Shaving Different Skin Types
Shaving tools, creams, and techniques vary, as do the skin types they are applied to. Understanding how to shave based on your skin type can lead to smoother and more comfortable results.
Understanding Different Skin Types
Genetics primarily determine skin type, which is categorized according to its natural degree of oil production: normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive. Each has distinct traits that can affect how your skin reacts to shaving.
|Normal||Well-balanced moisture, not too dry nor too oily|
|Oily||Overactive oil glands, shiny appearance, larger pores|
|Dry||Flaky, rough or scaly texture, potential redness, less elasticity|
|Combination||Mixture of dry and oily areas (usually oily T-zone & dry cheeks)|
|Sensitive||Often dry, tight, and prone to inflammation or irritation|
👉 We provide a detailed guide on how to identify your skin type through various methods.
How to Shave Based on Your Skin Type
Each skin type presents different shaving-related challenges. Here’s how to shave based on your skin type:
If you have oily skin, cleanse your face thoroughly before shaving to remove excess oil and unclog your pores. Excess oil can clog razor blades, leading to an uneven shave and skin irritation. As a result, you may need additional passes, which can cause further irritation or potential nicks and cuts.
Since shaving is an astringent process by nature, use a non-comedogenic, oil-free shaving cream or gel. This type of product reduces the chances of further clogging your pores. After shaving, apply a lightweight aftershave splash to soothe any potential irritation without contributing to excess oil production.
Shaving dry skin can cause irritation as the skin tends to be less elastic and more sensitive to friction. If you currently use a cartridge razor, switch to those with fewer blades, as more blades can exacerbate dryness by over-exfoliating the skin.
Use no more than three blades and avoid shaving against the grain, which can lead to skin irritation. Since dry skin lacks natural lubrication, a pre-shave oil can create a protective barrier on the skin, reducing friction during shaving.
A moisturizing shaving cream, such as Taylor of Old Bond Street, provides enough lubrication and hydration for dry skin.
Perfect your technique and finish the job in as few strokes as possible to minimize friction and potential skin irritation.
A thick aftershave balm will retain moisture and soothe the skin post-shave. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and natural oils that hydrate and replenish the skin.
Shaving combination skin requires a balancing act. Most advice will likely follow the outline for dry skin as combination typically means that the T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin) of your face tends to be oilier than the rest of your face. Monitor your skin’s response and adjust your shaving routine accordingly.
Before shaving, cleanse your face, then apply a shaving cream. After, shave as you typically would and apply an aftershave balm or splash, specifically focusing on the dry areas of your skin. This will help to restore any lost moisture.
Note: Pre-shave oil is optional here as it may or may not be necessary, particularly in the oily areas.
Shaving sensitive skin can be tricky. Opt for hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products to prevent further irritation.
We strongly recommend patch testing to prevent adverse reactions. Shave technique is crucial for sensitive skin. Like with dry skin, avoid using razors with more than three blades and avoid shaving against the grain.
The neck is a common area for skin sensitivity and irritation, so take special care when shaving this region. Applying a warm (not hot) towel to the neck before shaving can soften the hair and open the pores, making the shave process smoother and less irritating for the skin.
Follow the grain to minimize tugging or pulling, which can cause irritation and potentially lead to ingrown hairs.
Rinse your face with cold water after shaving. Cold water helps to close the pores and reduce post-shave redness and irritation. Then, apply an aftershave product designed for sensitive skin. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, and allantoin, which are known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
People with normal skin often have the simplest shaving regimen. A good quality shaving cream, a clean, sharp razor, and an effective post-shave balm should maintain healthy skin.
So long as you regularly change your blade and adhere to the proper shaving technique, you should avoid most common shaving issues like razor burn, irritation, or nicks. As noted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), storing your razor in a dry place away from the shower can help prevent bacterial buildup, which can lead to infection.