Exfoliating for the Perfect Shave

Do you get painful red bumps, razor burn, or small cuts from shaving? You're not alone. When it comes to grooming, irritation from shaving is one of the most common complaints men have, yet most guys are not doing a whole lot about it. 

Sure, you may not want to go all the way to level expert straight razor shaving, like they do in old-school barbershops, but there are things you can start doing immediately that will drastically reduce the pain of shaving, and help you on your way to getting the perfect shave.

You probably already know about some tips, like taking a hot shower to soften skin and hair before shaving, and using a proper shaving cream (instead of bar soap) to further soften hair and lubricate skin. But you might not know that skincare is just as important.

We're going to explain the importance of proper skincare and exfoliation as crucial steps in getting the perfect shave.  

Exfoliation 101

How does exfoliating help you get the perfect shave? Well, if you don't properly cleanse and exfoliate skin regularly, dead skin cells can clog hair follicles and trap facial hair under the skin. This is the cause of ingrown hair. Shaving over ingrown hairs and rough skin causes micro-cuts and and razor burn. 

Physical Exfoliation

Not all exfoliation is good for shaving. A loofah, or a rough scrub can actually damage skin, and shaving after that is too harsh on skin. If you love a good scrub, save it for your body, which has less delicate skin than your face. 

Chemical Exfoliation

There are other options for exfoliating before shaving. Chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) exfoliate the skin by promoting cell turnover. 

AHAs are water-soluble acids, often derived from fruits, that break down the intercellular bonds between dead skin cells. Popular AHAs include citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid. These can be found in anything from cleansers, toners, serums to moisturizers.

The most common BHA is salicylic acid, and it works by getting deep inside pores to dissolve cellular build-up.

Chemical exfoliation must be used in moderation, because too much or too often can be irritating to skin. If you have sensitive skin, don't use a chemical exfoliant to prepare for shaving. 

Enzymatic Exfoliation

The best option is an enzymatic exfoliation before shaving. This method is milder and best for sensitive skin types, especially before shaving. Enzymes are derived from fruits like pineapple and papaya, and work like chemical exfoliants to break down dead cell structures. 

Shake And Wake, our powder enzyme cleanser, turns into a silky foam when you add water. It provides the perfect gentle exfoliating cleanse without harsh scrubbers or any roughness. Plant based fibers to gently remove dead skin cells, pineapple and papaya enzymes polish with no harshness, and vitamins B3, B5, and C restore skin.

Moisturize Post-Shave

Once you've finished shaving, skip the old-school alcohol based aftershaves that sting and dry out skin. The theory is that alcohol-based aftershave is antibacterial, but in reality, it can be do more damage to your skin than good.

Use a good moisturizer post-shave to soothe skin, calm inflammation, and promote healing. Look for one that won't irritate skin, contains gentle active ingredients (now is not the time to exfoliate!), and does not contain fragrance. 

Relax And Repair, our holy grail moisturizer, is great for daily use and for after shaving. We use a powerful blend of hydrators like ceramides, squalane, and hyaluronic acid to protect skin. Plus gentle antioxidants like niacinamide to calm inflammation, smooth, and firm skin. And of course, a power punch of plant extracts like centella, ginseng, and seaweed to soothe and nourish skin.

Want more tips for the perfect shave? Check out our 6 tips for getting the perfect shave at home. 

Jaxon Lane | How to get the perfect shave | Exfoliating for the perfect shave