Editor’s note: The following is part three of a three-part series written by Matthew Ruggieri, founder of The Motley, a men’s grooming site. I’m happy Matt is able to share this great information with us and I hope you gents will get plenty of use out of this series.

As always, please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section directly below this article! We love hearing from you.



If you read this blog, you most likely understand the importance of personal appearance. However, sometimes as men, the facts elude us. Here are the basic steps to skin, grooming and hair care in a series we are calling, “Maintenance 101.”

Part III: Shaving


  • Avoid shaving first thing in the morning This lets puffiness subside.
  • Thoroughly cleanse entire face See Part I: Skin Care for tips.
  • Exfoliate shaving area This brings hairs to the surface and removes dead skin making it easier for your razor to do its job with less irritation.
  • Moisturize Dampen the area to be shaved with warm water.


  • Apply shaving cream.
  • Let stand 1-2 minutes.
  • Hold skin taut and shave with the grain of your face this substantially reduces redness bumps and ingrown hairs.
  • Shave in short slow strokes This provides a more controlled shave.
  • Rinse blade in hot water every three to four strokes.

Second Shave

  • For special occasions, shave again against the grain Do not do this every day.
  • First, moisturize area to be shaved again since you just shaved off a layer of skin and stubborn hair.
  • Re-wet skin and apply shaving cream
  • In short gentle strokes shave in the opposite direction while holding skin taut.
  • Rinse and pat dry


  • Do not use a brand with menthol, a “cooling effect,” or alcohol. It may feel nice, but it wreaks havoc on your skin.
  • Less is more apply no more than a quarter-teaspoon sized amount in your hands. This is enough for the face and neck.
  • If you do not use after-shave an oil-free moisturizer will do just fine.


  • It’s best to shower first. This gives your pores time to open and the hair follicles will swell.
  • If you start with dry skin, throughly wet face, don’t just splash water on your skin.
  • Do not use a dull blade. Discard every four to five uses.
  • Avoid shaving creams with foaming agents because they make it harder for the blade to do its job, and the chemicals are no friend to your skin.


This is the conclusion of Matt’s three-part series, Maintenance 101. Feel free to leave your comments and questions below and we will be sure and respond.

Look forward to other informational articles from Matt in the future! In the meantime, check out The Motley for all your manly grooming necessities.

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8 Responses

  1. Andre Washington on

    Great article on shaving. I pretty much follow all these guidelines. Any product recommendations for us black and mediterranean men who are more prone to razor bumps from ingrown hairs? (special razors, electric vs manual, creams or products for pre/post shaving)

  2. lesbryant on

    I have heard a bit lately about lubricating/moisturing one's skin with pre-shave oils. I received a gift of pre-shave oil (The Art of Shaving – brand) but, have not used it yet. Would you recommend this added procedure or any specific product?

  3. The Motley on

    While testing products for The Motley, I was hesitant to use pre-shave oils because I thought that it was adding excess oils that I'd rather not clog my pores with (I always used oil-free products…) However, the owner of Billy Jealousy told me to give their pre-shave oil treatment a try (it is called “Hot Towel” – we carry it in the store) and I have been using it since.

    I suggest rubbing it lightly onto the skin for about 30 seconds. It adds a tingling feeling that numbs the skin a bit and looses up the hair. Then add your shaving cream (which you should let stand for at least a minute…) It has helped with a smoother, more consistent shave and has not resulted in breakout.

    I'd recommend giving The Art of Shaving pre-shave oil that you have – or our Hot Towel – a try!

  4. The Motley on

    I would highly suggest using an exfoliant prior to shaving to remove dead skin cells and open up your pores. After shaving, I'd use a product like Tend Skin or PFB Vanish (PFB Vanish is more powerful than Tend Skin) which helps a lot… Google those… Finally, add a light after-shave or moisturizer since the alcohol in Tend Skin and PFB will strip all of your natural oils and dry out your skin.

    We carry an exfoliant that I use called LiquidSand that works really well before shaving:

    And an after-shave moisturizer to help re-moisturize the skin:

    Let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. Jason Willson on

    I follow these pretty closely, except that I only use a shaving brush to apply the cream as I find it lifts the hairs on my neck better. I mainly do this because I don't always have the luxury of showering prior to shaving in the morning. I also use a toner because I find that it helps keep the razor bumps to a minimum and I exfoliate twice a week as I find that this has given me such better shaves day to day.

  6. Johnathan on

    Great set of tips for shaving!

    I've always found the most important element is hydration. Always, always, always keep the skin nice and wet throughout the shave; doing this I tend to find that you reduce nicks and scrapes, get a better quality shave and drastically cut the number of in-growing hairs.