Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran of the razor, it’s easy to pick up bad habits during your morning routine. Here are 7 common shaving blunders, and what you can do to avoid them:
You’re not prepping your face properly
If you dive straight in with your razor and cream, then you’re already going wrong! Preparation is key to a smooth shave. The best preparation includes exfoliation and hot water or steam – jump in the shower and use a quality face scrub.
The scrub will ensure any dirt and dead skin is removed from your face, which will reduce the likelihood of your razor clogging. This also lifts the hair from the skin before shaving, reducing the likelihood of ingrown hairs.
Meanwhile, the hot water and steam will get your facial hair as soft as possible – allowing your blade to glide along with minimal friction.
Once your face is prepped, apply your cream or gel, and let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften those hairs up even more.
You aren’t changing your blades often enough
It’s a simple equation: blunt razor + sensitive skin = a poor shave. This might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many of us don’t change our blades as often as we should.
When you use a blunt razor you don’t get a clean cut – instead the hairs are tugged from your face at awkward angles, which leads to skin irritation, rashes, and ingrown hairs.
We’d recommend a weekly blade switch for regular shavers, or fortnightly if you don’t shave so often.
You’re applying too much pressure
Another common shaving sin is pressing the razor down too hard. Some do this in the belief that it will make for a closer shave. However, a good quality, sharp razor will give you a great shave with minimal pressure. If you’re having to press down hard, you probably have a blunt razor, which is now being dragged across your skin with maximum friction! To avoid this, always use a sharp, clean razor, and use light strokes across your skin.
You haven’t “mapped” your face
You’ve probably heard the term “shaving with the grain” – the direction in which the hair naturally grows. But, did you know your grain varies on different parts of your face? If you’re not aware of your grain, you can wind up accidentally shaving against it, which can lead to ingrown hairs and irritation.
Luckily, grain mapping is really easy – it’s about finding the direction of the grain on different sections of your face, so you can shave with the path of the least resistance. To do this, let your stubble grow out, and run your hands across it gently. The direction that feels the most resistant or prickly is “against the grain”, so you’ll want to shave in the opposite direction. Do this enough times, and eventually you’ll know your grain like the back of your hand!
You’re not reapplying gel
We’ve all been there – you, notice a section of your face isn’t shaved quite as closely as the rest, so you go back over it again. This is fine, nobody wants a patchy face! However, some of us are guilty of not re-applying the shave gel when we do this.
If you don’t reapply your shaving product, you’re dry shaving the area with nothing to protect the skin. It may seem like it saves time, but adding another quick dab of product only takes 2 seconds. Dry shaving is a sure-fire way of getting a shaving rash!
You’re neglecting the post-shave treatment
If you finish up with the razor and call your shave a job well done, then you’re guilty of this final sin. No matter how well you shave, the fact remains that you’re pulling a sharp blade across your face, which can irritate and dry out your skin.
You should always give your skin a little TLC after your shave, so make sure you’re using a moisturising post-shave balm after shaving, which will cool and re-hydrate your skin.
When picking out a post-shave balm, the number one criteria to look for is a product that doesn’t contain alcohol, which will only dry and irritate further. One the best things about using balm is simply how refreshing it is – if you’ve ever used the Cornerstone shave balm – you’ll know what we mean!