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5 Tips for Shaving in the Winter

November 12, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments

5 Tips for Shaving in the Winter

“Winter is Coming”

-Gandalf, Star Wars: A New Hope

Seriously though, winter is coming! If you’ve experienced winter before, you know how dry and chapped your skin can get during the colder months. On top of all that, if you enjoy shaving year-round, your skin can become pretty dang unhappy in the winter. Lucky for you, we’re obsessed with getting great shaves regardless of the season, so we’ve developed some foolproof methods to help you get the best shave possible while the snow flies!

How to Get a Great Shave in the Winter

  1. Use more moisturizing products. If your skin is getting irritated by dry winter air, then we’ll throw a bathroom cabinet’s worth of moisturizing products at it to bring back that much-needed moisture. Have a look at your routine, and think about whether they add moisture to your skin, or take it away. Preshave and lather are both very important for protecting your skin during the shave, but they can also add moisture. 

    When picking a preshave, go with one that’ll absorb easily into your skin. I quite like our Kent of Inglewood preshave gel for its super hydrating qualities, and Hoxton preshave oil also absorbs very easily. As for lather, many folks find that a traditional soap will dry them out. This is fine in the summer, but during the winter you’ll want to use a non-drying soap such as Like Grandpa, or switch things up and go for a shaving cream

    Switch to more moisturizing products in the winter, your skin will thank you!

  2. Switch your blade to a milder edge. I walk a lot, especially in the winter, and getting whipped in the face by freezing winds is a recipe for irritation. On clear days, bright sun and reflective snow can give you a sunburn, also pretty irritating. For these reasons, I try to go easier on my skin than I would in the summer. 

    I find milder blades more forgiving when it’s cold outside, especially if I’m shaving on a daily basis. Kent of Inglewood Mild, Astra, and Personna all work for me, but give a few brands a try to find your fit. If you usually use Feather, Kai is a pretty close option. If you tend to walk on the mild side, Big Ben is a great gentle blade.

  3. Change Your Shaving Direction. While we’re focused on reducing irritation, shaving against the grain is another common cause of discomfort. The tougher skinning among us can still get away with it in winter, but if you’re sensitive like me, give it a rest for the season.

    You can get almost as close a shave by making your pass perpendicular, or “along” the grain. I also find that applying extra preshave before lathering up for my second pass makes a world of difference. 

  4. Swap Your Aftershave Routine. On the topics of products that hydrate, alcohol-based aftershave ain’t it, chief. Splashing a bunch of alcohol onto your skin is a great way to dry it out. Refreshing during the summer heat, not so much in December. Instead, an aftershave balm is the way to go. These bring a ton of hydration to your skin, but they also help it to heal after you drag a razor across it. I suggest using them year-round, and always after an alcohol aftershave. 

    If you just can’t kick the booze, our friends at Like Grandpa have a solution. Literally. They’ve formulated the first-ever hydrating aftershave splash! It stings and refreshes like a classic aftershave, but thanks to a bunch of hydrating ingredients, it also keeps your skin in shape. And don’t sweat a little alcohol content in your balm. These are often ‘fatty alcohols’ which hydrate your skin, and even if they’re not, they’re in small enough amounts that they won’t dry you out.


    Winter is an excellent time to try out some different fragrances!

  5. Try out some warmer fragrances! The best part about shaving is it’s fun! Sure, if you’ve only ever used a cartridge and a can of foam it’s not, but lathering up with a brush and using a single blade is a blast. While folks come to this kind of shaving for the reduced cost, lack of plastic, and objectively better shave, they keep at it because it actually makes shaving enjoyable.

    One of my favourite (and our frequent customer’s favourite) part of the shave is experimenting with different products, finding the best ones, and changing them up with the season, time of day, or just because we feel like it. To me, winter has always seemed like the time to delve into warm, earthy fragrances. Hoxton Sandalwood is by far our most popular, but I’ve always enjoyed classic scents like D.R Harris Windsor and Marlborough. Castle Forbes Cedar is rich with wood and musk notes if you want to feel like you’re in a sauna. Or perhaps you want to feel like Wim Hof jumping into an icey bath; if so, cooling eucalyptus is the scent for you.

I hope this tips help you to have happier, more comfortable shave during the winter. If they don’t, I’ve got some great tips on growing a beard!

Happy shaving!

Nathan Gareau
Nathan Gareau

A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.



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