It’s easy to feel like a good shaving and skin care routine is out of reach when you walk into the personal care section at the drugstore and see shelves lined with hundreds of products.
What do half of them even do?
What an overwhelming sight for any guy!
In reality, the only skin care and shaving routine you need consists of just three products. You can add toners or other products as necessary; however, if you opt to only use three products, you are still giving your skin what it needs.
Here’s what your basic daily skin care and shaving routine should look like:
Table of Contents
Step 1: Cleanse
Cleanse your face at least twice per day. You should use your cleanser product in the morning when you apply your full three-step routine. Depending on your skin type and how dirty you get over the course of a day, you can cleanse with your product a second time in the evening, or wash with water at night.
If you have oily skin, or you spend a lot of time doing physical activity or working outside, then you should consider using the cleanser product a second time.
On the other hand, if your skin is sensitive or dry, over-cleansing can cause irritation and damage. Consider washing your skin with water only at night if that describes your skin.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Next, exfoliate your skin to encourage faster skin cell turnover. This means that your skin regenerates faster and looks healthier and younger.
There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical.
- Physical exfoliation actually scrubs the dead skin cells and debris away from your skin. As you can imagine, this can be somewhat irritating. This type of exfoliating can be scrubbing with a loofah or a microfiber cloth, using an exfoliating device, or washing with jojoba beads or almond shells. Therefore, consider limiting this step to avoid severe skin irritation.
- Chemical exfoliation also removes dead skin cells, but in a way that’s gentler on the skin. You can irritate the skin by over-exfoliating with chemicals, so start slow at three times weekly and work your way up to once or twice daily. Common chemical exfoliants include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
Step 3: Moisturize
Finally, moisturize your skin with a product that is formulated for your skin type: generally normal, sensitive, oily, or dry.
- Normal skin can tolerate a wider range of product types than most. Choose products that say “for all skin types.” Alternatively, use this freedom to try out different products and find the type that works best for your unique skin.
- Sensitive skin requires moisturizers that exclude drying irritants, such as denatured alcohol or sulfates. Look for products with limited ingredients or natural ingredients, which your skin can tolerate more easily.
- Oily skin can easily look extra oily if you use the wrong moisturizer, but don’t let this turn you off from using moisturizers altogether; rather, look for moisturizers that contain fatty alcohols. These are non-drying but add moisture with a matte finish, so you don’t see that oily, greasy, shiny look on your skin.
- Dry skin needs an extra boost to seal in moisture, so look for ingredients that protect the epidermal barrier. Some ingredients to look for include glycerin, dimethicone, and lanolin.
If you use other products besides cleansers and exfoliants, then make sure that moisturizing is always your last step, especially if you use a thick or creamy moisturizer. Thinner products do not layer well on top of moisturizers. In addition, moisturizers work better without another product layered on top to dilute it.
Shaving Process & Routine
Are you brand new to shaving? Or is it time to revamp your shaving routine?
Regardless of your shaving experience or status, before you completely revamp your shaving routine, and swap out those old products for new ones, it may be helpful to perform a broad self-assessment of your routines and hardware.
In this article, we will provide you with some tips to help you determine the best wet shaving routine for you.
1. Water Temperature
One of the first decisions any shaver needs to make is water temperature. Do you prefer wet shaving with warm or cool water water? Some have wrongly supposed that cold water stiffens the hair to provide a cleaner cut, but for most the hotter the water, the better the shave. However, experimentation is the only way to determine which method is right for you. For instance, you may enjoy different temperatures of water depending on the time of year you are shaving.
2. Blade Exploration
Another important decision to make when determining your shaving routine is the blade or cartridge type. Different razor blades and cartridges are made with different materials, which can make a difference in the overall quality of your shave. Take the time to experiment with different types of blades and brands to see which you like the best.
3. Badger Hair Shaving Brush
Many men who try a badger hair brush for shaving are amazed with the results. Although badger hair shaving brushes are made with coarse bristles, they are incredibly soft when applied to the face. Badger hair shaving brushes not only lather up quickly, but they also hold in warmth from the lather, which leaves you with an awesome-feeling shave.
You can find badger hair shaving brushes online and in virtually any department or drug store. They are also available in different qualities—low grade to high grade—and are priced competitively. So, be sure to do your research prior to making a purchase.
4. Safety vs. Cartridge Razor
Another super important consideration is razor type. Sure, you can purchase the cheap cartridge razors at CVS or Walmart for $10-$20, depending on the pack size and brand. However, cheap razors don’t always ensure a quality shave. In fact, cheap razors are often the biggest culprits for razor burn.
Using a safety razor will cost you a little more upfront, however, we are willing to bet that once you use it, you will never go back to using a cartridge razor ever again.
Despite popular belief, safety razors do not cause more nicks and cuts. They are designed in such a way that does not cause you to put more pressure than what is necessary on the handle, which reduces friction, and ultimately results in fewer breakouts, razor burn, and nicks and cuts.
5. Alum Block
If you haven’t heard of an alum block before, prepare to be amazed… If you seem to constantly suffer from razor burn (which might be the reason why you want to revamp your shaving routine in the first place), then try using an alum block after your shave.
An alum block looks like a bar of soap. It is made with potassium alum—hence its name. Potassium alum contains antiseptic properties, which can provide a nice cooling sensation after a shave.
Some shavers love using an alum block; others not so much… However, alum blocks are fairly inexpensive, so it just might be worth giving one a try.
A Better Shaving Routine Awaits…
Now that you are armed with some tips and things to consider before you begin a new shaving routine, you can try different techniques and products in order to best determine the best shaving routine for you.
Never estimate a good, quality shave. The look and feel of your face are worth it.
Skin Care and Shaving Action Items
Once you have your daily skin care routine down, be sure to stick to it. It can take a month or longer of consistent application to see results. Once you know how your skin responds to your current routine, you can then re-evaluate your need to add extra products (such as masks and toners) to your routine as necessary.
All in all, it’s important to remember that shaving and exfoliation go hand in hand. Not only is it important to exfoliate on a daily basis, it’s especially important to exfoliate before shaving. This helps remove dead skin cells, excess product from the day before, and oil and dirt buildup. Exfoliating thoroughly also helps prevent acne breakouts, which is a common aftereffect from shaving.
Building exfoliation into your daily skin care and shaving routine can help result in a smoother, quality shave.