1. Don’t Shave First Right After Waking Up
If you want to get a close shave, grabbing the razor on the way out of bed is not the solution. First thing in the morning your skin is still a bit puffy from sleep. So give it 20-30 minutes for your skin to tighten back up to normal. You’ll get a closer shave because more of the hair follicle is exposed.
2. Prepare Your Skin
If you want a quick and guaranteed way to butcher your skin, just slap on some shaving cream on your dry, room temperature skin and take a razor to it. You will exfoliate your skin the wrong way, get more nicks, and oh yeah- it hurts like hell. Take a nice hot shower or wrap a hot moist towel around your face and neck for a few minutes before you shave. It softens the follicles, opens the pores, and give you a smoother surface to work with.
3. Moisture Matters
This one gets overlooked a lot. Your skin craves moisture, and I can almost guarantee you aren’t moisturizing enough. So, before you shave, take a few minutes and moisturize. Get in there and really let your skin soak it up. And don’t forget to moisturize after shaving. A great after-shave lotion should contain aloe vera.
4. EXFOLIATE! EXFOLIATE!
You should be exfoliating anyway, just because it makes your skin look better. But, it also helps reduce redness, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs. It does this by eliminating dead skin cells and giving you a closer shave and a cleaner surface that won’t trap hairs or get irritated.
5. Slow Down the Growth
There are thankfully some really good shaving cream products out there that help to slow hair growth. One is Aveeno’s Positively Smooth Shave Gel. Another is Dollar Shave Club’s Dr. Carver’s Pillowy Shave Lather. Both work to slow hair growth and give a much smoother finish.
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This is one that often gets overlooked. When it comes to the face, you might have seen the approach of all downstrokes on the face, and up strokes on the neck. The truth is, that isn’t going to give you the closest shave. You want to give your hair one to two passes (only one if your skin is sensitive) going with the “grain” or hair growth direction, and one that goes against it. Just gently rub your face and you will quickly be able to tell what direction that is.
7. All Shave and No Replacement Makes Jack a Dull Razor
It is a universal truth that the most dangerous blade, of any kind, is a dull one. You have to use more passes and more force to exert the same effort. It’s a losing game. So replace that blade every 2-3 times you shave. I know it gets more expensive, but if you want results and you don’t want to butcher yourself- it’s a necessary evil.
8. Choose Your Weapon
A good razor is core to a good shave. You want something that follows along your contours and glides easily on the skin. Many in the transgender community swear by the Gillette Sensor- which does work well. However I am also a fan of the “Venus” line of razors. I feel like they follow contours better.
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[amazonjs asin=”B001JQLNFA” locale=”US” title=”Gillette Venus Spa Women’s Razor, 1 Razor Handle and 2 Razor Blade Refills”]