Among adult men, shaving is a very common practice: it’s estimated that 75% of adult men shave their face every day, a practice that takes about four months of a man’s life. And yet, despite its part in most men’s daily routine, many men are unaware of how to get the closest shave possible. Here’s our guide to getting a smooth shave with the right products, the sharpest razors, and the best methods.
First, stock your medicine cabinet with the right products. Purchase an exfoliator to use twice a week, which will prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs, and avoid using aftershaves with too much alcohol, which dry your skin and increase skin irritation. If you nick yourself, dab at it with a styptic pencil, alum block, or lip balm. Olive oil and hair conditioner can work as substitutes for shaving cream in a pinch, and when you do purchase shaving cream, look for some with a high concentration of lubricants and moisturizers.
Next, prep your razor for action. Clean it using a small brush or a high-pressure water faucet, and store it somewhere dry between uses. You can sharpen an old razor by swiping it upwards along the leg of an old pair of jeans (50-100 swipes will restore it to like-new condition), and use a few drops of an anti-corrosive agent made specifically for razors to keep the blade sharp. For the closest shave at the best price, consider switching to a safety razor or joining a mail-order subscription service for razors.
Finally, nail the techniques for a smooth shave. Wait to shave until after your shower, when the hot water and steam have opened your follicles and softened your hair. Shave with the grain of your facial hair, and shave your neck area by leaning forward and tilting your head back a little bit to flatten the area. When you’re finished, splash your face with cold water to wake you up and rinse without irritating your skin.