For a lot of guys nowadays, shaving is simply a case of lathering up and hoping for the best. From cuts, to razor burn and ingrown hairs; it’s easy to feel like the odds are stacked against you.
You’ve been dragging this metal blade across your face for however many years, but do you really know the right way to shave? Here are the 7 most common shaving mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them:
You’re not prepping your face properly
Steam is your friend, so the best time to shave is right after a hot shower.
Always wash your face before you shave using a cleansing wash and hot water; you can do this in the shower to save faffing over the sink. A clean surface and open pores will mean there’s less chance of friction. Something with gentle exfoliation (like kóri, of course) works great pre-shave, really digging down into the pores to banish any dead skin cells, and bring any potential ingrown hairs out of hiding.
If you have a bit of time, try letting your shave gel sit for a couple of minutes to really soften the hairs before you begin.
You aren’t changing your blades often enough
A blunt razor = a rubbish shave. This might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many guys aren’t changing their blades as often as they should be. When it comes to shaving mistakes – this is a real biggie.
It’s a bit like trying to cut a tomato with a blunt knife…
…You end up with torn skin and a bunch of mess. It’s a similar principle with shaving; when you use a blunt razor you don’t get a clean cut – instead the hairs are tugged from your face and torn in all kinds of awkward angles. Unsurprisingly your skin doesn’t tend to be too keen on this, leading to shave irritation.
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
Think about it, razors are sharp, and the skin on your face is pretty delicate; it isn’t that surprising that shaving sometimes comes with it’s problems.
Reducing the amount of pressure you apply when you shave can do your face a lot of favours. It’s a pretty common misconception that pressing down harder will make for a closer shave. In fact though, providing you’re using a good quality, sharp razor, you should find that light strokes give a much better result.
You’re using the wrong number of blades
A lot of guys fall into the trap of selecting a razor with the wrong number of blades for their skin/facial hair type. Although a greater number of blades on a cartridge does technically mean a closer shave is achieved, it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone, particularly chaps with sensitive skin.
If you find that you suffer from irritation with a 5 blade razor, the solution may be as simple as switching over to a 3 blade. You’ll still get a clean close shave, but it’s far less harsh on the skin.
You haven’t “mapped” your face
So you’ve most likely heard of the term “shaving with the grain” – that’s the direction in which the hair naturally grows for those of you who haven’t. Did you know though, that the grain is usually different on different parts of the face? To put it simply; grain mapping is literally a case of finding the direction of the grain on different sections of your face, so you can shave with the path of the least resistance. We’ve actually written a full “how to” guide for grain mapping (here). We’d really recommend you give it a go, and we promise it isn’t too complicated!
You keep going over the same area
You know the score; you shave, notice a section isn’t quite as close as the rest, so you go back over it again. This is fine, nobody want’s a patchy face, right? The issue is that most people don’t re-apply their shave gel when they do this, winding up pretty much dry shaving the area with nothing to protect the skin.
Adding another quick dab of gel only takes 2 seconds, but it can do a world of favours for your shave – certainly something to keep in mind!
You’re neglecting the post shave
No matter how perfect you do everything else, if you don’t bother with a proper post shave routine you really are just shooting yourself in the foot. Let’s be logical here, you have just finished dragging a sharp blade across your face, it’s only natural for your skin to need a bit of TLC.
Moisturiser is essential post-shave, but we’d also seriously recommend using a post-shave tonic too. A tonic (also known as toner) will kill any bacteria, as well as soothing and tightening the skin. One of our favourite things about using tonic though is simply how refreshing it is; if you’ve ever used gösta after your shave, you’ll know what we’re talking about.