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How to wet shave to perfection

There’s no doubt about it – a wet shave is the best way of getting the perfect close shave. And like many other self-care routines, learning how to wet shave your face is a skill that can be honed. We’re going to show you how to wet shave your face like a professional in just a few simple steps. 

Wet shave vs dry shave

But first of all, why take the time to wet shave your face? When it comes to wet shave vs dry shave, a wet shave will always offer better results.

Electric razors may be quick and convenient, but they will never leave your skin feeling as smooth and bristle-free as a traditional wet shave.

Wet shaving gives you better-looking, cleaner skin than dry shaving – it's more efficient, and it reduces the chances of soreness and irritation.

Here are our steps to achieving the perfect wet shave.

Pre-shave routine

Your pre-shave routine is arguably the most important step in achieving the perfect wet shave. Get it right and you’ll soften your stubble and open your facial pores, maximising the chances of a close shave. Here’s what to do:

1. Clean your face

The ideal time to wet shave is right after you step out of the shower, as your skin will be warm and clean. Otherwise, wet a flannel with warm water and pat your face. This will open up your pores, rid your face of any oil, and soften your stubble. Lubricating your bristles with a touch of pre-shave oil is a good idea too especially if you have sensitive skin.

2. Soak your shaving brush

Pre-soaking your shaving brush is a key step in the wet-shave process. If you’re using one of our natural hair shaving brushes, soak it in warm water for a minute or two, or run it under the hot tap until it starts to feel heavy. If it’s a synthetic hair shaving brush, give it a quick dip in warm water. Once wet, shake your shaving brush lightly until about one-third of the water is left in the head – too much water and you’ll over-dilute your shaving cream and find it hard to build up a thick lather.

3. Apply shaving cream

Whether you’re using shaving soap or shaving cream, it’s important to apply a good even coating on your skin. You’re trying to create a good lather which will let the razor glide against your skin, rather than drag. Flick your brush back and forth to whip up a lather. Avoid circular motions because this will tighten the brush’s bristles, making them more likely to fall out. Apply the cream to your face with an upward motion to lift the hairs and make them ready for cutting.

The shave

1. Prep your razor

It’s not just your face that needs to be clean and prepped – your razor should be, too. Warm it for 10-20 seconds under a hot tap, which will help it glide pleasantly against the skin while you shave.

2. Shave with the grain, not against it

Making sure you shave with the grain, not against it, is one of the keys to achieving the perfect wet shave. Take your time and make short strokes in the same direction of hair growth. This ensures the smoothest possible shave, and also reduces the risk of nicks, irritation and rashes. Make a mental map of the contours of your face and the direction of hair growth, and you’ll quickly learn the ideal route for your razor.

Let the razor glide across the face – the ideal angle is approximately 30˚, but experiment and see which angle is most comfortable for you. Don’t forget to rinse your razor regularly in warm water to get rid of stubble – every two or three strokes is ideal.

3. Don’t press too hard

The most common mistake made by wet-shave rookies is applying too much pressure on the face with the razor. There’s no need to press into the skin. In fact, razor blades work most efficiently when they cut across a flat surface. Digging into the skin causes irritation and a less-than-perfect shave. Let the razor do the work!

Post-shave

OK, so the razor has done its job and your face is now smooth and stubble-free. But there are a few more things you should do to ensure the best shave possible.

1. Rinse your face

Don’t rinse your face with stubble-strewn water! This can cause irritation on your skin. Instead, fill your sink with fresh, warm (but not hot) water, and rinse your face to remove any stray hairs and lather. Rinse it again with cold water to close the pores on your face.

2. Pat your face dry

With a clean towel, pat your face to dry it properly. You’ll be surprised at how bits of lather can stay trapped behind your ears, so make sure you dry all around your face properly. Also, patting your face dry rather than wiping it will minimise any risk of irritation.

3. Apply aftershave balm

Aftershave balm is far kinder to the skin than aftershave itself, which can cause stinging and irritation. Using a balm will soothe and help to rehydrate your skin. Rub it in gently using a circular motion, and don’t use too much. After a few minutes, apply your regular moisturiser to protect your skin properly for the day ahead.

Use the right shaving brush to achieve the perfect wet shave

You’ll never achieve the perfect wet shave if you don’t use the right shaving brush. It may seem easier to squirt some shaving foam into your hands and rub it on, but you’ll never get the right level of coverage compared with a good shaving brush – your skin will thank you for it! 

Remember to rinse your shaving brush carefully, shake off any excess water, and store it upside down on its stand. This will keep it in perfect condition, and prevent water from settling in the base.

The perfect wet shave will leave your skin feeling wonderfully smooth and soft. Follow our simple advice and you’ll be enjoying perfect shaves time after time!

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Written by
Swanky Collaborator

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