How To Get Your Closest Shave Yet

Ready to ditch the beard? Forget the barber shop! Follow these shaving tips for the cleanest, smoothest results.

Without question, a hipster beard is defining the decade when it comes to cool-guy style. But what happens when you decide you want to shed that heavy scruff and let the real you shine through again? The idea can be a little intimidating after months or even years of living the razor-free life. It may even feel like you’ve forgotten how to shave, never mind how to get a close shave—and the last thing you want is a red, bumpy complexion after all is said and done. That’s why we’ve compiled a handy cheat sheet on the top seven shaving tips for men (along with a list of don’ts!) to get you back to baby-like skin in no time using L’Oréal Men Expert BarberClub Shaving Cream.

1. Baby-step it.
Taking a thick face mane down to a clean shave in one go is a lot to handle, so consider reducing the bulk at first. Use your beard trimmer to shorten the length to no more than a quarter inch, and then take a few days to get used to the new slimmer you before going any further.

2. Give skin TLC.
Hibernated skin needs some love before you can even think about lifting a razor. Start with a deep-cleaning face wash like L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Charcoal Cleanser to remove any dead skin cells, which will help clear a path to the roots of the hair at the follicles. Moisturizing with a face cream or face oil will also reduce dry skin flakes that can get in the way of your cleanest shave.

3. Bring the heat.
Once you’re ready to remove the stubble, start with a hot shower to soften skin. Just like at the barber shop, you can even drench a washcloth in hot water and wrap it around your face, leaving it on for a couple of minutes to help open up hair follicles.

4. Pass the cream.
It used to be thought that the best shaving cream looked more like whipped cream, your razor cutting through in a desperate search to locate the contours of your face. Not anymore. L’Oréal Men Expert BarberClub Shaving Cream is a new non-foaming shaving cream that produces a thin, creamy layer. Your razor just glides right through, making it easier to navigate every curve and hollow as you shave. (Bonus: Cedarwood essential oil leaves skin soft and moisturized even after rinsing!)

5. Be patient.
Your gut instinct might be to obliterate all signs of stubble, but leave that “go get ’em” attitude until your third or fourth post-beard shave. It’s best to let your facial hair get used to its new role of lying deep below the surface, so don’t push it by going against the grain and yanking out hairs with a five-blade razor. Instead, ease into it by stroking in the direction of the hair growth, using a single-blade razor that’s gentler on sensitive skin.

6. Stretch and release.
Now that you’ve gotten your skin accustomed to a closer shave, it’s time to get downright smooth. If you’re ready to try shaving against the direction of hair growth, you can help ease any tension by stretching the skin taut with your other hand. This will help to avoid digging into facial grooves, which can lead to painful and unsightly nicks.

7. Replenish moisture.
Think you’re done? Not so fast. Your complexion may be looking all smooth for the moment, but it’s important to rehydrate and repair the skin barrier right away to reduce the chance of razor burn. Even better, keep a jar of soothing moisturizer in the fridge. The cooling formula will comfort any irritation while closing up hair follicles for your cleanest shave yet.

Now for some final “don’ts”…
Don’t go over the same spot too many times. A couple of times should do it or you’ll start to scratch the skin.
Don’t keep the blade too long. Experts recommend switching after every sixth use.
Don’t push too hard. Use short, even strokes instead.
Don’t dry shave. Wet is best.
Don’t rush! Slower is always safer.

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