Posted by Patrick Levesque
It seems everyone is always on the quest for the perfect shave - after all, a great shave really affects your overall look and also the way you feel. When you have a great shave, you're that much more ready to take on the world. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you know what I mean - a great shave is important!

With this in mind, I thought I'd share 10 Tips To Improve Your Shaving Technique that I incorporate into my own personal grooming routine. Everyone's skin and facial hair is different, but there are certain things you can do across the board to improve your shave. Let's get to them, shall we?

10. Shave In The Shower

If possible, shaving in the shower is a great way to get a better shave because the hot water and steam will help to relax your face, open up your pores, and softens up your whiskers. This will make for a closer, less irritating shave. If you're like me and require a mirror to shave, then just make sure you get a mirror for your shower. Simple as that! 
Shaving in the shower also helps save time in your morning routine. Rather than showering, then getting set up at the sink for your shave, you're combining the steps and being more efficient. 

9. Scrub Before You Shave 
For some reason, some people have told me that they thought you were supposed to scrub after you shave - the thought of doing that makes my blood go cold! Taking a blade to your face is harsh enough - you don't need to go rubbing it with an exfoliant afterwards! 

It's scrubbing before the shave that matters. Just like with shaving in the shower, this is going to prepare your face for the best possible shave. By using a scrub, you are getting rid of dead skin cells and excess oil and dirt that can clog your razor. You are also loosening up the beard hairs and whiskers so they're ready to go when you're ready to shave. 

Regardless of shaving, you want to use a scrub a few times a week anyway to keep your skin looking fresh a radiant, as opposed to dull. Scrubbing before you shave just happens to be the best time to do it and an easy way to remember to exfoliate every few days. When you use a scrub, this can replace your cleanser step as you will also be cleansing your face at the same time. One of my favourite scrubs right now is the Urth Face Scrub, but there are also several others to choose from as well. 

8. Shave With The Grain

You may or may not already know this, but you should shave with the grain to avoid irritation and ingrown hairs. For me, I then make a second pass against the grain, then follow up with a third with the grain again. I find this allows me to get the closest shave possible, while not angering the hairs on my face. 
Ingrown hairs are the worst, but I find I barely ever get them anymore with the incorporation of techniques such as these into my routine. 

7. Use A Good Quality Razor, That Is Not Dull

There are so many razors on the market this days ranging from one blade to twenty. Well, maybe not twenty, but the numbers seem to keep increasing. I believe that the Mach 3s are still the best and anything more than the three blades on this razor is too much. Mach 3s provide a great shave, every time and you can keep them sharp by ensure that it's clean after every use. 

One of the biggest complaints we hear these days is how expensive blades are (including Mach 3s). Well, you should know that you can prolong the life of your blades (even disposables) by using the RazorPit  razor sharpener. It actually does work and I find I don't need to change my blade for three months at a time! Insane right? 

In addition to Mach 3s, Safety Razors (going back to the Old School) are one of the best ways to get a good shave without being too harsh on your face. You also save a lot of money on blades because these blades are very inexpensive. With Safety Razors, you have to take a bit more time with your shave and practice makes perfect, but the people that shave with these swear by it. Many people who suffer from ingrown hairs and razor burn have switched to Safety Razors for this reason and no longer have the same issues. 

6. Use A Good Quality Shave Cream/Gel

Using a quality shaving cream can make all the difference. So, if you're using that foamy/airy stuff, you may choose to reconsider. Remember, you're taking a blade to your face so you want to make it as gentle and experience by using a denser shaving cream or gel that is going to hydrate and soothe your skin in the process. 
Some of my favorites include the Supreme Cream from Jack Black, all of the Geo. F. Trumper Shaving Creams, and Ursa Major Shave Cream to name a few. That being said, there are plenty of other award winning shaving creams and gels to choose from that you may prefer yourself. 

5. Use A Good After Shave Product

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but you've just taken a blade to your face so it's important to make sure you soothe & repair afterwards. 

Think of it like when you work out or play a game of sports. Technically, you should be stretching afterward so that you're in good shape for the next game, right? Well, the same goes for shaving. If you take care of your skin afterward, you're skill will be that much more able to handle your next shave. 

Of course there are several after shave products to choose from, but my all time favorite has to be the Post Shave Repair from Menscience. It's just a spray, but jam-packed with great ingredients to calm your skin down and help prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs, etc. I love the fact that it comes out almost like a mist because it absorbs very quickly and in a matter of seconds, I'm ready to apply my moisturizer. I also like this because I'm not putting a moisturizer on top of an aftershave lotion. It's just that much lighter, but to each their own. 

4. Have A Plan For Nicks & Cuts

Every now and then when you're not paying attention, rushing, or something has thrown your routine off a bit, you get a nick or cut. Ideally, these are few and far between but you want to be equipped and ready just in case it happens.

A great way to help stop bleeding is with an alum block or styptic pencil. This helps to clot the blood so the boo-boo is minimized. Another personal trick I came up with is using a dab of your clay mask to stop the bleeding and speed healing. It's so much better than using toilet paper and works like a charm. There are several face masks to choose from - a clay one works best. 

3. Moisturize

Regardless of shaving, moisturizing is one of the most important parts of your skincare routine. It helps to protect and repair your face and even helps with anti-aging. As previously mentioned, because men take a blade to their faces, it's important to take extra care in between shaves so that your face is fully prepared to handle each and every shave. Your face will thank you and you'll be a much happier camper when you look in the mirror. Moisturizer morning and night, every day! One of my favourite moisturizers is the Vitamin E Face Moisturizer from (MALIN+GOETZ). Again, many other options available as well, including ones with SPF. 

2. Take Your Time 

This seems like a no-brainer, but this is where things can go back and where you'll get the nicks and cuts if you rush. Give yourself ample time to shave so that you are ensuring that you are careful and not aggressive. 
If you think you are going to be rushed in the morning, shave the night before so that you don't have to rush as much in the AM. You might rush eating your breakfast or eat it on the go, but shaving is certainly something you don't want to speed up too much. 

1. Give Your Face A Break

Lastly, give your face a break. If you don't have to shave on the weekends, don't. Your skin deserves a break every now and then. You'll notice the difference after letting your skin rest between shaves longer than normal. Your first shave "back" will leave your skin feeling amazing. Personally, I try to give myself a break whenever possible. 

Hopefully, these tips and suggestions will help you improve and enjoy your shaves that much more. Happy shaving, gentlemen!