Do You Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving?

It’s important to take great care of your skin but it can be tricky to work out your routine around shaving and personal grooming.

This has led to a lot of guys making mistakes regarding the order of steps to take – but don’t worry! 

Do You Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving

Here we are going to be talking about exfoliating and whether you should do it before or after shaving.

This way, you can do what’s best for your skin and keep irritation to a minimum! 

So, check out the information below! 

What Is Exfoliating? 

If you’re not entirely sure what exfoliating means, then let us explain. 

Exfoliating is an important step in your skincare routine.

It involves using a kind of exfoliator, either an adhesive scrub or chemical exfoliator, which helps lift debris from your skin.

This means that dirt, grime, oils, and dead skin cells are separated from your skin and thus more likely to be rinsed off when you splash your face with water. 

Not only that but exfoliating also stimulates your skin and helps your pores to open up, allowing more water and cleanser to get into your pores to wash out the excess sebum and grime that can cause clogs.

These clogs can later lead to issues like acne. 

So, exfoliation is a super important step in your skincare routine.

It doesn’t have to be done daily (especially if you won’t work outdoors or around lots of dust and dirt) but rather two to three times a week. 

However, its importance in the skincare routine has led many people to question whether or not they should exfoliate before or after shaving.

After all, while exfoliating is great for cleaning your skin, it can be rough – leading many to believe that it’s better to shave first to avoid further irritation. 

But is this true? 

Should You Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving? 

Do You Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving?

It’s generally considered better for men to exfoliate their skin before shaving for many different reasons. 

The first main reason is because by removing dirt and debris from your face, you are removing any obstacles in your razor’s way.

The blades need a nice smooth ride in order to give you a close shave and exfoliating your skin helps lift away any dead skin cells or dirt that can make things a little more bumpy for your razor. 

So, if you want a close shave, exfoliating before you shave is the best step. 

Exfoliating also helps lift your hairs up away from your face which reduces the chances of nicking your skin with your razor.

If you simply go straight into shaving, your facial hairs will be flying flat and your razor will be forced to tug on them to lift them up.

This can cause pain and nicks – but exfoliating your face will easily lift your hairs and make it easier for your razor to shave them. 

This lifting effect also helps any shaving foam or butter you are using to come into contact with more skin, thus allowing them to provide more protection against irritation and razor bumps.

This in turn leads to less redness and blemishes after shaving. 

These three benefits to exfoliating your face before shaving are the main reasons why you should definitely exfoliate first.

Not only does it leave you with better results but it also helps you have a painless, irritation-free shave! 

Why You Shouldn’t Exfoliate After Shaving?

On the other hand, exfoliating after you are done shaving can lead to a lot of problems. 

Shaving is tough on your skin and the baldes of your razor actually cut away at more than just hair.

It will also scrape and irritate the top layer of cells of your skin, leaving behind a very sensitive area.

This is why products like aftershave and moisturizer are recommended – to help smooth and calm your skin after it has been irritated from shaving. 

So, the last thing you will want to do is to irritate your skin even further by exfoliating. 

Exfoliants contain abrasive ingredients like sea salt, oats, rice, and more – and these will drag against your skin, causing pain and a burning sensation.

This will only result in further redness and perhaps even rashes and extremely sore skin. 

So, exfoliating after shaving will end you up with a red, blotchy face that is painful to touch and will require a lot of gentle care to repair long after it’s done.

This is why you should exfoliate first and then simply apply your usual aftershave and moisturizer once you are done shaving! 

Do I Need To Exfoliate Before Every Shave? 

Whether or not you exfoliate before every shave all comes down to your preferences. 

While it’s definitely recommended you exfoliate before you shave, this can be difficult if you shave more than three times a week.

All that exfoliating can cause your skin to become even more sensitive and irritated over time – so instead of exfoliating, simply wash your face with a cleanser. 

This will help lift your facial hair and remove a fair amount of dirt and debris to provide a clean shave.

Although a cleanser won’t do as good as a job when it comes to opening up your pores and deep cleaning any clogs, it’s still better than not washing your face at all before a shave. 

If you only shave once, twice, or thrice a week, then yes – you should exfoliate. 

But if frequent exfoliation is too coarse and rough on your skin, switch to using a gentle cleanser instead. 

Final Thoughts 

So, it’s important to exfoliate your face before you start shaving.

This is because exfoliating helps provide your razor with a smooth surface, helps lift your hairs for less tugging and pain, plus your shaving lathers can more effectively do their job! 

With so many benefits to exfoliating before shaving, it’s definitely worth adding this step to your grooming routine.

If you are a frequent shaver who is worried about causing too much irritation to your skin, then try switching the exfoliator for a cleanser instead. 

Happy shaving!

Matt Park
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