Despite it being an activity that men have to perform regularly throughout their lives, many are intimidated to clean-shave their face in fear of suffering from a shaving rash. A rash is painful, looks awful, and can last for quite a while if you’re not lucky. The tragedy is that a shaving rash is entirely preventable with just a few simple changes to your routine.

What you are aiming to do is quite simple: shave your face with as little friction as possible on your skin. After this, you are also looking to rehydrate your skin of the natural oils it may have lost during shaving — your skin is alive, and needs to be replenished. For your convenience, we have split our advice up into three sections: before, during, and after your shave. With the right care, you’ll be enjoying smooth, irritation-free shaves in no time.

Before your shave

The best time to shave is when you have just stepped out of a hot bath or shower. The hot water and steam on your face will have opened your pores as well as softened the hair bristles, making them easier to shave cleanly. If you don’t have time for a shower, wet your face with hot water before applying a pre-shave product.

It is also very important to exfoliate before shaving. Scrubbing and cleansing your skin will get rid of dead skin cells that can make shaving more difficult. Stripping your skin down will prevent dirt or oil getting into your pores while you shave, so your skin is left clean and able to breathe after shaving. This exfoliating face scrub from King of Shaves features micro particles and a lime zest fragrance that will leave your skin feeling fresh as well as healthy. When finished, wash your skin with hot water again before shaving.

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During your shave

It is also essential to apply a shaving lubricant such as foam, gel, or oil to ensure that blades glide smoothly over your skin. If you have sensitive skin or need to avoid certain areas, the best product to use is one that is transparent — avoid shaving foam as it obscures your skin from view. Products like shaving gel or oil allow you to shave and still see where you are cutting with the blade.

You should always shave in the direction of hair growth. You can actually get a closer shave if you shave against the grain, but the likelihood of skin irritation increases massively. You should shave using short, light strokes, applying as little pressure to the skin as possible. Also, be sure to reapply water or a lubricating formula if shaving in the same area twice. Your skin is actually more vulnerable after it has already been shaved once, so take extra precaution to reapply if this is the case. A great video showcasing proper shaving technique can be viewed below.

After your shave

When your skin is looking bare and your sink is covered in hair, you should think about replenishing your skin with the nutrients it will have lost when shaving. If you have rubbing alcohol, feel free to use it immediately after shaving. It may sting initially, but it will completely disinfect your skin and serve to prevent skin rash.

Hydrating your skin is the priority at this point, and the most effective way to do this is by applying a hydrating moisturiser. Ideally you will use a lotion that both nourishes your skin with vitamins but also makes the skin soft to the touch. Take a look at this article by GQ magazine that looks at the best moisturising products for different skin types and use it to find the perfect moisturiser for you.

Following these basic, but effective tips will help you achieve the perfect clean shave with no irritation. 

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