Men's Life Today
Prepare Your Pores: Optimal Water Temperatures Before and After Shaving
By Dr. Josh Zeichner
Preparing for and finishing your shave are as important to your skin as the shave itself. What you do to get the skin ready will impact the smoothness of your shave and the condition of your skin afterward.
In general, use warm water on the face prior to shaving. It helps open your pores and soften the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. Warm water will also soften your whiskers. Beard hair has been shown to be thicker than scalp hair and requires more force to cut. Softening beard hair prior to shaving makes shaving easier and can help prevent the need to use excess force with each razor stroke. Shaving during a hot shower or directly afterward can help maximize hydration of the skin and hair.
After shaving, apply cool water to the face to help close the pores, soothe the skin and hydrate it to prevent dryness. In addition, cold water constricts blood vessels, minimizing the amount of bleeding from any minor nicks from shaving. You should liberally rinse the skin to remove any residual shaving products. Leaving residual shaving gels or creams on the face can potentially cause irritation from some of the ingredients in the products.