Most men shave at least once every couple of days and yet, for something as common as it is, many men still don’t quite understand the ins and outs of shaving. Whether you’re already a pro or are working with a barebones routine that just gets the job done there’s probably a lot you still have to learn about how to extract the most from these early morning minutes so you can keep your facial hair under control and your face looking fresh.

Before

Whilst you might not actually be putting the razor to your face yet, the pre-shaving section of your routine is one of the most important steps and you can easily see a serious increase in the quality of your shave by simply focusing on improving this section of your routine.

It’s usually best to shave after a nice hot shower as the warm water will ready your skin and hair make the process as easy and irritation free as possible.

Prep your skin with a decent helping of shaving cream before you begin. By preparing your skin for the shave with a good cream you can drastically reduce the amount of skin irritation and razor burn you’re likely to cop from shaving. This is an area where it is definitely worth the investment if you can spare the cash. As someone who’s recently upgraded to a more ‘luxurious’ shaving cream, shaving now compared to before (using a basic Gillette cream) is night and day. I’m not planning on going back anytime soon.

Using an exfoliant before shaving is another way to go the extra step in ensuring that you get the most out of your shave. That being said, if you do choose to exfoliate be sure to go for a chemical exfoliant and not a physical one. Exfoliants that contain little beads or particles that scratch your skin are physical exfoliants and, whist they may feel like they’re doing something they actually harm your skin more than they help it. These beads cause microtears throughout your skin and pores which result in irritation and scarring further down the track. If you’re looking to improve your skin, it’s best to steer clear of physical exfoliants.

During

Whilst you’re actually shaving is certainly the most obvious time where you can look to improve your routine, taking up the bulk of the time and including the most important part (actually shaving) there is usually a lot of room for improving your routine here.

A great place to start is by making sure you have the right tools for the job. Obviously don’t use a blunt blade and shave with warm water for the best results. Other than that, the razor is another part of your routine that’s definitely worth the investment if you can afford it. Don’t skimp on your blade! You can get a lot of use out of them, especially if you employ our tips for increasing the life of your blade, and it’s definitely worth the extra $5 investment to get months of a smoother shave.

Another way to get even more out of your routine is by considering a safety razor or a cutthroat blade. Both of these blades come at the cost of having to learn to use them but they can add a bit of flair to your routine (they’re just simply cool) and, probably more importantly, result in a much better and closer shave. With that in mind, safety razors aren’t all that much harder to use than the typical disposables and so if you’re looking to improve your shave without having to spend the next two months with your face covered in cuts they’re worth looking into.

Straight razors and safety razors are also a much more cost efficient method of shaving as, after the steeper initial investment, the replacement blades for these razors are pennies on the dollar compared to continuously purchasing cartridges or disposables.

After

Even after you’ve put your blade down there’s still more you can do to get the most out of your shave.

One of the biggest things you can do for your skin is to stay away from aftershaves that contain a lot of alcohol – they hurt for a reason! Whilst some might smell nice these aftershaves are truly terrible for your skin, damaging and drying it out at the time its most vulnerable (right after shaving). There are also plenty of ways to keep yourself smelling nice without doing this to your skin so there’s no excuse for coating your face in alcohol directly after shaving.

Cleansing and moisturising after shaving are another great way to keep up the good health of your skin, if you’re interested in learning more about that please check out our article here.