Shaving is a big deal, but it doesn't have to be. In a mini Q & A, Dove's Dr. Peterkin addresses some pressing concerns.
(And because the good doctor has written several books on the topic, and specifically on the cultural history of facial hair - i.e. The Bearded Gentleman: A Style Guide to Shaving Face - I'd say we should take a leaf from his page.) Read, relax. And then, you know, try it?
1. It's like the chicken and the egg thing. What's better: shower then shave, or shave then shower?
"I would recommend shower then shave. That way, the heat from the warm water will soften your facial hairs and open your pores to make for a more comfortable shaving experience. It’s also important to use a quality shave gel (like the Hydrate+Shave Gel) to help soften the beard and reduce the friction between the razor and skin. This results in less razor burn and fewer ingrown hairs and nicks."
2. Razor burn is officially the worst. What's the best solution?
"Razor burn can be easily remedied with quality products and extra attention to your shaving habits. For starters be sure to apply pre-shave oil before a shaving gel (the oil will further lubricate your skin and reduce friction between the blade in your skin). It's also a good idea to use a fresh razor when you’re shaving. After four or five uses it’s time to replace your blade because once it dulls, it becomes jagged and loses its high-tech coatings that also reduce friction. Always use a light touch. Pressing the razor too hard on your skin will increase friction. Also, make fewer passes. The more times you shave the same area, the more likely you will experience irritation. It might be a good idea to try a razor with fewer blades. Not everyone will benefit from the four or five blade models. Guys who are particularly prone to irritation should consider a two or three blade design. Avoid shaving against the grain and using a soothing moisturizer or aftershave that does not contain alcohol is a huge help. Dove Men+Care has two great options (the Hydrate+Face Lotion and Hydrate+Post Shave Balm). Moisturizers and alcohol free aftershaves will help your skin heal and provide protection from the elements, while alcohol based products will only further irritate your skin."
3. What's the deal with sideburns - Yay or nay (for real though)?
"Sideburns, like any facial hair choice, are a personal preference; however, I always recommend consulting with your barber, friends and/or partner to get a second opinion. Sideburns can be worn at any length and by men with just about any face shape and can change the appearance of your face. Men with round shaped faces in particular can really benefit from the slimming effect provided by the vertical lines of sideburns. Guys with longer faces should wear their sideburns shorter to minimize the length and narrowness of the face."
4. How should guys really clean their faces? (I'm thinking squeaky clean...)
"We all should cleanse our faces (and facial hair) regularly. Using a simple face twice daily is sufficient. You only need a small amount of cleanser, which you should massage gently all over your face and facial hair. This will loosen debris, skin flakes, and oil that build up on your skin, and will also help to tone the skin."
5. Semi-related, but mostly because I have to know. Do we like Clarisonics?
"Electronic facial brushes of all sorts and at different price points have become popular, especially in the last year. I think most men want to keep things simple- a good face wash used with or without a face cloth and lots of rinsing after should suffice!"
Dove Men+Care is available at most all good drug stores. Visit Dove's online site for additional tips, tricks and how-to videos by clicking here.