June 25, 2021 5 min read 0 Comments
I love summer! The warm weather, the camping trips, the outdoor cooking - but most of all, I get to change up my shave routine!
You might be wondering why I would want to change my shaving routine. After all, most of us have spent months of trial and error to determine what products react best with our skin, and how to get the best shave. Why change it all at a moment’s notice?
Two reasons: Hot, humid weather brings different skincare requirements than winter, but switching up your routine is also fun! You get to experiment all over again with different fragrances, brands, and types of products, which is for me, is half the enjoyment of shaving.
If you’re ready to shake things up like me, or you’re just a little confused and want to know more, these are my top 5 tips for getting a fantastic shave this summer.
One of the first things I notice when summer arrives is that my skin produces more oil than it would in the harsh Albertan winter. This generally means my skin is more protected and hydrated, and the heavier skincare products I use in the winter can weigh heavily on my face, causing clogged pores and acne.
While I don’t use oil-based moisturizer, I do use oil-based preshave all winter long. I love the protection and glide it provides my skin, but my face isn’t a fan of it in the summer. The solution? Switch to a water-based preshave!
Water-based preshaves offer glide, protection, and their clear nature makes detailing much easier.
Water-based preshaves are less well known, but every bit as awesome as their oily counterparts. They soften up your hair and hydrate your skin, all while offering an extra layer of protection for those afflicted with sensitive skin (me). Because they’re water-based, they rinse off easily and don’t leave excess oil behind. My new favourite is our Kent of Inglewood Preshave Gel: It’s super thick, offers fantastic glide, and is clear so you can easily detail your beard or fine-tune your shave while using it!
What? COLD water? That’s right. Normally us shavers use hot water to soften up our hair before the shave and reduce drag, but I’ve recently learned about folks using cold water for a totally different set of benefits. Cold water reduces inflammation in your skin, and greatly cuts down on shaving irritation for folks with more sensitive skin, plus it feels fantastic on a hot day, just like a cold shower or a dunk in a pool.
If you plan to try a cold shave, make sure you have a sharp, fresh blade like Kai or Feather in your razor to reduce drag, and consider the water-based preshave I mentioned above to soften your hair and reduce drag.
Mike at our Calgary shop has found cold water shaving greatly reduces the irritation he used to get from shaving!
Like I mentioned earlier, my skin behaves differently in the summer, and yours likely does do. More heat and humidity makes my skin much less dry and much more oily, which determines the kinds of aftershaves and moisturizers I use.
I’ve always loved alcohol-based aftershave. Skincare folks will tell you it's the devil, but the refreshing sting and the classic fragrances never fail to wake me up after that morning shave. They also disinfect my skin, and greatly reduce the bumps and acne that some folks get after shaving. I find I can get away with using alcohol on my skin much more in warmer months, so if you’ve never tried a splash-style aftershave, now’s the time to experiment! D.R Harris Arlington is an ultra-refreshing summer scent, and Like Grandpa’s Eucalyptus is a cooling and hydrating alcohol-based aftershave that’s perfect for folks with dry skin.
Whether you use alcohol or not, you should always follow your shave with an aftershave balm. Balms soothe and hydrate the skin, helping it to recover from the shave and offering protection while it does so. While I normally love heavy aftershave balms with tons of oils, summer demands lighter formulas that absorb quickly, and our new Kent of Inglewood Aftershave Balm is exactly that. It goes on slick, hydrates super effectively, but disappears without leaving oily residue behind. Amazing!
Our aftershave balm is my new favourite! It absorbs quickly, hydrates super well, and doesn't leave anything behind.
Is it really summer if you don’t get scorched once or twice? Obviously you should sunscreen-up and be careful with UV exposure, but I personally love a good tan. So how do you navigate sunburns when they pop up?
Step 1 is prevention. Besides using sunscreen and not over-exposing yourself, it’s also important to avoid products that can cause burns. Citrus oils are photosensitive, meaning they react with UV rays and can cause redness or even burns on your skin. Pretty bad ones, if you’re out too long. Now I love a good Lime or Lemon scent for summer shaves, so I’ve got a couple of workarounds: First, I use my citrus-oil heavy products in the evening. I LOVE Castle Forbes Lime Shaving Cream and Balm, but its choc-full of lime, so I shave with it at night. Second, I use products with lighter amounts of citrus such as Truefitt & Hill Lime, and citrus-like fragrances that offer the same freshness, such D.R. Harris Eucalyptus.
So what do you do if you get a burn? Give your skin time to heal. Treat it with aloe vera, and if it’s a severe burn, take a few days off of shaving. If you are shaving with a sunburn, try Hoxton’s Shoreditch Shaving Cream. They’ve replaced the water in the formula with aloe vera juice, which will help to soothe and heal your skin while you shave!
Like I said, one of the main reasons to switch things up is because it’s fun! For me, shaving with quality products has turned a chore into a special moment of self-care. If your skin is behaving differently in hot weather, take advantage of it! Use this as a chance to try lighter products, alcohol-base aftershaves, new fragrances, even different blades! My skin seems to be tougher and less sensitive in the summer, and I can get away with using more aggressive blades than I can in the winter.
I hope this inspired you to try something new, and switch up your routine. Summer is all about new life, growth, change, so why not breath some new life into your shave?
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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