Parsa Rad - Men's Grooming Expert

The perfect wet shave

Nothing beats the feeling of stepping out into the world after a really sharp shave; you definitely feel like you’re ready for whatever the day - or evening - might throw at you.

Here then are my 10 commandments for the perfect wet shave:

1. Scrub

As with many things, the difference between good and great in terms of shaving is in the preparation. And a great shave begins the night before: three times a week use a face scrub before you go to bed to reduce ingrowing hairs and remove dead-skin cells.

2. Shower

Always shower before shaving: this softens up the skin and stubble and makes things easier to work with.

3. Face wash

Use a dedicated face wash in the shower, rather than your regular shower gel. What works for your armpits might not be as kind on your face – and that’s the bit of your body everyone is going to see. A good product such as The Refinary Face Wash removes dirt and oil without being too harsh on your skin. 

4. Pre shave oil

This is one of the key ingredients of your shave, and too many men skip it. Using oil on your face here lubricates the skin, softening the bristles and helps us get a nice close shave without dehydrating your face.

5. Shave foam gel and a badger brush

The benefit of using a good quality badger-hair brush to apply the gel or shaving cream in a circular motion is that the bristles lift your beard evenly away from your face, unlike the effect of putting it on with your hands. The combination further softens your stubble, preparing it for the razor.  

6. The blade

While I am a fan of the cut-throat razor, you need to know how to use it. But, unless you really know what you’re doing, for home use I’d go for something like a Gillette Mac Three or, if you prefer a double edge, I recommend Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge blades. And make sure you change the blade twice a week, as the edge dulls quickly.

7. Technique

After all that, now we’re finally shaving. Pick a side, start by the sideburn / ear and, with small strokes, work with the grain towards the mouth. Use your other hand to gently pull the skin taut, giving you greater control. Remember that your hair can grow in different directions, especially on the neck, so look carefully which way you need to shave to go with the grain here.

8. Post-shave balm

So far you’ve scrubbed, soaped and scraped at your face. It’s not surprising that it might feel a little angry. So now it’s time to soothe: a good non-alcohol-based balm will reduce redness and calm your skin, leaving it fresh and cool. Before you apply it, give your face a good splash with cold water to close the pores (and wake you up again).

9. Moisturiser

Nearly there. Now that the balm has soothed the skin we need to protect it. For oily skin try The Refinery Mattifying Moisturiser to reduce any shine on your skin. If your skin is quite dry, The Refinery Revitalising Moisturiser might be a better fit. And the beauty of applying moisturiser after the post-shave balm is that it will be absorbed quicker into the skin. Apply a pea-sized dab with your fingertips in upwards circles, but leave space around your eyes for…

10. Eye gel

The skin around your eye is thinner and more delicate than elsewhere on your face, so we need a specific treatment to reduce the darkness and puffiness of the circle beneath the eye. Dab on a little and allow to sink in rather than rubbing it too much.

And you’re done. My last tip, and you get this one for free, is try to enjoy shaving. Unless you’ve got a beard shaving is something you’re going to be doing a lot of over the years, so relax, take pleasure in the process and enjoy a little ‘me time’ while you’re at it. As a wise woman once said, you’re worth it.

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