5 ways to take the sting out of shaving if you have sensitive skin.

WILKINSON SWORD HYDROFew things challenge sensitive skin quite like the daily shave. Thankfully, combating sensitivity and irritation is simple. Here’s how…

1. Choose your moment.

As with marriage proposals and football passes timing is everything when it comes to shaving. Skin can be puffy first thing so always allow it time to settle before shaving. Have a coffee, grab some breakfast and only then think about grabbing your razor.  Ideally, shave after or during a shower – hot water and steam causes stubble to expand, which will make it softer and much easier to cut.

2. Keep your cool.

Lots of things can irritate sensitive skin: from heat and friction to the fragrances and colourants in shaving products. To reduce the chance of skin becoming sensitised during – and after – shaving, try using products that are free of artificial fragrances and colours; use warm rather than piping hot water to wash and rise your razor with and never put aftershave directly onto your skin after shaving as the alcohol in it can irritate and dry out freshly-shaven skin (yep, there’s a reason why it stings!)

3. Use the right razor.

Your choice of razor is crucial when it comes to minimising irritation and reducing sensitivity. Wilkinson Sword’s revolutionary Hydro 5 Sensitive razor has been specially designed to deliver improved skin protection whilst shaving. As well as featuring an ergonomically-designed handle for better control and Advanced Skin Guards to prevent skin snagging, it also features revolutionary Hydrating Gel Reservoirs.

This innovative system lasts twice as long as the lubrication strips found on other razors* and also delivers 40% less friction, which is crucial to an irritation-free shave because the less friction the less chance of sensitivity. So effective is the lubrication that skin actually remains hydrated for up to an hour after your shave!

What’s more, the Hydro 5’s special Flip Trimmer allows you to pull back the Hydrating Gels to reveal the razor’s five blades for when you want extra precision (you can see it pulled back in the pic above). All these features go to create the perfect razor for guys with sensitive or easily irritated skin.

HYDRO 5 (1)

4. Don’t press too hard and reduce your speed.

Pressing too hard is one of the most common mistakes men make when shaving – as is shaving too quickly. Pressing harder dosn’t result in a closer shave (but can result in more irritation and skin sensitivity) and no man was ever rewarded bonus points for speed shaving – irritated skin maybe, but definitely no bonus points. So take time over your shave and use gentle stokes of around 2cm in length.

5. Moisturise.

Moisturising skin might seem unconnected to shaving but it’s actually a very good way to minimise sensitivity. That’s partly because dry skin tends to be more sensitive in the first place but also because its surface is full of microscopic ridges which the blades of your razor have to pass over. Keeping skin moisturised keeps it plump and hydrated and softens out these ridges – essentially smoothing out the terrain your razor has to navigate.  

So as you can see, with the right razor and the perfect technique there’s absolutely no reason shaving to a (sometimes quite literal) pain in the neck – even for guys with the most sensitive of skin.

310316011_0_640x640The Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sensitive is available now, RRP: £9.99

* average vs Quattro Titanium lubrication strip

A Wilkinson Sword/Grooming Guru Promotion

Groomed to perfection: the Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm

groomed_super8 (1) Without doubt this year’s big grooming trend (apart from facial hair) is the rise of the multi-functional product. As belts tighten and spare time becomes increasingly scarce products that cover several bases are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant.

Already this year we’ve had Lab Series’ excellent PRO-LS All-In-One Face Treatment and next month sees the launch of Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash. And here’s another worth checking out.  Groomed’s Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm is a product designed to soothe razor burn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, energise dull skin, moisturise, provide anti-oxidant protection, refine pores, combat blemishes and mattify skin.

In fairness, a couple of these features are built in to some products without them even flagging up the fact and any good moistuiser will help minimise wrinkles but it’s still a pretty good product and at £4 for 50ml, reasonably priced too. The texture’s great, it’s not overly-fragranced and its instant cooling effect also makes it a great morning-after-the-night-before refresher – something I discovered when I tried it for the first time this morning. Just a shame it can’t get rid of the hangover too…

Available from Asda.

 

Lab Series prove they’re the pros of men’s skincare again

LAB PRO LS WITH BOX LOW RES

Soothsayer that I am I remember reporting a couple of years ago that male skincare was moving inexorably towards multifunctionalism. And Lab Series‘ new PRO LS All-In-One Face Treatment is yet more proof that my crystal ball still works occasionally.

Essentially a four-in-one face treatment it can be used as an aftershave balm to sooth irritated skin but also as an all-over-the-face anti-ageing and mattifying moisturiser, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, hydrating skin and absorbing excess oil.

Not only is it the perfect introduction to Lab Series as a brand it’s ideal for travel  – when space is at a premium –  too. One day all male grooming products will be this simple.

Lab Series PRO LS ALL-IN-ONE FACE TREATMENT is available from March, priced £22 for 50ml. For more information see www.labseries.co.uk

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

Shaving a pain the neck? Then check out my shaving guide in Beauty Magazine’s ‘Man Up!’ supplement


It has to be men’s biggest grooming concern. It’s certainly the one fraught with the most danger. And still we shave. So if you’re having trouble with razor burn, want to know how to maximise razor glide or are struggling with ingrown hairs, check out my shaving guide in Beauty Magazine‘s special Man Up! supplement. You can read it online by clicking here.

Want to beat razor burn? Then take a match to it!

I’ve long been a fan of alum – the old (and I mean old) treatment for razor cuts and nicks – for several years now. Used since Egyptian times, it’s an absolutely brilliant astringent, aftershave product and a natural styptic, stopping bloodflow and closing wounds almost instantly.

The traditional alum blocks are excellent but these novel, disposable ‘matchstick’ versions from The Legends London are a little more practical and hygienic and are ideal for travel too. You simply moisten the tip of one with a little water and apply to any nicks, cuts or razor burn.

If you’re one of those clumsy shavers who always leaves the house covered in bits of loo paper these are a must so give them a try.

Five books cost £5 with each book containing 20 matches. Available from thelegendsbarbershop.com

What really irritates men about shaving

This week Gillette revealed the results of a survey exploring how irritable us Brits are (they have a new Gillette Series ‘Irritable Defence’ range out see). It turns out that technology breaking down gets on our nerves, 32% of us hate queueing for things and 57% of us feel irritated every day (me by daft press releases usually).

Funnily enough, I was conducting my own little survey on here last week with a snap poll on men’s biggest shaving concerns. The results are even more illuminating. Nicks and cuts were in fourth place, razor burn in third and the nightmare that is ingrown hairs was second, with just over 29% of the votes. But the thing that annoys men most about shaving? Well, it turns out to be the cost of blades, with just over 36% of votes. Now that really is something to get irritated about.

PS. As a fascinating footnote to this post, it’s interesting to see that shaving products top this year’s list of ‘High Risk Items’ on Checkpoint’s Global Retail Theft Barometer – a global index of what consumers are swiping from shops.

Everything you ever wanted to know about shaving but were too afraid to ask!

Over the years I’ve provided hundreds of male grooming pieces for menshealth.co.uk in my capacity as Online Grooming Editor. What’s emerged is an invaluable online rescource for anyone who cares about looking good. To make things easier for you to access, though, I thought I’d gather a few of the links together, via subject matter. So I’m kicking off this week with probably men’s biggest grooming concern – shaving. Read these and you need never leave the house covered in bits of loo paper ever again!

Foam, cream or gel?  Click here.

How do I use shaving oil? Click here.

Can I slow down the growth of my stubble? Click here.

Why it’s not a good idea to shave against the grain. Click here

How do I use a shaving brush? Click here.

How to prevent ingrown hairs. Click here.

The rules of electric shaving. Click here. 

How can I make my razor last longer?  Click here

How do I treat nicks and cuts after shaving? Click here.

How to pick the right shaving balm for your skin. Click here