Face Shaving Tips

Shaving Sensitive Skin: A Beginner’s Guide

Shaving Sensitive Skin: A Beginner’s Guide

Shaving for the first time can be a big deal. Many of us spend months or even years longing to be able to shave, so it’s no surprise that it can turn into a pretty momentous occasion.

But what should you do when your first shave goes wrong, and you’re left with skin that’s red, itchy and irritated? If this has happened to you, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. The number of men who don’t experience any irritation after their first shave are very much in the minority, with nicks, cuts and stinging all being particularly common after a first shave.

There are two possible reasons why you might experience discomfort if you’re just getting into shaving: either you’ve not quite mastered your shaving technique, or you’re one of the many men who have sensitive skin.

Find out where you’re going wrong now, and you could save yourself from years of annoying shaving rash and unsightly razor bumps.

How to Tell if You Have Sensitive Skin

Signs of sensitive skin include:

  • Redness
  • Tightness
  • Dry skin
  • Tenderness
  • Itching
  • Soreness
  • Inflamed patches
  • Acne
  • Burning or stinging
  • Bleeding
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Reactions to skincare products

If any of these apply to you, read below for our tips on shaving sensitive skin in the most effective and comfortable way.

How to Shave for the First Time, Properly

At Gillette, we’ve been helping men to shave for over 117 years, so we’ve had plenty of time to learn all of the best shaving tips and tricks. Get into the habit of following these five steps, every time, and you’ll soon have smooth shaving nailed:

1. Hydrate Your Face

It’s so much easier to glide a razor over skin that’s just been washed, which is why it’s always a good idea to shave right after your shower.

Wet shaving can give a far smoother finish than dry shaving, so use plenty of shaving gel or foam to create a lather each time you shave while you build up your confidence and your technique.

2. Check Your Blades

Most nicks and cuts from shaving are caused by dull blades, so always check yours before using them on your face. It’s easy to forget to add fresh blades to your shopping list when you’re not in the habit of buying them, so join the Gillette shave club to get blades delivered to your door on a regular basis.

3. Get Shaving

For your first shave, experiment by shaving both with and against the grain (the direction of your facial hair growth) to see which works best for you. Be gentle with your skin to avoid cutting yourself – it should be your razor doing most of the work, not your hand.

The Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor has actually been specially designed to absorb some of the pressure from your hand, so it’s a good one to use while you get used to working out the right level of pressure to use.

We recommend shaving your upper lip last, because this is the part of your face where hair tends to grow first, so it’s often thicker and coarser than the rest of your facial hair. If you leave it until last, it’ll have more time to soak up the shaving gel, making it softer and easier to remove.

4. Rinse Regularly

Rinse your blade after every few strokes to get rid of any shaving cream that’s building up, as well as excess oil and bacteria from your face. This can also help to keep your skin hydrated every time you make a stroke with your razor, giving you a super smooth glide.

Remember that you should never tap your blade on the side of the sink or any other surface, as this can lead to damage.

5. Adopt a Post-Shave Routine

After you’ve made your last stroke, rinse your face with warm water, pat it dry, then apply a moisturiser – try to get used to doing this every time you shave.

Your post-shave routine is just as important as how you shave when it comes to keeping your face free from irritation, so don’t be tempted to skip it.

Try to get into the habit of following a post-shave routine from your very first shave.

If you don’t follow all of these steps, you may be more likely to get razor burn or razor bumps – with the latter being especially likely if your facial hair is curly.

However, if you’re following all of these steps and are still experiencing irritation after shaving, it might be that you have sensitive skin and need to adjust your technique a little.

What Causes Sensitive Skin to React Differently to Your Razor?

Sensitive skin is very common – we came across so many men with this skin type that we decided to design the SkinGuard Sensitive range, which has been specifically designed for sensitive skin.

People with this skin type tend to have a more irregular skin surface, meaning it’s more likely to be nicked and cut by razor blades.

The nerves underneath the surface of your skin can be very easily stimulated if you have sensitive skin, so razors with any more than one or two blades can be too much for it.

Our SkinGuard Sensitive Blades have just two, and there’s added lubrication before and after each one, so the actual contact that your blade makes with your skin is minimal.

Tips for Shaving Sensitive Skin

When you’re shaving sensitive skin, try to shave with the grain rather than against it, which should feel a lot gentler.

As well as getting a razor that’s designed for your skin type, use the best shaving cream for sensitive skin you can find. We’ve got the Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Men’s Shaving Gel and SkinGuard Sensitive Men’s Shaving Foam for you to choose from, depending on the kind of product you prefer.

Use your gel or foam to create a really good lather to shield your skin from irritation as best as you can.

Everything in the SkinGuard Sensitive range is ideal for using on young, sensitive skin. Try it for yourself when you trial a Gillette shaving subscription.

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Gillette Editor

Gillette Editor

Writer and expert


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