Step 1: Prepare your skin
Before you start, take note of the direction your hair grows – it won’t all be in the same direction, especially on the neck. It’s important to shave with the hair and not against it. Wash your face with warm water to soften the beard and pores, weakening their grip on the hair. Using a facial scrub will exfoliate your skin and remove unwanted dead skin.
Our Pick: No7 Energising Face Scrub
Step 2: Lather up
Pre-soak a natural-hair brush in warm water for a couple of minutes, then shake off excess. You want the brush to be damp, not soaking wet. Work the soap or cream into the brush and onto the skin in a circular motion. This will lift up the hairs off the skin.
Our Pick: Edwin Jagger Badger Shaving Brush with Drip Stand and Billy Jealousy Whipped Cream Traditional Shave Lather
Step 3: Shave
Leave the frothy lather on for at least 30 seconds so it can soak into the hair and skin. Next, heat your razor under hot running water so that the blade is warm to the touch, helping it to glide across your face. Keep the blade at a 30-degree angle to your skin, shaving in the direction of the hair. This ensures hairs are cut the same length. You shouldn’t press on the blade too hard as this can cause razor burn and be sure to rinse the blade after every stroke. Also, don’t revisit the same area unless you re-lather the cream/foam. To get a closer shave, you can go over the area from a different direction but be warned, this increases the chances of ingrown hairs and irritation.
Our Pick: Gillette Fusion Proglide Flexball Razor
Step 4: Calm your skim
After the shave, rinse your face in clean warm water – not the same water from your shave with soap and hair in it. When your face is clean, rinse again with cold water to reduce the chances of irritation. Pat your beard dry with a clean towel and apply an aftershave balm to soothe the skin. Avoid alcohol-based cologne on freshly exfoliated skin as this can cause dryness and inflammation.
Our Pick: Kiehl’s Post Shave Repair Gel