1: Your low-foam shaving gels and oils don’t produce a ‘Father Christmas beard’ of foam... does that mean they don’t work?
It is true to say for most shaving preparations, the more lather a product produces, the more it will dry out your skin. It may feel good to have a lot of lather on your face, but the fact is that this lather is created by surfactants (similar to detergents) which dry out your skin. As you are already scraping off natural oils when you shave, you do not then want to further dry out your face. Lathering is also wasteful. That white peak of shaving foam, gel or soap isn't actually touching your face – so why is it there?
So "yes", the low foam gels and oils do work. You don’t need to cover your face in foam to get a good shave. Oils and low foam gels allow for precision shaving so you can see exactly what you are doing.
With a clear or low foam shave preparation, the more likely you are to see (and thus avoid) any problem areas such as spots, red or rough skin around the neck and so on. Also, if you have a moustache, goatee or beard, you will be able to shave around it with pinpoint accuracy – something that is impossible with traditional lather based shaving products.
2: I have spots / shaving rash / irritation, which I keep making worse by shaving over them. Should I stop shaving?
Not unless you want a beard! The low foam gels and oils we were talking about are ideal for you. They allow you to avoid particularly sensitive areas – so you won’t keep cutting the same spot or irritating a sensitive area of skin!
Generally you just need to read and follow our prime, shave, protect regime carefully. It will put you on the right track to achieving a smooth rash free shave even if you have sensitive skin. Specifically we would also advise you to change your shaving 'software' to a non foaming, King of Shaves shaving oil, serum or gel as they are formulated for all skin types but are especially effective if you have sensitive skin
Our range of shaving and skin care software includes products specifically designed for sensitive or spot prone skin (antibacterial Face Wash, Scrub, Shave Gel plus a soothing Balm) – so seriously consider using these as they will help in the long-run.
For the first four or five days, start shaving before you go to bed at night so you will be sleeping and not fiddling with your rash or burn. Try and shave in the shower if you can – get hold of a non-fog mirror from one of the gadget websites, or shave 'by touch'. Shave slowly using short strokes in the direction of hair growth – use the side of your forefinger to gauge which direction gives less resistance so you shave ‘with the grain’.
Do not be tempted to go over and over the same area to get a closer shave – this will only further irritate your skin. After shaving, if you have used a gel or serum then splash cool water on your face and pat your skin dry. If you used an oil, simply pat your face dry. Consider using a post shave gel (like King of Shaves Soothing Gel) or moisturiser (like Men’s SPF8 Facial Moisturiser) as this will help your skin recover. After three or four days of shaving in this way, your spots / rash should have gone, and you will be able to revert to shaving in the morning remembering to use all the advice above!
3: I have a very heavy beard and find that shaving with the grain doesn’t give me a close enough shave. What can I do?
Begin by following our prime, shave, protect regime and shaving with the grain. This removes the bulk of the hair without pulling and scalping the hairs. Then reapply your shaving software and shave again (very carefully), going against the grain.
Additional tips: Don't shave first thing in the morning. Have breakfast, let your skin wake-up! Shaving is made much easier by giving the area to be shaved lots of warm / hot water (or steam) before shaving. So have a bath or shower and wash your face in running warm water as this softens the bristles and opens up the pores of the skin preparing it for a closer and less painful shave. After washing apply a hot towel to the beard area for a minute or so to really soften and prepare the bristles for a smooth shave.
4: How do I stop razor burn / razor bumps?
These two are kind of linked so we’ll address them together. By having a good shaving routine you should eliminate both. To help eliminate razor bumps, which are caused by the hairs curling round and re-entering the skin (ingrowing), you should exfoliate with a gentle face scrub at least twice a week. Exfoliating is not just for girls as it helps to remove dead skin and frees ingrowing hair. And by following our shaving regime (see above), shaving with the grain and not pressing too hard when you shave, and using a moisturiser / soother afterwards, you should prevent razor burn.
5: Is it OK to electric shave?
There is no doubt that electric shaving can be faster and simpler than wet shaving. However, electric shaving is harsher on the skin as it strips away natural oils and usually requires the hairs to be dry and brittle to get a close shave. For a closer and more comfortable shave, our advice is to move to wet shaving. But hey, it's a free country, so if you wish to continue with the electric we suggest you apply a few drops of a King of Shaves Shave Oil to your face before-hand as it will prepare the skin and stubble and help leave you feeling moisturised (not sandpapered)!
Additional tips: Unlike all King of Shaves products, some pre-shave lotions contain alcohol and other astringent (drying) agents which are not good for your skin. So read the label and check the ingredients before you purchase.
6: Is moisturiser for girls?
Certainly not! It's important to look after your skin, irrelevant of your sex, and the daily routine of life damages your skin. Women have been wise to this for years – men have taken a little longer to catch up! Shaving can be very drying on your skin and coupled with weather and lifestyle conditions (yes, those late nights drinking in the pub will affect your skin) you need to protect it. Many of the products on the market that claim to be able to replace moisture are lying – once it's gone it's gone, but you can help to protect the skin by using a moisturiser after shaving.
The key is to lock moisture into the skin rather than try and replace it later. The simplest way to do this is to apply a moisturiser or post shave soothing gel / balm to the skin as soon after shaving (or washing) as possible, but definitely within ten minutes of shaving (or washing). If you use a moisturiser with a built in SPF, all the better!
7: Does it matter what sort of blade or razor I use?
The brand name of the blade is far less important than the state it is in. You will not get a close shave from a blunt blade; you will be shaved on parts of the face and not on others and you will end up with redness and blotches on your face and neck. The cure is simple. As soon as you feel a blade is not performing properly, replace it!
That said, we have spent five years designing the King of Shaves Azor Hybrid Synergy System Razor and we really believe it will “shave closer, longer, for less” so we recommend you try it out.
Shaving with a cut-throat razor (or open or straight razor) is also becoming popular again. It takes quite a bit of practice to master however this rediscovered method can give you a great shave and really give you the edge trimming shaped beards and lining up those awkward sideburns. For a well illustrated guide on how to hold and use a cut-throat razor visit www.cutthroat-shaving.co.uk.
8: Should I use mentholated shaving software?
King of Shaves offers a wide choice of mentholated products for the simple reason many people love the super cooled feeling they get after shaving with a mentholated product. Very occasionally, menthol can cause a slight reaction with some skin types so simply by switching to an unmentholated version of a product can help significantly to reduce redness and sore areas.
9: What's the best method of shaving my head?
For a great head shave, simply follow our prime, shave, protect regime. If you would like more information on head shaving, try visiting www.headshaveproducts.com.
10: I have oily skin. Surely using a Shave Oil is a bad idea?
Using a shaving oil will not make your skin oiler. However it will leave your skin feeling smooth and moisturised.
11: I have extremely sensitive skin. What should I avoid?
If you find that fragrance irritates the skin, an Azor Advanced Shaving Gel or Kinexium Shave Oil coupled with our Men’s SPF8 Facial Moisturiser. Although none of our gels contain fragrance, the Advanced (non-cooling) Shaving Gel is derived from natural ingredients and features advanced skin conditioners which makes it ideal for extra sensitive skin. Remember to follow our prime, shave protect regime and thoroughly rinse off all the gel after use.
12: There is so much choice. How do I know which product to use?
Easy! Either use the product selectors our product range pages, or you can read about the differences here.