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The Art of Shaving - A Man's Guide to Shaving Sensitive Skin !
If you’re like me, an acne sufferer having sensitive skin, then you know what I mean when I say that nothing could be worse than waking up every day, going to the washroom, looking yourself in the mirror & grimacing because you know the beard needs to be shaved again !
Us men with sensitive skin have suffered enough razor burns & inflamed & irritated skin to dread the simple act of shaving.
I was exactly like that, I would cut myself by slicing off the top of some pimple to make it even worse or if by some miracle I’d miss out on doing that, I’d still end up with an inflamed & irritated skin after a shave that I wouldn’t be able to touch for hours at a stretch until the inflammation subsided.
I searched the internet for hours, talked to dermatologists & fellow men with sensitive skin, to determine what could be done to get around this & so finally I came up with a few time tested tips on shaving sensitive skin for men with myself being used as the proverbial lab rat to test them.
So here goes :
(1) Never just walk into your washroom, pick up the razor & start shaving away ! Don’t do that because your skin isn’t prepared for you scrapping a piece of metal across it. Instead take a clean wash cloth & soak it in warm (not Hot) water & then drape your face with it. Let the warmth permeate your skin & open those pores. What this does is that once the pores open up, the hair follicles on your skin are easier to be shaved off & they don’t stick to the blade & feel like as if they got plucked off your skin. Plus because skin is now moist the blade finds it easier to slide instead of scraping your skin.
After you’ve let the wash cloth stay on your skin for a minute or two or when it loses its warmth then rinse & repeat the exercise a few times before shaving.
An easier way to get the same benefit is to shave whilst your taking a shower with warm water; you won’t need a wash cloth because the act of pouring water on yourself, including your face, during a shower already does that for you.
Remember the water needs to be warm not hot otherwise you’re going to burn your skin & defeat the very purpose of going through this exercise.
(2) Have you ever wondered why most departmental stores continue selling shaving brushes? Because they work! What the periodic back & forth motion of brushing your beard, as you try to make the lather, does is that it helps some of the hair become easier to be shaved off by making them, sort of, unhinged from their roots. Plus the lather, also, ensures that your blade glides smoothly off your sensitive skin.
So Use the Shaving Brushes & give your beard a nice, few minute long scrub with it before you even touch the razor !
(3) I’ve found that most of my razors don’t last more than a few shaves before they start irritating the skin. So do remember to change them periodically.
(4) If you’re an acne sufferer than no matter what time tested tip you’re going to use to ensure that its easier or less painful shaving your sensitive skin, nothing is going to end the inflammation & the irritation completely ! There is just no getting around the fact that if you plan on putting metal to the face, the acne has to go or at least significantly subside. Pimples will be cut & scars will form. Get rid of acne to get rid of the problems associated with shaving. That has to be the first step. In the meantime using these tips is going to ensure that you have a better & less painful shave than otherwise.
(5) Shave Daily – I know that doesn’t sound great but believe me I’ve found that shaving daily instead of shaving every other day or every few days is the way to go. I believe that shaving daily makes your skin more accustomed to the act of shaving & hence either the inflammation isn’t there or it is fairly less.
(6) Stay Away From Alcohol based After Shaves – Alcohol is going to irritate the heck out of your sensitive skin so stay away from it. I don’t use an after-shave at all because frankly it probably isn’t needed but if you still feel the need to apply some kind of an after-shave to your face then look for one that is for sensitive skin & isn’t alcohol based.
The above tips have worked for me & now I don’t really end up with an inflamed or irritated skin after shaving. I hope they work for you.
But remember nothing is set in stone & each person & their skin type is different, so learn to listen to your skin & if it tells you that something isn’t working - Stop it, don’t continue doing it just because it says here.