Skincare 101

Why You Should Exfoliate Before You Shave

Why You Should Exfoliate Before You Shave

The fresh-faced, post shave look is a classic. Although modern men are expressing themselves through sophisticated stubble and bushy beards in all shapes and sizes, no one can deny the great feeling of achieving a super close shave that exposes our faces (and jawlines!) in all their glory. However, to avoid undesirable results such as breakouts, blemishes, and dreaded ingrown hairs, you’re going to need to exfoliate. We reveal the benefits of exfoliating, and answer the age-old question: do you exfoliate before or after shaving?

Do you exfoliate before or after shaving? Read on to learn whether you should shave or exfoliate first

What is exfoliating?

Put simply, exfoliating is the process of ridding the skin’s surface of dead cells which have shed over time. Why is this important, you ask? It’s believed that the human body loses almost a million skin cells over a 24-hour period, so whilst it may not be immediately obvious to the naked eye, that layer of dead cells will cause some issues if left unattended to.

Exfoliating eradicates those cells in order to prevent thefrom blocking your pores, and removes pollutants and bacteria that accumulates on your face throughout the day, thus resulting in fewer breakouts. Consistent exfoliation also stimulates collagen production, which is essential for healthy looking skin. 

Should you exfoliate before or after shaving?

The short answer is you should exfoliate before shaving.

Exfoliating paves the way for your razor to work its magic by improving the texture of the skin’s surface, enabling you to achieve an exceptionally close shave. Not only that, but exfoliation before shaving reduces the chances of developing ingrown hairs, as it removes dead skin cells which clog up hair follicles and trap hair under the skin, forcing it to curl and grow inwards. 

Exfoliating is not only important for cleaning skin. It also lifts your facial hair upwards, allowing your razor to cut it swiftly and smoothly, as opposed to tugging it, which could potentially lead to cuts and tears. Lifting the hair allows your shaving cream to get closer to the skin, enabling better protection from the blades of your razor. 

TIP: For an even more comfortable shave, use a shaving cream that contains filaggrinol, such as Daimon Barber’s Shave CreamFilaggrinol is used to increase the production of filaggrin, a protein produced naturally by the body to keep skin moisturised. 

How to exfoliate

There are a number of ways to exfoliate your skin, including the use of products such as exfoliating mitts and dry brushes. However, it is not advisable to use these when shaving, as it puts the skin’s surface under a lot of stress – not what you want when you’re about to glide a blade over it. Instead, try our step-by-step guide below. 

A man exfoliating before shaving

Step 1: Use warm water

Whether it’s first thing in the morning or after an evening shower, rinse your face with warm water before you exfoliate. The temperature will cause your pores to open, allowing your exfoliator to dig deep into the skin and remove the impurities – preparing your skin for a clean shave. 

Step 2: Exfoliate your face and neck 

Don’t scrub too hard, as this will remove too much of your skin’s protective barrier, which could result in redness and irritation. Instead, massage gently in a circular motion before rinsing off. It’s important to remember that you should exfoliate your neck as well as your face. Whilst your face is the focal point of every shave, it can be easy to forget that just as much attention needs to be paid to the neck, as that’s where most men see ingrown hairs appear. 

Daimon Barber’s Exfoliating Cleanser is a great option for those seeking an exfoliator that will prime your skin for shaving without causing any damage. It contains a combination of beeswax and honey, which have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of ageing. It also contains propolis which protects from environmental aggressors, thus preventing free radicals.

Step 3: Shave 

We hope that we don’t need to go into too much detail on this step, but just in case, it’s advised that you apply a generous amount of cream to the face and neck in order to prevent cuts. You should also shave in the direction in which your hair is growingas this will prevent your razor from tugging the hairs out and causing scars (and preventable discomfort!).

Step 4: Rinse with cold water and moisturise 

Splashing your face with cold water will force the pores on your skin to close quicklyensuring that no dirt is trapped beneath the surface. You may be tempted to exfoliate after shaving, as you would assume that this will further clean your skin, but trust us – there is such thing as too much exfoliating. Doing so after a shave can cause irritation on the skin’s surface and may lead to redness and breakouts. It may also strip the protective barrier of natural oils, which makes the skin more susceptible to damage. Because of this, we advise only exfoliating twice a week. 

You should however, always use a moisturiser. Shaving disrupts the stratum corneum – the protective film on the skin’s surface – which can cause dryness and irritation, so applying a moisturiser will restore it back to full hydrationWe recommend Daimon Barber’s Cooling Post Shave Balm, as it has a nourishing formula comprised of rosehip, apple seed, lime seed and camellia seed oils to treat the skin to a host of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It also contains menthol, which provides a cooling effect to calm the skin after a thoroughly clean shave.