Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Art of Shaving

With a fairly strong background in skin care and aesthetics, and having what I consider pretty fabulous skin myself, I'm often asked about shaving techniques and tips. And judging by the fall/winter print advertisements of high fashion houses, the perfect shave may be the season's most sought after accessory for men.

1. While you're taking a shower, remember this: the more steam, the better. Steam opens up the pores, helps slough off dead skin cells, and preps the skin to receive treatment. In the steamy shower, first exfoliate your face. This is the process of removing dead skin cells, dirt, grime, and any other debris on the skin's surface. I use Origin's Never A Dull Moment. Next, wash your face and neck. Any soap-free, alcohol-free face wash should be good, especially if it's all natural. I use the Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash, and have had great results.

2. After your shower is complete and your face is still damp, I apply the shaving cream. The best shaving cream I've ever used is from The Art of Shaving in Lemon Essential Oil. I dab about the size of a quarter worth of product onto my hand, and gently massage the cream onto my face. The more you massage into the skin/hair, the better. Once my face and neck are covered in cream, I let it sit on my face for about 5 minutes. This will soften the hair, and in turn prepare for an easier shave.

3. Next, shave the hair in gently, steady strokes. Apply even pressure. Shave in the direction of the hair. Be sure to take your time. The fewer the strokes you make, the better. Rinse the blade often to free it of debris and excess shaving cream.

4. After you're done shaving in the direction of the hair, relather your face with shaving cream. After about 5 minutes, reshave your face, this time going in the OPPOSITE direction that the hair grows. This will result in the smoothest, closest shave.

5. After shaving, rinse your face with COLD water. This will rinse away any excess shaving cream, and help seal the pores closed. Follow with an alcohol free antiseptic/balancing tonic, and finish with your remaining skincare regime.

The safety razor was invented in 1903 by King Gillette (yes, that was his real name!). It was a revolutionary invention that forever changed the way people shave, as the blades were designed to be used for a short time and then thrown away. Remember to change your disposable razor blades often. I typically change the blade every 3-4 shaves. Follow these steps to smoothness!

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