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The Elusive Perfect Shave

Diane Wood, master barber for King of Shaves, offers a five-point strategy for pleasing your face

1.) Grab a Sharp Razor
Disposable or multiblade, either works. Once you start to feel a slight drag, it's time for a replacement. A blunt blade causes redness and skin blotches.

2.) Use a Brush
Again, cream or gel is your call. Whatever you choose, always apply it with a shaving brush, not your hands. A brush produces a richer lather while lifting and softening your beard hairs so they're easier to trim away./p>

3.) Shave the Right Way
We've all heard it: Never shave against the grain; hair shaved too closely may get stuck in the follicle and grow inward. But instead of shaving with the grain, going across it (ear to nose), using light, downward strokes. You'll get the close shave you're looking for, without extra irritation.

4.) Rinse and Pat
Run cool water on your mug after shaving and always pat the skin dry instead of rubbing it, which can worsen inflammation.

5.) Soothe Your Skin
Finally, run on an aftershave lotion. It'll keep your skin from getting tight and dry. Wait at least 24 hours before shaving again so your skin has time to heal.

Bonus Tip: Always dry your razor when you finish shaving. Dullness is more the result of oxidation and rusting than frequent use. When water sits on the blades, it causes corrosion. And that leads to the pulling and tearing of hairs instead of cleanly slicing through them.

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