“Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving.” — Albert Einstein

Call me traditional! But I like my men clean shaven. I guess the Russian Emperor, Peter the Great, did too. In fact, in 1698 he laid out a beard tax. After spending some time in Europe and seeing that the men there shave, he comes back home to Russia and thought about modernizing his country. Of course, the way to modernize it is to get everyone to shave. So, he ordered people who wanted to keep their beards to pay money… a lot of money. And they needed to carry around a beard token as proof they have paid the tax or risk having their beard shaved by the police.

At Skinsense, while we’re not the beard police but we have quite a few male clients who’ve had some shaving issues — nicks, irritation, and ingrown hair. So, we have some tips to help ease this necessary and often irritating daily ritual.

The basic tools

If you prefer the old-fashioned way

  1. A good razor — non-disposable, preferably a single blade.
  2. A good brush — preferably Badger and English made.
  3. Lots of hot water.

Or prefer the modern way

  1. A good razor — non-disposable, preferably a single blade.
  2. Good quality shaving creme in a tub (not a can) — think lilacs and violets and loads of lather. Initially more expensive but longer lasting.
  3. Topical salicylic acid and/or Neosporin creme.
  4. Gentle toner and soothing aftershave balm.

The technique

  • Make sure the night before you shave that you apply plenty of moisturizer. It will make the overnight hair growth softer and less resilient.
  • In the morning, shower first, and then shave. If you don’t shower, then fill a wash basin with plenty of hot water and splash the skin thoroughly or use a warm towel on the face before beginning to shave. For best results, the skin needs to be wet.
  • Next, wet your brush well, twirl it around in the shaving creme and apply to the face lavishly. Work up a really rich lather.
  • Take your razor and either shave with downward strokes, or go with the grain when you can, keeping the blade wet at all times. Use gentle pressure and let the weight of the razor guide you.
  • When all the beard growth has been removed, splash with cool water and pat the skin dry with a towel.
  • Apply a gentle toner to the whole face.
  • If there are any nicks, cuts or ingrown hairs, spot treat with a 2% salicylic acid or a dab of the Neosporin relief creme. Avoid any topicals that contain alcohol.
  • Finish with a light, soothing moisturizer and SPF.

In addition, use a silk pillowcase when you sleep. Why? There are two benefits from sleeping with a silk pillowcase. Not only will your face be less wrinkled in the morning, but you will be less likely to get ingrown hairs.

And one final tip… don’t shave on the same day as your facial treatment. The skin will be more sensitive to certain protocols and possibly limit the overall benefits.

For more skincare tips, visit our websitecall us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.