Let’s face it. Beards are not for everyone. Some guys seem to pull it off without even trying. They go to bed one night and wake up with a fully-blown Captain of the Sevens Seas warship hanging off of their chops.
Now you say “it can’t be too hard, I’ll give it a whirl” and a month later you have a face like a patchy football pitch at the end of a season. Why? oh, why? do the beard gods hate me!!
We’re here to say F*** it! Beards are not the be-all and end-all. Nothing beats a good clean shave, just ask any man that’s ever lived. The face shave is a sacred ritual passed down through the ages, do not disrespect the smooth chinned Pharaohs. They knew what’s up. Why do you think pyramids are pyramid shape – a love for perfectly straight lines.
Just the steps
Not here for all the details and just want to get to it. Here’s the condensed version.
- Warm water. It’s best to use warm water to soften your hair and prepare the skin for shaving. It also loosens and relaxes the area you want to shave. Shaving over tight skin can be painful.
- Foam up. Work in some Foaming Shave Gel. It allows the razor to glide smoothly while protecting your skin at the same time. Don’t use too much even though it might be tempting too. Remember it expands when you play with it.
- Let the razor do the work. Grip the razor lightly and remember to take it slow. You don’t need to push too hard. The blades are very sharp and your skin is very soft. You do the math.
- Cold rinse. Rinse with cold water to close your pores. It also helps to wash away any leftover hairs.
- Pat dry. Now’s a good time for the chin stroke. Just to see if you missed a spot of course.
- Give it some love. To finish on a good note use some aftershave cream it will calm down your skin. It contains Panthenol (or B5 vitamin) which is so soothing, tattooists even use it after they’ve tattooed someone.
The face shave
How to shave your face:
The start of every shave begins with warm water. It doesn’t matter what you’re shaving, face, chest or balls it’s crucial to soften your hair and open your pores. It prepares your skin for shaving and loosens and relaxes the area you want to shave. Shaving over tight skin can be painful.
Washing your face with warm water is the shaving go to, but our recommendation is to have a hot shower first. The time under the water and steam really gives you pores the chance to open. The more open your pores the more exposed the hair. So for the smoothest chin you want to get under the shower or, if you’re feeling old school, use a hot towel to really get things moving.
Now is also a good time to wash your skin. Your face is covered with a day’s worth of whatever life’s been throwing at it. The bacteria on your skin can get into any small nicks or cut you give yourself and increases the chance of shaving irritation. Give you skin the help it needs.
Our Skincare tips for men article has everything you need to look after your skin. From tips on face wash and cream to what foods to eat and even face exercises.
Now that your face is clean and your pores are open its time to lather on the shaving foam.
Shaving foam serves a number of functions.
- The foam further lubricates your hair and skin. This reduces friction between the razor and the surface your skin, and decrease the chance of shaving irritation. Making it less likely you’ll get razor burn or ingrown hairs.
- Rubbing in the foam helps the hairs stand on end. Standing the hair up makes it easier for the blade to cut. Obvious, right?
- It helps you see where you’ve shaved and where you haven’t. The foam is a simple way to see what you’ve already shaved. This saves you from going over the same patch several times irritating the skin.
Foaming up is simple. Spray a bit of foam in your hand. Don’t use too much even though it might be tempting too. Remember it expands when you play with it. Work the foam in gently with little circles to lift up the hair. Give it a minute to let it do its work and you’re a long way towards a solid shave.
Slow and steady
Then it’s on to the shave. Here again there are a few things you can do to give your hair and skin the best chance possible.
- Grip the razor lightly and remember to take it slow. You don’t need to push too hard. The blades are very sharp and your skin is very soft. You do the math.
- For the first pass go with the grain i.e. in the direction the hair grows. This means if the hair grows down, you shave down – this typically happens on your face. Hair growing up, shave up – more likely on your neck.
- For the smoothest possible shave do a second pass against the grain. Got sensitive skin? You should probably skip this step. Going against the grain is more likely to cause skin irritation.
- When you’ve shaved all your face, give it a good look and run your hand over it to check for stubble. You may need to wash off any remaining shaving foam to get a better look. This is an important step as you don’t want to be going around with patches of hair on your face.
Everything looking and feeling good?
Rinse & dry
You’ve got all the hair off and you’re feeling shiny as a new pin. You may even have washed off the shaving foam with warm water. Now is the time for a cold rinse.
You may be thinking ‘Why do I need to rinse with cold water? I’ve already rinsed the shaving foam?’ or ‘I don’t need to rinse! I’ll wipe off the foam with a towel.’
Rinse with cold water is an important step. Just like when you washed your face with warm water at the beginning to open your pores, you need to rinse with cold at the end to close them again.
You’re probably going out into the world to show off your smooth chin after shaving and closing your pores protects your skin by keeping out dirt and other bacteria.
The cold water will also make your hair to shrink back and your skin tighten up. Now is the time to give your skin one final check for any errant hairs. If you missed anything nows the time to get it.
Use a towel to pat your skin dry. Pat your face, as opposed to rubbing. Patting is gentler on your skin. Remember it’s just been through a lot. And now is the moment when you can really irritate it.
Use a clean towel. You may have closed your pores with warm water, but there still may be minor micro-nicks and cuts from the shave. Getting bacteria into these will make your skin flare up, and you don’t want to fall this close to the finish line.
Give it some love
After shave is a thing of the past. In the old days men used to go to the barber to get a straightedge shave. And at the end of this prehistoric face shave they’d splash on aftershave. The function of which was as an antiseptic, like alcohol, to disinfect the skin. You’d just been shaved with the same razor as the last 20 guys after all so they had to take some precautions.
Over time they added scents to aftershave. Probably so you didn’t leave the barber smell like you been on the lash. Now aftershave is mainly for smelling good. And you’re, hopefully, not sharing your razor with anyone. So you don’t need the stinging disinfectant.
Instead finish on a good note and use some aftershave cream it will calm down your skin. It contains Panthenol (or B5) which is so soothing, tattooists even use it after they’ve tattooed someone. It’s the icing on the cake of keeping your face in the best condition possible.
You’ve done the work to get your face looking good. Now get out there and show it off.