Shaving Do’s and Don’ts: How to Get Your Best Shave Ever

This post was created for and sponsored by Gillette Shave Club.

Gillette shaving products

Gillette shaving products | Nikelle Murphy/Gear & Style Cheat Sheet

Whether you prefer a clean-shaven look or if you’re maintaining a beard or other facial hair, shaving is likely a staple morning habit. There’s no getting around it: It’s generally not acceptable to show up to work with a 5 o’clock shadow at 9 a.m. You’d think that for such a normal routine, we would have mastered the art of shaving by now, but that’s not always the case. If you’ve battled razor burn, cuts, and dry skin, you’re definitely not the first guy to do so.

Everyone loves a barbershop shave, but chances are you’re not springing for one of those very often. However, there are ways to use the right tools and get a quick, high-quality shave in no time, without blowing your budgets on razors. Take a look at a few of our do’s and don’ts for mastering the morning shave, along with some “cheats” that will take your morning routine to the next level.

Do: Choose the right razor

Barbers often use straight razors in their shops for a close shave, but chances are you don’t use one at home. Electric razors are often used dry, but typically aren’t known for the closest shave ever. How Stuff Works suggests that if you want a close at-home shave without the straight razor, a multi-blade cartridge-style razor is likely your best bet.

Some razors, like the Gillette Fusion ProShield, offer five durable blades per cartridge. These are the thinnest, finest blades they’ve created yet, and were designed for less tug and pull as you’re shaving. This is the latest Gillette razor to hit the market, and has a FlexBall handle that will help get a smoother shave around contoured areas like your jawline and neck. My husband tested the ProShield, and attests that the claim holds up. He said the razor glides easier than what he typically uses, and the FlexBall handle actually does help to navigate around contoured areas, especially the neck. “It’s definitely nicer,” he said of the razor compared to his usual three-bladed version.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to choose razor blades that also have moisturizing components included. You know that moisturizing is vital for a good shave, and having moisturizing components on the razors themselves is a huge perk.

Gillette found that most men take about 170 strokes of the razor to shave their faces in the morning, and 120 of them are re-strokes over the same area they’ve already shaved. It’s a habit that’s ingrained in many morning routines, but those re-strokes are often over skin that no longer has shaving cream on it. The Fusion ProGlide’s moisturizing strips (before and after the blades) take that into account. This helps alleviate dryness and razor burn while still providing a close shave.

Don’t: Abuse the razor you have

You want to prolong the life of the razors you use, both to ensure a close shave and to avoid paying extra money for replacement blades more often than you need to. Unfortunately, some of the bad habits you’ve picked up over the years while shaving might be making this more difficult.

Like biting your nails, banging your razor against the edge of the sink to clean off excess shaving cream and hair is a habit you need to break. You want to prevent buildup from getting stuck between the blades, but whacking the razor against your countertop will make tiny dents and nicks on the blades. You won’t see them, but you will see the skin irritation that happens as a result. Instead, take the extra second to rinse it off with lukewarm water before resuming your shave.

Do: Make it convenient

To feel like you’re cheating time in the morning, your shaving routine needs to be down cold. If you have a particularly early morning, set out your shaving supplies on the counter the night before, so they’re ready as soon as you stumble into the bathroom.

No matter which razor you use, you’re going to get your best shave when you’re using sharp blades. Nothing is worse than dragging a dull blade across your skin, scraping and irritating it along the way. How many times have you used a subpar razor, simply because you forgot to pick up new blades? Get rid of the problem completely by joining a shave club, which automatically sends replacements in the mail. My husband tested the ProShield razor as part of a Gillette Shave Club sample. The razor cartridges the company sends to your doorstep are the same ones you can purchase in the store, without the hassle of making an extra trip to pick up the replacements. Shipping is free, so you’re basically cheating your way out of waiting in line at the grocery store.

Gillette’s shave club works like most other versions out there, except it comes with the Gillette razors you’ve likely used in the past. Gillette estimates that its blades should last about a month each, while shaving three to four times per week. With that in mind, the company sends four replacement cartridges to your doorstep every four months, with varying prices depending on the blade you choose. You also have the ability to change the frequency of shipments for whatever time frame you choose, if you want more than one blade per month.

On top of the cartridges, you’ll get the razor handle and a full-sized shaving gel sample for free when you purchase the shave club membership through Gillette. You’ll also receive free products every now and then, grooming tips, and chances to win tickets to major sporting and entertainment events.

Gillette shaving products

Gillette shaving products | Nikelle Murphy/Gear & Style Cheat Sheet

Do: Switch up your morning routine

If you’re not a morning person, spending even five minutes more than you need to in the bathroom could seem like time better spent in bed. And while we’ve all been guilty of sacrificing morning routines for the sake of hitting the snooze button one more time (flossing can happen later), don’t skimp on your pre-shaving requirements.

Your facial hair can be as hard as copper wire, WebMD reports, and everything you can do to soften it before taking a blade to your face will help. Science explainer site How Stuff Works says that washing your face with a moisturizing face wash will open your pores and soften the hair, all while helping your skin retain some of the oils it would otherwise lose during shaving.

If you’re looking to be even more efficient, consider cheating by taking your shower before you shave. The steam from the shower will naturally soften your facial hair, and your face will be prepped without you needing to take any extra time.

Don’t: Sacrifice quality for price

Quality is key when it comes to getting a great shave. Take Gillette, for example. They continue to produce their razor blades in Boston, so you know where your bathroom essentials are coming from. What’s more, the cost breakdown for their most advanced razor, the Fusion ProGlide, is about $5.62 per month with the shave club, delivered straight to your door.

With several shave clubs available now, it might be tempting to simply choose the one with the cheapest price and never look back. However, you might be skimping on quality when you do so. Nicks and cuts can often be the result of using low-end razors, so avoid the pain and potential embarrassment altogether by purchasing blades you know you can trust. Gillette’s shave club is convenient, and their products are reliable and durable. Is saving a few dollars really worth sacrificing that?

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