So, it seems pretty simple. Shave your face correctly every day and the practice can be beneficial for your skin, even to the point of making you look younger -- especially if there are some grays in your beard! Shave poorly, though, and you're facing discomfort. To keep things going smoothly, and to avoid the prickly skin conditions you just read about, try this simple routine the next time you bring blade to skin:
- Before shaving, wash your face with warm water or apply a towel that's been soaked in hot water to help soften your beard. Another option is to use a fog-free mirror and shave while in a hot shower.
- Apply a moisturizing shaving gel (shaving cream can clog the pores) and let it sit on your face for approximately three minutes before beginning, which will further soften the hair. If you have a particularly tough beard or sensitive skin conditions, consider applying a layer of shaving oil underneath the gel.
- Use a sharp, clean razor. If you're using a disposable, toss it out after three or four shaves. If you experience skin irritation on a regular basis from shaving, consider using an old-fashioned, single-blade safety razor. This won't cut the hair beneath the surface of the skin (which helps keep ingrown hairs at bay), and it requires only light pressure (which helps you avoid razor burn). Rinse the razor frequently.
- Shave using short strokes in the direction in which your hair grows. Going against the grain can lead to ingrown hairs.
- When you're done shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close your pores and pat -- don't rub -- the skin dry.
- Apply an alcohol-free moisturizer, and you'll be ready to present your smooth, nonirritated, younger-looking skin to the world!
- Evans, Susan. "Men's Skin Care Issues." The Dr. Oz Show. March 3, 2010. (Jan. 4, 2011)http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/susan-evans-md/mens-skin-care-issues
- Greenberg, Corey. "How to get that perfect shave." Today Weekend Edition. Jan. 30, 2005. (Jan 7, 2011)http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886845/ns/today-today_weekend_edition/
- Harrison, Lauren R. "From hair to bare: The history of shaving." The Wichita Eagle. Sept. 27, 2010. (Jan. 4, 2011)http://www.kansas.com/2010/09/27/1512860/from-hair-to-bare-the-history.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Folliculitis: Treatments and drugs." Oct. 6, 2009. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/folliculitis/DS00512/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
- Mayo Clinic. "Ingrown Hair: Causes." Jan. 30, 2010. (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ingrown-hair/DS01167/DSECTION=causes
- Men's Fitness. "Avoid Ingrown Hairs." (Jan 4, 2011)http://www.mensfitness.com/lifestyle/mens_grooming/235
- Men's Health. "Sharp Objects Can Be Good for Your Skin." (Jan. 4, 2011)http://www.menshealth.com/style/grooming/sharp-objects-can-be-good-for-your-skin.php
- Men's Fitness. "The Elusive Perfect Shave." (Jan. 5, 2011)http://www.mensfitness.com/lifestyle/325
- Mnookin, Seth. "Trends: Don't Feel the Burn." Newsweek. Feb. 10, 2003. (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-97300377.html
- Ostrov, Ricki. "Shaving Problems." Male Health. Dec. 1, 2009. (Jan 3, 2011)http://www.malehealth.co.uk/node/18864#shaving
- Oz, Mehmet. "Razor Burn Remedies." The Dr. Oz Show. April 20, 2010. (Jan 3. 2011)http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/razor-burn-remedies
- Proulx, Lawrence G. "Advice May Ease Shaving Problem." Chicago Sun-Times. July 9, 1995. (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4291016.html
- Risher, Brittany. "Ask the Shaving Expert." Men's Health. (Jan. 5, 2011)http://www.menshealth.com/style/shave/Ask-the-Shaving-Expert.php
- Trex, Ethan. "Shaving history begins with shark teeth." CNN Living. Aug. 17, 2009. (Jan. 5, 2011)http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-17/living/mf.shaving_1_king-camp-gillette-razors-blades?_s=PM:LIVING