Should You Shave Before or After You Shower?

Should You Shave Before or After You Shower?

When’s the last time you took a step back and looked at when you shave? It’s easy to fall into a routine of shaving at a specific time every day, especially when you have a packed schedule. But just because your shaving ritual fits neatly between a quick shower and morning coffee doesn’t mean it’s the best time for you to shave.

While shaving post-shower has been touted to deliver the most efficient, enjoyable shave, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). Check the shaving forums and you’ll see just as many men exalting a post-shower shave as loathing it, with the latter claiming it sensitizes their skin.

If you find yourself stuck in a shaving rut and experience redness and irritation post shave, reevaluate your timing and take an honest look at what works and what doesn’t. A few changes can turn a monotonous shave into an enlightening one.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of shaving after you shower and shaving before you shower.

Shaving after you shower

The ideal (i.e. most painless) shave involves removing everything that gets in the way of a clean, slick razor glide. Thus, many men shave after they shower, when their skin is soft and pores are open.

When your hair follicles are dry, they have the cutting density of copper wire, so you should never go at them before first reducing the cutting strength by wetting your beard. Steam from the shower softens hair, making it easier to cut with fewer passes. And an easier cut means less tugging and pulling your skin. Meanwhile, the steam opens pores, allowing you to get in closer to the follicle. Think about it: the tighter the pore, the harder it is to rip hair out of it.

Then there is the bacteria factor: shaving after you shower ensures you’ve let hot water wash away traces of pollutants, dirt, and grime so they can’t be caught in your razor and spread around your face.  This bacteria can easily seep into microtears in your face, causing irritation and razor burn.

Shaving before you shower

While shaving after your shower has a hefty list of benefits, some men say doing so actually causes more irritation and makes their skin sensitive. Indeed, depending on how you like your shower, there is some truth in the matter. If you prefer hot showers, the water may over plump your skin, predisposing you to weepers and nicks. Super hot water actually dries out your skin by removing skin’s natural oils, leaving you with a dry feeling when you shave afterwards.

While the solution is to switch to warm water and perhaps apply pre-shave oil to remedy the dryness, it may not remedy the situation for everyone.

Also, not all of us have time to devote to a luxurious shaving ritual after we shower. Shaving before you shower saves time and the effort of extra clean up at the end.

should you shave before or after your shower?

So which is better?

Although the hair-softening, pore-opening steam of a warm shower is fabulous prep for your shave, your skin has its own needs. Try both methods to see which one gives you less irritation and fewer nicks. You may have been successfully shaving after your shower until now, but as your skin changes (due to age or varying climates) you may find that shaving before your shower works better.

Or pick the routine that suits your daily demands.

If you’re simply short on time and can’t afford to progress slowly through the shaving ritual, save time by shaving before you shower – but with one caveat: complete a hot towel treatment before you shave.

A good alternative: A hot towel treatment

A classic barbershop tool, a hot towel treatment is the mid ground between shaving before you shower and shaving after you shower. If you’re planning to shave before you shower, this treatment will warm and soften skin and hair. While a hot towel isn’t as effective at softening hair as a shower, it does make whiskers swell up. A hot towel won’t remove environmental pollutants and grime.

How to do a hot towel treatment:

  1. Wash your face.
  2. Soak a washcloth in warm water and hold it up to your face for at least 3 minutes, the amount of time it takes to significantly reduce cutting resistance.
  3. If you don’t have a towel on hand, you can also wash your face with warm water for a few minutes before applying shaving cream.
  4. Shave your face.

Tips:

-For extra softening, use moisturizing conditioner on your beard in the shower. Look for one with softening properties, like Dreadnought Concentrated Conditioner.

-Test out your pre-shave shower method: use conditioner before you shave for a week, and then no conditioner for a week. Repeat.

-Beginners can benefit for a post-shower shave in the evening, when they can take their time to perfect their method. 

-Option: exfoliate in the shower to achieve a closer shave. Exfoliation removes dead skin and debris that would otherwise get in the way of a clean shave. However, if you are a novice do not exfoliate until your skin acclimates to daily shaving. If you do exfoliate, do so on the days you’re not shaving.

Grooming Artist News Roundup: September 2017

Autumn heralds a bounteous season for gentlemanly pursuits. The casual shorts and breezy shirts of summer are replaced by a noticeably more grown-up and structured wardrobe. We switch out our zesty shaving creams for something richer, darker, smokier (more on that in the links below). As such, this Grooming Artist Roundup is dedicated to celebrating the new season.

We begin with the unofficial start of fall: Labor Day. Esquire provides a stress-free Labor Day weekend packing list so you can spend your last summer days in style, while Food Network dishes out simple standby recipes for the grill.

Once the leaves change color and you feel that first chill in the air, it’s time to work hydrating moisturizers into your daily routine; Esquire picks 6 options to prevent chapped skin. You also can’t be without a blazer, one of the biggest trends we saw on the fall runways. MR PORTER serves up 6 options along with styling tips.

And finally, we’ve included some wonderful wet shaving articles. Sharpologist condenses his encyclopedic knowledge of wet shaving into “10 Commandments of Wet Shaving,” while Men’s Journal picks 14 all-natural shaving creams to try if you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to enjoy your shave.

Enjoy!

Turns out, there is a good use for foam shaving cream: removing makeup stains from clothing, according to Kim Kardashian. (This Is Insider)

Men’s Journal’s 14 best all-natural shaving products. (Men’s Journal)

The 6 best shaving creams for fall. (Grooming Artist)

The 10 Commandments of Wet Shaving, via Sharpologist. (Grooming Artist)

One man’s journey to discovering and embracing the safety razor. (The Z Review)

8 ways to wear a blazer, just in time for fall. (MR PORTER)

Transition your skincare into cooler weather with these 6 Esquire-approved moisturizers. (Esquire)

Out of town for the long weekend? Here’s what to pack for Labor Day style. (Esquire)

Spending the holiday at home instead? Here are 30 cookout classics. (Food Network)

Sharpologist: 10 Commandments of Wet Shaving

Think about when you first started wet shaving. You had to figure out which type of blade suited your skin and beard best, how to hold the razor so as to not apply too much pressure, and countless other details that, when mastered, produced the kind of shave that reminded you why you left your cartridge. While there is much helpful information online, it can be a lot to sort through and absorb when you’re just getting started.

Sometimes it’s more effective to have an easy-to-reference guide that gets to the point, especially if you’re just about to embark on a shave. That’s why we wanted to share Sharpologist’s “10 Commandments of Wet Shaving.” For those new to wet shaving, take these tips in stride to better your shave. For veterans, let these commandments remind you of proper form.

And keep in mind that as with any wet shaving advice, YMMV (your mileage may vary). The last commandment reprimands alcohol-based aftershaves, but if your D.R. Harris Aftershave Splash is the only product that’ll reduce redness and acne post-shave, keep at it.

Enjoy!

Via Sharpologist:

  1. Thou Shalt Prepare Thyself Properly

Thoroughly anoint thyself with a gentle facial cleanser and warm water, for cleanliness is next to shaveliness.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Use As Few Blades As Necessary

For more shall tempt the demons of irritation.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Use A Sharp Blade

Those same demons of irritation shalt seek another way to tempt those who are overly parsimonious.

 

  1. Remember To Honor Thy Grain

Knoweth the directions thy stubble grow in.  For knowing thyself is the key to happiness.  But neither shall thou be a slave to it’s mercy, by wielding the correct tool and the correct ways.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Reduce Thy Stubble

For the attempt to eliminate it completely and forever shall surely fail.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Overly Stretch Thy Skin

Flattening thy skin shall be rewarded; dramatic stretching is a sign of the disbeliever.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Use The Lightest Possible Touch

For pressure begets depression, which in-turn begets another temptation of the demons of irritation.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Take Thy Strokes Modestly

Remember to honor thy shave by taking short strokes, for long strokes shall forsaken it.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Take Thy Time

For impatience will surely tempt thee to take the Lord’s name in vain.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Use Alcohol In Thou’s After Shave Preparation

For such a shaving mélange will do thou no good in the fullness of time.

Why You Should Use Algae on Your Face

A background on algae

The slimy stuff you usually see making streams look murky is actually highly beneficial for your skin. Algae have been used for many years as the basis of healthy foods like Kombucha and sushi (seaweed is a type of algae), boosting healthy bacteria. Algae are also used to thicken foods and skincare products so they don’t become runny. But in recent years, algae have come into the spotlight as a potent skincare ingredient: the green gunk is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.

There are 2 types of algae:

Microalgae – Tiny, single-celled creatures

Macroalgae – Multi-cellular organisms like seaweed and kelp

Within these two categories, over 20,000 species of algae exist. The main ones you should know about are brown algae, green microalgae, and red algae.

Why should I rub pond organisms on my face?

Algae are natural moisturizers that enhance skin barrier function. These plant organisms hydrate skin and then lock in the moisture. Algae condition the skin after a shave, when your skin is thirsting for replenishment.

Who should be using algae in skincare products?

Algae are beneficial for everyone – and are skin savers for wet shavers. Brimming with vitamins and minerals, algae is a natural antioxidant, emollient, and soothing agent. Apply a product with algae before your shave for stronger skin more resistant to irritation and cuts, and after your shave for instant skin barrier repair.

Red algae (including carrageenan and Irish moss)

If you have acne, red algae have antimicrobial properties, reducing inflammation without the drying properties of over the counter drugs. Red algae also absorb UVA rays, acting like natural sunscreen.

Brown algae

Out in the sun all the time? Brown algae combat free radical oxidation.

Mature skin can also benefit from brown algae, which improve the appearance of aging skin.

Green micro-algae

Full of phytochemicals, green micro-algae combat free radicals and inflammation while regulating melanin production. If you have an old scar from acne or a razor nick, this type of algae will improve skin tone and fade the scar gradually.

Our product recommendations:

Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar

This bar soap is far from drying. Aloe vera, glycerin, and seaweed (brown algae) nourish skin, while vitamins E and A neutralize free radicals for protection from the elements and pollution.

SHOP: Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar

The Art of Shaving After-Shave Gel

Carrageenan boosts the moisture quotient in this lightweight gel aftershave. Calendula extract contains anti-inflammatory linoleic acid, which heals a wide variety of skin conditions, from acne to eczema. Add this aftershave to your post-shave routine if you have oily or normal skin.

SHOP: The Art of Shaving After-Shave Gel

 —

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Protect your skin after a morning shave with Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20. Blue algae keeps skin supple while reducing inflammation, and sea parsley contains vitamins A and C to encourage collagen production (and thereby skin healing).

SHOP: Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

%d bloggers like this: