Red bumps, raw skin, and rashes can be the result of wrestling with your razor in the daily fight of man against beard. Here are 6 ways to achieve the perfect shave:
1. Ditch your old bar soap if it contains harsh synthetic detergents and fragrances
Detergents strip away the skin's mantle and loosen its keratin proteins, making it vulnerable to irritation and infection. Not only are fragrances totally unnecessary, they cause dry skin, redness, and rashes. Switch to a cleanser with a base of coconut oil that breaks down oils from the sebaceous glands, lathers easily, and helps retain moisture.
2. On tough beard days, or at least twice a week, work a granular facial scrub into the skin in circular motions for a few minutes to prevent ingrown hairs
Scrubs lift the hair shaft and exfoliate the dead skin that blocks the hair follicles. Scrubs also gently buff away dead skin cells, pollutants, and other buildup that causes razor drag.
3. While skin is still wet, apply a gentle shaving cream or oil that moisturizes the skin while helping the razor glide
Again, use small circular motions. Hair grows cross-directionally, and this motion will ensure complete coverage while lifting the whiskers. Beware of shaving foams from aerosol cans-they're propelled by chemicals that dry your skin.
4. Look for a pH-balanced shaving cream or oil
Skin is naturally acidic, with a pH in the range of 4.2-5.6. Conventional shaving creams can be very alkaline, with a pH level of 10 or 11, which can inhibit the skin's natural acid protection.
5. Splash on a skin toner as an after-shave to help restore pH balance and invigorate your skin
Look for a toner that contains witch hazel rather than alcohol, which is too drying. The toner may also contain lavender or tea tree essential oils, both natural antiseptics.
6. Hydrate your skin with a moisturizer and protect it with a sunscreen
The thin layer of skin you scraped off during shaving tends to leave your face particularly vulnerable to the sun and wind. Beware moisturizing creams that rely on skin barriers, such as mineral oil and lanolin, which are harsh and known to cause swelling and itching. Instead, look for any combination of soothing aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, and comfrey with healing vitamin E on the ingredients label.
For a smoother, closer shave, try Van Der Hagen Natural & Organic Shave Oil. More than 20 natural and organic oils soften the beard and provide a protective barrier that increases razor glide, reducing bumps and irritation. The transparent oil lets you see where you're shaving, and it can also be used as a pre-shave under shaving soaps, gels, or lotions.
Van Der Hagen Natural & Organic Shave Oil
Prep your face with Every Man Jack Face Scrub and Pre-Shave. Coconut-derived cleansers and jojoba beads remove dry and dead skin. Marine extracts and vitamin E soothe and moisturize. Peppermint extract leaves skin with a clean, fresh scent. Use two or three times per week to unclog pores.
Every Man Jack Face Scrub and Pre-Shave
Pamper your skin while you shave with NOW Solutions Nutri-Shave Natural Shave Cream. Skin soothing and protecting allantoin is combined with anti-aging, moisturizing hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, aloe, olive oil, and calendula for a smooth, close shave that nourishes your skin and reduces irritation.
NOW Solutions Nutri-Shave Natural Shave Cream
Get razor lift and glide with Avalon Organics Moisturizing Cream Shave. A replenishing blend of aloe vera, beta-glucan, and plant extracts soothes and helps speed repair of nicks and irritation. Skin feels soft and smooth after shaving. Choose from Aloe Unscented, Nourishing Lavender, and Revitalizing Peppermint.
Avalon Organics Moisturizing Cream Shave Revitalizing Peppermint
Avalon Organics Moisturizing Cream Shave Nourishing Lavender
Avalon Organics Moisturizing Cream Shave Aloe Unsented
Cool and tighten your skin with Badger Navigator Class Bracing After Shave Face Tonic. This light witch hazel-based aftershave also contains cooling menthol, hydrating aloe, and uplifting bergamot essential oil to invigorate your skin.
Badger Navigator Class Bracing After Shave Face Tonic