Should You Use Shaving Creams or Gels?

An essential part to the grooming routine for many men is the wet shave, a clean cut look that defines the jaw line and works with a variety of styles. However, the act of shaving itself can cause damage and irritation to the skin through razor burn, skin rashes and dried skin. This may be attributable to the way you shave but it can also be down to the type of shaving products you are using and the way they affect your skin. Here are some tips on making sure you have the right product for you.

Shaving Gels

One of the most popular products used by men in their shaving routines is gel. Easily lathered and applied to the skin, it provides a lubricant layer that softens hairs and acts as a protective surface for the razor blade to glide on. Due to its consistency once lathered, it tends to leave minimal build up on the blades and can easily be washed off after shaving using warm water. There are a variety of options, including some available for sensitive skin, tailored to specific needs and styles of shaving.

However, it’s worth noting that many shaving gels do contain some form of alcohol to create their gel consistency or fragrance. When this alcohol comes into contact with the skin it can cause irritation and dryness which can age the skin over time. Although this isn’t the case with top brands these days, it’s always worth checking to make sure your gel is alcohol-free as it could be hindering your skincare regime.

Shaving Creams

Shaving creams are a more common choice when it comes to skincare as they rarely contain alcohol and actively moisturize the skin once applied, this is due to the fact they are glycerine-based . Once worked onto the skin it should be left for 2-3 minutes to help soften hairs before shaving, this not only makes the shave easier but reduces the amount of strokes required thereby reducing razor burn.

However, shaving creams are a slightly heavier product to use and tend not to lather as easily. As a result the build up on razor blades can occur more quickly if not thoroughly cleaned and ultimately cost you more in replacing them. However, taking into consideration the long term benefits these creams give to your skin this could be considered a small price to pay.

If you’re interested in shaving creams but are unsure what to buy, check out our Top 3 Shaving Creams for all budgets.

Remember The Shaving Basics

Regardless of what type of shaving lubricant you use, make sure you take the following steps to ensure you get the best shave every time:

  • Wipe the area you are going to shave with a hot, damp cloth for 2-3 mins (this helps prepare skin and hair)
  • Always rinse your blade under hot running water, a sink full of water is likely to carry bacteria from previous uses.
  • Once you’ve finished, rinse your skin with room temperature water and pat with towel until dry
  • Use a post-shave balm or moisturiser to help cool the skin and prevent rashes/razor burn.

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By Adam Walker