STEP 1: CLEANSE
WHY: Because you’re not gross. You clean the rest of you daily and it’s your face that gets the most dirt and pollution. Cleansing begins shaving’s softening and warming process, too. Try a scrub like 1635 Pre-Shave Scrub to dislodge dirt, dead skin and ingrown hairs that can clog up a razor.
DO NOT use bar soaps. Their higher pH dries out the skin and strips away hair-softening oils.
TIP: Cleanse during a warm shower — the two most important things in shaving are heat and water.
STEP 2: TURN UP THE HEAT
WHY: The same reason barber shops use wet, warm towels. Heat and water, that important.
DO NOT use scalding hot water. If you don’t know why maybe you shouldn’t be shaving.
TRY THIS: Right after a shower (the steam helps, too) prep skin with a lubricant like 1635 Pre-Shave “Oil.” Made to mimic the barber-shop towel, it keeps the beard warm and soft, and traps in water for a longer time.
STEP 3: SHAVE
APPLY cream with a massaging, circular motion to work it through the beard well.
IT’S NOT the size of the lather that matters — lots can be mostly air and mean less contact between razor and beard. Shaving Creams are more follicle-fixating than most and come in three options customized to your beard’s texture: fine, coarse and in-between.
TIPS: Shave in the direction of hair growth. Going against it pulls hair up and away, increasing the chances of shaving below the skin’s surface (how ingrown hairs happen). Shaving in the right direction and not repeating strokes is also gentler on skin and prevents razor burn.
STEP 4: AFTERSHAVE CARE
RINSE with cold water to reduce inflammation (like a cold compress on an injury). Gently pat dry (don’t rub) with a soft towel.
DISINFECT & MORE: A multitasking aftershave product does more than bring down inflamation and prevent infection. Try 1635 Soothing Aftershave Salve if your issue is razor burn, dryness or sensitive skin; Anti-Bump Solution for ingrown hair, acne and large pores; Invigorating Aftershave Gel for a little of everything plus a peppery kick of energy. Each formulation packs anti-aging, antioxidant and moisturizing stuff in it, too.
SUNSCREEN. Because you should. Because healthier, smoother skin makes for a healthier, smoother shave. And because no one wants cancer.