Whether you do it every day or once a week, shaving is a key part of many men’s grooming routine. You probably nailed down the basics back when you first started growing facial hair, but there’s a lot more to grooming than the actual hair removal process. Even if you’ve been removing your scruff for 30 years, it’s never too late to learn new shaving tips.
Since knowing how to shave properly is essential to avoiding razor bumps and burns, we’ve put together an expert guide outlining the best way to shave. Ahead, you’ll learn how to shave your face the right way, plus get tips on the best Kiehl’s products to use in your grooming routine. Read on for the official Kiehl’s guide to shaving for men.
Step 1: Start With a Clean Canvas
Before you even break out the razor, it’s essential to wash your face to remove dirt, oil, and other buildup stuck on your skin’s surface. Reach for Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, which preps skin for a comfortable shave. This customer favorite, which is formulated with caffeine, menthol, and vitamin E, also revives and awakens skin, helping you have an ideal start to your day.
Adding an exfoliating cleanser to your routine can also be useful since it can help remove the dead skin cells that may otherwise clog up your razor and prevent you from getting a close shave.I Two to three times per week, use the Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub. This unique scrub thoroughly cleanses and invigorates the skin. The top-rated formula contains powdered apricot seeds to exfoliate the complexion and soften tough facial hair to promote a closer, more comfortable shave.
Step 2: Prep Your Facial Hair
After cleansing your face, apply shaving cream to damp skin on the areas you plan to shave. It may seem unnecessary, especially if you’re only removing a little bit of hair, but shaving without shaving cream can lead to cuts and irritation.I In other words, shaving cream is a must if you want a comfortable, clean shave.
Our best-selling shave cream, Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle, is formulated with menthol, camphor, and emollient sesame oil to prime the skin for a smoother shave. The brushless formula is super easy to apply, too: Simply apply a small amount to damp skin as you would a moisturizer—no water needed.
Kiehl's Expert Tip: If you have reactive or sensitive skin, try an unscented formula, such as Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream Blue Eagle. It features aloe vera and sodium PCA to help soothe the skin while preparing it for a close shave.
Step 3: Shave With a Clean, Sharp Razor
Once your skin is cleansed and prepared, you’re ready to remove your facial hair. Now, we can’t tell you exactly how often to shave, as this depends on several factors, including your hair type, desired outcome, and complexion. That said, for a totally smooth finish, you’re generally going to want to shave daily. If you’re okay with a bit of scruff (or don’t grow hair quickly), you can get away with shaving less frequently, but the exact schedule is up to you.
Whatever your routine, experts generally agree that the best way to shave is with the grain—in other words, in the direction of hair growth. This helps prevent razor bumps and burns. Rinse your razor after each pass to remove hair, shaving cream, and other buildup that can clog the blade and lead to a less-smooth shave.II Use lukewarm water (not hot) to clean the blade to minimize discomfort.I Finally, be sure to replace your blade (or razor, if you’re using a disposable variety) frequently, ideally after every five to seven uses.II
Kiehl's Expert Tip: After shaving your face, store your razor in a clean, dry place. This can help prevent the growth of potentially-harmful bacteria.II
Step 4: Soothe Just-Shaved Areas
When you’ve finished shaving, rinse off any excess shaving cream with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry. Then, reach for an aftershave, such as Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief, to help calm and soothe your skin. This unique formula stars aloe vera, vitamin E, and willow herb to hydrate the complexion and minimize post-shave irritation. It also contains lipo-hydroxy acid, which gently exfoliates the skin to reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs. Apply it to your face with clean fingertips for a moisturized, nourished finish.
Kiehl's Expert Tip: If you do develop ingrown hairs, it’s important not to pick at them, as this can worsen irritation and cause scarring. Instead, apply a warm compress to help minimize bumps and avoid shaving with a razor until the ingrown heals (you can use an electric razor in the meantime).III
Step 5: Moisturize Your Face
No matter your skin type, moisturizing is essential for maintaining a healthy-looking, hydrated complexion. Once your aftershave fully absorbs, we recommend applying a lightweight facial moisturizer, such as Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men. This daily face cream (our #1 best-selling facial moisturizer) contains energizing caffeine and antioxidant vitamin C to awaken dull, fatigued skin. Apply this gentle formula to clean skin day and night to revitalize and invigorate the complexion.
Kiehl's Expert Tip: Address specific complexion concerns, such as wrinkles or acne, with a targeted moisturizer for men. You can find our full lineup of men’s moisturizers here.
Step 6: Smooth and Soften Remaining Scruff
If you keep any facial hair after shaving (like a mustache or a partial beard), your last step is to soften and nourish any remaining hair with beard oil. We recommend Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, a lightweight treatment formulated with 99.8% naturally-derived ingredients.* The aromatic formula stars pracaxi oil and a blend of essential oils to help tame and smooth coarse facial hair. It also contains salicylic acid and avocado oil to exfoliate and nourish the skin underneath your beard. Work a few drops of this unique treatment through facial hair, massaging it onto the skin beneath your beard, for a smooth, non-greasy finish.
Next: Beard Basics: How To Trim A Beard And Avoid Ingrowns
*We consider ingredients to be naturally derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.
I.“Want a Smooth, Safe Shave Every Time? Try These 10 Tips.” Cleveland Clinic. 24 Jun 2015. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/want-a-smooth-safe-shave-every-time-try-these-10-tips/
II.“Hair Removal: How To Shave.” American Academy of Dermatology. 2020. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/hair/how-to-shave
III.“Ingrown Hair: Management and Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic. 28 Feb 2018. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17722-ingrown-hair/management-and-treatment