Most men simply toss their razor down in the sink after shaving, paying little-to-no attention to where or how it’s kept. This may not cause any issues initially, but storing your razor incorrectly can reduce its performance and lifespan. The good news is that you can keep your razor working in optimal condition while prolonging its life by storing it correctly. This week, we’re going to share some key tips on how to store your razor.
Shaving is typically broken down into one of two different areas wet and dry. While both methods offer an effective way for men to trim their facial hair, there are some noteworthy differences between the two that shouldn’t go unnoticed. If you’re struggling to decide which approach is right for you, keep reading to learn more about the nuances between wet and dry shaving.
Shaving is typically broken down into one of two different categories wet and dry. While both methods offer an effective way for men to trim their facial hair, there are some notable differences between the two that shouldn’t go unnoticed. If you’re struggling to decide which technique is right for you, keep reading to learn more about the nuances between wet and dry shaving.
So, what’s the difference between these two shaving techniques? Wet shaving is the term used to describe shaving with either a safety razor or straight razor. It’s been the preferred choice of men worldwide for centuries, and even today it remains the leading shave method. Dry shaving, on the other hand, is a relatively new technique that involves the use of an electric razor.
One of the reasons why wet shaving is the preferred technique among most men is because it conditions and moisturizes the skin. Applying a pre-shave oil followed by a shaving cream or lotion moisturizes the skin so it’s rejuvenates with vigor. It only takes a couple minutes to perform a wet shave, but the end result it well worth it in the long run. You’ll benefit from smoother, healthier skin that not only looks better, but feels better too.
Wet shaving also allows you to get closer to the skin than dry shaving. Having the razor placed right against your skin naturally catches more hair than an electric razor; thus, resulting in a better all-around shave. Of course, these are just some of the many reasons why wet shaving is the preferred choice.
There is somewhat of a learning curve associated with wet shaving. The truth is that anyone can pick up an electric razor and run it over their beard for a quick trim, but it takes practice and experience to learn the correct way to perform a wet shave. Using a straight razor on your beard without any prior knowledge could result in some minor nicks and cuts. As the old saying goes — practice makes perfect — holds true with wet shaving. The more you pick up the blade and shave, the better you’ll become at it.
Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of wet vs dry shaving. The key thing to remember is that wet shaving uses either a safety or straight razor, while dry shaving uses an electric razor.
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Whether you’re a man, woman, young or old, nearly everyone will experience dry skin at some point in their life. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may only result in a slight change in the skin’s texture, but more serious cases may include intense itching, peeling and even cracking. This week, we’re going to reveal 5 of the most common causes of dry skin.
#1) Steamy Showers
One of the most common causes of dry skin is taking long, hot showers. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of steam in your shower, but you should limit your exposure to hot water, as it pulls the natural moisture from inside your skin (which is why you sweat).
If you’re going to take a steamy shower, try to limit the duration to 10 minutes. This should be more than enough time to wash your body, hair, etc., but not long enough for your skin to dry out.
It’s no secret that dry skin and winter go hand-in-hand. Once the mercury drops and winter approaches, some people naturally experience dry skin. If you fall into this category, take a proactive approach by moisturizing your skin more frequently during the winter.
#3) Not Drinking Enough
According to a report published by Idaho health officials, approximately 75% of Americans are “chronically dehydrated.” When the body doesn’t receive enough water, the skin will gradually dry out.
So, how much water should you drink on a daily basis? There’s really no easy answer to this question, as it varies depending on the person’s metabolism, physical activity levels, weight, age, etc. With that said, you can always aim for eight, eight-ounce glasses of water as a starting point.
#4) Washing Hands Too Much
Sure, washing your hands is an important step in preventing the transmission of germs, but washing them too often can lead to dryness.
Rather than washing your hands under the faucet with dish soap and hot water, use a water-less moisturizing soap. You can purchase them from most grocery stores and general goods stores, and they actually work just as well if not better than traditional soap and water.
Certain types of prescription medications may also contribute to dry skin. If you believe medicine is causing your try skin, talk with your doctor to what kind of alternatives (if any) there are available.
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as the feeling of a good shave in the morning. That irritable, itching sensation of a beard that’s overdue immediately goes away, leaving you with a fresh, smooth face. However, there are some common mistakes men are guilty of when shaving. While most of these mistakes are minor, they can still lead to some unwelcome side effects. http://www.delicious.com/suaveshaving/shaving
I think we’ve all been guilty of ‘extending’ the life of a razor blade beyond its normal means. When you wake up at the early dawn hours, you probably don’t think to check your razor blade for signs of rust and dullness. Instead, you continue to lather on the cream and shave away. While this may not seem like an issue, shaving with dirty and/or dull blades can lead to a wide range of problems, some of which may surprise you.
Reduces The Chance For Razor Bumps
Ever notice how razor bumps tend to form after shaving with a dull razor? When the blade is worn, it won’t be able to create a clean cut against the hair. Running a dull razor blade across your skin may push down some of the hairs rather than cut them. And when hairs are pushed back inside the pores, it creates ingrown hairs (also known as razor bumps).
If you’re fed up with razor bumps, you should get into the habit of changing your blade on a regular basis. Check your blade before shaving each time to ensure it’s sharp. If it’s dull, toss it out and replace it with a new one. It’s not a bad idea to have a stockpile of backup blades in your bathroom cabinet for instances such as this.
Of course, shaving with a sharp razor blade will also result in a smoother, closer shave. The sharp edges of a ‘fresh’ razor will make easy work of hair and stubble, cutting through it like a hot knife through butter. This results in a smoother shave that feels better and more comfortable once you are finished.
Warning: Do Not Attempt To Shave With a Rusty Razor!
Shaving with a dull razor may lead to the unsightly formation of razor bumps, but shaving with a rusty razor is more serious, as it leaves you vulnerable to infection. The bacteria lingering on a rusty razor can make its way into your body when you shave. Shaving with a rusty razor is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. You might be fine for a while, but eventually it will catch back up to you.
Unless you want to place yourself at risk for infection, only shave with a clean, rust-free razor. You can help prevent the formation of rust by rinsing your razor and shaking off the excess water once you are finished shaving.
If you’ve spent any time shopping for new razors or shaving products, you’ve probably come across safety razors. The name implies they are safer to use than traditional razors, which is always a plus when you’re pressing a blade against your neck. But what exactly is a safety razor? And are they really safer to use than standard models? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.
Basically, safety razors feature an insert between the actual blade and the skin to help prevent cuts, nicks and other ‘battle wounds.’ Brothers Fredrik and Otto Kampfe first coined the term with a patent filed in May 1880. Unlike previous razors, the Kampfe brothers’ safety razor featured several bars to lock the blade in place while reducing the chance for cuts.
It’s believed that safety razors were originally invented as a means for men to shave themselves without relying on a professional barber. Razors back in the day required a steady hand, which is why so many men went to the local barber for a shave.
The Kampfe brothers’ patent described their safety razor as:
“a hollow metallic blade-holder having a preferably removable handle and a flat plate in front, to which the blade is attached by clips and a pivoted catch, said plate having bars or teeth at its lower edge, and the lower plate having an opening, for the purpose set forth.”
In 1984, Bic introduced the world’s first disposable safety razor. They soon added to the design by placing an aloe strip on the tip to help condition the skin. This proved to be a highly effective design that consumers responded positively to.
Over the years, several new designs of safety razors were invented. While the function and techniques varied, their overall purpose remained the same: to help reduce the chance of cuts and injury while shaving. Modern-day safety razors may feature permanent or adjustable blade heights, various locking mechanisms, and other safety measures.
It’s important to note that using a safety razor isn’t going to completely prevent you from cuts. They will certainly reduce the chance of an accidental cut, but there’s always a chance of cutting yourself anytime a blade comes into contact with your skin. The insert in safety razors serves as a protective barrier between your skin and the blade. Rather than exposing the full blade to your skin, only a small portion is visible; therefore, any accidental nicks and cuts will be minor.
Proper shaving has become a lost art. Today, men have forgotten about the fine art of the traditional wet shave that their grandfathers and some of their fathers used to take part in. Instead, they’re only accustomed to the cheap and disposable shaving products that companies market. The tradition of passing down the secrets of a clean shave abruptly stopped at some point, but this male ritual is making a comeback. Wet shaving is all about the tools used, and there are just a few you need to get started.
For a great, close wet shave, you will need (well, without the chainsaw)
A shaving brush
A safety razor
A straight razor (not necessarily for new wet shavers)
Shaving cream or soap
Shaving oil (optional, but recommended)
A non-alcohol based after shave lotion or balm
A mug or bowl to make lather in (you can use the cup of your hand as well)
Great! Now, where to we start? Like any good book, at the beginning.
A good shaving brush is the key to a proper wet shave, and the best brushes are made from badger hair (see The Shaving Brush). It’s smooth on the face and retains water better than any other material. There are four levels of badger hair brushes; pure, best, super, and silvertip. Pure badger hair is badger hair that generally comes from the underbelly. These are the baseline quality of brushes. Above this are ‘best’ badger hair brushes, which use more fine and pliable hairs from the badger’s body. Even more high quality are the ‘super’ brushes, using the best, most highly graded hairs from all over the body. The deluxe in badger hair is silvertip it is very rare naturally white hair on the badger which holds water best. However, as the brushes ascend in quality, they also grow in price, and silvertip brushes can run easily into the hundreds of dollars. Personally I use a silvertip brush, primarily for its’ durability and capacity for holding enough water to make a great lather. Many ‘best’ and ‘super’ brushes offer similar durability and water holding capacity, so silvertip brushes are not the only option. Go with silvertip, if you can find a good deal or you simply want the absolute best shaving brush.
Next you’ll want a double-edge (or DE) safety razor. There are several razor brands that I like. First is Merkur. Merkur is a German company that continues to make quality DE razors and blades to this day. Second on my list is Dreadnought. Dreadnought makes a great DE safety razor and a straight-edge ‘cut-throat’ razor. Merkur safety razors utilize safety combs where the Dreadnought razors use a straight-edge blade cover. I’ll write another article covering the differences in detail, but I find the safety combs are better for getting a close shave with longer stubble. Merkur and Dreadnought also makes great blades, but you can find blades from a variety of companies as well. Blade selection is another topic that will take some time to dig into. Who knew that safety razor blades were so different?
Now, as an upgrade to shaving (not necessarily for beginners to this wonderful world), you can move to straight-edge razors. These are single-edge blades that either need to be kept sharp on a leather strop or you can opt for the shavettes, which hold a disposable single-edge blade (no sharpening required). I would recommend moving up to this type of razor after you are comfortable with wet shaving and the safety razor.
Next, you will need a shaving mug or bowl that you can build your lather up in. Many shaving mugs and bowls have ridges toward the bottom which can help build later, but it not really necessary. With shaving creams (discussed below) you can build the lather in the palm of your hand. It tends to be a bit messy, so I almost always use a mug, but building your lather in your palm is a great option when travelling, especially if you can find a great travel shave brush and creams.
For your shaving lather, there are also two popular options. The first is a shaving cream. This is usually from a tube or tub, not the stuff that comes from a can (we are upgrading our shaving,
remember). Put a dime to quarter-sized dab of shaving cream in your palm, mug, or bowl and lather it up with your brush. The second is a shaving soap. These are usually in the shape of a hockey puck, which fits nicely in most shaving mugs or shaving bowls. There are also shaving soap bars, which sit on a tray and allows you to create a lather in your hand. Shaving creams are usually limited to fragrance options. Shaving soaps, on the other hand, have so many options, it can make your head spin. Lavender is a popular fragrance and is coupled with something a little more masculine, like Sandalwood or Cedarwood fragrance. Coconut and lime is another good option. And finally, there is the old fashioned fragrance of barbershops and bay rum. Shaving pucks can last 4-6 months, depending on how frequently you shave and the amount of lather.
Pre Shave OilOne item that many men overlook is a good pre-shave oil. Pre-shave oil helps to condition your skin, beard, and stubble for a close shave. Pre-shave oils are typically based on olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado and almond oils along with varying fragrances or combinations. These oils help condition your skin, soften your beard and stubble while it provides gliding lubrication for your razor of choice. Personally, I notice a huge difference between using pre-shave oil and not, so applying the oil is part of my shaving routine.
After you are finished with your shave and splashed cold water on your face to close the pores, you need to look into after shave lotions and balms to complete your shave experience. There are many after shaves available as well. You will want alcohol-free after shaves with either no fragrance or with one you won’t mind hanging around your nose. The fragrances will typically follow those available in your shaving soaps. You want these alcohol-free, otherwise your cleanly shaven face will burn from the alcohol, which tends to kill your wonderful shaving experience. You will see that some contain witch hazel, which has some alcohol level, but this is good, since it helps to close minor nicks and cuts. For larger nicks and cuts, you would use an alum block or stick.
That should about cover it. Put everything together and you’ll have yourself quite the shave (once you learn how that is). While wet shaving can have a high start up cost, it’s actually cheaper in the long run; your creams and after shaves will last a long time, and the blades are significantly cheaper. So get out there, get what you need, and shave.
A shaving brush is a small brush with a handle that is used to apply shaving soap or shaving cream to the face. Shaving brush handles were often made from fine materials like ivory or gold. The bristles were often composed of natural or synthetic materials. A shave brush is most often used by wet shavers along with a double-edge razor or straight blade razor. However, a shave brush can find itself at home with the multi-blade razors that are popular today.
The modern shaving brush has its roots back in France circa 1750. The French call the shaving brush blaireau, which translates to badger. The French have no word for shaving brush, since to them, if it’s not made of badger hair, it’s not a shaving brush. Modern day shaving brushes use many different kind of materials for the bristles. If you look at the low end of the shaving brushes, they will use a synthetic material, like nylon, for the bristles. The next level above will see the use of a synthetic\natural blend, which combines boar’s hair\badger hair and a synthetic bristle. Next, you have a straight boar’s hair bristle. Boar’s hair bristles have a tendency to break much easier than synthetics, however, they have a higher water retention capability. This is important to ensure a good lather is created in your palm, mug, and face. Many wet shavers feel that the next level, the badger bristle, is the finest most luxurious material possible. The water retention capability, the feel on the face, and the durability of the bristles cannot be beat.
Badger hair is often classified to distinguish the quality of the bristles. These are pure, best, super, and silvertip.
Pure Badger is a brush that uses the most common hair from the belly of the badger. This hair cover around 60% of the badgers body. The hair varies in softness, pliability and in its’ color. Pure badger hair is typically dark, but can be anywhere from light tan to near-black or have a silvery sheen. This hair is the coursest due the larger shaft. These brushes cost much less to make. Pure badger brush hair is often trimmed into shape, which leaves you with stiff, rough ends.
Best badger brushes are made with the finer, more pliable hair that covers 20-25% of the badgers body. It is longer in length and lighter in color than the Pure Badger hair. A best badger brush typically has a denser bristle load, which creates a greater lather. Some wet shavers argue that the difference between a pure badger and a best badger brush is minimal. A best badger brush is not typically trimmed to shape like the pure badger brush is.
Super Badger brushes is more expensive than the best or pure brushes. While some call this hair silvertip, it is often highly graded ‘pure’ hair bleached on the ends to resemble silvertip. Though it is composed of ‘pure’ badger hairs, super is graded and sorted to such a extent that its performance is superior to that of best. The brush is not prickly. One way to determine if a brush bears a super or silvertip badger hair load is to look at the color of the bristle tips. A true silvertip brush has tips that are an off-white. A super brush on the other hand has bristle tips that are a more sterile, slightly greyed white; moreover, the light color of the tips does not extend as far down the shaft of the hair.
Silvertip badger brushes are the most expensive and made from the rarest type of badger hair. The tips on this hair appear white naturally, without bleaching. A flared bristle load gives results in the silvertip brush’s fluffy appearance and lends the brush its ability to hold a large amount of water. Due to its water retention capacity, a silvertip brush can create well-formed shaving lather quickly and easily.
A bristle load, such as those any shaving brushes, hold a large amount of water, which mix the soap lifted from a shaving mug or a scuttle. The more water a brush can hold, the moister and richer the later will be. This moister and richer lather translates to less razor skipping and dragging.
Since a shaving brush is used to apply a shaving soap lather to the face, this helps to eliminate the pre-shave step of washing and applying a lotion to the face. Some wet shavers still believe that a good shave oil applied to the face helps to build up the lather as well as condition the skin for a closer shave.
A shave brush does a mini-exfoliation when applying lather. When doing so, it softens and lifts the facial hair. When you apply a shaving cream by hand, the hair can get matted or raised unevenly. By using a shaving brush, a razor does not need to be pressed to the skin, but rather applied very gently and dragged to get the close shave you are looking for. This is the reason straight razors or high-quality double-edge safety razors are most often used with a shaving brush. It essentially replaces any benefit of the multiple-blade razors.
With the official start of spring just weeks away (March 20th, FYI), many people are trying to get rid of their ghostly-white complexion from winter. But before you go signing up for a 1-month membership at your local indoor tanning bed, there are a few things you should know. Sure, it may create a bronze-colored tan, but it doesn’t come without consequence.
Indoor tanning beds feature high-tech UV lights to mimic the sun’s natural light. I guess you could compare the lights in a tanning bed to an intensified version of sunlight. Because they contain stronger and more powerful UV lights, individuals can achieve a tan in a shorter amount of time.
Indoor Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who begin using indoor tanning beds before the age of 35 are 59% more likely to develop the skin cancer melanoma (note skincancer.org suggests indoor tanning increases one’s risk of melanoma by 74%).
Each year, an estimated 10,000 people die from melanoma, making it one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. While early detection is key to treating melanoma, both men and women should take the necessary precautions to reduce their risk, and that includes saying “no” to indoor tanning beds.
Don’t assume that skin cancer is the only risk associated with indoor tanning beds. The powerful UV lights encourage the formation of cancerous cells within the eye. Although eye cancer isn’t as rare as skin cancer, it’s equally as dangerous.
Yet another danger posed by indoor tanning beds is the potential for burning. Most modern-day tanning beds have built-in timers that automatically cut off after the desired time (usually 20-25 minutes max). However, when these safeguards fail, the individual may fall asleep or let the time slide by, at which point they can suffer serious skin burns. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that indoor tanning bed burns result in 3,000 hospital emergency visits each year.
So, How Should I Tan?
You’re probably wondering how to safely achieve a tan without placing yourself at risk for skin cancer, eye cancer or burns. One option is to use a spray tan. There are dozens of spray tan products available which mimic the look of a real tan — but without the risk of cancer. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional to perform it for you.