For most men shaving is part of the grooming equation on a weekly if not daily basis. But, a lot of men are not taking into consideration things like their hair type and skin type which can make the act a chore rather than an experience that sends you out of the house feeling and looking your best. Here are some things to know.

Know Your Hair Type

Just like anywhere else on your body, your facial hair can be thick but fine, or thin and fine, or thick and thick, etc. Add in sensitive skin and it’s easy to so how a one size fits all shaving style will not work for all men. If you can’t figure out your hair type or beard growing patterns you can always go to a professional barber and get their opinion, and then go from there.

Use Quality Products

There is no guaranteed way to avoid ingrown hairs when you’re shaving with a razor, but using a good shaving cream and a good razor is going to go a long way towards preventing any issues you might face. If your facial hair is course and tends to get trapped under the skin, add an exfoliating facial scrub to your routine. This will help slough away the dead skin cells that often cover the trapped hairs and make it more likely that they make it out.

Using a sharp razor is key, so don’t get lazy about that. When the razor blades start to dull they are more likely to cause irritations on the skin and less likely to actually cut off the hair. This can lead to ingrown hairs as well.

Anyone with coarse hair should be lathering up their shaving cream with a shaving brush, which isn’t just for looking fancy. The shaving brush helps to lift the hair up off the face so it is more likely to be grabbed by the razor blade and cut. Finish with a moisturizing shave balm to further cut down on potential irritation.

Know the Differences Between Products

There are also some important differences between different types of products. Shaving gels and foams usually are lower on moisturizers but high in the stuff that helps the razor glide well on the skin. Shaving creams and soaps tend to be higher on the moisturizers and might be better for people with sensitive skin. Shave oils are meant to be put on the skin before the shave to form a protective barrier on the skin, not just help with the hair removal process.

As for blade types and amounts, they are all designed to work so some of this will just be your personal preference. Just remember that the preparation step of the process might be even more important than the shave part of the process. Anything you can do to soften the hair and prep the skin before the shave is going to pay off well in the long term.