A guide for men who want to reduce cuts while shaving, and how to clean up those inevitable nicks.
Foam to face. Hand to blade. Blade to skin. Around your chin, you feel it. The blood comes before the pain does. Your face is now a peppermint swirl of red and white foam. You sigh – you’re only half done.
Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?
Here’s the guide you’ve been waiting for. We’ll cover some easy steps you can take to reduce your chance of cutting yourself while shaving, along with some step-by-step instructions on what to do if and when you do come face to face with those inevitable cuts.
- Hydrate your face. Women have been living by this rule for years, but men often miss this step. A proper moisturizing regimen not only protects your face from the elements, it also will ensure your skin is smoother and suppler when you decide to shave. Rough edges and dry skin only provide surfaces for your razor to get caught on. Plus, hydrated skin is healthier and will heal faster if you do end up with a nasty nick. Need some hydration through your beard? Try some beard oil, designed specifically to moisturize skin through whiskers.
- Pick a razor you’re comfortable with. Shaving craftsman will often wield a straight razor- the kind you see in barber shops or black-and-white photos. Straight razors are the sharpest tool of the trade, but start with a razor that fits your skill level. One thing we can’t stress enough – quality over quantity. Even if you’re using a cartridge razor, try to pick one with a swivel element to the head – allowing your razor to bend around the curves of your face.
- Lubricate. Now that you’re in the habit of proper moisturizing, don’t waste that good hydration on a bad shave cream. The foam that comes in the can is generally full of chemicals and harsh, drying ingredients. Try a proper shave cream – the kind that comes in a tub. These creams are more likely to use natural fats and oils to provide lubrication for your face to lift and soften hairs while sealing moisture into the skin. It also provides a nice, slick surface for your razor, reducing rough spots and preventing cuts.
- Take your time. Even if it means getting up a bit earlier to ensure the process goes smoothly. Before applying shave cream, take a look at the growth of your facial hair in the mirror. When you shave you’ll want to go the opposite direction of growth. While shaving, practice smooth strokes that don’t begin or end abruptly. Use soft, short strokes for more difficult areas.
- Use warm water. This softens the hair on your face as well as your skin. Just be sure the water isn’t too hot – heat increases circulation to your skin and will cause more bleeding if you cut your face.
- Be prepared. Eventually, everyone does cut themselves. Ensure you have the right equipment with you to get yourself patched up. We recommend: clean water, a styptic pencil, and antiseptic ointment.
- If you do cut yourself, wash the area with clean water. This is important; do not use the water you’ve been rinsing your razor in. It’s full of dead skin, dirt, and bacteria. Run fresh water over the cut to remove any surrounding shaving cream.
- Go over the cut with a styptic pencil. These shaving instruments are designed specifically to stem the blood flow from a shave cut. They work fast to constrict blood vessels and dry up the flow of the cut.
- Apply antiseptic to your cut to remove any further bacteria and prevent infection. Your face is subject to a lot of air, dirt, and grime throughout the day, and this ointment will prevent bacteria from forming.