SUNDAY, Feb. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Guys, a perfect shave may be more about preparation and technique than the actual razor.
"The perfect shave is a combination of art and trial and error," said Dr. Robert Anolik, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine.
"That said, there are steps you can take to help ensure a clean and comfortable shave," he said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release.
First, wet your skin and hair to soften it. An ideal time to shave is immediately after a shower. Your skin will be warm, moist and free of excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog up your razor blade, Anolik said.
Use a foaming shaving cream. If your skin is very dry or easily irritated, choose one that's meant for sensitive skin.
"Using a circular motion, apply a small amount of the cream to your face using your fingers or a shave brush. A shave brush can help by lifting the hairs and more evenly coating them with the shaving cream," Anolik said.
Let the cream sit for two to three minutes, and then start shaving in the direction that your facial hair grows. This will help prevent razor bumps and burns. Rinse after each swipe of the razor.
Change your razor blade or throw away disposable razors after five to seven shaves, Anolik advised.
After you finish shaving, rinse your face with cold water to ease inflammation. Then apply a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Between shaves, make sure your razor dries completely to prevent growth of bacteria. Store it in a dry location.
"If you're using the right technique but still experiencing razor bumps, razor burns or ingrown hairs, consider switching razors," said Anolik.
"For some men, multi-blade razors can work too well, or shave too closely to their skin. Try using a single- or two-blade razor instead and do not stretch your skin taut while shaving," he suggested.
The American Academy of Dermatology has more on men's skin care.