Most men have no problems with itching, irritation, or inflammation of any kind after shaving. However, there is a substantial minority of men – the proportion could be as high as 30% – who have sensitive skin. That sensitivity causes no shortage of problems for them during their daily shave. Fortunately, if you are in this category, there is no reason for your daily shave to be unpleasant or irritating. For such men, here are some wet shaving tips for sensitive skin that will have you well on your way to a great daily shave.
Defining “Sensitive Skin”
The problem here is that there is no universally accepted definition of “sensitive skin”. Basically, if you have it, then you know about it. However, in order to optimise your daily shave, you need to be sure that your skin actually is a bit sensitive. Perhaps you’ve simply been using cartridge razors for a long time – this is not good for your skin no matter what kind you have. To be sure whether you actually have sensitivity, see if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Do you have dry skin? You can check this using a simple and cheap skin hydration monitor;
- Are you prone to eczema or contact dermatitis around your face?
- Is your face often dry or itchy even on a humid summer’s day?
- Do you often get acne breakouts?
- Does your skin flake and peel easily?
- Are you prone to sunburn?
- Do you easily develop rashes?
- Do you get a lot of irritation and razor burn from cartridge razors and shaving foams/gels?
If you are still unsure, make an appointment with a dermatologist and get your skin checked out. Yes, it is perfectly fine for a man to do this, nobody will think any less of you. It’s your face, so take good care of it.
Change Your Razor Blades
Now that you are reasonably sure that you have sensitive skin, you need to equip yourself appropriately for your daily shave.
As always, get yourself a proper safety razor first. Once you have that, though, you need real razor blades that will provide a low-irritation shave. To accomplish this, you need to buy mild or neutrally aggressive razor blades. I went over this in my previous post about the best razor blades that you can buy. As far as wet shaving tips for sensitive skin go, the biggest and most important one has to do with your choice of razor blade.
For my money, Merkur makes the very best blades out there:
They are expensive, however, so if you want a cheaper alternative, get yourself the VIKINGS BLADE mild blades. Always make sure you get the green package, not the red one, from VIKINGS BLADE. Their green-pack blades are made especially for men who want a milder shave:
Do not buy Astra or Feather blades. These are extremely sharp and highly aggressive. They have their place in the world of wet shaving, but they are designed more for men with tough and coarse stubble. That isn’t you, by definition, so don’t worry about them, even if they are cheap.
The Proraso White Line
Now that you’ve switched to a milder razor blade, such as the Merkur or VIKINGS BLADE offering, you need to make sure that your other shaving products are designed to suit your skin as well. These are essential wet shaving tips for sensitive skin. A good pre-shave lotion will soften the beard and help your blade glide better over your skin. A good shaving soap or cream (never use foam if you can avoid it) will reduce any itching or redness that you get from shaving. An alcohol-free after-shave balm will soothe and smooth your skin.
The net effect of using such products will be a smooth, gentle, and enjoyable daily wet shave. As a result, your whole day will get started off the right way. You will literally present your best face to the world. And if you want to be the best, you need to get the best.
I recommend using Proraso’s White line of products for all things related to your wet shave if you have sensitive skin. Proraso is an Italian company that makes exceptionally fine quality shaving soaps, creams, oils, foams, and pre- and post-shave lotions and balms. In my personal opinion, they are quite simply the very best in the business. And I only recommend the best to my readers.
Always Apply a Pre-Shave Lotion or Oil
Proraso’s White pre-shave lotion is perfectly designed for men with sensitive skin. Like the rest of Proraso’s White line, this product combines oatmeal extract and green tea for the perfect balance of moisture and smoothness.
Here is how you go about using this lotion:
Pour some warm water into your hands. Massage this into your stubble. Don’t use a towel, as this may irritate your skin. Shake off or smooth away any excess water to leave your face damp and warm. Pour a small amount of Proraso pre-shave lotion into your palm and smooth this into your face using slow circular motions with your fingers. Don’t push against the grain of your stubble when you do this.
Use a Really Good Shaving Soap
Now that you have prepared your face, you will want to apply a specially designed shaving soap or cream. Again, Proraso’s White line provides the perfect shaving soap for you. Their White shaving soap (or cream, if you prefer that), has a superb mild formulation and scent. You know that you’re using a quality product when you apply this to your face. Proraso’s line of products simply feels better than anything else.
Grab your genuine silvertip badger brush and work up a good lather. Apply the lather to your face using a circular motion on your face. This will help improve the quality of the lather. The motion will also lift up the hairs on your face, so that your blade can shave it down properly. As a result, you will get rid of ingrown hairs and reduce irritation significantly.
Finish With an Alcohol-Free Shaving Balm
Once you are done shaving, make sure to soothe and moisturise your skin again with a proper after-shave lotion or balm. Once more, Proraso provides you with exactly the right product. Their White after-shave balm is completely free of alcohol, so it doesn’t dry out your skin and doesn’t sting when you apply it. This balm will soothe away any irritation that you might feel while refreshing and moisturising your face.
Shaving With Sensitive Skin is a Pleasure Again
Even if you have sensitive skin, you no longer need to dread shaving in the morning. Just follow the simple wet shaving tips for sensitive skin that I have outlined here. Your daily shaving experience should significantly improve. You should feel much less itchiness and irritation. Your skin should feel much more moist and soft. Best of all, by switching to traditional safety razors, you will get rid of perhaps the biggest causes of irritation – razor burn and ingrown hairs.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself the necessary products, start with your daily wet shaves, and experience far more pleasure and joy in your daily shaving ritual as a result!