Byrdie Boy How to Use a Pre Shave Oil for the Smoothest Finish

Byrdie Boy How to Use a Pre Shave Oil for the Smoothest Finish

whether you’re shaving for a clean-cut face or simply for maintenance, you always want the best shave. Ideally, the shaving process is simple and straightforward—but often it can be painful and messy. To help smooth the process, perhaps you've heard of people using a pre-shave oil—a lubricant commonly used to hydrate the skin before shaving. Pre-shave oils prepare the skin prior to shaving and are complementary to your favorite shaving cream, foam, or gel. They help your razor glide against your skin to theoretically prevent skin irritaiton.

But do they work? Ahead, we've asked board-certified dermatologists Dr. Dendy Engelman and Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank to explain everything you need to know about using pre-shave oil.

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Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, is a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon.
Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank is a celebrity cosmetic dermatologist based in New York City and the author of in NYC and author of The Pro-Aging Playbook.

The Benefits of Pre-Shave Oil
Pre-shave oils can help your skin combat a lot of the less desireable side effects of shaving, like irritation, itchiness, and ingrown hairs. “Pre-shave oil lubricates the skin, which helps reduce friction, irritation and nicks by letting the blades move smoothly across the skin’s surface," says Dr. Engelman. "A good pre-shave oil will also contain ingredients that nourish the skin and provide additional benefits, like hydration and antioxidants.”

How to Use Pre-Shave Oil
This might be stating the obvious, but pre-shave oils are meant to be used before you actually begin shaving. Engelman recommends that before you apply the oil, you should wet the skin with a warm, damp towel—or even better, take a warm shower. "This softens the beard hairs to reduce the likelihood of irritation and razor bumps," she says. She also recommends giving your skin and beard a good dose of exfoliation prior to apply pre-shave oil and shaving. "You can absolutely exfoliate before applying pre-shave oil and shaving," she says.

"In fact, I recommend it because it helps reduce razor bumps and gives a cleaner shave.”

Who Should Use Pre-Shave Oil?
Dr. Frank says, "It’s fine for anyone to use pre-shave oil at any age, but younger people tend to have more oil and are acne prone." Frank recommends skipping the shave oil if you are particularly oily, acne-prone, or if you're currently experiencing a breakout.

What to Look for In A Pre-Shave Oil
“Look for clean formulas and hydrating essential oils, like jojoba, moringa and argan oils. Avoid fragrances, harsh chemicals, and other fillers," says Dr. Engelman. Conversely, if you have acne-prone skin, look for a formula containing non-comedogenic oils to avoid triggering a breakout.

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