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Beauty for the boys

When it comes to looking beautiful and staying youthful, women definitely have it tougher than their male counterparts who manage to look good without fancy skincare and layers of makeup.

However, the one thing about being male that I have never envied is their daily shaving ritual. When I was a child, I watched my dad lather up and take the razor to his face each morning in what seemed like a painful procedure. As I watched him with wide eyes, I would tell him how glad I was to be a girl. And while it was a slightly naive declaration, it is a sentiment that I still hold today.

I would much rather apply makeup, than have to shave every day. And judging by the care and time that shaving requires, as well as the bits of toilet paper you often see stuck to necks or cheeks, shaving is isn’t as simple as it looks.

Taking pity on the male readers of MiNDFOOD, I asked the experts at Gillette Fusion Phenom to provide me with some tips for the perfect, clean shave.

• Shower or bath before you shave. Wash you face and neck with warm water and mild soap to help remove the natural oils and perspiration that inhibit water penetration. Although beard hair is as tough as copper wire, applying warm water causes hair to expand, making it softer and easier to cut. The force required to cut beard hair is reduced by almost 70 per cent after a two-minute application of warm water.

• Apply plenty of shaving gel. Although water is the essential softening agent, the water absorbed by hair quickly evaporates, leaving the hair in its original rigid state. Shaving gel provides a protective blanket that prevents the evaporation of water and keeps beard hair soft during the shave. Additionally, the lubricating characteristics of shaving gel reduce friction between blade and skin, improving razor glide for a smoother, more comfortable shaving experience.

• Use light, gentle strokes when shaving. Rinse the razor frequently to prevent the build-up of hairs and shaving gel on the blade edges and in the cartridge.

• Make sure your blade is fresh. In order to achieve the best shave possible, it is important that your blade isn’t dull. You’ll know it is time to replace your blade when the lubra strip is worn down or you feel razor drag on your face.

• Shave hard-to-reach spots last. Shave cheeks, sides or face and neck first. The toughest whiskers grow on the chin and around the lips. Shave these areas last as more time soaking in shaving gel will soften them further.

• After shaving, rinse your face and neck with cool water and pat dry. At the end of every shave, rinse the blade thoroughly and shake off excess water before storing. Do not wipe the blade; this can damage the fine shaving edge. Finish with an aftershave balm which will hydrate and help comfort the skin after shaving. Now you are ready to show the world how phenomenal you can be today.

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