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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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A Man's Burden: A Well-Shaven Face

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As a professional, I've had to keep myself well-shaven at all times and I know I'm not the only man that has to deal with the daily chore of shaving. In fact, a recent article highlighted the fact that shaving became posh with Alexandar the Great, at least according to most historians. Since that time period, men have disliked the social practice of shaving but have begrudgingly kept up with the practice. After reading a recent article, I was also reminded of some things that I already knew–that a shave can be costly and that razors can cost a lot of money in the long run. But I was suprised to learn that if you don't properly change your shaving tools regularly you can suffer some health consequences.

According to the professionals at The Art of Shaving, a high-end shaving company specializing in–well, you can probably guess–it is important to change your razor every 3 to 5 shaves, or every 7 shaves for light hair and every 2-3 shaves for course hair. If you don't, you can suffer from folliculitis or an infection of the hair follicles which can lead to pimples, ingrown hairs, and irritation. Folliculitis isn't life-threatening by any means, but it can be pretty annoying and I'm sure many men have experienced it. Treating folliculitis usually requires hot compresses to promote drainage of any pus, not touching the area, or even oral antibacterial or topical antifungal medications prescribed by your doctor if it gets bad enough.

To prevent folliculitis you can also start with a well-prepared face, in addition to using a fresh razor. For example, men's facial hair can be as stiff wire and this is even harder on a razor and on the skin. To soften the skin, you can wash your face with warm or hot water–that's why the best time to shave is after a hot shower. Also, you may consider buying a shaving oil to prepare the face, as well as an aftershave that will prevent ingrown hairs and irritation.