Shaving is an essential part of our skincare routine that can help us feel good and look great. However, some people feel as though this is a herculean task that should be canceled out or perhaps, outsourced.
Maybe the latter is possible depending on the area you’re taking off hair from but the former? Sadly, no. So, you just have to find a way around it.
For some, shaving is a daily routine while for others, it’s a weekly thing. If you ask, we’d say the frequency is determined and dependent on how fast your hair grows as well as your personal preference. If you are one who doesn’t mind keeping lots of hair, then maybe you could slow down on the frequency but if you fall to the other end of the spectrum, then you want to make sure you’re keeping up with shaving.
While there are several ways of shaving, however, this article is focused on two types – shaving soap and cream. We compare both options and summarize our results into well-rounded information to help inform your decision. Later in the article, we give alternatives to shaving, just in case you wish to expand beyond shaving cream or soaps.
Shaving is a hair removal method that aims to get rid of hair at the location of interest. As opposed to other forms of hair removal methods, shaving gives you two options to choose from – the wet or dry method.
Either you choose the former or the latter, both options are tailored to meet the specific need of removing hair in the target area.
The dry method of shaving is one that does not require any form of lubrication (for example, water, soap, cream, or shampoo) before shaving. This method commonly uses an electric razor, shaving against the direction the hair grows to achieve its aim, and it is thought to be faster than the wet method. So, if you are always in a rush to observe your skincare routine or perhaps, you do not like to shave often, then this method could be a perfect fit for you. No extras are needed, just your electric shaving razor and you are good to go.
One major advantage the dry shaving method poses is that it limits your chances of getting skin irritation, provided your razor is used by you only and it remains sterilized. It is common knowledge that experiences differ when it comes to the type of shaving method you use and so your skin will react differently based on the method in use.
The electric razor has adjustable features that allow you to customize its use. In that case, you can use the razor to trim over your skin rather than wait till your hair grows out of proportion. Doing this prevents you from aftershave itchiness that results from a close skin shave.
On the flip side, dry shaving does not result in a clean shave. Also, dry shaving may be too harsh on your skin especially, if your hair strands are tough, thus making the shaving process hurt. Also, you need to know your skin type . If you have sensitive skin, dry shaving can irritate your skin, causing you to itch in the process. However, this is treatable using an aftershave cream treatment or an anti-inflammatory ointment.
Advisably, if your skin is prone to frequent irritation from dry shaving, then perhaps you should consider wet shaving where you get to enjoy the benefits of lubrication to prevent irritation.
As opposed to its dry counterpart, wet shaving is a method of shaving that requires using lubricants (shaving cream, soap, or shampoo) to ease the shaving process. Moreover, any type of lubricant can be used, just make sure whichever you are using doesn’t irritate your skin. Even better, you may decide to stick with natural lubricants, by using water or shaving after a shower, when your skin is still wet and moist. This will help the shaving razor slide over your skin in the easiest way to give you a clean shave.
Wet shaving helps to soften the area to be shaved. Apparently, this is one of its major advantages and it is why it is most preferred to its dry counterpart. If you are not in haste and are really invested in having a clean shave, then the wet option is your best option. Unlike the dry shaving methods, applying lubricants helps make the shaving process easy to do and painless too.
As highlighted above, the only disadvantage to wet shaving is that the process is time-consuming. This is because the process of applying lubricant must be done rightly in order to achieve that perfect shaving glide. If you apply the lubricant wrongly, perhaps, it didn’t cover all surfaces of the target area where there is hair, this may lead to accidental cuts that could have been avoided.
But you can sideline this disadvantage if you can create time in your skincare routine for wet shaving. Slowly, this will become a habit in no time, and you would be shaving on a regular basis.
As mentioned earlier, examples of wet shaving include shaving soap and cream. Perhaps you might be wondering what differences lie between shaving soap and cream, this next section highlights the differences that exist between these two by comparing and contrasting them.
Shaving soap vs cream: Which should you choose?
Shaving soap is an agelong cleaning treatment that can be used as a lubricant to remove hair. Soaps generally are thicker and lather when it rubs against any liquid substance. However, when using soaps for shaving you may have to do the hard work of cleaning your face with water to your face before applying the soap so as to make it lather before using the shaving razor.
Shaving cream on the other is also a form of lubricant that can be applied to the face directly without any base lubricant as a moisturizer. To do this, use a brush to take the cream from its tube and apply the cream to the area to remove hair. Gently spread the cream in a circular motion to move your hair strands in a direction different from the original position it stands.
In terms of scents, soaps may be classified into two different types, scented soaps, and non-scented soaps. You may decide to use the scented soaps which could be an added benefit for you especially if you are one who loves to be surrounded by lovely fragrances. There are different soap fragrances available, the major ones being warm, woody, fresh, and oriental fragrances. On the other hand, you may choose to opt for the non-scented soap if you are easily irritated by these fragrances.
Like the soaps, in terms of fragrance, shaving creams are also of two types, scented and non-scented shaving creams. While the fragrances in the creams are stronger and more intense than those in the soaps. If you are sensitive to scents, these fragrances may come off as pungent. In this case, you want to choose creams with little to no fragrance.
Another comparison is in their consistency. Usually, shaving cream has lighter than soap and they are formulated as cream or soap, making it simpler to mix up a usable lather. This makes it a great option for you if you are switching from dry shaving or are just starting out with shaving. Additionally, it moisturizes better, making it more suited for people with sensitive or dry skin.
The consistency in shaving soaps is thicker. Although they do not lather easily, however, when a lather forms, it is rich and intense, touching into the deep areas of your hair follicle thereby increasing the hydration in your skin.
Shaving soaps works to increase and give a better shaving outcome than their cream counterparts. For instance, in areas such as the face where a lot of sebum is being produced, these areas get oily and these oils may seep to the surface of the skin in your face. The water penetrates the hair follicles more effectively, softening them, resulting in a smoother end, a cleaner cut, and a less painful shave.
The shaving cream on the other hand allows for a cleaner shave as it takes off all the hair in the area it is applied to. It is not without its side effects , so you should be careful while using to prevent skin irritation or chemical burns.
The shaving steps are the same irrespective of the shaving lubricants you use. First, you want to make sure you get your shaving accessories ready. Then you move on to wet your skin with your desired lubricant to soften the area to shave. The following tips will help you achieve that cleaner shave;
The first tip is to get a shaving bowl and fill it up with lukewarm water. Soak your shaving brush for ten minutes. Doing this helps to sterilize the brush and remove unwanted particles that may have clung to it. Then, remove your brush and flick it off to get rid of excess water off the brush. Get rid of the water.
Soften the shaving soap
Get your shaving soap and sprinkle about 4 drops of lukewarm water over it and leave it to seep through for about 10 minutes. You can decide to do this separately or while soaking your shaving brush to save time.
Lather the soap
Use the already-soaked brush to spin over the surface of the soap for about 10 minutes. Gently scoop the lather into the bowl, exercise caution while doing this to avoid breaking the brush bristles as they are quite fragile.
After 15 to 20 spins, lathers start to form, and the more you spin, the more lather forms. Once you begin to notice a change in the consistency of the bubbles formed, that is from light bubbles to thick bubbles, then you can tell that the lather is ready for use. You want to make sure the lather isn’t watery so, avoid adding water until it is necessary to do so. And if you want my lather, then increase the spinning pressure and not the water.
Apply soap on the face
Once you got the desired consistency of your soap lather, then you can begin to apply it over the target area. Coat the tips of the brush with the soap lather and then apply over the area in a slow circular motion. Make sure the lather is evenly distributed over the surface of the brush so that it can touch the target area adequately. Gently brush on it to make sure the soap lather reaches the surface of the skin, pulling and retaining the hairs in the lather in preparation for shaving.
Generally, be cautious while shaving to avoid razor cuts or tiny marks from using shaving razors. Albeit, if that’s your major fear about shaving, perhaps, you could find alternatives to shaving from the ones mentioned in the next section below;
1. IPL laser hair removal: this device focuses on removing hair permanently after having 6 to 12 treatments. Although quite pricey, the procedure is breezy and would help take off the worries of routine shaves.
2. Laser hair removal: this type of hair removal focuses the laser on each strand of hair to get rid of them. It is almost similar to the IPL laser treatment however, this targets a single hair at a time and requires multiple visits to the cosmetologist. Be sure to speak with your doctor to know if this procedure is right for you.
3. Waxing: this method makes it easier to get a clean shave. However, the procedure might hurt a little and cause redness or a slightly swollen surface. So, be cautious when choosing this method. You can read our article where we compare both waxing and shaving here .
On the whole, there are many benefits of hair removal and both shaving options are great however, you want to make sure that whichever option you settle for does the right job in the easiest and painless way.
Remember, regular shaving helps your skin to glow and helps improve your appearance so, be sure to make shaving in your skincare routine.