How to Shave your Face

Your first few shaves are likely to be a time of confusion and uncertainty. You’ve seen people shave no doubt, and grasp the basic principles, but some of the fine detail may yet be unfamiliar to you. Fret not however, with a couple of step by step instructions you’ll find yourself shaving like you’ve been doing it your whole life.

Preparing your face for a shave

The first step is to clean the surface you intend to shave, i.e. your face, thoroughly to make it as smooth as possible for a clean and easy shave. Wash with warm water and if you like an exfoliating cream. The cleaner your skin the easier your shave and the lower the chance of infection if you do cut yourself. If you have a prominent beard, soften it by soaking a towel in warm water and holding it to your face for about 30 seconds, longer if you feel like it or your beard is particularly thick.

Apply a shaving cream, foam, or gel to your face, covering the area to be shaved liberally. If using a cream, use a shaving brush to create a rich lather, and if using either a foam or gel, rub it into your skin. Grab a razor, preferably a new one or one with fresh blades (you can reuse blades on permanent razors, but only until they become blunt or dull) for the greatest ease.

During your shave

Take your time, there’s no rush and you should be comfortable with the pace of your shave. The quicker you go the greater the likelihood that you cut yourself. Use long and even strokes that run with the grain of your hair i.e. run the razor blade in the same direction as your hair growth for a close shave with minimum irritation. Make sure to rinse your blades between strokes to keep them clean and hair free. Shave in the same direction in all subsequent shaves to prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn (irritation, reddening, and bumpiness of the skin). Take particular care when shaving around your lips and nose, your lips in particular bleed a bit more when cut.

After shaving your face

The first step after shaving is rinse off excess shaving cream and have a close look for any areas you may have missed. If you have the odd patch of missed hair, don’t worry, even the most experienced shavers will miss patches from time to time, and once you get the hang of it you’ll be missing less and less. If there are any leftover bits, wet your razor with warm water and tend to them.

If you have any leftover cuts they will tend to stop bleeding within 15 minutes or so. Apply a bit of tissue or toilet paper to the cut, and when it’s almost done bleeding applying some petroleum jelly or lip balm will stop the bleeding and prevent an unnecessary scab from forming.

Traditionally alcohol based aftershaves have been used to treat your skin, however alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your skin which can even exacerbate any irritation you get whilst shaving. A number of alcohol free aftershaves or toners are available that are enriched with substances that rehydrate and sooth your skin, these can include vitamins and in particular aloe extract. You should use something which leaves your skin feeling and smelling great, thus improving how you feel about the shave over all.

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