09Sep The Most Common Wet Shaving Skin Complaints (and how to avoid them)
Scoping from razor burn to nicks, cuts and irritated skin, some of the most common wet shaving complaints can have surprisingly simple causes. See below a list of some of the most common issues, and our tips and tricks to avoid them. Conquer those morning rituals.
1) Razor burn and Skin irritation
Small bumps, redness and irritation after shaving can be an annoyance. See below some of the top causes responsible for the irksome irritation:
- Applying too much pressure when shaving. Unlike cartridge razors, double-edged razors leave much more of the blade exposed. Therefore, applying too much pressure can lead to a much more aggressive shave. Ideally, the weight of the razor alone should be enough and will place much less tension on the skin.
- Using cartridge razors. Many barbers recommend that those with sensitive skin swap to double-edged safety razors. Cartridge razors have 3 to 5 blades which aren't as sharp so can end up pulling the skin. Furthermore, the blades are also more expensive to replace and more difficult to clean. Small hairs and soap residue can become stuck in between the blades, which can then cause further skin irritation.
- Using the incorrect products for your skin. Although using shaving foam that doesn’t require lathering does have its benefits, nothing can beat the Shaving Brush when it comes to shaving preparation. Using a brush to lather and apply your soap or cream when shaving helps to massage the skin and lift the hair. Furthermore, MÜHLE creams and soaps use gentle natural products, again ideal for sensitive skin.
- No preparation. Attempting to shave when the skin is dry can cause serious irritation. The hair will not be softened, and can easily tug when shaved. To avoid irritation, we recommend Hot water (as a hot towel shave or after a shower) to open your pores and prepare the skin for shaving. Why not try one of our Waffle Pique Shaving Towels for the ultimate hot towel experience?
Pictured: The MÜHLE Waffle Pique Shaving Towel.
- Shaving against the grain. When wet shaving, you should always start by shaving in the growth direction of the hair. Not only more comfortable, but this method will also cause the least amount of tugging and, therefore, the least amount of skin irritation.
- Bypassing Aftercare. Although MÜHLE shaving soaps and creams can moisturise to a certain extent, it’s always a good idea to treat the skin further with a rich balm after shaving. After shaving, we recommend rinsing the remaining lather from your face using cold water (to help close the skin’s pores) and then following with a nourishing aftershave balm to help restore the skin’s moisture balance. Try our gentle Aloe Vera Aftershave Balm, for the silkiest post-shave skin.
Pictured: The MÜHLE Aloe Vera Aftershave Balm and Shaving Cream.
2) The Shave isn’t Close Enough
Mastering the techniques of wet shaving is an art, and takes practice. If you find that your shave just isn’t close enough, it could be down to one of the following….
- Not enough preparation. Again, the importance of preparation for the best wet-shaving experience cannot be stressed enough. If the hair and skin are not suitably softened with the use of a hot towel or shower, then the razor can tug. Finding it naturally easier to glide through saturated hair, the shaving process will be easier, cleaner and closer.
- The wrong angle. Achieving the correct 30-degree angle when using a safety razor is critical when considering the results. If the blade angle is too shallow, the razor will miss the hairs and won’t cut anything.
Pictured: The ideal 30-degree shaving angle.
3) Nicks and Cuts
One of the most common complaints, nicks and cuts when shaving are easily done. Besides accidental cuts, there a couple of causes worth a mention.
- Technique. Unsurprisingly, bad habits are the main cause of cuts whilst shaving. For example, taking long and quick passes, whilst seemingly more efficient, can cause the razor to become clogged. Filled with too much lather and hair, the razor can easily ‘’skip’’ and cut the skin. When these nicks happen, we recommend using a styptic pencil or MÜHLE alum block to help seal the cut and stop any bleeding.
Pictured: The MÜHLE Alum Block.
- Dull blades. Often requiring you to make multiple passes over the same area of skin, dull blades can lead to nicks, cuts and skin irritation. For this reason, it’s important to invest in good quality blades and replace them regularly. Our MÜHLE double edge safety razor blades are suitable for all MÜHLE safety razors and come in neat packs of 10.
Pictured: The MÜHLE Razor Blades
For more ‘How to’ guidance and tips, why not check out some of our other blogs?