What gen­tle­men should know about the prac­tice of shav­ing

Look sharp, look good with these shav­ing tips

Northern Living - - CONTENTS - TEXT LEX CEL­ERA IL­LUS­TRA­TION TRIS­TAN TA­MAYO

Land­scaped fa­cial hair has ex­pe­ri­enced a re­nais­sance, from slick mus­taches to mut­ton chops to full-grown beards. But proper groom­ing goes be­yond trends, and any­one can ap­pre­ci­ate a man who takes the time to look good.When it comes to shav­ing your fa­cial hair, gen­uine care for your skin is key, as it’s less about hair-trim­ming.

Avoid shav­ing in the morn­ing when you are pre­oc­cu­pied with the hap­pen­ings for the day ahead. Right out of bed, your face tends to be more puffed up, mak­ing it harder for you to get a clean shave. Try shav­ing at night when you can take all the time you want. If you can’t avoid do­ing it be­fore the morn­ing rush, wait for a few min­utes at least; sip your cof­fee, check your e-mail, or iron your clothes first.

Prepa­ra­tion is half the bat­tle when it comes to shav­ing (and skin­care in gen­eral). Make sure you open up your pores and soften the bris­tles of your stub­bles be­fore­hand. Ap­ply­ing a warm towel to the face or tak­ing a shower does the trick. You can opt to use a preshave oil, which fur­ther smoothens your mug. Ap­ply­ing shav­ing cream or gel is also fine. Use a shav­ing brush. This ex­fo­li­ates your skin and soft­ens your fa­cial hair.

Us­ing your ra­zor, shave cheeks first, the neck sec­ond, then around the lips last. Use your other hand to pull and keep your skin taut. Al­ways shave in the di­rec­tion of the grain or the growth of the hair, and with the sharpest ra­zor you can find. Let the blade do the work; never let it drag or hold your skin back. Done right, you won’t need to ap­ply ex­tra pres­sure. If you don’t know which way your fa­cial hair grows, let it grow out for a while then study the map of stub­bles on your face. Last, be ex­tra care­ful if you have acne, as nick­ing pim­ples will make them worse. Lather up again if you need to shave twice, again go­ing with the grain.

Post-shave skin means ir­ri­tated and still-open pores, so don’t put on any af­ter­shave im­me­di­ately. Ap­ply a cold, damp towel or splash a lit­tle cold wa­ter to your face first to close your pores, then use mois­tur­izer af­ter­wards for health­ier skin. Avoid shav­ing daily; al­low the skin to rest from the ir­ri­ta­tion of the pre­vi­ous shave.

But should you find shav­ing too cum­ber­some, maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and get a shave from your fa­vorite bar­ber. No harm or loss of cred there.

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