Shaving hints, tips and products for young men with or without acne.
Posted Jan 26 2009 2:52pm
Shaving is not everyone’s favourite chore and for some it is associated with a feeling of horror. Shaving skin, especially if you have acne, can cause nicks and cuts very easily and the skin ends up looking blotchy and irritated - not a good look. Men's skin is shaven 9000 times over an average life time! So it is very important that men too look after their skin from an early age, to avoid premature aging of the skin. After all, men like to look good too for as long as we can, don't we?
Shaving and the adolescent male
Shaving is a male thing, well for the most part any way. Around the age of 14 is usually the time when beards start to grow and the ‘knife’ comes out. These days it’s a Gillette razor or some other brand. At the same time however, acne spots start to appear and shaving becomes a real challange. How do you shave around all those pimples?
The most obvious way around it is to use a good quality electric shaver. Usually this resolves the problem of cutting pimples and causing unnecessary pain and injury. However, you will need to follow a good skin care regime to remove the dead skin cells which build up on you skin, in order to promote healthy growth of new skin cells. We’ll discuss exfoliation later.
Make sure you use skin care products for sensitive skin when acne pimples are many and inflamed. It’s important to get the skin type right too. Dry, normal or oily skin, requires different approaches and in many cases there will be a couple of different skin types in any one individual.
For example, you may have a combination of dry and oily skin, or normal and oily skin. Usually with acne there is a component of oily skin – the nose, forehead are often oily, while the cheeks and chin areas are either normal or dry. You will need to keep this in mind in order to effectively treat your acne and shave without causing additional problems.
There are some basic principles that all you men should know about their skin and how to best conquer the shaving process.
It sounds easy enough, hey just put some shaving gel on your face and using a razor, take it off again, simple, how hard could it be?
The problem is not that the act of shaving is in itself difficult, it’s not, but unfortunately the skin can very much be a problem. If shaving is not done correctly, you could end up looking a bloody mess and have blotchy irritated skin and that is not a good look with which to impress the girls.
To start with, young men, and for that matter even mature men don’t realise that the beard hairs grow in different directions… The key is not to shave against the direction of the growth. In order to get a close shave, it is very important that the preparation stage for shaving is done correctly if a close shave is desired. It is even more importantif you're suffering from acne and do not want to ad to the irritation.
Shaving against the growth of the hair will give you a closer shave, but you increase the risk of nicks and cuts many fold and if you have acne, this can get rather bloody.
So, here’s how to get it right from the start.
Before we start, shave in the shower. This is a must because the warm water will open the facial pores, soften both the stubbles and the skin, and this promotes a better, closer shave. Also, there is much less risk of nicks and cuts if your skin is warmed by the hot water in the shower.
Ok, let’s get stated:
Step 1: Use an exfoliant - this gets rid of dead skin cells, which lifts your stubble and gives a closer shave, leafing your skin smooth and looking well groomed.
Wildcrafted’s Skin Renewal Gel is perfect for this job, because the herbs and essential oils contained in this product help not only to remove dead skin cells, but also nourishes the skin and provides nutrients the skin can utilise.
Step 2:Prepare the canvas - use the Vitalising Shaving Gel. This product combines pre-shave oiling of the skin and a shaving crème. Not only do you provide lubrication so the razor glides easily over the skin, but the essential oils in this product have antiseptic properties, so you reduce the risk of infections in the event of nicks or cuts from shaving. This helps you to get a smooth shave and the lubricating oils prevent nicks and cuts and will sooth acne rather than irritate it.
Once you have applied the Vitalising Shaving Gel to your face, work it into lather and then start shaving.
Step 3: Shaving - the best razor is one that lets you use a light stroke and you don’t need to push down too hard. Gillette’s M3 fits the bill, but there are other’s of similar quality. Using a brush to apply the Vitalising Shaving Gel will help lift the bristles and allow you to shave even closer, but your hands will do the job just fine.
If you use an electric shaver, it is still to your advantage to shave after you’ve had a shower, because the skin is warm, softer and the stubble are easier to shave off. Some of the newer electric shavers you can now use under the shower too – so take advantage of that and use the benefits of the ‘hot water’.
Step 4: Nicks and cuts? The Vitalising Shaving Gel, which leaves a residue on your skin even after you have finished shaving, contains essential oils which disinfect and help repair the skin. Just leave it on your face while you finish having a shower and then rinse it off.
Step 5: Moisturise. This is a must. After you have finished your shower, apply the Ginseng Hydrator specific for your skin type – remember you may need to use more than one if you have two different skin types. If you have a shiny skin, use the Ginseng Hydrator for Oily skin, if it looks dry and or dull, use the Ginseng Hydrator for Dry skin, else use the one for Normal skin.
Step 6: Restore - once or twice a week, use a natural clay mask to help your skin heal from the taxing process of shaving. The Earth Medicine Facial Clay range contains soothing minerals and oils to calm shaving irritation. It also helps to remove toxins that build up in the skin, especially if you suffer from acne.
If you are using an electric razor, all the steps except for Step 3 still apply. Using an electric razor can cause your skin to be quite itchy and using a moisturiser that sooths the irritated skin is very important.
So there you have it. Shaving can be easy and painless, as long as you follow the steps above, you should not have any trouble getting your stubbles under control. Remember, use the shower to shave, it really does help immensely as well as save you time, and it helps you to do a better job.
Danny Siegenthaler is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and together with his wife Susan, a medical herbalist and Aromatherapist, they have created Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products to share their 40 years of combined expertise with you.