How to Wet Shave Your Face
Written by: EZ BLADE
Because it’s seen as a chore that means it should be done as quickly as possible so you can move on with the day, right? Wrong! Rushed shaves not only mean shaving more often (quick once overs with a dull blade or electronic monstrosity typically lead to 5 o’clock shadows) but it also spells disaster for your skin.
While taking the time to prep your face, make several passes, and follow up with a soothing cream or tonic might seem unnecessary to you, we promise that it’s worth it! You’ll see less nicks, irritation and razor burn plus your shave will last much longer.
What is Wet Shaving?
It probably doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a wet shave means just that: shaving with water. And it’s how your grandfather, his father and his father’s father did things.
For a traditional wet shave, you’ll need to ditch your electric shaver and opt for a safety or straight razor instead. While it can be daunting using a single blade for the first time, it’s well worth it. We’ve been conditioned as men to think that we need multiple blades for a good shave but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. All you really need is some water, good shave gel, cream, or soap, some patience, a single blade, and an after shave lotion or tonic for the best shave of your life.
Benefits of Wet Shaving
Most shavers today claim to give you a quality, close shave with nothing but the fifty blades attached to it. However, shaving your face without water and some kind of lather can lead to irritation, nicks, ingrown hairs, bumps, and dry, flaky skin. That’s because shaving without water dries your skin out and without prep, you’re more likely to curve or tug out hairs as you shave.
Here are some of the other benefits:
Cheaper- Let’s be honest for a moment: razor blade cartridges are expensive! You can pay upwards of $25 for a set of 6 blades that will each dull in a month or two before needing to be replaced. If you’re a regular groomer, that can add up quickly. Using a straight razor or safety razor is much cheaper in the long run; your initial cost is the biggest expense. After that, it’s a matter of keeping your blade sharp if it’s a straight razor or replacing the blade for about .25 cents if you’re using a safety razor.
Healthier, smoother skin- While you may think this isn’t important trust us when we say that your girlfriend does. Healthy, soft, freshly shaved skin is a turn on to the ladies so slow your routine down and give them what they want! Plus, healthy skin that hasn’t been ripped apart by a dull razor and a dry shave means less itchy, sore areas after a shave.
Longer lasting shave- Regardless of what your electric or six bladed razor promises, you won’t get a longer lasting shave with anything other than a wet shave and a single bladed razor. That’s because all you need is one blade to the get the job done. Most of the more modern shavers have heavy guards that keep the blades away from your skin (and they should, even at their sharpest they still tend to drag more than a sharp safety or straight razor) whereas a single blade with sit closer to your skin. Obviously this translates to a closer shave that lasts longer. Prepping your face with water and lather also helps lift the whiskers, which allows you to cut them closer to the skin.
Meditative- Taking your time with the grooming process can be a form of meditation for a lot of men. Shaving allows you to step away from the world and responsibilities for a short time while your only focus is on the strokes of the blade. Plus, your girlfriend will probably leave you alone for a while.
Step by Step Wet Shaving
Now that we’ve sold you on the wonders of spending some time grooming your face, let’s get started:
Prep your face- Shaving right after a hot shower is ideal but if you don’t have the time, wash your face with hot water. This will open your pores and soften your whiskers making for a smoother shave.
Lather up- You can use the gel, soap or cream of your choice as long as it doesn’t come in the form of that blue chemical crap that sits on the shelves of WalMart. The chemicals in those shave foams are bad for your skin and can cause irritation. Instead, opt for a higher quality soap or cream of your choice that has more natural, soothing ingredients. Using a brush or your fingers, rub the lather into your face using circular motions. This helps lift the hairs and coat them evenly.
Shave away- Using a straight or safety razor, begin slowly shaving your face. The goal is gradual hair reduction not removal so take your time. Also, apply light pressure; single bladed razors are sharp so you don’t need to bear down as hard in order to cut the hairs. If you’ve never used a safety or straight razor before, make light passes gradually increasing in pressure until you find the right amount for the shave you want.
- Rinse and repeat- Make sure you clean your blade after each stroke. Once you’ve made a pass, check the area and if necessary shave it again. It might take a few passes before it’s as smooth as you like. Make sure to re-lather the area as you go. You don't want to dry shave with a single blade.
Use an after shave lotion or tonic- Lotions aren’t just for your girlfriend and mom, they’re for you too! After shave lotions and tonics replenish moisture lost during the shave, prevent skin irritation, and keep your shave looking fresh throughout the day. Whether you opt for a tonic or lotion is completely your choice; tonics are lighter oils whereas lotion is heavier against the skin. It’s entirely personal preference.
Once you’re finished with your shave, admire your work in the mirror then go show off your smooth irresistible face to your girlfriend!