My friends over at Grooming Lounge asked me to put together a video about how to use their “Greatest Shave Ever” kit. Although it’s mostly fundamental kinds of things if you’re a regular Sharpologist reader, there are some subtleties that can squeeze out more performance from their products. Here are my tips.
Before The Shave
Making sure the area to be shaved is clean is an important aspect of getting good results. You want to be sure the skin is clean and hydrated before you begin shaving. But you don’t want to use a plain ol’ bar of soap (like a deodorant soap or “body bar”): it will strip off too much of the skin’s natural oils and make shaving more difficult. Instead you want to use something that’s made specifically for the face, like Grooming Lounge Mug Cleaner Face Wash.* Even if you’re shaving something other than the face, use a facial cleanser on the area. If you are going to be shaving your face be sure to pay close attention to your neck area as well!
(Ingredients: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Hexylene Glycol, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG-25-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Caster Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride)
Tips: Grooming Lounge says use about a quarter-sized amount and on generously-wet face. Doctors tell me it takes about three minutes to properly hydrate the skin for shaving. I like to spend at least one minute just rinsing thoroughly before cleansing, then take the rest of that time for a thorough washing. By the way, be sure your hands are clean before you start (yes, you can use the Mug Cleaner to do that too). If your hands are dirty you are just making it that much tougher to clean the area to be shaved.
If you have particularly thick, multi-day stubble or maybe just want to take out some extra shaving insurance, consider adding a pre-shave like Beard Master Shave Oil* to your shave prep routine. It may provide some extra lubrication to make the blade cut more efficiently.
(Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam)Seed Oil 1%, Oryza Sativa(Rice) Bran Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus(Clove)Flower Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita Peppermint)Oil, Copaifera Officinalis(Balsam Copaiba)Resin, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima(Avocado) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Palmitate.)
A couple other things to know before you shave.
Knowing how the hair grows is essential to a comfortable (and hence, more enjoyable) shave because it allows you to remove hair with less chance of irritation. Understanding beard growth is essential when using a multi-blade razor! It is less essential when using a single blade razor but still important.
Assuming you’re shaving your face, here is an image you can print off and use:
No matter what kind of razor you use, another essential razor technique is to shave in passes, with each pass progressively removing hair more closely to the skin. Even multi-blade razors follow this technique, along with the “grain.”
It may seem obvious but a good, enjoyable shave needs a good, sharp blade to shave with. That means not using a blade or cartridge that is beyond it’s prime.
During The Shave
Now it’s time to lather up. Grooming Lounge’s Beard Destroyer Shave Cream* is a low-lathering but thick and rich cream that is exceptionally cushioning for me. If you’re using an aggressive razor or have particularly sensitive skin this might be just the stuff for you. This cream is meant to be used brushless, and if you’re used to an “old school” lathering cream or soap this cream may look a little dry to you in comparison.
(Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Esters, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Rosmarinus Officianalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Santalum Album (Sandawood) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Myrtus Communis Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.)
Tip: I’ve found that if I add a bit of additional water to my hands and face while I’m lathering it becomes even slicker.
Just like any other shave product, you want to follow good shaving fundamentals: light, careful strokes with the grain for a first pass. If you want a closer shave, re-lather and shave across the grain. If you want a still-closer shave, re-lather and shave against the grain if your skin can tolerate it.
After The Shave
After you have shaved you should rinse the area well to remove any lather residue that may have been left behind. Rinse with warm water first. Some people will soak a cotton pad with Witch Hazel and wipe the area clean as an additional measure. Then rinse with cool water.
After you have addressed any “oops” issues it is time to apply your aftershave product, like Grooming Lounge’s Best For Last Aftershave.*
(Ingredients: Water,C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate,Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol,Cetearyl Alcohol,Dipropylene Glycol,Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Fragrance,Lavandula Soechas Extract,Boswellia Serrata(Olibanum)Gum,Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis(Sweet Almond)Oil, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone,Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Titanium Dioxide [CI 77891])
Tip: Aftershave products (particularly balms) are best applied onto wet skin with wet hands.
I think Grooming Lounge has a pretty solid lineup of products for your shave.
This post is sponsored by Grooming Lounge.