Wet Shaving Tips And Tricks – What I’d Tell My Younger Self

When I first dragged a razor blade across my face at around 15 years old, I was excited. My transition from boy to young adult was well on its way. This first navigation of a “no name” disposable razor over my baby soft skin, was going to set me on a journey that would last the rest of my life.

When I was a young whipper-snapper, if I had known some of the wet shaving tips and tricks that I now know, my shaving experience would have been vastly different. From the razors I handled, to the creams I applied, and the methods I employed. All these and more, would have changed the way I approached my stubble removal, during those early formative years.

So, in no particular order, let’s jump straight in! If I could go back in time and meet my younger self, here are a few wet shaving dos and don’ts I’d be sharing.

Tips To My Younger Self

Choose The Right Razor

Much of what we learn in life is the result of what we’re taught by our parents. Although he had a short interlude with an electric shaver, Dad used disposable twin blade razors. And as a result…so did I.

Unfortunately for me, one of the by-products of using a multi-blade razor was ingrown hair. This later progressed to an unwanted shaving rash.

My first piece of advice to myself would be to purchase a decent safety razor. Be patient and take the time to learn how to use it.

There are a number of fantastic benefits in using a safety razor. Just a few of these are:

  • Less Irritation
  • More Economical
  • Easier To Clean
  • Better For The Environment

==> Click here for my shaving showdown: Safety Razor vs Multi Blade <==

Enjoy the Process

Like the millions of blokes around the world, my daily shave was just an inconvenient part of being a male. It was something I had to do, whether I liked it or not.

Now I must admit, that using a safety razor will naturally make your shaving experience much more enjoyable. But even if you’re not using a safety razor, the zen-like process of whipping up a good lather and meditatively massaging it into your face can be incredibly relaxing.

At the very least, use that time to consider the people and things in your life that are important and mean something to you. If you’re a praying man, it’s a great opportunity to have a chat and connect with God.

Use Proper Shaving Soap

img-shaving_soap_5One of the things my Dad used that I had no hesitation in following in his footsteps with was canned shaving foam. Not knowing any better, I happily sprayed this bunch of chemicals onto my hand and rubbed it into my face.

Little did I know, that I would have much better results by using a good quality shaving soap or cream. There are many brilliant reasons for using one of the many great shaving soaps or creams out there. A few of these benefits are:

  • Hydration
  • Lubrication
  • Preparation
  • Softens the Hair
  • Paraben Free

==> Click here for my shaving showdown: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream <==

You Don’t Have to Rush

Tied very closely to “enjoying the process”, apart from the relaxation side of things, you need to remember to slow down. It’s not a race.

One of the main reasons that men (and women) cut themselves while shaving, is because they try to get it over and done with quickly. By slowing down a little and taking a bit more care, you’ll have a cleaner and more comfortable shave.

Prepare Your Face Properly

The affliction of shaving bumps and razor burn are the result of many things. There may be one or more process (or lack thereof) in your shaving regimen that are contributing factors.

I would definitely instil in my younger self the importance of preparing my skin and whiskers correctly in readiness for the first pass of the blade. Not only does a well prepared visage reduce the various uncomfortable symptoms of shaving, but it will make the whole shave in general smoother, closer and much more pleasant.

==> Click here for my Pre-Shave Routine <==

Shower Before Shaving

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I appreciate that for a lot of gents, depending on their daily routine, this might be difficult to incorporate. I would however recommend to mini me, that I shower just prior to shaving.

This kills two birds with one stone. Not only do you thoroughly cleanse your face, but you also soften your skin and whiskers at the same time.

Choose Your Own Water Temperature

“Don’t be a sheep!” Not that I’ve got anything against sheep, in fact, here in Australia we certainly have our fair share of woolly mammals. What I’d be telling my younger self, is that just because hot water is the accepted norm, you don’t have to follow suit.

Cooler water can actually be quite helpful in controlling common shaving related ailments. And on a hot summer’s day, well, nothing feels better!

==> Click here for my tip: Cold Water Shaving <==

Use a Shaving Brush

For the love of God use a shaving brush young man. Although the thought using a shaving brush might sound a bit antiquated to many, it is a necessity if you want to enjoy a close comfortable shave.

Firstly, it helps create a thick, creamy lather using your favourite soap or cream. Secondly, the circular motion of the bristles pressed against your face helps lift the whiskers, allowing the blade to slice through the hair cleanly.

Lastly, a good quality shaving brush will help you evenly distribute the lather over your face. Not to mention that for me, this part of the process is the most relaxing. 😉

==> Click here for my Shaving Brush Reviews <==

Use A Lathering Bowl

Once the brush is loaded with shaving soap or cream, a lot of blokes are happy to apply it straight to the face. Now if that’s your preference, there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Personally, I found it less messy and more practical to use a bowl. And probably even more importantly in my opinion, because of the control you have over moisture, you can achieve a repeatable, consistent lather.

I’d also tell myself that a fancy, expensive, name brand bowl is not necessary. A couple of bucks from the local $2 shop, any bowl with a decent size and a bit of depth will be perfect.

Look After Your Face Post Shave

As a young bloke, I felt pretty much bullet proof. The thought of looking after my skin was non-existent, as I went about pursuing life’s more important things…like girls!

Just as preparing your face well prior to shaving is important, looking after it after that final pass is equally necessary.

The way you treat your skin after shaving, will not only heal any minor nicks and microscopic abrasions, but it will determine how well your face will be moisturised and protected. A huge contributor to this, is the use of an effective aftershave balm.

==> Click here for my Post-Shave Routine <==

Don’t Shave Unlathered Skin

Just to clarify, Yes I did spread canned goop over my face before shaving. However I fell into the poor habit of shaving the same spot multiple times without any lubrication.

So in dealing with younger me, I would suggest that because multiple passes are required with a safety razor anyway, pick up any unreduced whiskers with the next pass.

Don’t Push Too Hard

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Now I know disposal and cartridge razors are slightly more forgiving when it comes to how hard to press against the skin. I would however tell young me to not push against the face, but let the razor do the work.

When using a safety razor this is particularly important. You should always let the weight of the razor dictate the pressure.

Forget The Electric Shaver

One of the things I dabbled with briefly when I was a youngster was an electric shaver.

I wasn’t working at the time, but I was determined to save enough money to buy myself the latest and greatest. I considered shaving with a razor to be old fashioned and if the TV advertisements were to be believed, this exciting new purchase would shaving closer and quicker than ever before.

How wrong I was. Yes the shave was quicker, well, sort of. I did have to run the razor over my face and neck numerous times. And even then, I had to clean up afterwards with a razor.

No, I would tell my younger self to save my money and invest in a good safety razor and accessories.

==> Click here for my shaving showdown: Safety vs Electric Razor  <==

Conclusion

“If I had my time again I’d…”

It’s a phrase we hear all too often. The great thing is, we don’t need to live in the past, but we can learn from it.

It’s never too late to change our habits for the better, we just need to make the choice to do so.

I hope you picked up one other two tips and tricks I’d tell my younger self. What tips do you have that work well for you? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Time to get your shave on! 😉

22 thoughts on “Wet Shaving Tips And Tricks – What I’d Tell My Younger Self

  1. Matt

    Nice article. I’ll be honest with you and say that I am a very, very lazy man when it comes to shaving.

    I actually usually just use my hair clippers and do it at the same time I do my hair haha! I know it’s probably time to grow up though, so thanks for the advice on how to make it a fun and relaxing process. I may actually start doing it properly if I know I’ll get something other than just a smooth face out of it.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      G’Day Matt

      We all get a little lazy at times mate. You’re not Robinson Crusoe there! 😉 And you’re right Matt, when done properly with the right tools, it is very relaxing.

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  2. Alex

    Hi there! Really helpful post about shaving. Since now I was using electric razors as I have too sensitive skin for multi blade razors. I’ve read a couple of your other posts too and I’m definitely, I mean definitely switching to double-Edge . Thanks for sharing i really appreciate your posts

    Reply
  3. Shawn

    Bro, Where was this post when I started shaving?!?! Great post man!!

    I have always used a multi blade razor (well only a 3 bladed anything else killed my skin) since I was a kid and have enjoyed it. I have never tried a safety razor. I am intrigued by one and will have to figure out where I can grab one here in Baton Rouge. Overall, you killed me with this post. I have never used a brush and usually just use soap or conditioner for shaving cream, but I think I might have to man-up and upgrade my materials a little. Thanks for sharing man. Love this blog!!

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      Thanks for your comments Shawn

      I’m glad I was able to help introduce a few new ideas to you.

      If you’re interested in buying a safety razor, can I recommend you look at my Safety Razors for Beginners review. There, I list my top 3 razors for those getting in to classic shaving for the first time.

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  4. Matt's Mom

    I’m not male, but this was a great post. Not sure how a safety razor is good for the environment but I will take your word 🙂 It looks very relaxing to me! Shaving is not relaxing for us women….okay maybe the part about a bubble bath 🙂 As I never shave in the shower….great excuse for a bath! This was a really very interesting article! Thanks for the great information!

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      Thanks for your comments Matt’s Mom.

      I agree, Even for we men, I can’t think of many things more relaxing than a bubble bath! 😉

      As far as safety razors the environment goes, the small size of a razor blade results in a fraction of the landfill generated by disposable razors.

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  5. rob

    You really have a lot of interesting information, I’m glad I found your website. I will definitely became a regular reader because you helped me with my shaving dilemma . Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Peter

    What would be the best razor for someone that has quite a bumpy scar on the chin, as I cut myself regularly even with a safety razor.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      G’Day Peter

      I have a mole on my neck and a little scar tissue on my chin as well. When I first started with a safety razor, I would always nick these areas. With a bit of practice and patience, you will improve. Other options are to try a multi-blade razor or electric shaver! These may be helpful with the scar tissue, but I personally feel a safety razor will give you a better all round result.

      You may also want to consider a razor that is not very aggressive. Have a look at my article What Is The Best Safety Razors For Beginners. Any one of these paired up with a Derby blade may be just the ticket. And as I mentioned earlier, give yourself some time to get it right.

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  7. paul

    Hi Andrew

    Just today I was contemplating life whilst wet shaving, I was always under the impression that cold water shaving was not wise as it didn’t open the pores properly. Great post will, try some shaving soap and report back.

    Paul

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi Paul

      I thought the same as you about cold water shaving. However, after looking into it a little more, I discovered a range of benefits. It won’t suit everyone, but I certainly don’t mind it.

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  8. Hari S Nair

    I think I am more lazy than Matt when it comes to shaving, I usually get a shave when I go for an hair cut and people believe that beard is my fashion XD.

    These are some awesome tips. I too would love to show to my younger self if I had a time machine. I still remember the day when I first tried shaving and messed things up, so this is a very essential information for young teenagers.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      Thanks Hari

      Yes mate, when anyone starts shaving for the first time it can be a little daunting and tricky.

      The things we could do with a time machine! 😉

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  9. chris

    Thanks for these tips. I have to shave daily and I usually only use hot water and a disposable razor. It’s not all that uncomfortable and it irritates me having to do it. With some of these tips I could see myself enjoying the process a bit more.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Post author

      G’Day Chris

      I’m happy I was able to pass on a few ideas mate. Even if you only use one or two suggestions, you’ll find an improvement in your shaving process and overall results.

      Cheers
      Andrew

      Reply
  10. Stephanie

    This is a really informative article! I enjoyed reading this and learnt a lot from this article too, and although the article is more aimed towards men I think there’s still some things I can benefit from, such as showering before shaving to help soften the skin, and trying not to rush the process in order to avoid cuts.

    Reply

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