Follow this surefire routine to avoid the annoyance of a fiery shaving-related rash.
A smooth, irritation-free shave starts in the preparation. A steamy shower gets the hair nice and soft, then apply a pre-shave oil to shield the skin and lather up a quality shaving cream with a badger hair brush to lift the hairs off the face — keep an eye out for products marked specifically for sensitive skin, and stick to creams that are unscented.
Regular exfoliation scrubs away dead skin cells to give the blade a smoother, obstacle-free surface to glide across, so a regular scrub helps avoid pesky ingrowns and general irritation. You don’t want your face to be too tender just before you pick up the razor though, so you should ideally exfoliate the night before your morning shave.
Use the right tool
A manual razor delivers the closest shave but electric razors can be gentler on sensitive skin, because there’s less friction and no chance of cuts and nicks. If you do stick with an old-fashioned razor, the key is sharp blades, which can get caught and tug on individual strands. Rinse and dry your blades thoroughly after every shave to extend their lifespan and swap them out at least once a week.
Take your time
The right equipment doesn’t mean much if your technique’s all wrong — the sharpness of the blade should be doing all the work, rather than irritation-causing pressure and passing the same area over and over again. And it’s the oldest, truest commandment in the shaving bible, but it’s especially important advice for blokes with sensitive skin: shave with the grain, not against it.
Wash your face with cold water to close the pores, pat yourself dry, then apply products that replenish and hydrate the skin. A nourishing after-shave balm — again, make sure it’s unscented and avoid products containing alcohol, which dries out and irritates sensitive skin — followed by a sensitive-skin moisturiser is the ideal conclusion to your shaving routine.