Shaving your face is an arduous and tricky task, no matter how much facial hair you have. It seems like one wrong move makes you end up with razor bumps, redness, and ingrown hairs. Fortunately, there are a few easy tips to follow that will help you shave your face the right way so you can avoid irritation.

Trim Long Hair

The hair follicles on your face are thicker than the follicles you have on your head. That means if you have a beard, mustache, or any other form of long facial hair, you need to trim it before you shave. If you don’t, you’re essentially catching the follicles on the blade and ripping your hairs out one by one. It may not always feel like it, but that’s a common culprit of red and irritated skin after shaving.

Open Pores and Soften Follicles

If you want to shave your face the right way and avoid irritation, you need to steam your face to open your pores and soften your hair follicles. If you have a problem with ingrown hairs, now is the time to exfoliate to loosen them so your razor can remove them. This process of steaming and exfoliating also helps soften the heirs, making them easier to remove as you glide the razor across your face.

Use Products Designed To Shave Faces

Not every razor or dermaplaning blade is designed to shave your face, and you should never use a dull blade to shave. If you can, use a fresh blade. Also, most shaving cream is actually shaving foam and isn’t good for your skin. Real shaving cream should act as a barrier and lubricant, so you don’t cut your skin. Consider learning the differences between shaving cream and shaving gel and choosing one, as both are better for your face than shaving foam.

Apply a Moisturizing Lotion

When you’re done shaving, you want to close your pores to prevent bacteria, dirt, and other chemicals from getting in there and causing razor bumps. To this day, many people still believe that applying burning aftershave is the best way to close their pores. While aftershave does work, it does more harm than good. Most of these aftershaves have alcohol in them, which doesn’t just burn—it strips the skin of natural oils and causes more dryness.

If you want a guaranteed, gentle, and completely free way to close your pores, make sure your face is completely clear of product, and rinse your face with cold water. And if you want to go the extra mile, wrap some ice or an icepack in a clean towel and hold it to your skin for about 15–30 seconds. When you’re done, massage in a gentle, water-based cleanser free of alcohol or cleansing acids to lock in hydration and keep your skin happy and healthy.

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