Today many men regard shaving as a daily chore which must be completed as quickly as possible. This is a pity as the benefits of a good traditional wet shave are many. It exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and allows the skin to breathe. The method also provides the closest possible shave with lasting results. However, too often the result of an incorrect shave, is discomfort in the form of razor-burn, rashes and dry-skin.
The key to the perfect shave is preparation. If possible, shave after a shower or apply hot water to the face prior to shaving to soften the beard and open the pores. Although shaving cream may be applied with the fingers, a richer lather is achieved with the use of a good quality shaving brush. The more thorough the lathering process, the better the shave. Use a small amount of glycerin-based shaving cream and rub onto the wet skin by moving the brush in a circular motion and back and forth over the skin, against the grain of the beard to produce good lather. Spend time on the lathering process, up to 2 or 3 minutes.
Always shave with the lie of the beard, never against. Failure to do this is the major cause of razor burn. Glide the razor gently over the skin, holding the skin taut with the free hand whilst shaving. Keep the razor well rinsed to avoid clogging the blade and apply more water if necessary, not more shaving cream. Repeat the process a second time if necessary.
After the shave, apply cold water to the face to close the pores and pat the skin dry. In the event of nicks or cuts, apply a moistened Block of Alum or Styptic pencil to stop the bleeding. Apply a skin food or moisturising balm to restore moisture and nourish the skin.
Care of the Brush & Razor
Rinse and flick dry the shaving brush and razor. Shaving brushes should always be allowed to dry naturally, with the hair pointing downward in a suitable stand, to prevent moisture seeping into the base of the brush. Never store a shaving brush in a closed cupboard where mildew may form.
Article courtesy of The Gentleman's Shop