MEN: Getting The Perfect Shave

Posted by STETSON CREATIVE Monday, August 23, 2010

So what makes the perfect shave? Is it using just the right shaving cream, or using that razor that has 5 blades, vibrates, and picks out your work outfit?

The answer is yes...and no.  The perfect shave is just as much about the process you use as the products.

STEP 1: EXFOLIATE!
Exfoliation before shaving will soften the skin and hair, remove dead skin cells and bacteria, and provide an all around more comfortable, smooth shave while reducing the potential for ingrown hairs.  This is especially important if you have very dark and/or coarse hair. One of my favorites is JACK BLACK Face Buff because of the Vitamin C and Menthol infusion, which acts like a shot of espresso for your face on a tired morning.  TIP: Use very warm water, and don't scrub too hard; gently massage into hair and face, and rinse with warm water.  Pat dry with a clean towel.


$30 - Sephora Stores www.sephora.com

STEP 2: PREPARE!
Use a light shave oil on your beard, as it will soften the beard and provide a protective barrier on the skin for a smooth shave.  TIP: Leave this on for 1-2 minutes before shaving for ultimate comfort, and shaving during a hot shower will make your shave even more enjoyable with the steam opening up pores!  Try the Pre-Shave Oil (I love the lavender for sensitive skin) from THE ART OF SHAVING.

$22 - The Art of Shaving www.theartofshaving.com

STEP 3: LATHER !
Using hot water, lather your shaving cream in your hands and then apply to face in a circular motion (many men like to use a brush, but I find this step a little excessive especially if you are short on time.  THE ART OF SHAVING makes an excellent shaving cream which works great with their Pre-Shave Oil and is available with the same essential oils (for the shaving cream, I really like the unscented).

$22 - The Art of Shaving www.theartofshaving.com

STEP 4: SHAVE!
Using a good, sharp razor  like the GILETTE Fusion, first shave with the grain. NOTE: The grain on the neck mat go in a different direction than the grain on your face.  If you must have a close shave, re-lather and shave against the grain, going slowly to keep the skin from being irritated.

STEP 5: TONE!
Take this step only if you have a problem with in-grown hairs.  If not, please proceed to the next step.  Using a toner will remove a layer of dead skin cells, reducing the chance for ingrown hairs and acne blemishes.  Apply the toner onto a cotton pad and smooth over just shaved skin (it may sting a little).  I like this one from JACK BLACK which has  lactic and hyaluronic acids to sooth and soften the skin and chamomile and aloe to sooth and reduce redness.

$25 - Sephora Stores www.sephora.com

STEP 6: MOISTURIZE!
Companies will try to sell you one aftershave and one moisturizer, and if you are a product junkie, then go for it, but if you are trying to be more minimal, you can definitely use your daily moisturizer as your aftershave.  Look for it to contain ingredients like Aloe, Rosemary, and Grape Seed Extract.  My favorite daily moisturizer is CLINIQUE Age Defense Hydrator because it has SPF15 and leaves my skin baby soft.

$30 - Sephora Stores www.sephora.com

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