Your Shaving Technique Might be Wrecking Your Skin—Here’s How to Protect it

Learning how to care for your skin before, while and after shaving is an integral part of a men’s skincare routine. Follow these simple steps to avoid razor burn, ingrown hair and irritation.

By Adarsh Soni
08 Sep 2021

Almost everyone is familiar with the basic concept of shaving—just pick up a razor and drag it across your face until the stubble disappears—it’s that simple. But is it? Removing your facial hair isn’t something to just get over with. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the skin on your face is several times more sensitive than the rest of your body. So it rightfully deserves more attention.

Not just that, shaving your skin incorrectly can also lead to ingrown hair. A bunch of ingrown hairs might appear harmless on the surface but once infected, they can cause serious issues like ingrown hair cyst, hyperpigmentation and even hair follicle destruction. But it doesn’t have to reach that point as long as you’re taking good care of your facial hair and skin. Here’s how to start.



Cleanse your face before beginning
This rids the skin and facial hair of excess oil, grime, and pollution—the stuff that might otherwise get trapped in your razor or irritate the face. Use a gentle cleanser and warm water to wash your face because warm water relaxes your pores, making it easier for the razor blade to work.


Gently exfoliate your skin
Sometimes just washing your face is not enough for removing the stubborn dirt and grime that gets collected on your skin throughout the day. Which is why exfoliation is important before proceeding with your shaving routine. A good quality scrub gets rid of excess dead skin cells that could otherwise cause razor drag or clog the widely opened pores. But only use a mild scrub as heavy exfoliation can make your skin temporarily sensitive, and you don’t want that right before shaving it with a sharp razor.

Apply pre-shave oil to soften the skin and facial hair
A pre-shave oil nourishes the skin and conditions the facial hair, making them both more receptive to a razor blade shave. The oil also creates a rich layer on top of the skin, so that the blade glides smoothly and with little resistance. Men tend to have oily skin in general which is why you should opt for non-comedogenic oils like tea tree, neem, rosehip and squalene, as they won’t clog your pores.

Pay more attention to how you shave
When you apply your shaving cream, do so in an upward motion, so as to lift the hair strands up and away from the face. This results in a smoother and more precise shave. Also make sure that you use a sharp blade and shave in the direction that your hair grows in. This lowers the chances of ingrown hair and painful red bumps. A general rule of thumb is discarding your razor after every five-six shaves.


Conceal your pores after shaving
Similar to how warm water opens your pores, washing your face with cold water tightens them. You should also apply a vitamin and antioxidant rich aftershave lotion or balm to nourish the skin. A good quality after-shave also doubles up as a toner for male skin and helps maintain its pH balance while getting rid of any excess oil.


Hydrate and protect your skin
Now that you’re done with cleansing, exfoliating, shaving and toning, it’s necessary to moisturise your skin with a gel or cream that goes with your skin type. It helps return the moisture that might have been lost due to the drying ingredients commonly found in shaving creams and after-shave products.

Freshly shaved skin can be extremely vulnerable to sun damage, which is why you should never forget to put on a layer of sunscreen before stepping out.


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