Winter is the perfect time to grow a beard. In addition to looking great, it also helps keep you warm and protects your skin from the elements. As we head into spring, a lot of men choose to shave their beards and rock a clean shaved, or stubble look instead. Shaved skin feels cooler in warm weather and is also a practical choice for men who spend a lot of time swimming, surfing or playing sports.
Shaving is still the world’s number one method of hair removal, but even with years of experience, it’s common to suffer from nicks, cuts, sensitivity, ingrown hair or razor bumps. Using good quality products when shaving is key, but there are also a few simple steps you can take to minimise your risk of experiencing any of the above.
Exfoliate before shaving
When you exfoliate, the hair on the skin is lifted, allowing you to achieve a closer shave. But that’s not all – exfoliation also helps rid the skin of dead cells, so that your razor doesn’t get clogged up.
Replace your razor blades regularly
Not only do old blades become ineffective as they become blunt, but they may also harbour bacteria, which could cause irritation or infection. If you do have some irritated areas afte shaving, utilising a product like Clubman’s Bump Repair Gel (R199.95 from Dis-chem) helps to prevent the appearance of razor bumps, ingrown hair and irritated skin with its powerful combination of special humectants, moisturisers and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Shaving dry skin should be avoided, no matter what the circumstances. It causes irritation and can result in painful cuts. A good quality shaving cream, oil or butter (like Clubman’s Shave Butter, R199.95 from Dis-chem) allows the razor to glide across the skin smoothly, ensuring a close shave without any nicks. Agood shave butter hydrates skin, softens whiskers and sets the beard for the closest, cleanest, most comfortable shave.
Have a shower before you shave
When you shower, the steam and warm water softens your hair and opens up the hair follicles, making it easier to get a closer shave. If possible, take a shower before you shave, and not the other way around.
Avoid too hot or too cold water
Moderate, warm-ish water is the best choice for when you shave. It might be tempting to use hot water, but this scalds the skin and can lead to dehydration.
Find your perfect tools
Long gone are the days where you had a handful of shaving items to choose from. Today, the variety is endless. You can shave with shaving foam, oil, a butter or even a gel. There are a staggering number of razor options on the market, and post-shave products come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to find the products best suited to your needs. If you don’t like a certain formulation or razor, try something else. Experiment until you find your perfect match.
Shaving is sometimes done in a rush, and it’s easy to forget to be gentle on the skin. Razor blades are designed to cut hair across a flat surface. If you press the razor onto your skin, you’ll “dent” the skin, creating an uneven surface, which makes shaving more difficult, and increases the risk of nicking the skin. Try to set aside ample time for your shave so that there’s no rushing involved.
Also, remember to look after your skin post-shave. A great aftershave, such as Clubman’s Aftershave Lotion (R199.95 from Dis-chem) can help calm and inject some much-needed moisture back into your skin.