How to Get a Clean Shave

by Michael Miller

The fine art of the clean shave disappeared many years ago with the invention of the disposable blade and canned shaving foam. The straight-edge razor and real shaving cream have been buried ever since. However, with the proper tools and techniques, men can still obtain a clean, close shave within the confines of their bathrooms. Avoiding nicks, cuts and razor burn while achieving a smooth, comfortable shave is well within your reach.

Items you will need

  • Hot water
  • Cartridge razor
  • Shaving gel
  • Moisturizer
Step 1

Although most men shave before they jump in the shower in the morning, the best strategy to obtain a clean shave is to shave after you have taken a shower. Hot water is a key player in achieving a clean shave. The shower exposes the skin to hot water, opens the pores and softens the whiskers. Showering after shaving also serves to exfoliate the skin.

Step 2

Apply the shaving cream. Make sure your face is hydrated and dripping with hot water. When applying the shaving cream, be sure to thoroughly rub the cream into the skin. Let the cream sit for a minute or two to allow the skin and whiskers to further soften. Canned shaving foam and gel are sufficient, but shaving cream applied with a shaving brush is preferable. The brush further exfoliates the skin, providing great lather and added hydration.

Step 3

Shave. Cartridge razors have better blades than disposable razors. Shave in the direction the whiskers grow. Shaving with the whiskers assists in avoiding nicks, cuts and razor burn. Be sure to slide the blade over the skin instead of pressing the blade against the skin. Don't rush; make sure to rinse the blade frequently. For a closer shave, lightly shave upward, against the grain before finishing.

Step 4

Rinse with cold water. It closes the skin's pores. Finish by applying a moisturizer or alcohol-free aftershave.


  • Like many products, price matters. Generally, higher-priced products do provide added performance. However, following these simple steps with any product will ensure you achieve a clean shave.

About the Author

Michael Miller is a freelance writer and editor living in Denver, Colorado. Since 2004 Michael has worked for various print magazines, newspapers, and online sites, including He has an M.A. in Journalism from Indiana University.