You’ve likely been shaving for years, meaning you’re probably very familiar with proper shave etiquette, such as knowing to shave in the direction of hair growth rather than against the grain and which shave gel or cream works best on your face. What about the actual blade you use? Do you know how your skin type affects your results? We bet you’ve never thought about if you’ve been shaving for you skin type. Razors and other shaving equipment are not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal — not every guy has the same skin type. What’s good for the guy with tougher skin may not be good for the guy that’s prone to break outs and razor bumps because he has sensitive skin. Assess your skin type (please stop shaving with old razors) and get perfectly groomed with our best shaving tips.
A note on good shaving etiquette
A few necessary tips Mark Sproston (aka The Shave Doctor) shared with Men’s Health UK for pre- and post-shave care, no matter your skin type.
- A three blade razor is best only when you’re using shaving oil because it helps to glide the razor
- Use a good quality shaving cream instead of a foam or gel to prevent against shave rash or razor burn
- After you’ve finished shaving, splash hot water on your face before applying moisturizer or an aftershave balm because the hot water opens your pores allowing the product to absorb more deeply into your skin
If you have sensitive skin
If you’re a guy with sensitive skin, you’re probably prone to breakouts, bumps, and razor burns, which is why dermatologists recommend shaving with a safety razor. The other razors you use on your skin could be doing nothing for that smooth result it promises. “All of these 4, 5, and 6 cartridge razors end up taking off too much skin and natural oils, leaving your face prone to break outs, bleeding, and rashes,” Dr. Terrence Keaney, director of W for Men at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, told Men’s Journal.
Keaney recommended trying Bevel, which is a brand that specializes in sensitive skin. The razor that the brand produces is a stainless steel safety razor (almost antique-like in look), which the company sells with a badger hair brush, along with shaving cream, aftershave, and pre-shave oil for sensitive skin.
If you have dry skin
If you have dry skin, the secret to getting a great shave is in your skin prep prior to shaving. Shaving irritates dry skin more because when you shave, you’re scraping off natural oils. In order to avoid or lessen this, the best time to shave with this skin type is right after you take a shower, says the American Academy of Dermatology, because this makes the hair softer and easier to shave off. Afterwards, use a shave oil to moisturize your skin right before you shave. When it comes to the type of blade that’s best for dry skin, really any brand or type you like best will do, says Lucero.
If you have oily skin
Oily skin is probably the best kind of skin to have when shaving. “Oily is the most resistant — [guys with it] can use anything,” Moses Lucero, co-owner of Denver Steel + Lather Barber Co. told Men’s Health. Lucky for you, you can use any razor you so choose because all the natural oil that’s found in your hair follicle makes shaving an easy, and carefree task. Maestro, owner of MaestroShave in Chicago, also told Men’s Health that before you shave, apply a pre-shave oil right after you get out of the shower, which will make the hair on you mug come off easily.
If you have normal skin
Lucky for you if you have normal skin — you have no sensitivity, your skin is not too oily and not too dry — in the words of Goldilocks, it’s just right. With normal prep and instruction, you should have no problems with any razor, either manual or electric because either will get the job done with your skin type.