If you're like most men, you wake up and shave your face at least a few mornings each week. Chances are you've had your fair share of catastrophes over the years. From razor burns to acne breakouts, shaving can be a hazardous activity if you don't do it right. There's an easy fix for a lot of the problems: Wash your face first. If you're shaving with a standard razor, it'll help cut down on problems and give you a closer shave.
To start, you need to make sure you're using warm water. Hot water -- or long showers at any temperature --removes essential oils from your skin, making your shave less comfortable. That said, you still want to use soap on your face, but in this case a mild cleanser is best because it doesn't strip away too much oil [source: Mayo Clinic].
Not only is it best to shave after taking a shower, it's also good to splash your face a few times with warm water before shaving. This stimulates your skin, opens up your pores, softens the hairs and makes it easier for the razor to make contact [source: WebMD].
Washing and prepping your face with warm water before shaving can also help prevent acne breakouts and razor burn. Acne breakouts are more prone to occur after shaving if you remove too many of the natural oils. If you struggle with acne, following the simple procedure of washing your face, shaving and applying a gentle facial cleanser should help minimize any problems [source: Dowshen]. If the problems persist, try switching to an electric razor. It won't give you as close of a shave, but it will cause less inflammation.
The same goes for razor burn and its nasty cousin, pseudofolliculitis barbae, better known as razor bumps. This happens when the hair curls up under the skin and leads to rashlike bumps. The best way to prevent it is to make sure your face is well-prepared for a shave [source: Greenberg]. In addition, you'll want to practice good shaving techniques, which means shaving with the grain of your hair and using a moisturizing gel or cream for lubrication.
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