8 Ways to Get the Closest Shave

Anybody can drag a disposable razor across their cheeks and call it a shave, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Whether you’re using a cheap throw-away or a deluxe straight razor, there are certain things you need to do to get those blades super close. If you want to avoid the dreaded five-o’clock shadow, you’ll need to use the proper equipment in the correct order. With the right routine, you’ll get a close shave every time!



The first step to a close stage is selecting the best products for your beard and skin type. Using astringent on dry skin, for example, can cause reddening and irritation. Your doctor or dermatologist may also identify chronic skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea which might require special creams as well. Having great skin care products will help ensure your face is well prepared for a shave session.

Getting your hands on a good razor is essential as well. Cheap disposable brands wear out quickly, aren’t comfortable to hold, and may not even be that sharp. More expensive models with replaceable heads may seem like a better option, but they can contain up to five blades, and that’s a lot of wear on your cheeks. A quality straight razor is an excellent option because it’s durable and can be sharpened to a keen edge when necessary, perfect for getting in close.

Warm Wash

Before you even think about putting a razor on your skin, make sure you wash with a gentle cleanser and rinse with warm water. This will both open and clean out your pores, making it easier to shave and prevent dirt from being trapped beneath the surface. Choose a soap that works well with your skin type and make sure you rinse well to remove all of the oil and grime.


It takes more than soap and water to get your face clean. There’s also a lot of dead skin that builds up throughout the day. An exfoliating scrub will help lift those skin cells away from your face, leaving a smooth path even someone new to a straight razor can follow. It also stops the dead gunk from clogging your pores and creating ingrown hairs. Massaging the cream into your skin also helps to push up the hair follicles, getting them ready for the next phase of your shaving routine.

Pre-Shave Oil

Try to shave without any lubrication and you’ll quickly learn why it’s called “razor burn”. The itchy, bumpy skin that occurs after a bad shave can be avoided with a little extra preparation. Pre-shave oils cover your skin with a thin protective coat that helps razors glide over your chin. They also soften beard hair, making it easier to cut and simultaneously soothing your skin as well.

Shaving Cream Application

Your first instinct may be to pump a dollop of shaving cream into your palm and then swirl it all over your cheeks and chin, but that’s not going to do you any favors. While it will help provide more protection from even a straight razor blade’s edge, slapping it on will push hair in all different directions. Instead of your hands, choose a soft shaving brush and apply the shave cream or soap in an upward motion. This will position your facial hair in the correct orientation, offering you cleaner cuts with less chance for ingrown hairs.

Going With the Grain

Another way to reduce the risk of razor burn and bumps is to shave with the direction your beard grows. In other words, run the razor in the direction you don’t feel resistance. This way the follicles won’t become trapped beneath the skin only to return in the most annoying way possible. Use a clean, sharp razor as well, and rinse it between strokes to avoid buildup and keep the shaving going smoothly.

Cold Rinse

While warm water will open your pores, a cool rinse post-shave will do the opposite. Now that your face is washed, exfoliated, and hair-free it’s time to close up shop. Sealing your pores will help to keep dirt and bacteria out so there’s nothing to distract from your closely-shaven countenance.

Aftershave Application

Once your skin is smooth and soft, it’s time to splash on some aftershave. The goal is to help destress your skin and prevent redness from developing, so avoid products that may dry it out. Pick a balm, lotion, or splash instead of the astringents your grandfather may have chosen, even if he swears by it!

Too Close Is Comfort

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a close shave. For some, it’s the ritual of straight razor shaving that provides the smoothest skin. For others, a quick wash, lather, and rinse with a disposable get the job done just as well. No matter which razor you use, creating a routine that covers these basics helps to keep your skin feeling smooth as silk!

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Tags:shaving, razors

About the Author

Alex Nickson

Alex is our writer, specialised in luxury and style. He is passionate about discovering original luxury brands and emerging fashion designers.

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