1. Basic Steps to an Effective, Skin-Preserving Wet Shave
In the morning:
1) Prepare the hair by softening it in the shower. Alternatively, cover the area with a clean, damp, warm washcloth for approximately 2 minutes.
2) Prepare your skin by using a gentle (non-drying) cleanser for your skin type. (If your skin needs the extra protection, you can spread a couple of drops of jojoba as a pre-conditioning oil at this stage. Apply your shaving lotion over this protective layer.)
3) Do not use the aerosol foam-in-a can. Use a good quality shaving lotion, soap, cream or gel. You want a skin-soothing lubricant with nice glide. Use a sharp blade and rinse the hair off the blade frequently. Make sure the first pass goes with the direction of hair growth. If you want to make a second pass, re-lather that area, and go in whatever direction works best. Remember to glide with the blade, not press.
4) Finish with a soothing, hydrating moisturizer suitable for your skin type.
If you’re lucky, you may find a product that serves more than one purpose. For example, the low-foam gel cleansers I sell can double as a shaving lotion, too.
In the evening:
1) Cleanse your skin.
2) Prep your skin for the next morning’s shave by using a gentle scrub or other exfoliating product (such as an enzyme or acid.) This will lift the hair from the surface of the skin, making for a better shave and fewer ingrown hairs. Depending on your skin type, your hair type and the strength of the product you’ve chosen, you may do this daily or only a couple of times a week.
3) Finish with your moisturizer. This will soothe, smooth and hydrate the skin, leaving it better prepared for the next shave.
Obviously, this advice is directed towards those folks shaving their faces on a regular basis, but the basic principles apply to any shave. For example, if you shave your legs, exfoliating the day before and softening the hair in the shower before shaving will make for a better shave. Happy Shaving!
2. Chill Out
For those of you who sometimes experience red, painful blemishes: a simple and effective treatment is ice. The best time to ice is before the acne lesion has formed into a raised bump. When you feel heat and/or tenderness beginning to form a “hot spot” under your skin, take a clean, damp cloth with an ice cube in it and ice the spot for 5-8 min. (The dampness will conduct the cold more effectively.)It will feel intense, so ice for a couple of minutes, remove the ice for a minute, ice again, and so on. Do this twice a day, 5-8 min. at a time, for 24 – 48 hours. After icing, you can apply your usual spot treatment for acne. The sooner you start ice treatment after noticing the hot spot, the better your results should be. If the pimple is forming in an area where you have visible and/or fragile capillaries (such as cheeks or nose,) don't use ice. Just use your favorite anti-inflammatory/anti-bacterial acne treatment.
3.Have A Ball!
You can give yourself a great pressure point massage with a tennis ball. You can use it on your hands and feet, as well as the area between your shoulder blade and spine. It’s very helpful to have two tennis balls, so you can lay down on them and roll them along the muscles on either side of your spine. I recommend doing that by placing an exercise mat on the floor and placing the balls in the approximate position. Then, gently lay back and adjust their position if needed. When they are in the right place, let your breath encourage your body to relax and melt into the floor. There is no need for effort. The pressure of the balls will focus your attention on areas of tension and all you have to do is breathe and let your body soften. You can tie off the two balls in a sock if you have trouble with keeping them in place. You can get very creative and roll more towards your side with the ball in your hip and butt muscles to get that area. For a more active experience, try squatting against a wall and roll and press the ball along your upper back/shoulder blade area. You can play with different sizes and densities of balls to achieve the effect you like best. I use a handball and two tennis balls most often.
IMPORTANT: You want to stay on muscle, not bone. Be gentle and avoid pressure on bony areas, your organs, and around your ribs. In some places (like butt/hip area) you may trigger a sharp, tingly nerve sensation as you work. Just adjust the pressure, the placement, or the angle slightly to avoid that.
Have fun and please call or email if you have any questions or comments…