Ultimate Guide to Wet Shaving

What is Wet Shaving?

Wet shaving gives you a better shave with less irritation, it's the best of every world. It can even give you a closer shave, can be cost-effective, and good for the environment. What exactly is wet shaving? It is the traditional process of lathering up your skin with shaving cream, then shaving with a single blade razor (whether safety or straight). It's often thought of as an "old-school" way, before razors had a million blades on them and the shaving gel was built into the razor.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of men are rediscovering that can provide a much closer, smoother shave that's preferable. Not to mention there's less waste than with disposable razors and it makes a pleasant morning ritual.

What Do You Need for a Wet Shave?

You'll need a few things to get started with a traditional wet shave. A traditional wet shaving kit consists of a razor, a shaving brush, and shaving soap or cream. The soap or cream is necessary in order to prevent razor burns, cuts, and irritation. The brush helps you mix the cream and apply it onto your face so it lifts your beard hair, making it easier to shave.

1. Water — the main star of any wet shave

2. Pre Shave Oil (optional)

3.  Shaving Soap or Shaving Cream

4. Shaving Brush 

5.  Shaving Bowl

6. Shaving Stand (optional) 

7.  Single Safety Razor or...

Option one: Single Safety Razor
A safety razor consists of two parts — hand and headpiece. This is normally the option that beginners use as it is safer and easier to learn than a straight razor. 

Straight Razor

Option two: Straight Razor
A straight or cut throat razor is the razor that barbers use. These are good when you want the closest shave possible. However, this razor can be a little intimidating and takes some time to master.

8.  Aftershave Splash or...

After Shave Balm (optional)

How Do You Do a Wet Shave?

1. Wash Your Face

Wash your face with warm water. Ideally you should do this in the shower or second best, with a warm, wet towel similar to the barbershop. The warm water allows the facial hair to be softer and allows the pores to open up. 

Expert tip: for extra tough beard hair, apply pre-shave oil before lathering your face with the cream. This helps soften coarse hair further. 

2. Lather Up!

Next up, put about a quarter amount of shaving cream in your shaving bowl and add a little amount of warm water. Now, stir the water and cream with your shaving brush. You will probably water to stir it for about 30 seconds or so. After this, apply the cream with the brush to your face in circular motions. 

3. Shave It Off

Now, you want to use even and short strokes to shave with the grain. After each pass you make on your face, you will want to wash off the blade to unclog the blade. To continue with a super close shave, re-lather with cream and then shave again against the grain. 

4. Rinse Your Face

Like you started with warm water to open your pores, you will want to end with cold water to close your pores. You'll want to wash your face off immediately after shaving with cold water to tighten the skin. 

5. Apply After Shave Balm or Lotion

After shaving, you have exfoliated and potentially irritated your skin. Therefore, when finished, you will want to replenish your skin so it does not become rough or damaged. If you have acne-prone skin, try an aftershave splash that will disinfect skin and prevent bacteria from spreading. For drier skin, try an aftershave balm that will  restore moisture.

Wet Shaving Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you're armed with your shaving supplies and know what to do, here are a few last-minute pro tips to help you avoid common mistakes:

  • Overusing your blades — if the razor tugs, it's time to switch it out!
  • Not rinsing the razor after each stroke — a clogged razor can't do its job.
  • Shaving over unlathered skin — skip this step and end up with razor burn.
  • Skipping after shave — it might feel purely cosmetic, but it has real health benefits for your skin.