You've got a big day at the office, or maybe a big date. Who wants to go with a face full of shaving bumps? Shaving bumps can be a vicious cycle that luckily can be avoided by using proper tools and technique. Taking the time to learn the proper way to shave will give you the freedom of being shaving bump free.
If you're like many men, you've been led to believe that in order to get the best shave, you need a monster of a razor with as many blades as you can get. You also need to shave against the grain and push awfully hard to get a smooth shave, right? Forget everything you've been taught, and let's start from the beginning.
Picking a Razor
When you're standing in the razor isle, you can't help but notice that there's a bit of a competition within razor companies - Who can create the razor with the most blades and the highest price? Along with extra blades comes of course, extra price. But did you know that you don't need, nor should you want all of those extra blades. Razors with too many blades can actually be the cause of your shaving bumps.
When you're picking a razor, look for a high quality double or triple blade razor. Ones with disposable heads are typically higher quality than disposable razors. (Never shave your face with a single blade disposable razor.)
You might think about getting an old-fashioned straight blade like your grandpa probably had. Corey Greenberg from MSNBC tells us it's the best way to get a close shave. Sure, it's a different technique, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a better razor for your face.
Shaving Cream? Shaving Oil? Just Hot Water?
In order to get a close shave, you need water, and lots of it. Many men stand in front of the mirror and splash their face with a bit of water before adding on shaving cream. Ouch.
If you want a close, comfortable shave, get a fog resistant mirror and put it in your shower. By giving your face time to soak in hot water and steam, your razor will glide, not drag, across your face. If you can't shave in the shower, shave after your shower for best results.
Try using a shaving oil, like Pacific Shaving Oil for a smooth shave. (buy direct). A few drops is all you'll need for your whole face. You can use an oil alone, or apply it under your shave cream for more protection against bumps. Avoid the cheap-o creams that you find at the drugstore which can dehydrate your skin, making it more prone to nicks and cuts. Try a moisturizing shaving cream like Zirh's Shave Cream, which contains aloe vera to soothe your face. (buy direct)
Get a Brush
When you use a shaving brush to apply your shaving oil or shaving cream, you're literally lifting the hairs on your face, preparing them for the shave. Simply rubbing cream on your face doesn't give each hair ample attention. The Body Shop has a fantastically soft men's shaving brush that is cruelty-free and extremely budget friendly. (buy direct).
Don't Forget to Exfoliate
Exfoliating might not be in your skin care regimen, but if you get shaving bumps, you're going to want to add it. Simply use a facial exfoliator 2-3 times a week to buff away the dead skin cells that your hair grows back into. By removing the layer of dead skin on a regular basis, you'll see a vast improvement in your shaving bump situation.
After you wash your face, simply massage in a grainy facial exfoliator for a minute or two with gentle circular motions. Ole Henriksen's Walnut Complexion Scrub gets fantastic reviews for men with all skin types. (buy direct).
Another option is to use a moisturizer each morning with AHA's in it. Because AHA's will naturally exfoliate your skin, this will eliminate the need for the extra exfoliating step. My favorite men's face moisturizer with AHA's is Anthony Logistics for Men: Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. (buy direct) It will moisturize, naturally exfoliate and protect your face against the sun.
There are products made just for shaving bumps. Tend Skin is the most popular and well-known, (buy direct) but many men's skin care lines carry a product that is similar to Tend Skin. Know that these are extremely effective, but if you use them, you should skip the AHA exfoliator, as this also has AHA's in them. While on the pricey side, you only need to use a tiny bit on a cotton ball over your entire face. A couple users reported that the bottle has lasted an entire year. You would use this product after you shave to reduce or many times eliminate your shaving bumps altogether.