How to Shave Combination Skin

Figuring out how to shave combination skin can be challenging as you have to accommodate different skin types at the same time.

Here are five strategies to shave combination skin effectively, prevent breakouts, and avoid tightness or irritation:

1. Use a Pre-Shave Oil (Optional)

If the area you are shaving is oily, skip this step. However, if your skin tends to be dry or normal, a pre-shave oil can be beneficial. Pre-shave oil works in several ways.

Pre-shave oil complements the natural sebum oil in your skin, providing an extra layer of protection against the blade. It also softens your facial hair, making it easier to shave. If the area you are shaving is dry, the pre-shave oil will retain moisture and prevent post-shave dryness.

For those with normal skin, the pre-shave oil will assist with the above, but also make it easier to glide the razor across your skin, reducing the risk of nicks and cuts.

Apply pre-shave oil whether you are using a cartridge razor, safety razor, or straight razor.

2. Choose a Suitable Shaving Cream

The role of shaving cream is to add lubrication, moisture, and heat to your skin, softening and swelling the hair for easier cutting – even if it is normally thick or coarse, like most facial hair.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find a shaving cream specifically marketed for combination skin.

If your skin skews to the dry side, look for a hydrating shaving cream packed with natural moisturizers such as shea butter or aloe vera. Shaving creams for dry skin do exist and will keep your skin moisturized and prevent irritation after shaving. Consider brands like Aveeno, Nivea, and Proraso.

If your skin is more on the oily side, look for an oil-free and non-comedogenic shaving cream, meaning it won’t clog your pores. Consider shaving creams with ingredients like witch hazel or tea tree oil, which help control oil and prevent breakouts. MDacne, Edge, and Casewell-Masey are some brands worth checking out.

3. Use the Right Razor and Technique

If the area being shaved is dry or oily, opt for a razor with three or fewer blades to reduce irritation or breakouts. A safety razor is an alternative option that provides a satisfactory shave while only using a single cutting edge.

There are many types of razors worth considering such as the Gillette Mach3, Gillette SkinGuard, Schick Hydro Dry Skin Razor, OneBlade Core, or Merkur 34C.

If the area doesn’t skew oily or dry, then you don’t need to restrict the type of razor you use.

Regardless of the system you choose, always remember to shave with the grain (in the direction your hair grows) to avoid irritation and potential ingrown hairs.

4. Rinse Face with Cool or Lukewarm Water

After shaving, rinse your face with cool or lukewarm water. This will close your pores and reduce any redness or irritation that may have occurred during the shaving process. Avoid using hot water as it can dry out your skin.

5. Apply a Non-Alcoholic, Moisturizing Aftershave Balm

Shaving is a traumatic process for the skin, and it needs soothing and healing afterward. Aftershave balm restores moisture using ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamin E, alleviating tightness or post-shave burn.

Avoid aftershave splashes that contain alcohol as they sting and exacerbate dryness.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

Ask a Question