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Beginner's Guide to Good Grooming

 

For those of you who want a basic introduction to proper grooming and skin care, we provide here a summary of the essentials that you need to consider.  Once you feel comfortable with these steps and see and feel the difference they make, you will be ready to progress onto our Shaving, Face/Skin Care & Fragrance Guides for more information.

Basic Shaving

There are three essential steps here, Preparation, the Shave and Healing.

Preparation shave at least 30 mins after you wake up and after a warm shower or after you have washed your face with warm water.  This opens up your skin pores and wets the beard, making the job of the razor easier.

The Shave use a new blade every 4-5 shaves, that is the maximum life of a blade.  Use dedicated, high quality shave cream, soap or gel (not the aerosol foams!), which will coat your beard with a rich lather as well as protect your skin. Apply the lather with a shave brush.  Shave in the direction of your hair growth first (feel the hair one morning before you shave to see how it grows) and then, if needed, reapply lather and shave lightly against or across the grain.  After you finish, rinse your face with cold water

Healing Apply after shave cream, lotion or balm.  These are made to soothe and protect the newly shaved skin and help alleviate razor burn.  Do not use after shave fragrances with alcohol which only burn and dry the skin.

The four essential products you need:-

a)      A razor with a sharp blade

b)      High quality shaving cream, gel or soap

c)      A badger hair shaving brush

d)      After shave balm, cream or lotion

 

A NOTE ON ELECTRIC SHAVERS

A proper wet shave is much gentler on your skin than an electric shave.  A wet shave gets closer (many trials have proved this), and the proper skin and beard preparation not only gets your stubble ready for cutting (getting it moist, raising the hairs), it leaves your skin smoother and less prone to breakouts and burn.  Electric shavers work by pulling on the hair and skin, potentially leaving your skin dry and sore.  Rotary electric shavers also don't take account of the direction your beard grows in - making it impossible to shave with or against the grain.  There is no doubting their convenience though so if you must use one, try to use one that you can use wet and try to use it in the shower - water being one of the key ingredients to a comfortable shave.

Basic Face Care

 

Three essential steps here too, Cleanse, Moisturise and Protect.

Cleanse use a dedicated facial cleanser to wash off oil, dead skin cells and pollution.  They are formulated to be kinder to your skin than normal soap and usually have acids to remove dead skin cells and antibacterial agents.  Do this morning in the shower and at night before you go to sleep.

Moisturise keep facial skin toned and supple with a moisturiser.  Apply after shaving in the morning (over the top of your after shave cream/balm) and after your nightly cleansing.

Protect each morning, before you step out the door, apply some sunscreen.  Mix a little into your moisturiser if it doesn't have sunscreen.

The three essential products you need:-

a)      Facial cleanser

b)      Moisturiser

c)      Sunscreen

Basic Fragrances

 

This section is less about steps and more about principles of fragrance use.  A much fuller explanation about fragrances, how they are composed and their strengths, as well as the different fragrance families, can be found in our Fragrance Guide.

a)      Less is more do not use so much fragrance that people smell you before they see you.  2-3 sprays on pulse points, such as the side of your neck, chest and inside arms, are sufficient.  The stronger the fragrance, the less you need. 

b)      Spray on skin apply your fragrance before you put on your clothes. 

c)      Don't buy before you try fragrances smell different on each person.  Try some on your skin before you buy and make sure you like it. 

d)      Know your family history when shopping for a fragrance, have an idea of the fragrance family type you like, woody, fresh etc and look for a similar one first. Then expand out from there.

e)      Expand your family history try and have a fragrance you like from each of the main masculine scent families to cover different situations, i.e. Fresh, Woody, Oriental, Aromatic.

f)        But keep it lean a collection of 3-4 fragrances will be sufficient to cover most situations.  One for work/daily use (e.g. Aromatic), one for the weekend (e.g. Woody), one for special occasions (e.g. Oriental), and perhaps one for the gym bag or to keep in your office (e.g. Fresh).

If you have followed this guide, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.  We appreciate all feedback (guides@artofman.com.au).

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