Since I started shaving live on Twitter a while back, many have asked about my whole regimen. It’s pretty simple.
The first thing I do before shaving and before bedtime (and before going out) is wash. For washing the face, gentle is better. It’s skin, not a skillet. For years, I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I love it. With essential oils in the soap formula, it makes for a good clean without stripping the skin and drying it out.
Shaving is one of my favorite rituals. It’s me time, away from everyone and everything else. And even though I get some of my best ideas while I’m shaving, it’s a welcome break from the intellectual.
My razor is the iconic single-blade safety razor, which is all metal with no plastic cartridges – a durable, one-time purchase that will last a lifetime. A year’s supply of blades for a safety razor costs around $10. Good for me, good for my wallet, good for the environment. Fabulous.
For the cream, I’ve been using (and loving) Proraso’s premium shave cream, made exclusively for C.O. Bigelow here in NYC. Favored by Italian barbers for years, Proraso’s extremely rich and creamy formula creates a nice, softening lather, and the hint of eucalyptus makes for a really soothing shaving experience. What’s better? It comes in a metal tube, which I love. (More shave companies should do this.) I love shaving with this stuff.
One indulgence with my shave is the shave brush. It’s not totally necessary, but I enjoy it. Most popular shave brushes are made with badger or boar hair, which requires killing the animal. I’m not cool with that at all. My shave brush, which also comes from C.O. Bigelow, is made with synthetic fibers.
The final step after a good wash and a clean shave in the morning is really simple. I follow the shave with a moisturizer that contains a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30. My go-to is the SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen from Malin + Goetz – unscented and not tested on animals. No after shave… no toners… no balms… just the moisturizer.
In the evening, when the sun is gone but the night isn’t over, I like the Age Defense Moisturizer from Bulldog Skincare for Men after I wash my face. And when it’s time for bed, I’ll follow the wash with a light retinol cream before I apply the moisturizer. For the uninitiated, retinol helps with anti-aging and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps smooth the skin’s texture. Before bed, I use it as an easy step under the moisturizer, not as the moisturizer itself.
And that’s about it. Not too complicated. There are so many products out there, making a confusing array of promises. It can be really overwhelming. If others want to dive into that, have at it. Personally, I haven’t the time or the interest. And underneath all of it, a healthy diet, enough exercise, plenty of water and good sleep all contribute to better skin.
A little favor…
This little blog, my social media nonsense and my occasional podcast run on elbow grease, midnight oil and the frequent bad idea. Access is totally free. Any help you can give so I can continue to produce content and keep the lights on would be immensely appreciated. There is a one-time support option or a recurring subscription through Patreon, which also features exclusive content like my one-man podcast ‘Hahn, Solo’. Thank you so much!!!
Thanks George! For years(I’m 64) I used all kinds of shaving methods. Then about 15 years ago I went the single blade route, with a brush(unfortunately not fake since I didn’t know better, but I will will remedy that) and good cream(Taylor Of Old Bond St. has been my go to…but will give Cremo a shot) , Proraso after shave, and a alum bar. The biggest difference recently because of you, and that’s the pre wash. It’s a night and day difference in how effective the shave is. I’ve tried different soaps, but will now try Dr. Bonner’s, as well as your after shave moisturizer tips. Thanks again for your thoughts and guidance on this and everything this else that you bring to the table.
Thank you, Sam!
Thanks for the post, George. I am also a longtime fan of Cremo shave cream. Will be giving some of the other products you mentioned a try as well.
Save the Badgers, yes. Thanks, George.
After seeing your morning shave on Twitter I slowly but did convert to a single blade safety razor-King C. Gillette DE safety razor and the 100 pack of Astra blades for a very reasonable price from Amazon and after a month I decided to try a moisturizer because my usual aftershave balm wasn’t giving me the protection from dry skin. I want to thank you for your morning shave on Twitter which opened my eyes to being a more practical and ethical person when it came to shaving.
Hey George, do you have a go-to self bronzer? Something that looks natural. Like not too Roger Moore but more George Hahn.
I don’t use one.