A clean shave begins with a clean face. If your face is not clean prior to shaving, you are leaving the door wide open for a variety of problems such as rashes, irritation, cuts, and nicks. For a shaving razor to work effectively, it must be able to glide over the skin with a minimal amount of resistance. Things such as dirt, dead skin cells, and residue from soap and other cleansers inhibit a razor’s ability to glide over the skin.
When cleansing the face, avoid using products such as bar soap, hand soap, or body wash. These products leave a thin layer of film on the skin which not only makes it harder to shave, but may also clog skin pores as well. A smarter choice would be to use a product especially made for cleaning the face. Facial cleansers are more mild, and they will not clog pores or leave residue behind.
If you have oily skin, it is a good idea to use a toner after using your facial cleanser. A toner is an astringent liquid, usually containing alcohol or witch hazel, which dries excess oil and kills bacteria. Apply a small amount of toner to a clean dry towel and gently wipe the face after you have used your facial cleanser. A good toner will not only remove oil and unclog pores, but it will also keep your skin sanitized and germ-free. Always use toner before shaving, however, since the alcohol content will cause stinging on irritated or broken skin.
Many men will also benefit from using an exfoliant once or twice per week. An exfoliant is kind of like Ajax or Comet cleanser for your face; it scours away dead skin cells that are on the surface of the skin. These dead cells make your skin appear dull, old, tired, and dry. Removing these dead skin cells on a regular basis will instantly make you look healthier and younger (this is why your wife or girlfriend probably uses an exfoliant). One important thing to remember is to never shave immediately after exfoliating because exfoliation will heighten your skin’s sensitivity, which may result in increased redness or irritation from shaving. Instead, exfoliate the night before if you like to shave in the morning.
These tips will not only result in a better shave with less irritation, but will also keep your skin looking its best.