Not to mention it’s very easy and much cheaper replacing single blades. Having multiple blades can often be too rough on sensitive skin because of the amount of blades pressed on the skin as well as having to pay for cartridges will cost you a lot more over time.
Another factor to consider if you’re using a razor is whether or not the head of the razor pivots. Men usually have a well-defined jaw line… Now, this may be attractive to the ladies, but when it comes to getting a close shave with a razor? Not so much. That’s why using a razor with a pivoting head can really do wonders for getting those sharp angles of your face.
Shaving Creams Or Gels
Using shaving creams or gels can make your shaving life so much easier. The main purpose, regardless of which type you use is to make sure there is enough lather to cover where you need to shave. This lather serves as a lubricant for the razor, and forms a thin layer over your skin so the blade skims right over the surface of your skin, greatly reducing skin irritation, ingrown hairs and razor burn. Good shaving creams/gels will also moisturize your skin as well as reduce irritation.
In terms of choosing which type of product is the best match for you, you want to avoid using shaving creams/gels that use an astringent if you have sensitive, dry skin. Most astringents are alcohol based which can lead to irritated and dry skin. However if you have oily skin, astringents can strip away excess oil and prevent your pores from clogging. If you have dry skin, using a cream/gel with a glycerin base will provide a foundation that helps the blade glide over your skin while keeping your skin moisture intact.
With the large amount of scientific research and backing, products you should steer far away from if you see these in the ingredients label are parabens, SLS, SLES, and synthetic fragrances. Now, we could write an entire article on why you should avoid these types of ingredients, but just know that many of these substances can contain carcinogenic properties, are hormone disruptors, contribute to organ toxicity and can strip off too much of your body’s naturally produced oils.
As for ingredients that you should look for in your shaving creams/gels, anything with natural ingredients such as jojoba, argon and almond oil are usually a safe bet. If they also contain natural essential oils (which provide health benefits) and act as natural smell enhancers are also very good ingredients to look for.
Many of the men that come into our Barbershop think that what we put on them after we’ve given them a sharp shave is just to make them smell amazing. But good aftershaves are so much more than just a nice smelling cologne!
When you shave with razors, there is always the chance of them being contaminated with bacteria (especially if you reuse your blades). And with shaving, you always run the risk of skin irritation and even worse, infection.
So aftershave serves two purposes. One is two completely clear out your pores of any bacteria that you may have put into them, and two is to seal up your pores to prevent any additional bacteria or dirt from getting back in.
Many good aftershave moisturizers also contain essential oils such as witch hazel which is a natural astringent, closing in your pores as well as reducing irritation and swelling. Tea tree oil is another natural ingredient which acts as an antiseptic and helps to clean your face of any bacteria and dirt.
Now that we’ve gone through the essentials for products you should be using if you want to have a perfect, smooth and irritation-free shave every single time, it’s now up to you to take the razor into your own hands and get that close, clean shave that will have people’s heads turning!