Beards and moustaches are at the height of fashion in the UK but there is still a ‘love it or hate it’ vibe amongst men about having facial hair. Whatever your preference, here at SQwears we aim to inform you on what products we feel are the best to use whether you shave or not.
Prep and Pre Shave
When men shave their skin loses moisture, this in turn can lead to ‘Shaving Rash’ or ‘razor burn’ which can last for days. The skin becomes sensitive to touch and can look visibly red and sore and sometimes little red bumps may appear. To prevent this it is recommended that men prep there skin with an oil or moisturiser, so moisture can be locked into the skin and the razor glides over the skin with no fiction.
Gillette Fusion Proglide Thermal Scrub Cleanser costs around £8.00 and is fumigated to remove dirt from the face before shaving. it also softens hair which makes it easier to remove. I love using the thermal scrub and the sensation when applied is nice and relaxing – it really does clean skin and reduce spots, however I do feel that it doesn’t lock in enough moisture which leads to an uncomfortable shave. If you also have this problem, use another post shave lotion in combination with this.
Kyoku Electric Pre-Shave Lotion is expensive, costing around £12 for a 50ml bottle but if you are shaving with a electric razor there is nothing better. The formula for Kyoku contains vitamin C which both lubricates the surface of the skin and lifts the the hair, which leads to a comfortable and close shave.
Bluebeards Revenge Pre Shave Oil is yet again not cheap costing around £10.00 for 125ml bottle but is worth every penny. Bluebeards Revenge lubricates and moisturises skin, softens the hair and gives a comfortable and close shave. Post shave you are left with silky smooth skin.
Shaving Foam and oils
King of Shaves is a British company that started making male grooming products in 1993. One of their more well known products is their King of Shaves Shaving oil which replaces standard shaving foam. King of Shaves claims their oil products have “exceptional razor glide and amazing blade performance”. I find that This product does work rather well and gives you a clean and accurate shave but I still recommend you use a post shave product along with the oil. There are three different types of King of Shaves Shaving oil they are Sensitive costing £3.70, SuperCooling Menthol £3.70 and Kinexium Shaving Oil Sensitive at £5.00
Gillette Series Gel Sensitive costs around £3.00. This gel is really good to use if you have sensitive skin and if you are on a budget. Gillette claim that their Series Sensitive Gel has lubricating ingredients which help the razor glide over skin. From experience I find that the gel foams up quick and needs to be applied in hast. With this gel a little goes a long way so use sparingly.
Bluebeards Revenge Shave Cream is a little pricey at £10 for a 100ml tub, but it is worth the extra money. Once again Bluebeard has taken a retro stance on male shaving products opting to avoid the ‘fluffy super market foam’ feel and basing the product around old fashion shaving cream which you apply with a brush. Bluebeard claims not to use any harsh chemicals in their products and they are Paraben free. My experience with this shaving cream was like no other, it is thick and creamy and makes your skin soft and fragrant with no shaving rash. Bluebeards Revenge Shaving Cream was also winner of a FHM grooming award in 2013.
Razors and shavers
The New Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler is around £20 and is prefect if you wish to grow and maintain a beard. It has three interchangeable heads that will trim a beard to three different lengths. You can also detach the beard trimmer and use it as a normal Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor
The standard Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor is a excellent razor for men who just want a full clean and close shave it costs around £6. Gillette say that the their Fusion ProGlide Power razor offers men a more close shave. The Fusion Power razor has two differences to the standard Fusion. The first difference is that it uses a battery to power the vibrating the head of the razor, the second is it costs around £15. We believe that the shave the ProGlide Power offers is just as close as the standard ProGlide.
BaByliss I-Stubble I believe is the best electronic beard trimmer and styler on the market and costs around £40. the I-stubble had a range of settings that can trim a beard anywhere from 0.4 mm to 5.0 mm in length which is good if you plan on keeping a short beard. The battery life is also very good and I have found that the razor has survived drops, knocks and water – things that have killed lesser electronic beard trimmer/ shavers.
Bluebeards Revenge Scimitar Double Edge Razor is one of the more expensive razors on the market at around £35. This Razor has been raved about online and was reviewed by The Daily Mail. It also won an About.com 2012 Readers Choice Award. This 1900’s style razor does away with the five blade technology of most modern razors, opting to keep things simple. This safety razor combined with the right products claims to give you the smoothest shave, as friction is reduced by the lack of blades. The blade is sharper than most and can be sharpened, so this is a razor for life.
When you shave, your skin loses moisture so it is recommended that after you shave you re-moisturise you skin with a post shave balm or cream. This will prevent or reduce the appearance of shaving rash.
Truefitt & Hill Post shave Balm costs around £9.00 for a 50ml bottle and is a nice and fragrant post shave oil that moisturises and conditions your skin. Men that suffer from greasy and spot prone skin should avoid this balm as the thick oil may block your pores causing spots.
Nivea is britain’s favourite skin care brand and its products are widely available in most supermarkets and high-street chemists. Nivea has a range of 6 post shave products but the one I find the best is Nivea for Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm which costs £5.50 for a 100ml bottle. Nivea says the balm uses ‘Chamomile and Vitamin E’ to prevent iteration and dryness. When you apply this product you definitely feel a cool sensation that feels refreshing on your face. The balm is also not too thick and does not cling to your face allowing your skin to breathe. If you have problems with shaving rash this product will set you straight.
If you like to be clean shaven and hate the thought of having facial hair then The Bluebeards Revenge Post Shave Balm is the product for you. Bluebeard produced this luxury product which costs £10.00 for a 100ml tub of the balm which moistures skin giving it a silky look and feel. Bluebeard’s balm has a secret ingredient called ‘Decelerine’ which reduces the rate of which hair grows keeping you clean shaven for longer.
There are many different products on sale for male grooming and shaving, but you have to be wise when choosing them. Do not go choose a product because it smells or looks good, choose a product because of what its designed to do and what you aim to achieve with your facial hair. I also recommend that that you watch out for award winning Bluebeards Revenge products as they are luxury products and their innovative retro designs are very much in demand.