Shaving is a delicate task due to your skin's sensitivity and susceptibility to nicks, cuts and ingrown hair. To achieve a smooth shave without irritation or discomfort, you must understand how to prepare your skin before shaving, the right way to shave your face and how to treat your face afterward. Before shaving, find the necessary tools: preshave oil or cream, an alcohol-free shaving cream, a sturdy razor and an alcohol-free aftershave balm.
Prepare Your Skin
Clean your face with a facial cleanser and warm water, followed by rinsing your face to remove soap. Dry your face with a clean towel and dispense a dime-sized amount of preshave oil into your palm. Rub your hands together and massage the oil into your face. This process allows your face to absorb the oil and cause the hairs to protrude for a closer shave.
Use a Glycerin-Based Shaving Cream
Avoid shaving cream that contains alcohol, as it dries your skin out and is a numbing agent that prevents you from feeling nicks and cuts when shaving. This works against you when shaving as you can't tell if you are applying too much pressure to the skin, thus causing irritation. A glycerin-based shaving cream provides moisture, and using a shaving brush softens your facial hair. To use the brush, apply a quarter-sized amount of shaving cream into the brush and apply in a circular motion onto your face.
Your razor should feel slightly heavy, giving enough pressure while gliding across the face. While plastic razors are cheaper, you end up applying too much pressure and cause irritation. After you've lathered your face, closely examine the direction your hair grows. Your hair on your neck may grow in different directions, and you must shave in the direction the hair grows in order to avoid irritation and razor burn. The most important step is only shaving each part of your face once. Use one stroke to shave each part of your face, do not go over it more than once. Each time you apply the razor across your face, you are removing a thin layer of skin. Going over an area multiple times will cause irritation.
Hydrate your skin
Once you have removed all of the hair from your face, splash your face with warm water, followed by cold water to close your pores and tighten the skin. Pour a dime-sized amount of aftershave balm into your palms, and pat the moisturizer onto your face. Rubbing causes irritation, and should be avoided.