Most guys love their morning shave, but find that their daily routine can do a number on their skin. Everyday shaving is really pleasant, but it can lead to irritation, bumps, razor burn, and even acne. Some guys—gasp! —even forego daily shaving because it can be so brutal on the skin.
It doesn't have to be that way, though! In fact, with a few tweaks to your morning routine, you can have your everyday shave and suffer none of the negatives that come from daily shaving.
So here are a few tips to get the most out of your shave—and keep your face intact when doing so. We'll start with a message near and dear to our hearts:
Use a Safety Razor!
If you've ever met a guy who's just ditched his disposable razors and started using a safety razor, you may notice that he literally cannot stop talking about it.
It’s the strangest thing, and it’s true—and if you've ever visited the /r/wicked_edge subreddit, you'll find hundreds of thousands of guys (literally!) talking about safety razors and straight razors.
Why is that? After all, it's just a shave, right? Why do guys who make that switch talk about it so much?
Well, there's a reason for all that enthusiasm, and it’s because safety razors are just better. In every way, they're just better. The shaves you get are closer, with fewer nicks. The shaving creams and soaps you use smell incredible and feel luxurious. And while this may seem hard to believe, lots of men who get terrible razor burn and acne find that all that disappears completely after they make the switch.
There are a number of great beginner safety razors—the Parker 56R Rose Gold Safety Razor is one—and they can make the transition to shaving with a safety razor very easy. And, if you’d like to invest a bit more, you can try an adjustable model that allows you to dial down to a very mild shave, or open it up to a more aggressive setting for thicker growth. (like the Parker Variant Adjustable Safety Razor).
Shave When You're Fresh Out of the Shower to Fight Skin Irritation
This is a tip that often surprises new shavers: the best time to shave is after a warm/hot shower. Most new shavers imagine that shaving cream or shaving soap is something you'll need to wash off in the shower, but that's not really true—a good shaving cream or shaving soap will easily come off with water from the sink.
So why should you shower first? There are two main reasons:
1) Your face is dirtier than you think, and shaving over dirty skin is a great way to experience irritation and/or infection. Even though your face may seem clean, it's gathered a lot of gunk since your last shower, and all the oils in your skin combine with the dust and debris in the air to form—for lack of a better term—a skeezy layer over your skin. Scraping a razor blade over all that material is bad for your skin and can cause irritation and acne (and it's also just kind of gross!); and
2) After a warm shower, you skin is soft and supple and can receive a razor blade with less irritation. A warm/hot shower relaxes the skin on your face, making it less taut—and that can set that stage for a pleasant, nick-free shave (and it feels great, too, which is nice!).
Use an Aftershave to Sooth Nicks and Cuts
For decades, most of the men in the U.S. finished their shaves with an aftershave. They were an incredibly popular product, but at some point, American men just seemed to forget about them.
That's a shame, because an aftershave is a GREAT way to cap off a morning routine. Not only can it heal some of the inevitable nicks and cuts of shaving, it can be great for your skin, and many aftershaves smell really wonderful.
So we'd urge you to give it a shot. There are so many options available today, and so many of them are so unique, that you can select the experience you want: you can get that classic, bracing aftershave that wakes you up and snaps you into your day (and for that, we'd suggest something like the Taconic Eucalyptus / Mint Aftershave Splash) or you can eeeeeaaaaaaaase into your morning with something gentle and calm (and for that, we'd suggest something like the Taconic Lavender / Lime Botanical Aftershave Splash).
Aftershaves are a fun option, because how often do you get to introduce an entirely new event to your grooming routine?
Ditch the Aerosol Shaving Cream and Use Shaving Soap
When you think about it, it's kind of amazing how much advertising has shaped the way we shave our faces. For centuries, men used shaving soap to ready their faces for a shave, but at some point—that is, after a lot of marketing to advertise aerosol shaving creams—most guys assumed they should be using shaving cream out of a can.
That's a shame, because most of the shaving creams you'll find in a can are absolute garbage. They’re jam-packed with awful chemicals, they smell weird, and they feel even weirder. And have you ever wondered how they get shaving cream to burst forth from those aerosol cans? Yep—weird gases and chemicals.
If only there was an alternative!
Well, you may want to do you like your Granddaddy did and check out a shaving soap. Shaving soaps like the Taconic Lime Shaving Soap or the Taconic Urban Woods Shaving Soap soften your whiskers for shaving, are really gentle on your skin, and smell great. If you'd like to stick with a cream, there are some fantastic non-aerosol options available, like the Taconic Bay Rum Shave Cream, which you can get in a pump bottle (and which smells INCREDIBLE).
As a bonus, shaving soaps are great for vacation, which brings us to our next point...
Bring Your Shaving Kit with You When You Travel
This seems like an odd skincare tip, but we hear a lot of guys complain that they have really lousy shaves when they travel. That makes sense, too—very often, you forget your razor and have to buy some cheap disposable from a convenience store, and use whatever shaving cream you find lying around.
So like every good traveler, it helps to be prepared, and safety razors are designed for life on the road: a safety razor with a sturdy leather case, like the Parker 22r and Zippered Case, is rugged enough for whatever adventures you have in front of you, and a shaving brush—complete with case, like the Parker Travel Silvertip Shave Brush—can be a great way to experience some luxury while you're out seeing the world.
After all, just because you’re far from home doesn't mean you need to leave the comforts of home behind.
There You Have It! Tips to Keep Your Skin in Great Shape
A hot cup of coffee, a relaxing shower, and a nice close shave—those are the daily luxuries that make life great. And now, with a few easy adjustments to your routine, you can shave day-in/day-out without fear of nicks or irritation!
We hope this helped—be good, have fun, and happy shaving!