Archive for March, 2011
The perfect shave?
It’s something 75% of men do on a daily basis and yet only 1% of us enjoy doing it. It’s time consuming, costly and can cause ingrown hairs and razor burn and it is quite literally, a pain in the neck. So why do you go through this horrendous ritual each day and why, after all these years, have you not found a way of shaving that is fast, enjoyable and pain-free?
If you think about it, the reason is really quite obvious. You had lessons before passing your driving test and you had lessons to pass your exams, but were you ever taught to shave properly? No?
There’s a common misconception amongst men that a good shave is when you put a blob of shaving foam on your face and you shave as close as possible, but scraping your face to oblivion with a razor blade and some foam is actually the cause of why you hate shaving, and the reason you’re suffering from pain and redness.
A great shave, like any process, requires a system. I prefer to call it a shaving regime because it’s a simple series of steps which you put together in the morning shower. It’s so simple, you can master it in just a few days and transform the way you look forever. All you have to do is remember to follow it, step by step, every day.
The first step takes place only once and this step will make the most noticeable difference to your shave. It requires you to examine your beard growth and figure out which direction each area grows. Go on, have a feel. Rubbing your beard in one direction will feel rough and stubbly. This means you are rubbing your hand against the growth. When you rub it in a different direction, it feels smoother and this means you’re rubbing it in the same direction as the growth. Remember which direction it grows in each section of your beard.
For the perfect shave, you will shave with the beard growth, not against it.
The shave begins with hot water and of course, the shower is a perfect source for this. Hot water softens down your beard hairs making them easier to shave so if you’re not planning to shave in the shower, make sure you splash plenty of hot water onto your face before you begin.
The next step will require the use of a scrub. Use about a teaspoon of scrub and use it to scrub your face, particularly in the area you’re going to shave. This will help remove old and dead skin and create a smooth canvas for shaving.
Rinse off the scrub with hot water and rub a quality shave cream into the beard. Unlike most foams, shave creams soften the hair and condition your skin. Take a sharp triple blade razor and shave in the same direction as your hair grows. Stretch your skin behind the razor to ensure it is taut and shave each area only once. Give it a quick check to ensure you didn’t miss any bits out.
When you’re done, splash your face with cold water and pat dry with a towel. Then apply a small amount of moisturising balm to your face.
Your shave is complete. It’s a simple regime which is fast, effective and painless.
Related products: Jason Shankey Expert Exfoliating Face and Scalp Scrub £15, Smoothing Shave Cream £14.00 and Skin Soothing Moisture Balm £16. Available at jasonshankey.com/expert.
Gillette Mach 3 razor and blades available at supermarkets and pharmacies from £6.49.
Finally, after what seemed to be the longest winter on record (and definitely the coldest), some sunshine is starting to arrive in our wee climate. Not only that, but we’ll soon be moving our clocks forward to enjoy an extra hour of daylight. Nice one!
There is a common misconception that sunlight is always bad for you, and in particular, your skin. But like most things in life, sunlight is good if it’s consumed in moderation. For most people, it creates a feeling of cheer and a feeling of wellness, and its effect on other forms of life are evident, especially now when we enter the Spring. Sunlight is the body’s main way of obtaining Vitamin D which helps to contribute to healthy bones and a healthy nervous system, and it helps to increase the production of endorphins in the brain leading to that feeling of cheer. Its tanning properties also help to make you look healthier, and who doesn’t want to look better?
So what’s all the fuss about and why do some people think that sunshine is a bad thing to be around?
The answer is simple; Too much sunshine can cause damage to the skin. It might not be immediately evident, but sunlight is a contributing factor involved in the ageing process. Its ultraviolet light penetrates through your skin and speeds up the breakdown of the youthful substance that keeps your skin taut, collagen. Collagen is like elastic and its breakdown can be likened to an elasticated trouser waist. When the elastic is pulled tight, you get a smooth surface but once the tension is released, you get wrinkles. Over a period of prolonged sun exposure, which can be anything from a few hours to a few decades, the same thing happens with your skin. So excessive sun exposure leads to premature ageing.
Ageing isn’t the only issue with overexposure to the sun’s rays. Painful sunburn, cataracts, skin cancers and even cold sores can be triggered by its radiation so we need to strike the right balance between too much and too little sunlight.
With so many health scares over the years related to sunlight, many people have decided to avoid it altogether and somewhat surprisingly, more than half the UK population has insufficient levels of vitamin D. This can result in a number of health concerns too.
There are lots of ways to ensure you get just the right amount of sunlight. Based on our generally light coloured skin, experts advocate ten minutes per day of sunshine on our skin to generate sufficient levels of vitamin D, although people with darker skin may require more sunlight to generate the same levels of the vitamin. And when you’ve reached your quota of sunlight, make sure you cover up, and use skincare products which contain a sunscreen to slow down the ageing process and protect your skin from sun damage.
So now that the Spring rays are almost upon us, get out there and enjoy the sun (in moderation of course!).