When it comes to executing the perfect wet shave, you really can’t afford to cut corners. Effective wet shaving has become a bit of an art in recent times, therefore a good wet shaving routine should be an essential part of your shave, helping you to achieve a smoother and a less irritable outcome. Here is a list of shaving tips and techniques to help you execute a more comfortable and effective wet shave.
The first, and most important essential to a perfect wet shave is to make sure your facial skin is fully hydrated with plenty of warm water. Warm water absorbs into the hair, helping to relax the facial muscles, making the whole shave a much easier and comfortable process.
Tip: Soaking a folded flannel or a small towel in hot water and wrapping it around the face for fifteen seconds can achieve this effect although the best time to shave is after a bath or shower.
For the most effective and smoothest result of your overall wet shave, a good pre-shave oil should be applied onto the face; this protects the skin, giving it more moisture while helping the razor to glide smoothly across the face. Massaging the oil against the growth of the stubble also helps to lift the hair in readiness for the shaving lather.
The most effective way of ‘lathering up’ is by applying a good shave soap, cream or foam using a shaving brush, but cream can also be applied using the fingers. Both methods provide key preparation for the skin and stubble for wet shaving as well as revitalising the facial muscles. If you opt for the more traditional shaving brush and bowl lathering method, then simply mix your shave soap or cream with the brush into a bowl or cup in circular motions until the lather is thick. It is important to make sure the lather is still warm, therefore add a few drops of hot water into your mix, should you need to.
Warning! Alcohol based shaving foams and gels can disperse moisture and cool the skin, which can cause irritation and sting during shaving, so try to avoid these by opting for a natural shaving formula.
It goes without saying that a high quality razor with the sharpest blades available should be used as your cutting device. Always avoid disposable razors with low-grade steel blades that bend when shaving, as they will result in more tug and skin irritation. Select a blade that suits your technique; Gillette® Fusion® (five blades) and Gillette® Mach3® (three blades) are excellent mainstream shaving razors that offer users an easy, fuss-free shave. If you are a competent well tutored wet shaver, then you can opt for a good double edge safety razor or a straight razor (cut-throat) – both providing you with an excellent close shave when used correctly.It is not recommended that you use the latter razor unless you are a seasoned wet shaver with plenty of experience using the single or double blade razors.
Using a sharp razor blade is vital if you want the closest and smoothest shave possible. Run the razor under warm water before gliding it onto your face, and continue to do so throughout your shave, in order to keep your razor blade clean and unclogged. It is always good practice to shave in the direction of your facial hair growth, but also be prepared to make slight adjustments when shaving the awkward areas of your face such as on the chin and under you nose. In these minor circumstances gently glide the razor diagonally and sideways accordingly.
Remember to shave with short, steady glides, constantly rinsing the razor under warm water throughout the process. After you’ve completed your shave, rinse your face with cool water and gently pat with a soft towel. The cool water will close your pores and help your skin to recover quickly.
After your carefully executed shave, it is absolutely essential that you give your facial skin the best possible chance of recovery. Many men tend to skip the ‘after shave process’ without knowing the true importance of it. The after shave process should always be a key part of your shaving routine. Find yourself a good after shave cream or balm and apply onto the shaven areas of your face generously. Try and opt for a naturally formulated product, as this will reduce your chances of experiencing skin irritation and burning. Once you have applied your chosen formula, rub it into your face using slow circular motions. Once absorbed, your face should feel slightly clammy but well hydrated. Give your skin a good hour or two to recover from your shave before applying your daily moisturisers and eye creams later on, should you use these in your grooming routine.