When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of your exercise routine or the time you set aside to relax and enjoy yourself. Self-care entails everything you do to keep your body, mind, and spirit healthy, and developing a shaving routine that focuses on protecting your skin and hair health can give you more confidence.
If you’ve been shaving the same way since puberty, chances are you know your face, your skin, and your beard quite well. But if you’d like some additional tips or a quick refresher, read on.
1. Pre-Shave Prep
Unless you’re using an electric razor, don’t even consider shaving dry. Facial hair can be particularly stubborn, so cleanse and prep your skin thoroughly before you begin shaving. Taking a warm shower immediately before shaving allows the steam to open your pores and makes it easier to remove the hair with less irritation to the skin. Tip: Always use a sharp razor. If you’ve used your current disposable more than 3–5 times, grab a fresh blade before beginning. Dull or clogged blades will nick you every time.
2. Get the Right Glide
Everyone’s different, and there’s no right or wrong product to use when shaving, so choose something that acts as a protective barrier as well as a slip agent that helps the blade glide effortlessly along your facial contours. Acca Kappa’s specially formulated Beard Shaving Gel does double duty by moisturizing skin and softening coarse beard hair simultaneously. The gel includes skin friendly plant extracts, like calendula to reduce redness, chamomile to tamp down itchiness, and aloe to minimize inflammation. Apply it before shaving, and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable experience. Tip: If your beard is long or especially unruly, try adding a few drops of Beard Oil Softener & Restructuring Fluid to your shaving gel.
3. Perfect Your Stroke
Ever wonder if you should shave with the grain or against it? Many men do both! As a general rule, shaving with the grain will prevent irritation and razor bumps, but there may be a bit of stubborn stubble that won’t budge unless you change course. And there’s a fairly good chance that you have hair growing in different directions on your cheeks or neck as well. To determine which way your beard grows, run your palm along the hair. If it feels smooth and lays flat, you’ll know your hand is moving with the grain.
4. Hydrate and Protect Your Skin
When you shave, you’re also exfoliating your skin. The blade removes a small amount of dead skin as well as the hair, making it important to finish your shaving routine by applying a hydrating pore-closing after shave or moisturizing product. This After Shave Emulsion is a lightweight skin soother that contains aloe extract to quell irritation and shea butter to nourish and protect the skin. And if you like to shave your head, or simply prefer a mattifying product to tamp down shine, try the Vitamin-Enriched After Shave Balm. The peppermint essential oil refreshes the skin while argan and wheat germ oils keep shine at bay all day.
Ultimately, your shaving experience depends on having the right products for your needs. Before settling into a permanent routine, test out the options on the market. And if you’ve never used a Shaving Soap or Natural Style Shave Brush before, you may want to switch to these barber shop essentials. They elevate routine into ritual for a refined experience.