This post is in partnership with Gillette’s new SkinGuard razor—new at Walmart today.
Military life. It comes with its fair share of challenges, for sure. One of these is the need to remain clean-shaven while on duty, which can really irritate your skin. My husband has very thick hair and sensitive skin, so I’ve asked him to help share his advice on how to shave your face when you have sensitive skin.
There was a time in college when we attended a very conservative university that required the guys to be clean-shaven. In fact, their rules paralleled the military’s in many aspects. Shaving regularly is not something new to my husband, but it has always been a challenge. For several years between college and military, my husband grew out his facial hair because shaving would cause problems.
My husband has a lot of Scottish heritage in him, and that has resulted in very, very thick hair (and lots of it). It grows very quickly. He told me a story about a time in basic training that the T.I. thought my husband forgot to shave. The truth was that he did shave, but his hair just grows so quickly and is dark. The T.I. made him shave 2-3 times every day.
That was the turning point for his sensitive skin. His skin could not take it. He said it burned all the time and he had issues with razor bumps and other irritation. He really wishes he knew all of these tips back then, but we wanted to share some of the shaving tips for men that he has picked up over the years for how to shave your face when you have sensitive skin (especially if you have to shave all the time)!
How to Shave Your Face When You Have Sensitive Skin
Choosing the Best Razor for Your Needs
Needless to say, finding a good razor is imperative to the entire shaving experience. A poor razor can do more than leave you with a spotty shave, it can also leave you with ongoing skin irritation. It’s all about the blades—no stubble.
The new Gillette® SkinGuard Razor (now available at Walmart) is an incredible men’s razor designed specifically for guys with sensitive skin and meant to help prevent razor bumps and irritation, providing a close and comfortable shave. It has two blades with a SkinGuard bar in between to help reduce tugging and pulling of the hair, and it even has a precision trimmer on the back to get those difficult, hard-to-reach areas like around the ears and nose.
My husband tried it out for the post and fell instantly in love. When he got to work, he told his coworkers about it and found out that another one of them already uses a Gillette SkinGuard. They both agree it’s the best razor they’ve used, and it really helps with that irritation!
Shaving Preparation Tips for Men
When guys go to a barbershop, sometimes the barber will apply a warm, damp towel on the skin before they begin shaving. This helps to soften the skin and hairs and increase blood flow to give you a closer shave. It can also help prevent shaving irritation.
You don’t need to go to a barbershop for this experience; you can do the hot towel method at home!
1) Grab a regular washcloth and an essential oil—lavender, cedarwood, sandalwood, melaleuca, geranium, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all great options. 2) Apply a few drops of your oil of choice directly to your towel. 3) Heat the towel by either running it under hot water in the sink, getting it damp and microwaving for 30 seconds on a microwave-safe plate, or pouring hot water from a kettle over it. 4) Once it has cooled off enough for you to handle well, wring out the excess water. 5) Place the towel on your face where you need to shave and let it sit for a bit, until it starts to cool down. 6) Rub the towel in the direction of your hair growth a few times. 7) Pat your skin dry before you continue.
Using shave gel is a great way to get a smoother shave. Gillette has a new, soothing version called PURE by Gillette; it has aloe to calm the skin, and it smells so good (because that’s important too, am I right, ladies?).
How to Shave Your Sensitive Skin
I recommend using warm water, rather than hot water, to shave. Warm water gives you just the right amount of heat to soften things up, while excessively-hot water…like the kind I accidentally use when I shower…can dry out and harm your skin and whiskers.
Up Your Grain Game
The direction you shave can really make a difference in comfort and appearance. Shaving with the grain is the best option for preventing ingrown hairs, and it will also help prevent tugging. Use this direction to shave on Mondays or after any time period where you’ve taken a break in your regular shaving routine.
You may have noticed in the pics that my husband is shaving against the grain. I call it the “Carb-Free Shave Method.” (Get it? Against the grain?) He shaves against the grain, mostly during the week when he’s already fairly clean-shaven, so he can get a closer shave. Proper shaving preparation, using a Gillette SkinGuard razor, and exfoliating your skin weekly can help reduce ingrown hairs and irritation, if this is your preferred shaving method.
My husband makes the silliest faces when he shaves, but he has a logical reason for it. He will use his tongue or move his mouth in a way that stretches his skin over his jaw and cheekbones to smooth it out for an easier, closer shave.
Reaching some areas, like above and below your lip, can be a challenge when you’re trying to shave. If you stretch your skin in those areas to make it taut, you will not only be able to reach those difficult areas better, but it can also help the razor glide smoothly over those areas and tug less.
Wrapping Up Your Shave
To give yourself a refreshing wakeup call, splash a little cool or cold water over your freshly-shaven facade. This cool/cold water may also help to slow hair growth and preserve the natural oils in your skin, maintaining moisture and skin health.
You may also choose to finish off with an aftershave balm. This can aid in calming your skin, adding a moisture barrier, and preventing ingrown hairs and other irritation.
My husband is such a good sport. He was in the middle of what ended up being 13-hour night shifts for an exercise when I asked him to help out with this. He took time out to let me snap a few photos of him when he was quickly getting ready to leave for work and to share some of his tips; he even posed for some silly photos that I requested! I’d say he thinks it was worth it though—not only because he wants to support me, but also because he really loves this razor, and it makes shaving for work faster and more comfortable.
This razor also makes a great gift (birthdays, Father’s Day, a care package during deployment…)!
Do you have any other shaving tips you’ve learned to help with sensitive skin and preventing irritation? Share below!