How to get the best close shave

How to get the best close shave

Caring for your skin doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out our men’s skincare lowdown for a swift, simple regime that will keep you looking your best


1. PRE-SHAVE PREP:

Let the dog see the rabbit: Shaving without giving your face a proper scrub-down means you’ll be blunting your razor and failing to reach the lowest down part of the hair shaft. Which makes for a rough finish - plus you’ll need to shave again more quickly. Fail!

Always take a few moments to pre-prep your skin with a buffing product such as Gillette Series Scrub, to quickly rid your skin of excess dead cells, muck and oil.

Using it in the shower is quick and convenient – and the warm water hydrates your skin and softens hairs at the same time making them easier to cut by up to 40%. Fact!

TIP: No time for a shower? Thoroughly wet a flannel with hot water and place over your face for 45 seconds to help open your pores and soften your bristles before shaving.

2. SHAVING GEL:

Shaving soap has its place but, let’s face it, that place is generally a barber shop. The mess! The time it takes! These days it’s much quicker and cleaner to use shaving gel to soften your bristles – and with its added benefits, there are few reasons to go down the traditional route.

A non-drying shaving gel, such as Gillette Series Pro Glide Hydrating Shave Gel, helps you to avoid painful nicks, razor burn and dry skin. Particularly important if you have sensitive skin, but a bonus for all men aiming for comfort and great results.

Apply a generous layer of shaving gel – the longer you leave it, the easier your shave will be, so if you’re not in a hurry this is the time to relax and let your shaving product work its softening magic on your stubble. Taking a bit of time at this stage will also help avoid problems further down the road with ingrowing hair or razor bumps.

TIP: Test out a few shaving gels until you find one that suits your skin. Look for products that create a rich, creamy lather that will aid your shave.

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3. CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON:

Horses for courses: Choice of razor is a personal matter– but our favourite is the Gillette Fusion Proglide. Its unique Flexball technology means you can effortlessly get into every contour of your face.

Don’t forget to change your blades regularly. Shaving with a blunt or nicked blade will mean you miss hairs and end up with a patchy finish. Having to take a second sweep across your face both slows you down and is likely to cause irritation.

TIP: Keep blades clean by rinsing under hot water after every stroke and before you put your razor away.

4. TECHNIQUE:

Don’t shave more often than you need to avoid unnecessary sensitivity and irritation.

Try directional shaving to see what results it achieves for you. That means shaving in only one direction eg left to right, up or down, and generally in the direction of beard growth, rather than in a crisscross pattern for a cleaner and smoother shave. You’ll find that you need to change direction according to which area of your beard you’re shaving. Annoying, but necessary…

Aim for a clean, smooth swipe, holding your face still with one hand while you glide your razor across your skin with the other. Don’t go too fast though or you’ll miss hairs.

TIP: Shaving ‘against the grain’ can lead to unsightly ingrown hairs that will manifest themselves as razor bumps and spots.

5. AFTER-CARE:

A close shave can remove up to two layers of skin, so it’s important to protect your vulnerable epidermis at this point. Rinse your freshly-shaved face with cool water to help close pores, following with a good quality after-shave gel or balm. This will calm and cool your skin after shaving, as well as restore the moisture your male skin requires.

TIP: Don’t be tempted to slap on a handful of your wife or girlfriend’s moisture cream. 1. She’ll be furious! 2. Male skin is thicker and oiler, so her lotions might not be right for your skincare needs.

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I find using a face wash in the shower before I shave also softens the bristles. I also dry the razor off as much as possible after use in the hope this prevents any micro rust blunting.

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