Skip to content

The Best Purchase You Can Make For A Great Shave

Listen to this article

New “old school” wet shavers often face a bewildering assortment of products they want to try.  And the price range for these products can range from the ridiculously inexpensive to the positively obscene.  But there’s one thing everyone needs to buy themselves:


“Buy” the time to shave properly and your shave will improve not matter what products you use (well, almost all).  That includes the time you take before you shave, while you shave, and after you shave.  Luckily, the time you “spend” can be made enjoyable so it’s more of a pleasant diversion rather than a painful chore.

Preparing The Face

Doctors will tell you that it can take up to three minutes to properly hydrate your skin for a shave.  “Buy” the time to gently clean your face with lots of warm water and a facial soap that’s easy on the skin.  No deodorant or body bars here, please! Many will strip off too much of the natural skin oil needed for a sufficiently lubricated road for the razor to drive on.  There are products that are made specifically to clean the skin before shaving–Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap, Lucky Tiger Face Wash, and even the Gillette Fusion ProSeries Thermal Face Scrub come to mind–but even a simple, glycerin-based face soap will help.  Be sure to pay attention to the neck, often over-looked when washing the rest of the face.


Taking the time to build and apply lather is the next area that you should “buy.”  The time you “spend” here is going to be variable, depending on things like the particular product, the type of shaving brush, and even the mineral content of your water.  But do not rush the process–it takes however long it takes to make a good lather.  Practice…make a few “test lathers” to get the hang of it.  Yes there are a few short cuts to a better lather but even then you will need to take the time to experiment with them before getting it right.  One great thing about the lathering process is being able to bring in your other senses to the party.  Enjoy the feeling of warm, fragrant lather on your face!


Remember, your goal is not so much to remove hair as to reduce it.  “Spend” the time shave properly.  Don’t swipe at your face with half-asleep strokes–“pay” attention to what you’re doing!  Sure, you might be able to “save” a little time by using a cartridge razor with a pivot (assuming you want to “pay” the extra price!) but there is no substitute for good shave technique.


Finally, don’t forget to “spend” some time on keeping your skin in good condition after the shave.  Carefully wash any lather residue off your face then apply an after shave product that is good for your skin.  Maintaining your skin may seem unnecessary when you’re younger, but using a quality balm to heal and protect your skin will “pay you dividends” in the future.

So there you have it.  “Spend” the time necessary for a good shave and you will reap the benefits!

Related Posts:
Get Ready! 5 Pre-Shave Soaps That Really Work
Having A Hard Time Lathering? 3 Shortcuts To Better Lather (+ Bonus Idea)
10 Tips For A Better Shave On The Neck
What Ingredients Does Your Skin Really Need?


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

9 thoughts on “The Best Purchase You Can Make For A Great Shave”

  1. Great article! Shaving is indeed a ritual, long lost for most men because many prefer a quick dry shave because of lack of time. I agree that you must prepare properly in order to have a perfect shave and keep your skin in good condition. Many factors contribute to the end results and no step should be counted out when it comes to your face.
    From selecting pre shave treatments and the that can satisfy your needs (wet or dry shaving), to making sure your skin stays hydrated after shaving, every step has its influence on your skin. Not treating your skin right may result into skin irritation, acne and other affections. Keep the good advice rolling!

  2. I’m not really up to speed on just what ingredients go into shave soap, or creme, for that matter.
    But almost every soap uses some form of alkali.
    So then, since human skin’s naturally supposed to slightly acid,
    most of us will need *something* to restore the correct ph,
    after using “soap”.
    I like straight white vinegar, but if that’s just too much for you,
    you can thin it half and half [or more] with tap water.
    The object is to regain a slightly acid ph,
    instead of the alkali ph that almost all soaps leave behind.
    To me, the only negative [aside from the sting],
    is it usually ‘deodorizes’ whatever ‘smellum’ you used previously.
    But it seems to be good for the skin,
    and if you’re outdoors much,
    it also seems to help keep the bugs at bay.
    Have a GREAT day, and a GREAT shave, neighbors!

  3. I agree with your comment on using a scrub daily, with one exception. Aveeno makes a line of very gentle scrubs and scrub pads and they are the only thing I clean my face with on a daily basis…with the exception of my boar and badger brushes of course!

  4. I always look forward to a good shave and luckily I’m a truck driver so don’t need to be BBS every day which means I get a real sense of satisfaction when I spend up to 40 minutes removing upto a week’s worth of beard.
    I love the prep, I like trying different blades, creams, soaps, splashes and balms and rotate them and try them in different orders which means no two shaves are ever the same.

  5. Do you think the trend, compared to, say 4 years ago, has died off? Wet shaving used to be fun, but knowing all the tricks and being reminded of them on a constant basis is no fun and has made it lose its appeal.

  6. Pingback: The Best Purchase You Can Make For A Great Shave | straight razor shaving

  7. Amen to the purpose made face soaps. Another thing to watch out fore is “daily” face scrubs they’re good for exfoliating once or twice a week, but follow them up with a brush and run the risk of over-exfoliating your skin.
    Switching to shaving before bed also buys you plenty of time to shave properly if I shave with an aggressive razor and blade combo I can get a decent shave that lasts me into the early afternoon. Face lathering is another great way to
    shave a minute or two off and it does a real number on coarse whiskers.
    I would also recommend having a tube or tub of good quality brushless shave cream for the days you’re really in a hurry from my experience Shavex with glycerine and Almond oil is a good choice.

  8. Excellent reminders! I was a year into DE shaving before I discovered the importance of good prep. No razor, blade, soap, cream or brush can be accurately tested if the foundation of the shave is weak. Paying attention to these basics is absolutely essential to a good shave!

Comments are closed.