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Shaving Tips for Men

What Ingrowns Are, What Causes them and Who is More Likely to Get Them…

Many problems occur when shaving is done "against the grain".  You may have imagined a little bit of skin sticking up from where the hair comes out of the follicle and figured your skin must be getting cut.  It's not quite that simple.

What actually happens when you have slightly sensitive skin, or curly hair, occurs because you have to pull your skin a little and hold it while you're shaving against the grain.  If your razor has more than one blade, the little strip at the top will pull the skin, too.  That means the hair is getting cut a little more as the skin is pulled taught to make the hair stick out more.  As soon as the skin goes back, some of the hairs can end up pointing in the wrong direction. So where are they supposed to go ?  I'm sure you can guess.  Into the skin.

So basically, it's a trade off - closer shave or irritation bumps.  You can get better results if you use a fresh single-blade disposable razor every time, and make sure you shave with the grain, not against it.  Yes, you will not get as close a shave.  But what would you rather have on your face ?  Stubble or zits ?  

If you use an electric shaver, under NO circumstances should you EVER use a rotary shaver.  Those blades cut hair in every which direction.  There is much more chance that way for the hair to grow back wrong, causing ingrown hairs.  Using the kind they use in salons and barbershops is a better bet.  Clean the blades on a regular basis, at least once a month, and change them every six months.  Purchasing a blade cleaner at a beauty supply store is a good idea.  Don't be afraid to ask for their help.

A few more tips including a daily routine :

A mild foaming cleanser meant for sensitive skin can sometimes work better for you than shaving cream, which usually has harsh detergents and can be very drying – even the ones that say “for sensitive skin”.  I've been shocked at what I've seen pass for products meant for sensitive skin...

An alcohol-free, witch hazel based soothing toner can balance skin, normalize pores and hydrate the skin better than any after-shave can.

For hydration and improved skin function, use a hydrating lotion.  You can use this only at night, or also on top of SPF if you're really dry.

DO NOT try to extract ingrown hairs yourself !  The skin has to be prepared properly in order not to make the problem worse.  If you have a small problem, visit an esthetician for a 15-minute consultation.  It may be easy to extract and can be taken care of right away.  If your problem is not small, GET A FACIAL!  Swallow your pride and make the appointment and get the problem fixed.  You'll be glad you did.

This routine adds up to a good skin care regimen, which is always a good idea - it doesn't have to be 'foo-foo' or complicated.  Cleanser, toner, moisturizer appropriate for your skin type, AM & PM.  Simple as that.

Whether you work all the time or run outside, sorry guys, you need a sunscreen.  No way around it.  Office lighting gives off UV rays as well, not just the sun.  The sunscreens sold here don't clog pores, aren't greasy and put water into your skin without just lubricating it.  If you have problems with stinging in your eyes from every sunscreen you've ever tried, try this one.  It's made specifically for people with this problem.  An SPF lotion is a must not only to protect your skin from photo-aging, but also to prevent your skin from getting so marked up with pigmentation issues from ingrowns and blemishes, or what people call “dark marks”.

If you have a full beard or goatee, don't use hair conditioner to soften it – hair products can contain ingredients that can clog pores on the face, if not the scalp!  Use regular face moisturizer instead.