Stylist Diana Schmidtke is the woman who keeps Hollywood's leading men—George Clooney, Jon Hamm and Taylor Lautner—looking their best. Get her expert advice on the right way to shave, how to prevent ingrown hairs, proper eyebrow maintenance and more!
6 Steps to a Great Shave:
1. The first step to a great shave is to open up your pores. If you don't shave in the shower, you can prepare the skin by running a washcloth under warm water. Then, apply the washcloth to your face for at least 60 seconds.
2. Clean your face by using an exfoliating scrub. Exfoliating scrubs are helpful for removing dead skin cells, which can block the blade. Rinse your face clean with warm water.
3. Next, use a preshave oil to help moisten your skin and soften the hairs. Then, massage your shaving cream over the beard and be sure to leave it on for a minimum of two minutes before starting to shave. Shaving cream needs time to do what it is supposed to do. If you leave it on for only 30 seconds and begin to shave, what you're really doing is shaving dry hair—which will increase your chances of getting razor burn.
4. Begin shaving with grain. Take two short strokes, and then rinse your blade clean. You will decrease your chances of nicks, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Do not apply too much pressure when shaving. Once you have finished shaving with the grain, you can now go against the grain for an even closer shave. To avoid nicks, pull the skin taut, especially around the nose and mouth area. Do not apply too much pressure when shaving.
5. Rinse with cool water to close pores.
6. Finish your shave by gently patting dry your skin and apply a moisturizer with SPF. If you enjoy using an aftershave, astringent or toner after your shave, do this first, and then apply your SPF moisturizer. It is very important to use an SPF moisturizer every day on your face in order to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
How to prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs and skin irritation
Troubleshoot Your Shave
Ready to say goodbye to razor burn? Use these tips to help reduce skin irritation after shaving.
Prevent ingrown hairs before they start
- Don't shave too fast.
- Shave with the grain, not against it.
- Leave shaving cream on for at least two minutes before starting to shave. Shaving cream is designed to moisten and soften your skin and facial hair.
- Use short strokes. Think short stroke, short stroke, rinse. Repeat this method throughout your shaving time. Be sure to keep your blade clean!
- Ease up on the lather. You never want to lather up your face too much because it can prevent the blade from getting close to the skin.
- Adjust your blade. You may have very sensitive skin—and a triple- or quadruple-blade is too strong for your face. Use a single blade, or try using an electric razor if you find that your skin is irritated after each shave.
- Use alcohol-free products. Alcohol will irritate your skin after shaving, so be sure to use alcohol-free shaving cream, aftershaves, toners and moisturizers.
- After shaving, place your razor back in its case and let it air-dry. Don't use a towel to dry your razor, as it will dull the blade. And don't leave it in a pool of its own water. This can cause your blade to rust.
- Replace your blade regularly. If your beard is not thick, replace your blade every two to three shaves. If your beard is very thick, you may need to replace the blade daily.
Treating Ingrown Hairs
The best treatment for ingrown hairs is preventing them from starting in the first place. If you follow these shaving tips, you will notice a significant decrease in ingrown hairs.
If you do get an ingrown hair, do not go fishing for it. Here's what to do:
For seriously infected ingrown hairs, it is always best to visit your dermatologist for removal. Discuss with your doctor which products will help eliminate razor burn and ingrown hairs.
- First, exfoliate.
- Then, apply a warm washcloth to the affected area. If you can see the hair, great! Use sterile tweezers and gently pull the hair out.
- If you cannot easily remove the hair, leave it in its place and apply an ingrown hair remedy product to the affected area once a day until you can easily remove the hair. Be sure to use a product that contains salicylic acid.
- If you do not have a product with salicylic acid on hand, crush up an aspirin in 2 tablespoons of water, apply the solution to the affected area and leave it on for 10 minutes. Apply the solution daily until the hair is pushed to the surface and can easily be removed with sterile tweezers.
Tame your eyebrows
Men's Eyebrow Maintenance
There's one rule of thumb when it comes to men and their eyebrows: If it is not part of the pack, remove it. The unibrow has always been out of fashion, and no man looks good with one!
But no man looks good with perfect eyebrows either. It is not hot or manly to have too-groomed of eyebrows, but when you have eyebrow hairs that are an inch longer than the rest of your brow hairs, go ahead and trim them!
Here's how to properly groom your eyebrows:
When in doubt, I highly recommended enlisting the help of a professional. Leave perfect eyebrows for women to wear.
- First, comb all your eyebrow hairs up with a comb. This will allow you to see which hairs are longer than the others.
- Trim the longer hairs with a small pair of scissors. Never cut directly across your skin when trimming your eyebrows. Instead, one by one, trim each of the longer hairs.
- Go easy with the tweezers. Do not tweeze the hairs under your brow or too many of the hairs above your brow. Find a happy medium, and remove only the eyebrow hairs that are an obvious distraction.
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 6, 2013
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