Your routine seems pretty solid. I'd suggest throwing out that Schick and using a straight razor or a safety razor instead. The best and closet shave you'll get minus the bumps and ingrown hairs.
Information about me: White with dark and thick facial hair that grows fast
I have to shave everyday, and I have to shave against the grain in order to not have any stubble. Even after shaving against the grain, the facial hair is still visible from under my skin.
Here is exactly what I do, step by step:
1) Take a long hot shower
2) Rub Shave Secret Shaving Oil on my face
3) Use a shaving brush to lather Gillete Foamy for Sensitive Skin shaving cream using circular motions
4) Let it sit on my face for 3 minutes
5) Using short strokes with little pressure, I shave with the grain with a Shick Hydro 5, while rinsing under hot water every few strokes
6) I wash my face with hot water
7) Rub Shave Secret Shaving Oil on my face
8) Use a shaving brush to lather Gillete Foamy for Sensitive Skin shaving cream using circular motions
9) Using short strokes with little pressure, I shave against the grain with a Shick Hydro 5, while rinsing under hot water every few strokes
10) I wash my face with cold water
11) I put an alum block under cold water, then I rub it over shaved areas
12) I wash my face with cold water
13) Using a wash cloth (small towel), I pat my face completely dry
14) Using a new cottonball, I rub Tend Skin Liquid over the shaved areas
15) I let it sit for 5 minutes
16) Lastly, I rub Cerave Moisturizing Cream (noncomedogenic, non-irritating, and grease-free) all over my face
Note: I include my neck in the process as well as my face.
Overall, this takes at least 30 to 45 minutes every morning after the shower. I still manage to get razor burn on my face and in grown hairs. I am considering laser hair removal. What can I do to help??? I am getting desperate, as I spend hours everyday researching, and I spend hundreds on different shaving products. I look "dirty", and my facial hair makes me look foreign if I don't shave it.
Here is a picture
Last edited by clarkehildreth; 6th April 2014 at 09:19 PM.
Your routine seems pretty solid. I'd suggest throwing out that Schick and using a straight razor or a safety razor instead. The best and closet shave you'll get minus the bumps and ingrown hairs.
I agree above....Diss the cartridge razor and try Double-Edge razor shaving or wet shaving....It consists of using a DE razor which you can get for about 30 bucks...Cartridge razors raise the hair up and pulls it while cutting...this tugging or pulling action can cause razor burn versus a safety razor simply CUTS the hair without pulling it up to cut it off....There is a technique involved to using one but fairly easy to master....I would also get rid of the "goop" shaving cream from a can and get a more moisturizing shaving cream like TOBS Avocado or a Palmolive shave stick and consider FACE LATHERING with a badger brush to stand those hairs up better...It makes all the difference in the world....Palmolive shave stucks are 4 bucks and a good razor with good blades should do the trick...I recommend Astra blades, personally...Feather razor blades are way too aggressive and sharp...
Last edited by FSU92grad; 8th April 2014 at 02:53 AM.
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My hair grows very slowly so I cannot certainly help for the shaving part.
As for ingrown hair and the like, I would try products with lactic acid, salycilic acid, or glycolic acid. These products remove dead skin cells and have a mild antiseptic action, which can help open a pore and avoid inflammation. They may not be enough in severe cases, but for they help me when I wax the body. Examples would be Anthony's ingrown hair treatment or (in Europe) Avene ingrown hair. These products are actually similar to the products sold for peeling or anti-acne (sometimes they go by the name alpha hydroxy or the like), since the action is similar: open the pore and avoid inflammation. So these are alternatives, good especially if you have oily skin. Similarly, if you have oily skin, you could do a peeling mask once or twice a week: these also contain the same materials.
My suggestions are,
1. Some people just do not like 5 blade cartridge razors, perhaps try Schick Hydro 3, Schick Extreme 3 or Mach 3.
2. Try a better shaving cream - like the really slick ones such as Trumpers, Crabtree& Evelyn or Art of Shaving..... BUT these ones don't work well on me with gooey cartridge razors like Schick Hydro or ProGlide, they don't cut close enough (but that may just be my beard). Perhaps also try the remarkable King of Shaves Azor Advanced Shaving Gel, in white tube (avoid King of Shaves regular stuff).
If you do get one of the good creams, try a non gooey razor like Fusion regular (not Proglide) or Schick Extreme
3. Drop the shaving oil for the time being. Shaving oil on me works well with poor creams, but actually lowers the performance of the previously mentioned stellar performers.
4. Many people swear by the performance of tallow based soap such as Tabac and Arko, as opposed to the regular vegetable soaps. You have to use a brush with these, as the cream versions don't have any tallow in them. That said, tallow soaps don't do much for me, but given so much acclaim for them, they may be the thing for you.
5. Apply the alum - and leave it there. With some alum blocks, they leave a white film and you pretty much have to wash it off. But some are pretty much invisible, and even though it feels odd, don't wash it off. I've noticed that the alum in most natural deodorant sticks I've tried, don't leave much of a white film.
6. Other post shave things you can try are witch hazel from the women's toner section, or the very soothing Mennen Skin Bracer.
7. And of course, you can try Double Edge (DE) shaving, where, if you visit the Badger & Blade site, you will see countless testimonials about how problems similar to yours were solved. But DE shaving requires some learning and experimentation.
a. Firstly, a DE razor isn't used like a cartridge razor, you mustn't apply pressure and use wrist action. Instead it is applied gently and with a straight hand-forearm action (plenty of videos on Youtube about this).
b. Unlike cartridge you will need 2, 3 or 4 separate passes, depending on how close you want the shave (first pass with grain, second and third across the grain from opposite directions, and the last against the grain). But I'm pretty slack, and one and a half passes does me better than electric does.
c. Then you will have to choose razors. Best medium ones are Jagger 89, Merkur 33 or 34, or the cheaper Lord L6. Avoid cheap twist top razors, as solid heads are better unless you are spending big. I have mild razors like old Gillette Tech and Weber DLC for when I've had problems. The Merkur Bakelite is fairly aggressive.
d. Then you will have to choose blades. Get a sample pack. I've found Shark Stainless Steel to be the mildest I've come across, whereas Gillette Stainless Steel, Dorco Stainless Steel, Gillette Seven O'Clock are fairly mid range, while Gillette Astra Superior Platinum and Feather blades are very sharp (the Astra SPs always leave me somewhat raw, but some people love them) .
e. Join Badger& Blade, a very friendly site, and you will get heaps of advice, some contrary to mine, but it is great fun and you will be amazed at how many shaving products and razors you wind up with as you try solve your problem.
Last edited by Renato; 7th April 2014 at 04:14 AM.
Get a safety razor (Edwin Jagger/Muhle do nice entry-level razors) and a decent new set of products - a pre-shave oil, a good shaving cream, a good brush (not a Simpson, get a basic pure badger one - plenty of Chinese bargains on eBay: fun fact, the badger breed used for brushes actually come from China, so these ultra-cheap brushes are good), and some gentle blades - like Astra or Bolzano. Switching to a new setup is the only solution, stop wasting money on cartridge razors and bottled shave foams. They shave bad and poorly - and as it happened you, they can even ruin your skin.
I have a question for you guys - I've brought up this wet shaving with a safety razor to my dad and he just rolls laughing. I told him how it's making a comeback. He says we were incredibly happy not to have to use those safety razors when the cartridge razors came out. I've yet to try and DE razor. He hated them.
It's not uncommon over at Blade & Badger to see dozens of people praising DE as the best thing ever, and blasting cartridge razors and canned lather, but I've often pointed out that hundreds of millions of men happily use cartridge razors and canned stuff without ill effect - so they can't be that bad.
I use one and a half passes of DE most of the time which gives me a very satisfactory result, but i know I'll get an even closer shave with one and a half passes from a cartridge razor. More passes are required from DE to get as good a result as one pass from cartridge.
My dad who has now passed away, happily used both DE and cartridge razors right up to the very end.
Should some of the above good ideas not work, there is a role for ye olde electric razor in this scenario. I have a heavy beard-type too, and in my pre-DE days used to carry one in the car for a midday buff-up (Braun being the most consistent brand for me over many years).
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
I also have the supposedly aggressive Merkur Slant razor, which looks vicious, but shaves like a treat on me.
Disregarding my experience with Open Comb, I can't imagine how your assertion can be accurate. Three, four or five blades cutting with pressure, has to produce a closer shave than one blade cutting without pressure.
- - - Updated - - -
But I used to get similar problems to the OP using electric, until I found the solution for me was using medicated soap that dried my skin out, waited for my skin to dry, and then electric shaved. This also had the unintended effect of increasing the life of my cutters from 6 months to 3 years.
In comparison, how much of the 3,4,5 etc blades are exposed on a cartridge?
What you've said is virtually the same as "a straight razor cannot shave closer in one pass than a gillette fusion" which is... an interesting point of view.
Jamming an open comb into your face & using poor technique brought about through years of cartridge use will definitely cause irritation & may not even give a close shave. I agree with you 100%. You have to start from scratch with DE shaving.
By the way, I get BBS in one with the grain pass on my cheeks using my Old Type. Under my jawline I need a second against the grain touch up pass & I'm totally smooth for hours.
Last edited by zygalski; 10th April 2014 at 05:54 AM.
If you get BBS from one and a half passes, well, that would be unusual relative to the expriences documented by the tens of thousands of other DE shavers at Badger & Blade - in the two years I've been a member there, I've never seen anyone say that.
Perhaps post a thread there in the General Discussion forum stating what you have just said in the title. I'll be interested to see their reaction.
As to your second main point. There are dozens of how to shave videos on Youtube, Wikis on how to do it at Badger & Blade, and thousands of discussions about it at the same place. For some weird reason, they are all in unanimous agreement that one needs multiple passes to achieve a Danm Fine Shave or the even better Baby Backside Shave. However, according to you they are apparently wasting their time.
What you say may be true for you, but plainly is not the typical experience of most experienced DE shavers.
As to my experience, I have
20 current cartridge razors, and over 10 older 2 blade cartridge razors,
Around 12 DE Razors ranging from ultra mild to extremely aggressive,
Over 20 shaving soaps,
Over 20 shaving creams,
Over 15 brushless shaving creams,
Five badger brushes,
Six Boar brushes,
Over 50 brands of DE blades,
Five electric razors.
Results are always the same.
Shaving electric I have to shave again 24 hours later.
One and half to two passes with my two mild DE razors, and I have to shave again 24 hours later.
One and half to two passes with my more aggressive DE razors, and I have to shave again 36 hours later.
One pass with slight touch up under chin bone with cartridge razor, and I don't have to shave again for 48 hours.
Last edited by Renato; 10th April 2014 at 10:05 AM.
I would suggest using the soothe regimen form Rodan and Fields. I've been using it and after the first shave I have not had any razor burn, bumps or ingrown hairs. I use the face wash the same way I use shaving cream then #2 lotion right after takes less than ten mins for me to shave and apply the rest of the products. I order them through my consultant at jazzyp.myrandf.com. Unfortunately it only available in the U.S.
Well, there seem to be some people there at B&B who speculate that it could be possible, given your circumstances.
But most responders don't think a BBS shave in one and a half passes can be done by them.
Haven't read all the replies, but is it not most likely that you simply have sensitive skin which is reacting badly to the extent of your shave (particularly shaving against the grain). I understand the desire for closeness, but would suggest that a 'good' shave isn't necessarily the closest shave. For me, a 'good' shave is one that gets as close as possible without causing irritation or damage to the skin.
I agree with StewartGallacher, you can have the combination of sensitive skin and coarse hair that just is not ever going to be amenable to shaving. If it isn't required for your work, most guys in my area have the very short beards, use trimmer, and shave only the edges, if that. Even if you use the electric razor, if you are cutting the hair down lower than the skin, it will cause problems when it regrows, the sharp edges of the razored hairs tend to curl back in rather than growing in nicely.
But wanted to point out that the complicated routine may be causing part of the irritation, you are really messing with your skin a LOT and using so many products. The routine recommended for ladybits (same problem - sensitive skin, coarse hair) is hot shower, coconut oil, conditioner instead of shaving cream; shave once with the grain then once against, rinse, dry, a quick swipe of deodorant and leave the area alone for awhile so it can settle down. Less messing with the skin.
I began shaving daily at the age of 16 since joining the army.
I too suffer with bad razor rash and ingrown hairs, and have tried all the 'magic' creams and oils (kimg of shaves, preshave, etc etc)
Trust me, theyre all a gimmick, and i spent thousands in years trying them all.
Then on a trip to london, i managed to get a booking with Taylors of Bond St, where i was introduced to a shaving tutor.
Ypu may laugh, but even though i thought it was a joke, i went along with it.
Firstly, it was the best thing id ever done, seriously!
Heres some of the things id learned which has helped me no end.
1- disposable, and multi bladed razors are rubbish. The best shave is a cut throat, but as it takes a few years practice, they recommend a proper single blade razor, like wilkinson sword or gillette top grip type. The more blades, the more it scrapes the skin, meaning more rash
2- foam and gels in cans will contain rubbish that can cause sensitive skin to rash up. A proper shaving soap will firstly soften the hair, and moisturise it too.
3- there is no substitute for water. The main issue with shaving is lack of it, and keeping the face wet through helps
4- using a proper horsehair bristle brush to apply the shaving soap is paramount for a decent shave. Applying the soap with the brush using a paint brush stroke style is best, up and down, plently of water lathered up well.
5.- dont use short strokes. Long slow gentle strokes are best, try not to go over an area again.
6- never cut against the grain, it will always cause ingrown hairs. Shaving your face is a learning process for the skin and hairs, and for a while it may well look like you have hair showing through the skin, but persevere, and it will eventually get much better.
Let me first state that I also have extremely sensitive skin. And what works for me may not work for you, but after a lot of experimentation with different products, different techniques and different routines, here is what I would say to you:
1) You're way over-doing it with that routine. Less is more when it comes to keeping the skin on your face healthy.
2) If you're not already, try using some sort of all-natural face wash that minimizes the amount of harsh chemicals in the ingredients. Also, make sure that when you're actually washing your face, you're being gentle and not trying to scrub it or rub too vigorously.
3) Ditch the oil. I have tried a lot of them and very few actually help. That one in particular added a lot of drag to my razor, and especially when combined with a cream.
4) Try a shaving soap instead. I've tried all of the high-end shaving creams, and while some definitely gave great results, a good soap has always kept my skin healthier. L'Occitane makes a nice one called Cade that you can get for $10, or there's even one by Van Der Haagen that is available at most pharmacies, Walmarts, Targets, etc. (My favorite is "Pre De Provence" and is available on Amazon.)
5) If you really want to stick to a cream, get rid of the Gillette. That stuff is harsh and does a poor job of protecting and lubricating. Instead, get something that has a shorter list of ingredients and works by creating a thick, protective lather. Popular options include: Proraso (you can actually buy a tube of this at any Bath and Body Works...it comes in a green tube and is branded as a CO Bigelow product, but it's made by Proraso), Truefitt and Hill, Geo F Trumper, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Musgo Real, etc. In general, I'd say stick to the big English and Italian brands that have been around forever. But there are certainly others worth checking out as well. Either way, get rid of the goop.
6) You 100% want to switch to a double or single edge safety razor. The problem with those cartridge razors is that they are all way too aggressive. They remove a layer of skin that doesn't need to be removed and dig too deeply into your face to glide smoothly. They also clog extremely easily with hair, cream and whatever face/skin debris they're removing, which also adds to the lack of a smooth glide. Also those "lunrication" strips are nothing but a gimmick; they actually make the drag even worse. A safety razor, however, cuts only the bare minimum that is needed. With proper technique, it glides and only removes the outermost of layers and is much gentler on your skin. I think this one change would make the most difference on your skin.
7) There is a lot of debate over with vs across vs against the grain. But I think it's safe to say that if you have sensitive skin, going against the grain with a cartridge razor is a definite no-no. If you do decide to try a safety razor, I would suggest starting with one pass that goes with the grain, and one that goes across it. (If this isn't close enough for you, then you can try two passes with the grain, followed by two across.) Once you've done this a few times and gotten a bit better with your technique, you might try a 3rd pass against the grain, but I think this night still irritate your skin. If you want to stick with a cartridge razor, I would advise only going with the grain and just doing an extra pass.
8) As I said at the beginning, less is definitely more...when making passes with your razor, you want as light of pressure as you can get away with. Under no circumstances, with any type of razor, do you ever want to press down. Not even a little bit. Let the weight of the razor, combined with gravity and a good slick cream, do its thing.
9) Aftershave should be applied gently, with a minimal amount. Also, I've learned that a small dab of a balm ends up making me far less oily and/or irritated than using any kind of alcohol-based splash. Nivea makes a really great one for sensitive skin that you can find at pretty much any store that sells mens shaving supplies, it comes in a white bottle. If you don't mind paying a little more, I'm also a huge fan of L'Occitane's Cade aftershave balm. And of course there are a myriad of options you can research on your own. But my point is to make sure you're using something with quality ingredients, and not over-doing it with the application.
If you do decide to try any of these suggestions, I'd say give them a week or two before you evaluate the results, as it will take the skin a short amount of time to adapt to your changes. Also, if you do want to try a safety razor or a shave soap, I would strongly urge you to check out the forums on www.badgerandblade.com They have a ton of very well-done instructionals for creating good lathers and proper shave technique.
Good luck to you, I know this can be a particularly frustrating problem to deal with.
That being said, I do agree with:
- just don't work very well compared to the alternatives
- doesn't even smell good (which frankly should be a criterium for members of basenotes)
- leaves you with a lot of rubbish and I think we'll all agree that we can do with a lot less rubbish filling up our planet
I think that even using a decent soap/cream and brush with a multi-blade could be an improvement for some.
Hence why i use a wilkinson sword single edge
As for the horse hair brushes, the reason i didnt mention badger is two fold. (Although i agree, theyre lovely brushes!)
Here in the UK, most shaving bristles are horsehair, unless you buy a bespoke badger brush or go to a proper mens grooming shop. Theyre expensive, and also i was informed that for troublesome skin and stubble, the coarser horsehair is better as it exfoliates and lifts the hair prior to shaving.
There are 2 excellent forums I would recommend
I would suggest this course of action:
1. The first thing I would do is visit a barbershop and get some solid advice.
2. Ditch the Foamy as people have mentioned, It's rubbish.
3. I would recommend getting a good pre-shave cream like Proraso.
I would recommend purchasing a good soft shaving soap like Antica Colla Bitter Almond. It has excellent cushioning properties and will help minimise he redness you're experiencing. I've tried about 50+ shaving soaps and this is the best for cushion. If you live in the US, call Stats in Pasadena and speak with Damon. I would also ask Damon about his thoughts as he has a huge amount of knowledge and I'm sure he would give excellent advice.
4. You will need a decent brush. Check out the Simpson's Berkley, it's $50 for West Coast Shaving. If you become addicted you can always spend a lot more on a brush, but it won't get you a better shave
5. When lathering, always use more product than required. It's better to have a thick and protective lather that will provide you with a cushioned shave.
6. The Schick Hydro 5 is an excellent cart shaver. Have you tried flipping the gel cushion back? This will provide more blade exposure.
7. You can go the DE route and this will give you a closer shave. It may also result in a few little microscopic cuts but it will be closer. I would recommend a Muhle DE 89 closed comb DE or a Merkur Futur which is adjustable in terms of aggressiveness. If you like them, you can alway upgrade a get a better DE razor like a Pils. In terms of DE blades, I would recommend the Astra which are very smooth, or the Gillette Silver Blues which are also smooth but just a tad sharper.
You could also look at a SE (single edge) razor like the Cobra from Classic Shaving. It's a ground breaking razor and is always sold out. You can use different models of blade which have a significant impact on the closeness and well harshness of the blade, it really depends on your hair type, however in your case I would recommend either the Feather pro guards which are sharp but are quite smooth, if they're not sharp enough you can always go the Feather Professionals. The blades last a lot longer than conventional DE blades.
Last edited by mixerscent; 3rd August 2014 at 12:40 AM.
I'm curious if OP has solved his problem,.... in some way... .
I've bee having similar problems when I was shaving often.(Why do you shave everyday?) So I shave only when my skin is itching me . I use Gillette Mach III , Proraso Soap for sensitive skin and just an after shave balsam also for sensitive skin (Yves Rocher) . Also I highly recommend L'Occitane Cade shaving products.