How does your skin feel after you shave? Chances are your skin may feel irritated, look pink or tight, or worse, it bears razor bumps, nicks or ingrown hairs. The good news, it doesn’t have to be this way. Shaving strips the protective barrier of the skin and alters its acid mantle with every pass of the blade, so extra care must be taken when removing that manly stubble. Plus, most men shave with soap, hot water or drugstore shaving foams that dry out the skin, cause dehydration and accelerate aging.
If you are prone to razor burn, ingrown hairs (pseudofolliculitis barbae) or nicks, follow these shaving tips to save skin from irritating conditions:
Tip No. 1: Avoid soap, hot water and drugstore shaving foams. Use warm water, and don’t believe claims on the front of the can. Read the label on the back. You are bound to find drying, irritating ingredients like sulfates, alcohol and artificial dyes and fragrances.
Tip No. 2: Soften the beard first to make for an easier shave. Cleansing before shaving with a gel-based cleanser is a great way to soften the hair. Choose a sulfate-free cleanser like the Aqua-Gel Foaming Cleanser by Pevonia® . Exfoliating lifts the beard and allows for an extra close shave; just remember, easy does it, as you don’t want to sensitize your skin before you even get started. Pevonia’s Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser is a cleanser and scrub-in-one and ideal for men’s sensitive skin. For those who are acne prone, the Clarigel Exfoliating Cleanser or SpaTeen® Blemished Skin Cleanser are great choices. If time allows, wrap a warm moist towel around your face [for a few minutes] before grabbing the razor.
Tip No. 3: Use a lubricating product to allow the razor to glide easily over the skin for a close, easy, smooth shave. For really coarse beards, leave product on the skin for about a minute. Look for a shaving cream with ingredients like safflower oil, natural glycerin and Vitamin E, such as Pevonia’s Easy-Glide Shaving Emulsion.
Tip No. 4: Choose your blade wisely. It is imperative that you use a sharp, clean blade. If you haven’t changed your blade in a while, chances are it’s dull and laden with bacteria and rust, which can cause nicks, breakouts or worse, tetanus. Did you know people tend to apply more pressure when using dull blades, which causes more nicks? While blades are costly, this is one area you don’t want to skimp. For normal skin types, five to seven uses per razor blade is standard. For those prone to ingrown hairs, shaving experts recommend single-edged, foil-guarded blades to prevent shaving too closely and they suggest discarding the blade after two uses. Remember to hang up your razor between uses to prevent bacteria and rust from taking up residence.
Tip No. 5: Shave in the direction of hair growth; make no more than two passes and rinse your blade well with hot water after each pass. When finished, sterilize the blade by wiping it off with alcohol.
Tip No. 6: Apply an after-shave balm to calm and restore the skin’s natural barrier and help skin recover quickly. Avoid alcohol-based products that sting and dry out the skin. Pevonia’s Soothing After Shaving Balm is free of alcohol, as well as pore-clogging mineral oil, plus doubles as a lightweight moisturizer.
Tip No. 7: Follow with a moisturizer to hydrate and protect the skin further. The Age-Defying Myoxy-Caviar® Balm is a light-textured, yet potent moisturizer suitable for all skin types.