I was having a very late lunch with some friends a couple of weeks ago when one of the girls pointed out that I was the only clean shaven man at the table. It was true and got me thinking- beards are very much in right now (and not just the John Travolta kind). So much so that I can think of only 2 other fellas among my friends who still know the feeling of breeze on their faces. We’re a rare breed wtf! So, this post will basically be my tips on becoming a sleek, smooth cheeked gent amid all the giant facial hair that the world’s apparently covered in.
Now admittedly, not having scruff wasn’t a conscious choice… and it’s not from a lack of an ability to grow any because I’m basically a beast who can wield a razor. It’s because I have the type of sensitive skin that gets irritated by even the thought of facial hair. I can make it to 3 days… maybe 5 or 6 with some determination, but the very few times I made it through a couple of weeks were basically torture and I nearly scratched my neck off. Especially in this tropical heat! So, every month I schlep over to the pharmacy for blades and cream to keep both my comfort and sanity intact.
My shaving routine is done with two goals in mind- to be comfortable and look presentable. The actual shaving and aftercare take care of the comfort, but looking presentable has all to do with timing for me. Because I’m fair and get lobster red, I shave at night, allowing myself hours for any irritation and discolouration to fade. To shave, I bought a small mirror with attached suction cups that allows me to stick it to the shower wall and shave in there, letting the steam soften the stubble. This in combination with some good shaving cream allows the razor to glide across my face easily and cuts down on the number of times I have to pass it over. I shave first with the direction of the hair and then across it, but never against it because that causes it to curl and is almost a guaranteed way to get razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Believe me you don’t want those. I finish up by washing my face with cold water to soothe it and close the pores.
It’s the aftercare that really makes the difference for a man with a sensitive face. Everyone harps about after shave balms and creams but they’re all on shit. What you need is an antiseptic ointment that’s made to treat irritation, small cuts and abrasions and you need to apply it as soon after you shave as possible. Look for some options at your pharmacy, find one that works and stick to it. I use Brulidine and it’s magical. Occasionally I get small buttons after a particularly close shave so I keep some acne medication around (Clearasil and I get it at Starlite Maraval) to get rid of those. Other than that, it’s as simple as keeping my face clean by washing it and drinking a lot of water. Oh and I don’t shave every night because- again- sensitive skin, so it’s usually just Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday unless I have to be fancy on the weekend, in which case I’ll get it done the night before. Also if I’m facing some serious irritation like from a sunburn or wind-chill, I shave with conditioner instead of shaving cream. It’s a tip I read somewhere online and boy does it ever work well.
Maybe one day I’ll find a way to keep more than the occasional short stubble, but till then expect to see me mostly baby faced all over the place. But hey I don’t mind that much anyway, I like having a more aerodynamic face. And I’ve never heard complaints of having a scratchy face while kissing anyone. And I don’t look like a vagrant like the rest of you all. Ha.
To my smooth-faced brothers, keep fighting the good fight. To everyone else, till next post.
Before I go, since you can never have enough Prince, here’s a glamour shot for the ages.