When you hear about skin care, almost all people will automatically connect it with washing your face with a cleanser, exfoliator and using moisturizer, eye cream, and other skin care products. However, no one will mention about shaving, shaving cream or razor as part of skin care.
Why is shaving not mention when talking about skincare? After all, you are tending your skin when you are shaving. It is time for men to change their thinking to skin care and how it relates to shaving.
Recently, I came across an article by the International Dermal Institute, and according to their survey, almost 80 percent of men have at least one skin problem and, the selection of their shaving products are rarely taken into account. This is no surprise to me.
I noticed a lot of men put so much focus on having the right skin care routine or using the right cleanser, face scrub, and moisturizer and yet, their face still looks like the map of the Rocky Mountains with acne, ingrown hair and razor bumps.
When I asked these guys about their shaving routine and what products they are using, their answers usually involve cheap shaving cream or gel in a can and disposable razors. They are spending $20 to $30 on cleansers, face scrub, and moisturizers but they underinvest when it comes to shaving. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t put all the blame on them for their shortfalls.
That’s because most skin care experts on the internet, TV and in person are giving you the usual mainstream advice to wash your face with a cleanser every day, scrub your face weekly and put on moisturizer every day to protect your skin. I have seen so much emphasis on these tactics and shaving hardly get mentioned when it comes to improving skin care.
What To Focus On
I believe you should focus on using the right razor, shaving cream and aftershave with proper shaving technique before anything else.
Shaving puts a lot of stress on your skin. You are pressing the razor on your skin and then dragging it on your face and neck, which removes skin and natural oils in the process. If you are using multi-blade razors, then you are removing much more skin and oil!
I center my skin care routine around shaving instead of using the traditional skin care method.
The image above is how I approach my skincare routine. Shaving is the centerpiece of my routine, and I perfected the art of shaving before anything else.
As illustrated in the image, when it comes to shaving, you must answer three questions:
- What is your skin type? The different skin types are normal, dry, oily, sensitive or combination of various types. Which one are you?
- What is your hair type? Is your facial hair straight or curly and wiry? Most black men have curly, and wiry facial hair and they are more likely to suffer razor bumps and ingrown hair.
- Do you have a skin allergy or other skin condition? This is very important for own safety. Some people are allergic to almond and many shaving creams have sweet almond oil. Also, if you are suffering from acne or other skin problems like razor bumps, then you need a different shaving method or use different products.
One Skin Care Size Does Not Fit All
These questions are essential because shaving is not one size fits all. There are shaving creams and razors that will not work well for you depending on your skin type and hair type. For example, black men suffer from ingrown hair and razor bump because their hair is more likely to grow into their skin.
That’s why I always recommend black men to switch to a safety razor and always shave with the grain to minimize the problem of ingrown hair and razor bumps.
When it comes to shaving cream, that also depends on your skin type and skin allergy. If you have dry skin, then you should use a moisturizing shaving cream to hydrate the skin. If you have sensitive skin, then you should look for shaving cream with no harsh chemicals and fragrance oil. Men with healthy skin can use almost any shaving cream.
One last thing about shaving cream, all men should avoid shaving cream and gel in a can. The harsh chemicals in those shaving creams are simply not good for your skin even if you claim you get a clean shave. There are also reports that a chemical in shaving creams called phthalates is causing low sperm count.
Next, I would focus on my pre-shave routine. You may know the famous quote in Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.”
The same thing can be applied to shaving. The one thing I learned about shaving is what you do before shaving determines if you will have a good shave or bad shave. A proper pre-shave routine will set up a great shave. This involves using a facial cleanser daily and a face scrub to exfoliate the skin weekly. This will help remove dead skin and bacteria from the skin to avoid skin irritation and razor burns. It also helps stand up the facial hair to prevent razor bumps and ingrown hair. This part is especially important for men.
For the post-shave routine, I would use aftershave balm on my shaving days and a moisturizer on my non-shaving days.
There are two types of aftershave balm, alcohol and alcohol-free balm. Alcohol is good at killing bacteria and preventing skin infection. Also, it can help in toning the skin. Alcohol can be used for those with normal or oily skin. If you have sensitive or dry skin, then you should consider the alcohol-free balm. The downside of alcohol is that it can quickly dehydrate the skin which can lead to dry skin and premature aging. It is especially bad for the skin in the winter where your skin can quickly dry up in the chilly weather.
I recommend using aftershave with natural ingredients to hydrate the skin regardless of your skin type. Your skin is thirsty for moisture after a shave, and if you do not give it some moisture, then it will dry up, and wrinkle will start to show over time. Natural ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera, olive oil and flaxseed oil are all good anti-inflammatory agents.
When looking for a moisturizer, it is simple. It also comes down to your skin type and your lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time outside, then you have a high risk of premature aging so you should consider using a moisturizer with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) ranging from 5 to 30 SPF.
In conclusion, having a proper skin care routine is simple. You don’t need to overwhelm yourselves with the pundits on the internet and television to tell you what you need to do. All you need to do is determine your skin type, hair type, and skin allergy (if any), set a proper shaving routine and map out the rest of the skincare routine from there.
So, if you are struggling with razor bump, dry skin, skin irritation and acne, it is never too late to fix the damage to a vibrant and healthy skin.
About the Author:
Mo is on the mission to get every man to ditch those cheap shaving creams in a can. He is also the man behind Wadi Men’s Care, a natural and organic shave and skin brand made by men and just for the men. He serves men with premium shave and skin products made with no harsh chemicals and plant-based ingredients proven to work for many centuries. Wadi Men’s Care was created for the manly men that want a natural shave and skin brand just for them. He is also the editor of the Men’s Care Cave blog.