If rocking a beard or stubble isn’t an option for you, for any number of reasons, there’s a good chance shaving is a regular part of your ‘manscaping’ process. But are you doing it right?
Dr Liang Joo Leow, dermatologist from Aesthetic Dermatology shares his top five tips for a perfect shave in line with the launch of Gillette SkinGuard, Gillette’s newest razor designed to stop skin irritation. He also shares five things you never knew about shaving.
Five tips to the perfect shave
Before shaving, wet the skin and hair to soften it. A great time to shave is right after a shower, as the skin will be warm and moist and free of excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog up razor blades. Hydrating the skin helps to minimise small cuts and irritation as it allows the razor to glide more easily for a comfortable, effortless shave.
Next, apply a shaving cream or gel. This further softens the hair and helps protect and lubricate the skin. Thicker hair will also require longer to soften so it is important to let the product sit on the skin and absorb before shaving.
Shave in the direction that the hair grows. This helps prevent the razor from catching and causing pain, cuts or abrasions. Because facial hair grows in all different directions, it is best to shave in the direction that feels most comfortable. Let your razor do the work and use light, gentle strokes to protect the delicate skin on your face.
Rinse the razor after each stroke. This ensures each stroke of the razor achieves an efficient shave. Resist the urge to tap excess product or water against the basin as it can damage various parts of your razor.
Store your razor in a dry area. Do not leave the razor in the shower or on a wet basin and between shaves, make sure the razor dries completely to prevent bacteria from growing on it. Not only is this unhygienic, but it can irritate the skin and may cause acne to flare.
Five things you never knew about shaving
Shave at night and not in the morning. Blood and excess fluid tend to build up around the face in the morning, which cause puffiness and trapped hairs. When hairs don’t fully protrude, this causes a rough, irritating shave. For optimum results, shave at night when facial hairs protrude fully, creating an even and effective shave.
Shave at the end of your shower. Wet your skin and let it moisten in the shower before reaching for your razor. This allows time for your hair follicles to open up and allows a closer, cleaner shave that lasts longer
Sanitise your razor after every use. Keeping your razors sanitary is the best way to maximise their use. This also ensures you are not transferring bacteria to your face and body, which will cause further irritation. Rinse your razor under boiling water and use rubbing alcohol to remove any pesky hairs that might be trapped.
Moisturise before AND after shaving. This may seem excessive, but moisturising before your shave is a great way to prep your skin for a smooth and even job. Applying a thick layer and then steaming your skin in the shower is key to maximum hydration.
Use cool water, never hot. Using hot water runs the risk of making your skin too soft, increasing the risk of deep cuts and pulls, particularly around the face. Use cooler water just to wet and lightly soften the skin, creating a perfect canvas for your shave.
Consumers can purchase the new Gillette SkinGuard at all major retailers nationally