The Craftsmanship of the Perfect Shave

Rule 2: Take Care of Your Tools

Craftsmen do not abuse their tools. They treat them with respect. They keep them sharp and clean, and they replace them when necessary.
 
If you want to craft the perfect shave, you'll need to do the same. Carefully rinse your razor after each shave. Then dry the blades as best as you can by giving the razor a vigorous shake followed by a quick blot with a towel or a brief shot of air from a hair dryer. Leaving the blades wet can lead to rust, which will cause them to wear out quickly.
 
Even with good care, your blades will eventually need changing (or sharpening, if you happen to be an old soul who still uses a straight razor). Don't keep on using a dull, warped blade. Your skin will pay the price.
 

Rule 3: Prep Your Work Surface

Every craftsman knows it pays to properly prepare the work surface. They don't skip important steps like cleaning, sanding, and priming. They know that these steps, even though they take money, time, and effort, are essential. They know they will not be happy with the final product unless they take the time to do it right.
 
Shaving is no different. Studies show that virtually all men struggle with trapped hairs (hairs that get stuck under the skin) when shaving. These trapped hairs can lead to irritation and red bumps. How can you avoid trapped hairs? One study showed that using a pre-shave facial scrub product designed especially for this purpose greatly decreased trapped hairs. Using shaving cream applied with a shaving brush was also helpful for decreasing trapped hairs, although it wasn't quite as effective as a pre-shave scrub.
 
No matter how you go about it, exfoliation will likely improve your shaving results. Whether you use a gentle daily pre-shave scrub or a more vigorous twice-a-week exfoliation routine, be careful not to overdo it. You want to gently remove the top layer of dead skin. You don't want to sand off healthy skin, or you'll end up with a red, irritated face.
 
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