We’ve all been there, fellas. You’re about to go to work, hit the bar or meet a date. But first you have to shave.
Then it happens. You nick your chin and have that tiny little red mark staring the world in the face for the rest of the day. And even if you avoid that, your cheeks still sting like your ex-girlfriend just slapped you across the face.
But have no fear. We’ve consulted the experts and compiled the following tips for a less irritating shave. So grab your finest shaving gear—say, NIVEA Men’s three-step regimen of shaving gel, aftershave balm and daily moisturizer—and get ready for a great shave that’ll have you feeling silky smooth and ready for anything.
Unless you’ve been using one for years, trade in that electric shaver for a non-powered model. You can improve your chances of having a smooth face if you switch to a regular blade.
1. Shave in the shower
Moisture is crucial for a smooth, comfortable shave as it causes the hair on your face to soften and rise against your skin. So what better way to ensure moisture than a constant stream of hot water super-heating the air around you?
Men, especially those of us with years of shaving experience, don’t need to look in a mirror to see where to shave. Dr. Jerome M. Felsenstein of Advanced Dermatology PC in New York points out that most men shave by feel rather than sight, so he recommends shaving in the shower. Try it with NIVEA Men sensitive shaving gel.
Skin care expert Dr. David E. Bank, director at the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York recommends an all-out aquatic assault on your skin when shaving, especially beforehand to remove dirt and excess oils.
“Make sure your face is properly moisturized before, during and after shaving, and use a shaving gel or lotion that is moisturizing and/or rich,” Bank says. “Shaving dry skin will cause irritations.”
2. Go Amish
Unless you’ve been using one for years, trade in that electric shaver for a more conventional, non-powered model. Dr. Felsenstein said young adults, in particular, should steer clear of electric razors because they can be worse for acne.
So if you’re a teenager, you might still get a pimple on prom night, but at least you can improve your chances of having a smooth face if you switch to a regular blade.
Speaking of which, our experts recommend the sharpest multi-blade razor you can find and if you choose a disposable, never reuse it. While the idea of taking multiple sharp objects to your face might seem off-putting, a sharper blade means less friction and, thus, less irritation.
Make sure to have some aftershave balm, such as NIVEA Men sensitive post shave balm, on hand for when you are done.”
3. Keep it short, clean and smooth
Skin care expert Dr. Marc Malek, who practices out of Scottsdale, Arizona has you covered when it comes to the actual shaving process. When you finally put the blade to your face, shave with the grain in short strokes of about one to two inches. There’s no need to try to shave your entire cheek in one maneuver.
Between strokes, dip your razor in hot water to unclog any hairs that might get caught between the blades.
Finally, Malek suggests the following three-step process once all the hair is gone.
“After shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close your pores and refresh,” Malek says. “Pat dry and apply a lotion with aloe and moisturizing ingredients after you shave.” Example: NIVEA Men sensitive gel moisturizer. “This will keep your skin from becoming dry and irritated.”