No, I'm not bloody irritated--though I've been known to embrace bloody irritation once neck deep in administrative folderol and pointless meetings. Ahem. No, I'm talking about your face. It's likely bloody at times, and often irritated. Why? Because you're dragging a dull razor across your ill-prepared face!
I'm about to open your eyes and change your life if you indulge me on the topic of shaving. And what better day to discuss shaving than Friday when you're about to go out on the town?
A few questions:
- Do you suffer from razor burn?
- Do ingrown hairs dot your face? Chin? Neck?
- Do you nick yourself often while shaving?
- Do you have sensitive skin?
- Does your significant other complain about your stubble and how kissing you irritates their face?
- Do you dread shaving?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above then you need to keep reading. And ladies, the products I'm going to recommend also make a great gift and should provide you the benefit of saving your face when you smooch your significant other.
A Little Background:
About five years ago, my wife bought me a complete shaving kit, and while I still don't enjoy shaving, I certainly no longer dread the process. I used to have a stray ingrown hair and occasional razor burn, as well as pretty dry skin on my face, but if you follow what I recommend below, your shaving woes will be a thing of the past.
The Products You'll Need:
- pre-shave oil
- shaving cream
- badger-hair shaving brush
- razor (I don't care which brand or type you use--but you probably don't need one of those 5 blade monstrosities).
Below are the products I use--all from the Art of Shaving (and I haven't even contemplated returning to the old way of shaving since I began using them):
Step by step shaving:
- First, you have to soften up that steel wool facial hair of yours. So, take a hot shower, or wash your face with soap and hot water. Get in there and saturate the hair. This step is important! You can't just go into shaving with a dry face and iron facial hair.
- Once your face is clean and the hair is softened from hot water, dump a small puddle of pre-shave oil in the palm of one hand and then rub your hands together. Rub the oil on your face and neck--work it in there.
- Get the badger-hair brush saturated with hot water and push a small dab of the shaving cream down inside the brush. You'll be amazed at how little shaving cream you need to use during this step. Lather up your face, the brush will lift the facial and neck hairs and further soften them.
- Glide the razor down your face, going with the grain. Don't put downward pressure on your face. If you've softened up the hairs properly, the razor should get most of the hair with two strokes. Allow the razor to do the work.
- If you want a real close shave, rinse your face, and re-lather (you'll likely have enough still in the brush for this), and this time shave against the grain. But go gentle! Don't apply pressure on the razor!
- Rinse your face with cold water and apply the after-shave balm.
And there you have it! The process doesn't really take much longer than your old routine, but with much better results and a lot less discomfort. Trust me, your significant other will thank you.
So, the price of all this? At first it seems steep, but the products last so much longer than your standard can of shaving cream. Seriously. A kit is available for $115.00, which includes a badger-hair brush (normally around $60.00 by itself). The brush is a one-time purchase, obviously. After, you can purchase the products as you need them. I tend to only need to purchase the after-shave balm every third time of purchasing the oil and cream.
I use the sandalwood variety--I love the scent and it works with my skin. They have other options such as lavender, lemon, and unscented. Each of them provides benefits for specific skin types. If you're skeptical, you can try a travel kit for $25.00, which includes a small badger-hair brush.
Give it a try! Your face and your significant other will thank you.