Skip to content

Five Essential Concepts For A Good Wet Shave

Listen to this article

More Water: I’ve had several physicians tell me that it can take up to three minutes to properly prepare the skin and beard for shaving. That means lots and lots of hot (but not too hot!) water, first cleaning the area with a mild facial soap (no deodorant body bars!) then lots and lots of rinsing. Take the time to prepare and you may not need those weird oils, pastes, or scrubs that might do more harm than good if they react with your skin.

Less Air: Shaving gels or foams from a pressurized can are evil…evil…EEEVIIIIILLLL! The propellants displace water and the manufacturers then add artificial lubricants that at best do nothing and at worst can irritate the skin.

Know Thyself: Take the time to understand how your beard grows and reacts. Ingrown hairs when you shave a certain way? Don’t shave that way. And take the time to shave “cognisantly”–don’t rush!

Reduce, Not Eliminate: Consider that the beard will always grow back…there’s no way to stop it. The best you can do is to reduce the beard, so reduce slowly and carefully for the best-looking, longest-lasting results.

The Right Tools For the Right Job: The latest-and-greatest razor with the cheapest possible canned shave foam may be great marketing but lousy for your face. Do you have to use a 7 blade razor when a 3 (or 2…or 1) blade will do? Won’t a $2 puck of shave soap used with a shaving brush not only save money but produce a more effective lather?


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

2 thoughts on “Five Essential Concepts For A Good Wet Shave”

  1. Something that might interest you guys. If your favorite razor is a Merkur progress go to and order a Mergress. It’s a progress with a metal not plastic tip and blacked dots so you can read the numbers better.Everything Merkur should have done but didn’t. No I don’t get a dime if you buy one. Yes I love my razor. Lee himself called my house when there was a delay with my order. Does anyone else give customer service like that any more? Check it out you will not be sorry.

  2. Those are nice and to the point. I would like to expand the third point Know Thyself.
    Everyone is different and everyone’s beard is different. That means the setup that works best for me might not be the best for you. You have to be willing to try new techniques (and equipment) until you find what works best for you.
    It’s a great concise list though.

Comments are closed.