Five Things You Need To Know About Shaving

Despite what the regulars in your local coffee house and pub may look like, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 75 per cent of men shave their face every day. (Hey, that hipster facial hair doesn’t grow in all perfectly shaped and coiffed by itself, you know.) Which may explain why those who oscillate between barely-there facial hair and a well-shaped Van Dyke, Old Dutch and anything else left of baby face opt for a wet shave. But with cold winter weather and soaring indoor temperatures playing havoc on your skin, a little know-how is necessary to create a comfortable DIY shaving experience.

Rule #1: Make sure you shave at the right time 
Much like that hot steaming cup of Joe you like to have first thing in the morning, shaving works best first thing in the morning, after you step out of the shower. “Warm water hydrates the hairs, softening them so that they can more easily be cut by the razor,” explains Dr. Kristina Vanoosthuyze, the senior manager for Gillette Scientific Communications. “Hydrated hair means less traction against the razor, less force for each stroke of the blade and ultimately less irritation to the skin.

Rule #2: Use the right shave product
Old school or not, shaving on bare skin is just wrong. It’s challenging to get the blades to glide evenly across your face and makes nicks, cuts and razor burn all too prevalent. Using a shaving gel or foam however, like the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Sensitive Shave Gel + Skin Care 2-in-1 (from $7.99, available at mass retailers across the country), not only helps soften your coarse facial hair making it easier to cut, it also “helps reduce friction between the razor blade and your skin,” says Dr. Vanoosthuyze. “Using a shave gel allows the razor to optimally glide for a close and comfortable shave.”

Rule 3: Use the right razor
Sounds simple, right? Basic even. But for men who have sensitive skin coupled with the seesaw of winter weather, using the right razor is as important as applying the right shaving technique. Fortunately, most quality products are incorporating the latest technology, such as razors with multiple blades that are scientifically spaced to minimize pressure on and pulling against the skin. “An advanced razor addresses both your skin and hair issues, ensuring a smooth shave while minimizing the risk of skin irritation,” affirms Dr. Vanoosthuyze.

Rule 4: Know when to change your dull blade 
When your razor blade is dull, you increase the risk of irritating your skin and developing a razor burn and/or rash. So how do you know when it’s time to get a new blade? “When you experience a sensation of pulling when shaving,” says Dr. Vanoosthuyze. “It means that the lubricating strip on the razor has worn away or your skin is getting irritated after shaving.”

Rule 5: Don’t forget to use a hydrating aftershave
Sure, it’s one more step, but it only takes three seconds to apply a soothing and hydrating aftershave product to your skin when, well, you put down the razor. “While traditional alcohol-based aftershaves were originally designed as antiseptics because shaving would frequently lead to cuts in the skin, current aftershaves serve as moisturizers to comfort the skin and help maintain the integrity of the skin barrier,” says Dr. Vanoosthuyze.

Tags: Gillette, shaving

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