A great shave takes a bit of focus, folks. Before sliding the razor across your face, take a moment to study the direction that your hair has chosen to grow in. Note that it may not be the same direction on each part of your face. Once you have a handle on the way your hair is growing, shave with the grain. Shaving oil and low-lather shaving cream are ideal companions to this process as they allow the shaver to actually see where he is shaving. For an even closer shave, take a second pass — sticking with the grain — but wrap it up there. Too many passes can lead to irritation.

Do you know how your facial hair grows?

- Marisa

I know you’re not asking for much: a relatively pain-free, close and comfortable shave.

STOP. Here’s your problem already: like most people, you are probably confusing a “close” shave with a “comfortable” shave.

The secret to a close shave is in the hardware and the hardware only: use a decent razor.

It doesn’t need to be expensive and it doesn’t need to have six blades. In fact, many dermatologists will tell you that three, four, five+ blades aren’t necessary and potentially provide diminishing returns. Those millions and millions of dollars spent advertising shaving products: they are all selling a close shave. But the truth is, it’s pretty easy to get a close shave. If you have a steady hand and aren’t rushed for time, you can even do it with a rock.

The secret to a comfortable shave however is in the software: It’s what you put on your skin.

The products you put on your skin (your body’s largest organ, don’t forget) before, during and after the deed are the very things that get you through the 24 hours in between shaves with skin that stays healthy, looks and feels great, and protects against harsh environmental elements.

You don’t need a long regimen for a close shave. No lather-warmer or hot towels necessary. Regardless of the products you choose to use, here are a few common sense steps to get you on your way to a comfortable shave:

  1. Clean your skin before you shave. Exceptionally clean skin prepares your face for an exceptionally smooth shave.
    Choosing a skin cleanser with a gentle exfoliant will help remove dead skin cells and lift whiskers. (An ounce of prevention here is worth a pound of cure here when it comes to ingrowns.)
  2. Use a shaving cream or oil that is moisturizing and free of harsh chemicals.
    Stay away from alcohol, menthol or other drying ingredients. They might feel tingly, but they are sucking moisture out of your skin. (When your foot falls asleep it feels tingly too, but don’t you feel better when the circulation is there?)
  3. Use a post-shave moisturizer to keep skin soft and supple.
    I know you want to be done after you rinse of the last bit of shaving cream or oil, but take the extra step to moisturize afterward. This doesn’t require reeking of Irish Mist, Morning Dew or a men’s locker room the rest of the day. Something light, free of harsh chemicals and moisturizing is all you need.

Voila! A comfortable shave.

PS: You already look five years younger. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. You do.

-Stan

Today, as I prepared to hustle around town crossing last-minute gifts off my list, I decided to change my approach to this now yearly ritual. Instead of slinking away in shame, mumbling something about “running a quick errand or two,” I owned my slacker ways, admitting calmly and cooly that I had a few more gifts to pick up before the big day. No, I wouldn’t be buying extra candy canes for the tree. No, I wouldn’t be picking up the mozzarella for the antipasto. I would be running around looking for something special to stuff the stockings, something grand to gift.

I highly recommend this approach. If you plan to sneak away on Christmas Eve under the guise of something other than 24th hour present purchasing, come clean — and stay focused. Think easy, think different, think practical. If they’re past puberty give them all the gift of a stellar shave. Nick Sticks in the stockings, All Natural Shaving Cream and All Natural Shaving Oil under the tree. Blade Oil for the dude who thinks he has everything.

Visit our store locator at pacificshaving.com for a retailer near you.

Happy last minute shopping and Merry Christmas to all!

- Marisa

The Monkey Tail.

December 22, 2011

Monkeytail. Impressive.

One of the more impressive images that came up on my Google search for 'Monkey Tail Beards'.

I suppose the beard is to a shaving company what an apple is to a doctor. As a result, I unfortunately feel like I have to be anti-beard in my worldview as a matter of principle (or good business), even though I’m really not.

That said, once or twice each year I like to go unshaven for a couple weeks so that when I do finally shave I can rest assured that our products continue to stand up as real beard-busters. That time period always makes for some awkward questions from friends – as the guy who runs a shaving company, how can I not be clean shaven all the time?

The two-week periods inevitably also bring some fun conversations about beard shapes, sizes and creative ways of sculpting.

Enter the Monkey Tail. Introduced to me at a holiday party and this year’s winner by far.

It’s two parts creative, two parts creepy, one part awkward and one part awesome. You don’t want to stare at it, but you can’t look away either.

Of course, it only took one Google search to bring up pages of sites dedicated to this fad that is sweeping(?) the nation, though I have yet to actually find someone else who has heard of it.

When it came time to finally shave off my beard this morning, I couldn’t resist trying to sculpt the monkey tail. (lubricant of choice: shaving oil – so I could see where I was shaving.) I called my wife and kids into the bathroom so we could have a good laugh – but the fun stopped there. Definitely no going out in public like this for me. As quickly as it took its shape, it disappeared in a stream of whiskers down the drain. No photography allowed.

- Stan

Helianthus Annuus

Ever wonder about the oil behind your All Natural Shaving Oil?

Well, it’s pretty amazing stuff.

Sunflower seed oil or Helianthus Annuus if you want to get technical — and Latin — is a powerhouse emollient (beauty speak for moisturizer).

Seriously, this is not your average oil. Though tiny, sunflower seeds produce a potent lubricant packed with vitamins A,B, D, and E, minerals and lecithin. It’s easily absorbed, works with all skin types and can even prevent cell damage from free radicals.

And you were just hoping for a nick-free shave?

- Marisa

3 (oz) is the Magic Number

September 8, 2011

small, but mighty

I just got home from a week on the West Coast — a gear-heavy camping trip that required the checking of significant baggage. Like most frequent travelers, I do everything in my power to avoid the checking of any bags and let go with great resistance when required to send my bags into the belly of the plane.

It’s a leap of faith, really. Will my stuff actually meet me in Reno, Bangkok, Newark? Will my under things be untouched and my toiletries intact?

I comfort myself by packing a carry-on designed to carry me through. In addition to a spare pair of underwear, I outfit myself with a handful of personal care products — in TSA-approved sizes, 3 oz or under — that will keep me looking fine over a day or two without my luggage.

Once it became an unavoidable part of flying, I took the 3 oz limit as a challenge and worked to find goods that fit the bill. In my bag: mini toothpaste (.75 oz); jar of moisturizer (2 oz); contact lens solution (transferred into 3 oz travel bottle); lip balm (.15 oz) and shaving oil (.5 oz).

Beauty routine, miniaturized.

What’s in your carry-on?

- Marisa

Feeling Electric

May 10, 2011

Yes. The answer is a clear and enthusiastic (and super moisturizing) yes.

Yes, you can use our shaving oil with an electric razor. Though I’m partial to a traditional razor, often imagining myself — if I were to ever come back in the body of a hirsute gentleman — fearlessly shaving with a straight razor, I understand the appeal of the electric. It’s safe, it’s clean, it’s rechargeable.

Using shaving oil as a pre-electric shave conditioner softens the hair and helps the blades move over the skin with minimal friction (and minimal pulling and tugging). Shave oil also moisturizes the skin.

If that’s not a hair removal win-win, I’m not sure what is.

Happy spring shaving,

Marisa

Happy, Happy Earth Day

It’s Earth Day.

Let’s celebrate with an eco-friendly shave session that will make the planet blush with pride.

The gear: two-blade razor kept super sharp with regular application of blade oil.
The eco-benefit: Consistently sharp razor equals a longer blade life, which equals less dull blades dumped in the garbage/landfill.

The product: shave oil or cream made from natural and organic ingredients. Think sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, tangerine peel oil, shea butter …
The eco-benefit: naturally derived ingredients are better for you, sure, but they’re also better for the planet. Every personal care product we use eventually goes down the drain and moves into the earth and our water supply.

Extra eco points:

** turn off the tap while shaving and save gallons and gallons of a most useful resource. Running water will not help you navigate around a blemish or sculpt your sideburns. Trust me. It won’t.

** choose shaving products housed in minimal packaging (read: skip the bulky aluminum can) and look for those that can be easily recycled.

Getting greener,

Marisa

Today, we’re kicking off a new Q & A series where we ask regular, everyday shavers why they do what they do. Shaving is different for everybody and we want to know what works for you.

And for you.

We’re keeping it quick and easy — three minutes is all it takes.

 

Name: Eric Hilcoff

What’s your occupation? PGA Travel Coordinator

What does that entail, exactly? I handle the travel arrangements for the golfers on the PGA tour.

How often do you shave? I shave a couple times a week because I have to be somewhat clean-shaven for work. It ends up being two to three times a week.

Shaving regimen: I shave always shave in the shower and if I miss a spot I catch up at the sink.

Hardware/Software: When I’m on the road, I use a regular razor and the Shaving Oil [Pacific Shaving’s All Natural Shaving Oil]. I’ve been using it for years. The little bottle makes it easy to pack.

How do you shave?

– Marisa

Shave Right. Shave Smart.

February 9, 2011

Think you know how to shave?

Think again.

The man behind Pacific Shaving Company (Mr. Stan Ades) shares his tips on mastering the perfect shave. No more irritation. No more ingrown hairs.

Read and learn.

- Marisa

For most men and women, shaving is not the enjoyable ritual that many marketers would lead you to believe. In reality, it is a daily chore that must be endured, is often rushed — and frequently painful. As your mom taught you, when you rush things you make mistakes — and in the shaving business, those mistakes can be bloody.

Here are five simple tips that will keep your skin, your razor and your wallet equally happy.

1. Struggling with ingrown hairs? Less is more.

If your skin is particularly sensitive or prone to ingrown hair, consider stepping back from that four, five or six-blade razor you are using. That may be the primary cause of those unsightly and uncomfortable red bumps.

Remember those razor commercials where they show each subsequent blade lifting and cutting the hair follicle lower to give you that super-close shave? Well, they weren’t lying. The problem is that it works too well. After multiple cuts, the hair follicle is below the surface of your skin. As it grows back, it begins to curl under before breaking the skin. The result: ingrown hairs.

Nowadays, disposable two and three-blade razors get the job done well, without going overboard. (I use Gillette Comfort Plus blades or the still-great Gillette Sensor - if you can still find replacement blades.) Give yourself a couple weeks with fewer blades and you’ll see the difference.

2. Prone to razor rash? Cool it.

If you are prone to post-shave irritation and razor rash, consider changing your regimen slightly: don’t shave with hot water. I know it may sound counter-intuitive to everything you’ve probably heard, but give it a shot. That doesn’t mean shave dry (see below). It just means use cold water instead of warm (this is probably best attempted out of the shower). Warm water opens up your pores and all that good stuff, but it also draws the blood closer to the surface of the skin, which can lead to redness and irritation.

3. Tempted to dry-shave? Resist.

We all find ourselves hurrying from time-to-time, but don’t dry-shave – even if you’re in a rush. You’ll get a jagged, coarse shave that will likely be uncomfortable and far from smooth. Even for quick touch-ups, splash some water on your face to soften/hydrate your hair follicle. Think of your whiskers like pieces of spaghetti. If you try to cut through it dry and uncooked, it results in a sharp, jagged edge. Cut through that same noodle once it’s cooked and wet and you’ll get much smoother results.

5. What’s your product IQ?

The true measure of a comfortable shave is not about the razor, but ultimately the products you put on your skin to provide lubrication and protection. Do you know what’s in your shaving cream or oil?

Seek out products that are:

Good for the skin: The skin is the body’s largest organ, so it’s a good idea to consider what you put on it Take a look at the ingredients in your shaving products. Are they safe? Natural? Organic? If you’re unfamiliar with — or can’t pronounce — the majority of the ingredients – stay away. That goes for alcohol and other skin-drying ingredients, too.

Good for the wallet: A little goes a long way when you use products with quality ingredients. Consider the overall value of each product you’re about to buy. How many shaves does that can or bottle really hold? Skipping one morning latte can fund three months of a quality shaving product.

Good for the earth: How do big, bulky cans of shaving cream affect the environment? Before purchasing consider the effort and resources used to carry the can through the supply chain and remember the landfills they’ll end up in. Look for smaller, more concentrated products that pack an even bigger punch.

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