clean shave

February 19, 2021
By Alexa Erickson
In Eco-Wellness

Achieve a Clean Shave Without Stripping Your Face

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Good things come to those who are patient. In the case of shaving, this couldn’t be truer. Shaving is a form of upkeep that offers little forgiveness. A worn out razor, the wrong razor, subpar products, and improper practices can cause nicks, cuts, razor burns, blemishes, dry skin and more. A clean shave begins with having the right tools and practices in your arsenal, but it’s not all as “cut and dry” as it seems.

A Cut-throat Decision: Picking Your Razor

The saying goes, “different strokes for different folks,” and it applies to the type of razor you use, too. Your skin and your hair structure are different than the other guy’s, and that means the same razor doesn’t work for everyone.

The electric razor is great for a convenient and quick shave, but is rarely effective at getting a close shave. It’s also not ideal for guys who suffer from acne or are prone to skin irritation.

The cartridge razor features a flexible center that follows the shape of your face. They’re great for beginners and anyone who can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to nicking themselves while shaving. The downside is how expensive the replaceable cartridges are, and if you don’t replace the blade after a few shaves, you’re subjecting yourself to a dull razor that will surely increase skin irritation.

A double edge razor is a great option for those who suffer from severe acne or skin irritation. It will give you an amazing close and clean shave, and about five shaves before the blade needs to be replaced. The bonus here is that the blades are a fraction of the cost compared to the cartridge variety. However, there’s a learning curve when it comes to using a double edge razor, and you’ll want to invest some time in getting the technique down pat.

Finally, there’s the straight razor. It’s the most old-school, cost effective and trickiest of the bunch. It requires serious practice, but offers the closest of shaves.

Go With Your Gut: Feed Your Skin’s Microbiome

Did you know your skin has its own “gut”? Well, kind of. The skin microbiome, also referred to as the skin flora, consists of the trillions of bugs that live on your skin. A healthy skin microbiome can protect you from infection, inflammation, environmental aggressors and more. Using products to nourish it can make all the difference in your clean shave game.

An imbalanced microbiome is compromised by what you put on your skin and what you put in your body. When it comes to shaving, everything you do, from the cleanser you use to the exfoliator you choose, can benefit your skin’s microbiome. Cleansers, scrubs, serums and moisturizers with probiotics are a great place to start. Probiotics help maintain the skin’s natural pH levels . Another ingredient to put on your shortlist is ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), which helps restore microbiome balance.

Cleanse for the Cause: It’s Your First Step to Success

Achieving a flawless shave begins with a solid skincare routine. The bottom line is this: Your facial cleanser should wash your face of dirt, oil and dead skin cells while leaving its natural oils.

Slough Away the Day: With Exfoliation

Exfoliating is a far overlooked step in the skincare process, especially when it comes to achieving a clean shave. Using an exfoliator is actually your secret weapon to avoiding razor burn. An exfoliator sloughs away pesky dead skin cells — likely the ones hiding ingrown hairs.

We know what you’re thinking: an exfoliator seems synonymous with face-stripping. But not all exfoliators are created equal. Look for a scrub that looks to gently exfoliate while nourishing the skin, such as fatty acid-rich coconut oil.

“Pore” Your Face a Drink: of Warm Water

Once you’re done exfoliating, open your pores by pressing a warm cloth to your face for several seconds. This process will help avoid irritated skin and ingrown hairs. The warm water will also soften the hairs on your face, making them weaker and straighter so they’re easier to cut.

Lather Up: For an Effortless Glide

In case you need to be told, lubricating your face before raising the blade to it is pertinent for a clean shave. And again, you have options! There’s the popular shaving cream, the shave soap bar, and even shaving butter. Look for an option. that’s rich in moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and coconut oil to heal, hydrate and prevent the skin from drying out. Shaving creams which are fragrance free and soap free with ingredients like turmeric help minimize inflammation and ensure even the most sensitive skin is not stripped and irritated.

Shave With Care: Until You’re Handsomely Bare

We don’t want to belittle your ability to shave, but we do want you to keep in mind just how important doing it right is. Remember to use a high-quality razor —that’s right for YOUR skin. Go with the grain of your hairs, applying gentle, short strokes and avoiding passing over the same spot twice. Be sure to clean the blade between strokes. Together, these steps will avoid irritation. Rinse off with cool water to close the pores, then pat dry with a clean towel. Finally, dry your razor thoroughly once finished to keep it from dulling and rusting.

Aftershave: It’s Not an Afterthought

Aftershave is like putting the final touches on the most delectable dessert. You’ll look too good to touch! We’ll admit, many aftershaves on the shelves tend to lend a hand in irritation, that’s why we recommend an aftershave balm, rich in soothing ingredients like aloe leaf juice, coconut oil, sandalwood oil, witch hazel, vitamin E, neem seed oil and white willow bark. Ingredients like these will provide incredible cooling and a refreshing finish to your shave without drying your skin out.

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