Guys' Guide to Shaving

A clean shave can feel great, but it's not without its hazards.

Read tips here on getting from rough to smooth without wrecking your face.

When should I start shaving?

That's entirely up to you.

In some cultures, shaving is a complete no-no and beards are an important sign that a person takes their religion seriously.

Until you actually have some hair to shave off, there's no point putting your skin through the trauma (it will only make your face feel weird).

Which is best, electric shavers or blades?

Both can do a good job (in the right hands) so really it's up to you to decide.

Electric shavers avoid cuts and nicks and can be a wise choice if you have skin problems or spots.

Do I really need a gel, soap or shaving oil?

Whatever you do, don't dry shave - it'll be bloody and painful!

A cheap and excellent alternative to expensive gels and shaving oils is plain old olive oil.

It's been used for shaving for thousands of years and will leave your skin feeling super soft and smooth.

Different people like different ways of shaving.

If you're able to, try different shaving gels or creams and see which one you like best.

How do I get a great electric shave?

Make sure your shaver is properly charged and cleaned before you start:

  • clean your face with warm water to soften your beard (or take a bath or shower first)
  • pat dry your face with a clean towel
  • gently rub your bristles with your fingertips for a few moments
  • gently pull your skin tight before shaving 'against the grain'
  • put on a little moisturiser afterwards to combat dryness.

Be careful with electricity around water!

What's the best way to shave with a blade?

Make sure your blade is clean and sharp - NEVER use a rusty, dirty looking blade. A blunt blade will wreck your skin.

Also, never share blades or razors with anyone else - you could get an infection.

Even expensive blades need replaced after only three or four uses.

  • clean your face with warm water to soften you beard (or take bath or shower first)
  • with the face still wet, massage on your shave lube - soap, gel, cream or oil
  • make sure you lube every part the blade will touch
  • use slow, easy movements - this takes some practice to get the right amount of pressure
  • gently pull your skin tight with one hand before shaving 'with the grain'
  • stretch your neck skin by pointing your chin up
  • swish the blade in warm water to rinse it after every few strokes
  • DO NOT PRESS for a closer shave - you'll cut yourself
  • For an extra close shave, apply more lube and shave 'against the grain'
  • rinse with plenty clean water and pat dry with a clean towel
  • put on a little moisturiser afterwards to stop your skin going red or dry.

Can I shave with spots?

This can be tricky.

The main thing is to be gentle. Using an electric shaver is easiest but you can wet shave with spots if you're careful.

If at all possible, the best thing to do is to avoid shaving until the spots have gone (some folks like stubble anyway).

Whatever you do, don't try to 'shave off' your acne - it'll bleed like crazy and could cause nasty infections.

Aargh! I cut myself! What should I do?

We've all done it - usually before a hot date or going out somewhere important.

To stop the bleeding, press a clean piece of tissue into the cut and keep it there until the bleeding stops.

Other things you can try include:

  • pressing on an ice cube
  • dabbing on a little sugar
  • using a 'styptic pencil' (ask your chemist for one).

Avoiding cuts:

  • try not to shave spots, scabs or moles
  • never use blunt razor blades
  • be gentle, especially around the bony bits of your chin and jaw
  • be careful not to move the razor side to side.