I asked for an overview of men's wet shaving from my husband, a seasoned shaver during the summer months and currently sporting a beard! I received the following guide with tips. Mr Bond as noted below is 007, over to Mr L:
Back in the day men who wanted to look suave and sophisticated shaved and took their time over it.
Mr. Bond was my shaving mentor and guru, I learned everything about a good shave (and how to fight off villains before breakfast) and importantly how not to arrive with razor rash.
So, step by step:
I like to use freshly boiled water as this stops the introduction of something nasty if I do nick myself.
Let it cool so not scalding and the hot water will soften your beard, lubricates your pores and preps your face for a great shave
Water is also used to prepare the lather. You want to adequately soak that shaving brush before you whip up a rich lather on the soap puck in your shaving bowl.
Mr Bonds Tip: A glass of water never hurt anyone either.
You will not want to rush your wet shave! Make sure you have enough time to do a thoughtful shave; it's a bit like meditation.
Quickly shaving your face can lead to razor Rash and skipping important prep steps can make all the difference in your shave and not in a good way.
Mr Bond Tip: It's a good time for a morning chat, if it goes quiet the bad guys are in the room.
A Sharp Razor
A wet shave requires a sharp razor and some people will be shouting about how the £80 single blade cut-throat beats any BIC every day of the week, but for some, it is availability and enjoyability. Personally, I like a less than high stakes shaving experience. Also Mr Bond has never had a problem at border control when they find a Straight-edge razor in the luggage but lately, border control has a bin for these things.
By choice, I use a safety double edge razor. Blades are available all over the world usually made from recycled ship steel and it's not a high stakes shaving experience.
There’s actually a lot of strain on your skin when shaving with something so close as the modern 2+ bladed razors, and you’re more likely to get ingrowing hairs from them.
Mr Bonds Tip: More is not always better.
Shaving Brush and Bowl
There are many reasons to use a brush and it's more than just a tool to apply shaving cream. It helps scrub off dead skin cells, exfoliates, and raises up facial hair so it's easier to cut.
This tool also helps spread shaving lather evenly on the face and protect the skin from direct blade contact that can cause razor burn.
Mr Bonds Tip: a bowl is not always essential but it's a good place to keep your soap for travelling, and the tracker.
Soap or Cream
You want to use soap or cream that suits you, the more you shave, the more you realise silky lather will prevent shaving rash and razor burn and that alcohol-based soaps dry the skin and lead to an awful shaving experience.
Regardless of which you use, an important thing to remember is that you want to achieve a consistency similar to that of whipped cream. To do so, you may have to play with how much water you have on your brush.
Start with less and add as needed.
Mrs L says: Pyons shaving soap is formulated with healing hemp oil and desensitising Kaolin clay that forms a rich lather that will hold the air and create a great foam
Mr Bonds Tip: it's always easier to add water than take it away.
The steps to a Perfect Shave
Begin by applying a warm towel or taking a shower to soften the hair.
Apply a pre shave oil to help create a super slick face before applying soap lather, leaving on for a couple of minutes and allowing time for you to wash your hands of any residue.
Form a lather on a shaving soap or add cream to a bowl and use a damp shaving brush to mix into a foam.
Use the same brush to apply to the face as this lifts the hairs of the face to allow for that close shave.
Check that razor and your view in the mirror.
Doing multiple passes is ideal: start with the grain, across the grain and finally against the grain if your skin is not overly sensitive.
Finish with a nice cool rinse to clean off any excess foam, dab the face with a towel.
If your face or neck is sensitive your final step would be to add a little lotion or balm to calm the skin.
Your skin absorbs way more than your digestive system so bear in mind what is in your products that you are using on your face.
Mrs L says: Pyons vitamin C rich Mango butter balm with dragonfruit seed oil ticks the boxes for calming the skin. Be careful with alcohol based aftershave as these can be drying and cause more irritation. And girls, the shaving soap is also great for us too, just don't let him know you've borrowed the razor for your legs!
For Mr Bonds best shave check out Skyfall...