Gentleman’s grooming for the modern man involves a number of tinctures and taming agents to keep your skin, hair and body in tip top condition. At the very root of a man’s daily maintenance is shaving - at least it is if you’re already on the soon-to-be returning trend to be clean shaven, instead of still growing a post-Movember beard.
Whether bearded or clean shaven, every man needs to know how to properly tidy his facial fuzz. From the unabashedly bearded to the tastefully trimmed, these universal tips will help you to avoid common ailments, such as razor bumps and dry post-shave skin.
Regal Gentleman’s shaving guide looks at four key areas of the shaving routine, including: skin preparation, choosing shaving foam or cream, why a brush might be best and post-shave treatments.
When pondering pre-shave preparation, most men ask themselves, do I really need to? While you may be used to waking up and whirling your razor around your face, you won’t be doing your skin any favours in the long run if you don’t prep it first.
Even in the short term, a lack of skin preparation can leave your face looking more funny than refreshed. If nothing else, use warm water to clean your face and soften the hair before you start to shave.
To properly set up your face for a smooth and cut free razor run, use a pre-shave lotion.
RG recommends: Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Gel. This specially formulated gel only requires a small amount to be lathered into the skin before shaving foam or cream is applied. The combination of caster oil and aloe vera in the gel hydrates your skin to steel it against your razor. Taylor’s Pre Shave Gel is particularly soothing on sensitive skin, so ensure you massage into delicate areas such as the neck and chin.
Regardless of whether your preference is for a wet or dry shave, pre-shave gels and lotions will help your skin survive shaving. By adding a protective, pre-shave layer, you will be able to help avoid pesky cuts and nicks caused by the sharp razor on dry skin.
Many modern men choose shaving foams, such as to calm razor burn and repair skin when wet shaving. However, both classic gentlemen and grooming savvy guys are making the switch to shaving creams.
RG recommends: If you want to use a better shaving foam, with moisturising capabilities not found in basic brands, we recommend Sothy’s Softening Shaving Foam. With soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and minerals like the volcanic rocks used in Sothy’s Foam, this shaving foam is a popular choice for traditional razor shavers.
RG recommends: D.R.Harris Arlington Shaving Cream for an old school barber experience. This shaving cream creates a ‘luxury lather’ which works wonders for standard and superior razors. By working small amounts of the cream into the areas to be shaved, either with fingers or for a shave that harks back to the classic barber days, a shaving brush (see following section), you’ll create a smooth layer for shaving.
Alternative shaving creams from the Regal Gentleman collection include: Taylor of Old Bond Street Coconut Shaving Cream with only a light coconut fragrance. Other varieties also use popular scents such as sandalwood and grapefruit.
Once thought to be the preferred pick of beard Shoreditch barbers and luxury home shavers, the shaving brush is a tidy tool that could actually improve your shaving routine. Now, you don’t have to be Royally appointed or one of the Bond actors to see a shaving brush on your bathroom shelf.
RG recommends: Taylor of Old Bond Street Pure Badger Brush. Best used with shaving creams, this premiere brush will help you perfect a classic shave. By wetting the brush, you can create a rich, creamy lather and easily apply it evenly across your face and beard. The bristles allow smart shavers to work the foam under the hairs, lifting them before shaving to ensure a more even and pain free shave.
If you are thinking of making the switch from standard foam to serious shaving cream, you should also pick up a shaving brush to get the finest results.
Once you’ve shaped your beard, tidied the ‘tache or gone for a good ol’ clean shave, you’ll need to ready your skin for the rest of the day.
Your pre-shave products and choice of shaving implements are all in the business of making sure your shave is stress and scratch free. That’s all well and good, but ultimately you have just taken a blade to your skin and no matter what you shaved with (even if it was a razor forged by the Norse god Thor himself) it’ll need some help with soothing and repairing.
Depending on your skin type and needs, there are specialised after-shave balms and treatments that will allow for the best results.
RG recommends: for the everyman, Sothy’s Soothing After-Shave Balm. Sothy’s great moisturiser will help you prevent the appearance of spots thanks to natural minerals, while leaving a very subtle scent of peppermint. Simple yet effective, this balm is perfect for any shaver.
RG recommends: Jack Black Clear Complexion Razor Bump & Acne Treatment because regardless of age some men will continue to have trouble with razor bumps, spots and other bothersome blemishes. These can often be aggravated by shaving.
It works to cure what ails you skin, while treating post shave skin by combining the soothing succour of a shaving balm with an additional spot-stopping treatment. Apply with a cotton wool pad (after 30mins for razor bumps) to exfoliate upper skin layers. This will help to unclog pores and remove excess oils and dead skin.
RG recommends: D.R.Harris Arlington Aftershave Milk as the perfect partner if you suffer from overly dry skin. This light lotion works to moisturise your skin, cooling chapped post-shave skin while leaving a subtle fern and citrus scent.
Whether wet or dry shaving, as a modern man you’ll want to take extra strides to make sure that both your skin and beard hair are cared for during the shaving routine. You can do this by experimenting with what works best for you, be it a shaving brush and cream, or electric razor and a good pre-shave oil.
Shaving may have been around for thousands of years, but there’s no reason to do it the same way as our ancestors. With any face, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, so go ahead and indulge your follicles - get the best shave for you.