Here they are……
Tip 1 – Apply Your Shave Balm AFTER Your Afterashave.
The purpose of shave balm is two fold. It’s primary purpose is to add moisture to the epidermal skin layer because it has been scraped by a blade. Your skin also needs repair after a shave. That is also accomplished by adding moisture, but also additional additives such as vitamin e, menthol, etc.
Now think of what an aftershave or witch hazel do. They dry out the skin because they are primarily astringents. Their real purpose is to treat cuts, abrasions, and weepers. But that is at cross purposes to what shave balm is supposed to do.
Does it make any sense to moisturize your skin and then use an astringent which by its very nature will dry out your skin?
Use shave balm as the last product of your shave routine and see what a difference it makes.
Tip 2 – Use COLD Water.
Cold water, you ask?? That is rediculous!
Well, it depends who you’re asking.
Ask a barber and he will explain that hot water softens your beard and opens your pores thereby producing a closer shave.
Ask my dermatologist (like many others) and you will get a completely different answer.
You do not want your pores to be open. Let’s look further as to why.
It is true that a great time to shave is right after a shower, as your skin will be warm and moist and free of excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog up your razor blade. BUT your pores are open. This causes the following problems:
Hair from your beard gets trapped in your pores. Skin is oily by nature and the combination of those oils and hairs from your beard that get left behind actually blocks your pores, attracts dirt, and increases drag on your razor. This makes for a less comfortable shave and gives rise to pimples, black heads, and other skin problems.
So start with a hot shower to soften your beard. Then use a COLD WATER RINSE all the way through the shave and especially at the end.
Try it. You will get a better and smoother shave and according to my dermatologist, healthier skin.
TIP 3 – Use SHAVE OIL, Not a PRESHAVE CREAM, & Use It BETWEEN PASSES As Well!
Simple. Oil and water don’t mix.
Shave soap, cream, and gel, get absorbed by the skin. They are lubricants, so you want lather to sit on top of the skin. Using a quality shave oil helps keep your lather on top of the skin and also further lubricates it as you shave.
Tip 4 – NEVER Store Your Razor & Blades In The BATHROOM.
Your bathroom is a warm, humid place, right?
That humidity causes microscopic rust particles on the edge of your blade which dulls the blade and destroys the coating.
Keep ypour razor(s) in a cool place. Your blades will last longer. Your shaves will be smoother and closer.
Tip 5 – For a Closer Shave Use UNCOATED Blades. They ARE Usually Sharper & Less Expensive.
Its true that uncoated blades may be slightly less comfortable to shave with, but in exchange you can get a sharper blade. Actually of note is the fact that when using a coated blade, the second and third pass is always shrper. The blade sharpens up because friction causes the coating to wear off.
Here are a few stainless steel blades that are pretty good and easy to shave with:
- ASTRA BLUE – Many shavers use the popular ASTRA SP (Special Platinum) blades. Astra SPs are pretty smooth for the first shave but decline quickly from there. They really are not that sharp. ASTRA BLUE is in fact a much sharper blade. If ASTRA SP is a 2 / 5 in sharpness ASTRA BLUE is a 3.5 / 5 in sharpness, and is very consistant from shave to shave.
- RAPIRA SUPER STAINLESS – These are scary sharp, I would say pretty close to Feather. They last forever. The trade off is that they are not as smooth as some other uncoated blades.
- SHARK SS – Not as sharp as the two others reviewed above, but if the Astra Blues are a Corvette, the Rapira Stainless are a Ferrari, then the Shark SS blades are certainly a Jeep. They are super forgiving, pretty smooth to shave with, and I get consistent great shaves with them.
Got some do’s and dont’s to add? Well that is what comments are for. I am looking forward to hearing from you.