Men in general surely suffer from bumps and skin irritations arising during and after shaving. However, due to the curly, coarse nature of a black man's facial hair and its tendency to grow back into the skin after shaving, the pain and suffering are like no other.
In essence, grooming the hair and skin presents a unique challenge for African-American men. For the beautiful, melanin black men out there who are striving to look your best, look no further! In this article, we’ll go over the skin-care and shaving necessities you need to know in 2020.
Skin-Care Tips and Products For Black Men
Beyond the general tips we have outlined below, it is equally important that you determine the type of skin you have and identify suitable products for it. Ordinarily, your skin type should fall into one of the following categories:
Tip 1: Cleanse Your Face Daily
Washing your face daily is essential to prevent your pores from getting clogged with bacteria and dead skin cells, causing acne and other problematic skin conditions. For starters, don’t use the same bar soap for your body on your face. Instead, invest in skin cleansers that work well with your skin type. Such as;
Tip 2: Exfoliate Regularly
Washing does the job to an extent. However, there are times when deeply embedded dead skin cells prove too stubborn to eradicate without special help. That's when exfoliation comes into the equation.
You should be exfoliating approximately 2 times per week, but nothing more than that. Over-exfoliating can lead to skin irritation, resulting in problematic skin such as redness, irritation, and inflammation.
When exfoliating, it’s important to avoid using any scrubs on the face. Scrubs are too harsh for your beautiful, melanated skin and can result in skin damage. Instead, use a chemical exfoliant (AHA’s/BHA’s) to exfoliate safely. Chemical exfoliants are products with ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, etc. These acids exfoliate the skin by gently dissolving dead skin cells, as opposed to using harsh scrubs.
Tip 3: ALWAYS Use A Moisturizer
Now, this is an incredibly important last step and one you should never neglect: keep your face moisturized, always. Maintaining the skin’s optimal hydration is the key to preserve and present its youthful look. There are moisturizers suitable for every type of skin and condition. This step is especially necessary for dry skin.
And don’t forget, your eyes can make do with special moisturizers too. The skin around the eyes is some of the most sensitive and most affected by aging.
Now Let’s Talk About Shaving
A big part of your overall appearance has a lot to do with how you take care of your hair (facial and head). Hence, your shaving routine has to be spot on and implemented regularly.
As you know, the grooming of your facial hair can make a world of a difference! Here are some tips you can follow for perfectly groomed hair.
Tip 1: Perform all Necessary Prep
All men have to prepare the skin before shaving. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a very uncomfortable shave. Before shaving your beard or getting a haircut, it’s important that you prep by taking a shower and using an oil or shaving cream to soften the hair and open the hair follicles.
Razor drag is a real thing and prepping is the only way to noticeably reduce it.
Remember, guys, it’s not a cream vs oil thing. They are meant to be complementary so you use them together to get optimal results and improve the shaving experience.
Tip 2: Invest in a Good Razor Blade
One of the biggest changes you can make if you’re darker-skinned is to switch from multi-blade contraptions to a single safety razor.
Granted, multi-blade razors can give you the closest possible shave, but at what cost?
Suffering from skin bumps and irritations afterward are just not worth it. Some of these multi-blades essentially mean you make 3-4 passes on your skin against the single stroke for a safety razor. You’d definitely want to keep a fresh safety blade handy.
Tip 3: Don't Go Against The Grain
Shaving against the grain is one of the major causes of ingrown hairs. When shaving directly against the grain, you cut the hairs at an angle, causing it to curl back into your skin. This amounts to nightmares for black men who naturally have dry, coarse, and curly hair.
If you are desperate to achieve as close a shave as possible, all you have to do is allow your razor blades to do the job for you. At most, you can come across the natural wave or growth direction of your hair. That simply means shave from one ear to the other.
Tip 4: Consider Shaving Less Often
If you suffer from severe skin irritation after shaving, you should consider shaving less often. Instead of shaving daily, opt waiting a few days in between. While you may not be able to show off that spotless baby skin during these few days, you can still look dashing, especially if you incorporate some of the skin-care routines already mentioned above.
Tip 5: Don’t Skip Your After Shave
Finish the whole process by applying a suitable aftershave. Avoid alcohol-based aftershaves. They are notoriously known for tightening and drying out your skin. Even their antibacterial activity can’t make up for that. The best aftershave remains those made from naturally soothing ingredients like aloe vera and coconut.