So you’ve already done the smart thing: you’ve ditched your chaotic, hairy pile of plastic multi-blade razors, and upgraded to a sleek, sturdy single-blade. (Haven’t actually made the switch yet? Read this.)
But what about shave cream?
If you’ve never given thought to your pre-shave routine, we can hardly blame you. A surprising number of people still believe that all shaving creams are fundamentally the same: after all, the humble $3 tube which served you well enough as a pimply 15-year-old doesn’t look all that different from a more high-end cream, right?
Wrong. When you’re applying something to your face nearly every day for decades, it’s important to choose the right product. And it’s also essential that you use the right technique.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up three common mistakes you might be making with your current shaving cream setup – and why it’s time to take your shave routine to the next level.
Using canned, foaming shaving cream full of alcohol and chemical preservatives.
Because alcohol tends to strip away the healthy fatty layer on skin which keeps the moisture in, shaving creams that contain alcohol can often cause your face to feel dry throughout the day. Instead of being fresh-faced, you’ll feel dried-out – which leads to irritated skin and premature aging.
Get rid of your alcohol-based shaving cream, and opt for something with soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter. These ingredients act as natural moisturizers, and make your skin feel more youthful and supple after every shave.
Our Ultra Lather Shaving Cream is designed to do exactly that.
Using an insufficient amount of shave gel, oil, or butter to prep your beard
A lot of people don’t apply enough shaving cream to their face before each shave. To explain why this is a bad habit, it’s worth thinking about why cream is necessary in the first place.
Shaving cream acts as a buffer between your skin and the ultra-sharp metal blade gliding across it. If you were to shave with water alone, that “glide” would become a “scrape”. You’d be exposing raw skin to cuts, rashes, and razor-burn – which is as bad for you as it sounds.
Using a thin layer of shave cream is better than nothing – but for the best possible shave, you should aim for a thick cushion of lather every time. This will reduce the risk of irritation, cuts, and ingrown hairs. If you miss a spot, apply more cream before going over it a second pass.
For more info on how to create a perfect, foamy lather, check out this blog post.
Shaving without properly exfoliating your skin or prepping your beard beforehand.
When you apply shaving cream with your hands, it doesn’t get fully absorbed into your hair – which means the hair won’t be as soft (and thus as easy to shave) as it could be. Your hands also aren’t great exfoliators; things like dirt and dead skin cells will remain beneath hair, with the potential to cause problems like ingrown hairs.
Use a shave brush like this one. Shave brushes don’t just create a luxuriously thick lather – they also fully prep your hair follicles for a shave, allowing the blade to cut hair at the surface of the skin with minimal nicks or irritation. Oh, and did we mention that they’re the grooming equivalent of an Old Fashioned? Cheers.