All men approach shaving each in his own way. There are those who see morning shaving as an indispensable ritual of their daily lives, those who out of laziness do not shave often unless the last minute or who, on the other hand, is a beard lover that does not really get along with the idea of shaving.
What is certain is that these days something unites us beyond all these differences: we all have more time to spend at home and – why not? – could be an opportunity to rediscover shaving. Today Bullfrog tells you about it from a new angle: make yourself comfortable and discover the science of shaving!
The beard has a structure similar to any type of hair: it is a composition of keratin, a filamentous protein, which by its nature is very stable and resistant. It all starts in the deepest layers of the epidermis, from which the keratin proceeds to the surface, anchoring in the horny cells, those so-called dead cells, with a hard and resistant appearance.
These lifeless cells are unable to transmit pain to the nervous system, which is why shaving is not a painful experience. Correction, it shouldn’t be.
If the above is true for hair, it is not equally true for our skin.
This is the outer of the two layers that make up our skin, as well as the one that most accuses the insult of shaving. Unlike horny cells, the epidermis is very alive, so much that the cells that compose it are renewed until they are expelled with the process of desquamation with considerable speed.
Among the several actions, the skin is a wall against pathogens and it is responsible for the production of the hydrolipidic film, an actual film composed of water and lipids that protects us.
Shaving is one of those operations that, for sure, exposes us to a small damage and not only for the intrinsic mechanical action, but also for the use of shaving soaps or creams that change the hydrolipidic film. When this happens, the skin is more easily attacked and less defended from the action of the pathogens. The water contained in the skin also starts to evaporate more heavily, leaving us with a more dehydrated, dry face. This is why it is essential to choose carefully the products we use, ensuring that they respect the balance of our skin as much as possible.
The heat softens the skin: applying a warm cloth on the face before shaving or simply doing it after a hot shower will certainly make this moment more pleasant. Finally, combining the pre-shave oil with this process will be a great advantage. In fact, in addition to its more evident action of lubricating the blade, facilitating its sliding on the skin, it has a conditioning power that already begins to soften the hair before shaving. Even the skin benefits from it, being already hydrated and made more resistant to the small trauma it will suffer from shaving.
THE SHAVING CREAM
Shaving creams are commonly derived from potassium soaps and in the formulations really designed to minimize the damage of shaving we find ingredients that have the task of protecting the hydrolipidic film and numerous moisturizing agents, such as glycerin. The basic pH of these creams, if on one hand inevitably alters the balance of the skin, on the other hand it is a great advantage to soften the hair, thus facilitating shaving. The most useful tool to combine in this phase is the brush, not only for the convenience of whipping the cream, but above all for the gentle massage it exerts on the face, lifting the beard and wrapping it evenly with the foam.
At the end of the shave, even if with all the necessary precautions, we will hardly have caused no damage to the skin. For this reason, the use of a good aftershave is important. Aftershave products must restore the right balance of the skin, starting right from the pH. This is why very often we find in the composition, alongside ethanol, weak acids such as lactic, citric or tartaric acid, which bring the skin back to its physiological pH.
The sensation of freshness often found in an aftershave is not to be overlooked: for this reason, we find menthol extracts or camphoric substances.