Many people think that their shaving routine begins once they put their razor to their face. However, your shaving routine should start before you even pick up your shaving cream and razor. The steps you take before you even begin to shave actually play a big role in the success of your shave. Having a proper pre-shave routine is essential for a successful shaving experience. In this post, we’ll walk you through each pre-shave step so you can create the best routine for you.
Why You Need a Pre-Shave Routine
When you shave, your skin and hair are exposed to tugging, sharp blades, and moisture loss. This process can take a serious toll on your skin. The skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your skin. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure you are being gentle and taking care of the skin on your face. This is where having the proper pre-shave routine can help tremendously. The right pre-shave routine will help soften your skin and hair, allowing the razor blade to easily glide and shave the hair without aggressive tugging or pulling. A good pre-shave routine will also help open your pores and prepare the hair follicle for a close shave. This allows you to shave the hair in one or two passes, which can also reduce irritation and dryness. The more times the razor blade passes over the skin, the better chance of experiencing irritation, redness, dry skin, or even nicks. The goal of shaving, and a proper pre-shave routine, is to make the shaving process as effective and gentle as possible.
Creating a Simple and Effective Pre-Shave Process
The first step in any pre-shave routine is showering or washing your face with warm water. Showering before your shave is preferable, but, if you are short on time, spend a few minutes washing your face with warm water. Warm water helps to open your pores, allowing for easier access to the hair follicle. The warm water also softens your skin and hair. This not only makes the hair easier to lift and shave, but also makes your skin easier to pull and tighten to get a close shave. Softening your skin creates greater elasticity and reduces the chance of irritation or nicks. This first step is crucial in any pre-shave process. You still need to take a warm shower or wash your face before shaving, even if you are using a pre-shave oil or other pre-shave products.
The Best Pre-Shave Products for Your Skin Type
A successful shave is largely based on knowing your skin and hair type. Once you identify your skin and hair type, you can choose the best products for you. The right products, combined with showering or washing your face, will help you create an effective pre-shave routine that will set you up for an amazing shave. While there are hundreds of different pre-shave products available, you don’t necessarily need to include multiple products in your process. Knowing your skin and hair type will help you know if and what pre-shave products you should use.
One of the most popular pre-shave products for the last few years has been pre-shave oil. Natural oils are very beneficial for your skin as they moisturize and hydrate. If you have oily skin, you may want to be careful how much oil you use, or only use it once or twice a week. Pre-shave oils are made with carrier oils and usually contain essential oils. Some contain vitamin oils for added skin benefits as well. Carrier oils are derived from natural sources, such as seeds or nuts. This makes them especially great for those with sensitive skin, as they are usually gentle. A very common carrier oil used in pre-shave oils is castor oil, which is a natural lubricant. This helps the blade easily glide over your skin and hair. Grapeseed oil is another common oil used in these products. Grapeseed is great for relieving dry and itchy skin. Regardless of which specific oils are included, pre-shave oils are very beneficial as they moisturize your skin and promote elasticity. Most carrier oils do not contain scents. That is where the added essential oils come in. Essential oils are added not only for their natural scents, but also other added benefits. There are hundreds of different essential oils.
While this may seem overwhelming when selecting your product, we have a few steps that will help you choose the right one for you. Depending on your skin type, many essential oils contain specific benefits to help with various skin issues.
Oily Skin – While pre-shave oil is a great product that can offer many benefits, it may not be the best option for those with oily skin. If you have oily skin, pre-shave oils may intensify your condition. However, there are many other product options available. If a pre-shave oil is too much for your skin, try using a pre-shave gel or cream. A gel or cream will also moisturize and protect your skin without heightening your oily skin.
Dry Skin – During shaving, your skin loses moisture. For those with dry skin, including products that help keep your skin moisturized and hydrated is important. Pre-shave oil may be a good product for you, as it helps add moisture back to your skin to keep it hydrated. The carrier oils used as the base for pre-shave oils naturally help add moisture back to your skin and provide an extra layer of protection to prevent excessive dry skin. Certain pre-shave oils also contain added essential oils that help moisturize and hydrate your skin. If you are looking for added moisture, look for a pre-shave oil that contains Lavender, Tea Tree, Chamomile, Sandalwood, or Geranium.
Sensitive Skin – For those with sensitive skin, be careful what ingredients are in your skincare products. Natural ingredients and products are more gentle on your skin and less likely to cause irritation. Pre-shave oils are made primarily with natural oils. The base is made with carrier oils, such as Castor, Argon, Jojoba, or Coconut oils. These natural oils are gentle on your skin and provide moisture and protection. If you are sensitive to certain essential oils, look for a pre-shave oil that doesn’t contain added essential oils, or try Lavender, Frankincense and Sandalwood.If you are trying a new product, you can apply a small amount to your wrist first to see if it irritates your skin before using it on your face. It may be best to try a few different essential oils to find ones that work with your skin.
Normal Skin – Those with normal skin can usually use almost any product. Pre-shave products are designed to offer added moisture, hydration, and protection to your skin. These benefits will always help improve your skin and your shaving process. You can try pre-shave oil, gel or cream to find the right product for you. However, if you notice that your skin doesn’t experience any redness, irritation, or dryness after shaving, you may not need to use a pre-shave product. It is still important to shower or wash your face before shaving, even if you are not using any products.
If you are still not sure which essential oils to try, check out this guide on essential oils for your skin and the benefits of each.
When to use Pre-Shave Products
Once your skin and hair are soft and prepped, the next step is to apply pre-shave product. You may still be wondering if you should incorporate pre-shave oil or products into your routine. How do you know if you should use a pre-shave oil? First, look at the type of shaving cream or soap that you are using. Shaving creams in a can usually contain harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients that can cause irritation and damage to your skin. If you use canned shaving cream, you should consider switching to a better-quality shaving cream that comes in a tub or tube. Better quality shaving creams usually already contain added natural and gentle ingredients to help moisturize your skin and protect it while shaving. If you are already using a good quality shaving cream or shaving soap, you may not need to use a pre-shave product. However, if your shaving cream or soap doesn’t contain added essential oils, or you are looking for added protection and benefits, you can always try a pre-shave oil.
If you decide to use a pre-shave oil, apply the oil to your face and the area that you shave after you have showered or washed your face. You only need to apply a small amount. After you have applied the oil let it sit for a minute to two, then apply your shaving cream or soap. Pre-shave oil can be a good investment, as it can also be used in the post shave process. The added benefits from the oils are great for using after you shave also. The oils hydrate your skin and are a gentle alternative to aftershaves with alcohol. If you are looking for something with a scent, try a pre-shave oil that has added essential oils with your preferred choice of scent.
Your pre-shave process doesn’t have to be complicated or include multiple different products. Remember to always shower or wash your face before shaving. This step alone does most of the work to prepare your skin and hair. Using a pre-shave oil or product can also help moisturize and protect your skin while shaving and drastically improve your shave. To help with the process, we’ve included some of our favorite pre-shave products below.
If you are looking for a pre-shave oil without added scents, this Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil is the perfect option. This pre-shave oil is unscented and specifically formulated to soften and prepare the skin for a closer shave. This classic formula helps you create an incredibly soft and smooth shave.
This D.R. Harris Arlington Pre-Shave Lotion includes a formula that is similar to a traditional aftershave lotion, with the benefits of pre-shave. The lotion softens your skin and facial hair to prepare your skin for a smooth, close shave. Lightly scented with Arlington, the lotion offers a fresh citrus fragrance.
For those looking for something other than a pre-shave oil, the Mondial Axolute Pre-Shave Cream is a great product. The cream’s formula creates a light film that preserves and protects the epidermis from irritation. This prepares your skin for a more comfortable and pleasant shave. For best results, let the product set on your skin for a few minutes before shaving.
This traditional pre-shave oil from Mondial is part of the Original Talc collection. The oil softens your skin and protects it while shaving. If you are looking for a traditional barber fragrance, the original talc scent offers a light, yet deep and pleasant scent.