Top Tips & Advice on How to Use Shaving Gel

Shaving gel is this season’s must-have shaving accessory. In fact, it’s every season’s must-have shaving accessory. 

When it comes to a successful shave, you shouldn’t be wielding a razor anywhere near your face without a decent-sized slathering of shaving gel. It’s the difference between that sharp look you’re after and a faceful of nicks and cuts.

Here’s how to get the most out of your shaving gel and keep your shave smooth…

Why should you use shaving gel? 

Without the right equipment, your skin doesn’t take too kindly to having a razor run across it (and who can blame it?).

Applying a generous layer of shaving gel before you start shaving puts a protective barrier in place that not only takes the heat off your skin but increases the glide of your razor. This further reduces the chances of all the nicks, cuts, shaving rash and ingrown hairs that a dry shave opens you up to. 

The right shaving gel will also hydrate and moisturise your skin throughout your shave, protecting it from dryness and drag at every step but also speeding up its post-shave recovery time. 

When should you use shaving gel?

If your shaving routine to-do list seems to be as long as your arm, it might not be immediately obvious where shaving gel fits into the proceedings. So here’s exactly what you should be doing when preparing to shave…

  • Take a warm shower. This will soften both the hairs and the skin, making them less resistant to the movement of the razor and helping prevent ingrown hairs.
  • Exfoliate your skin gently to get rid of any dead skin cells. Getting rid of this build-up before you shave will prevent your razor from getting clogged up and stop you from getting redness or shaving rash. Using an exfoliating scrub will help get rid of any dirt and grime lurking under the hairs, too. 
  • Trim your hair down to a more manageable length. If you’re looking to do a bigger job like shaving a beard off, you’ll need a trusty trimmer, such as our Style & Shape trimmer, as well as a good dollop of shaving gel - so cut those hairs down to size first.
  • Apply a layer of shaving gel. Don’t go too thick but make sure you’ve got full coverage to get the smoothest and most comfortable shave possible. 

Then you’re ready to get on with shaving! Work in single strokes and don’t apply too much pressure, because your razor should be doing most of the work for you. Try to move the razor slowly and carefully, getting as many hairs as possible in a single stroke, rather than having to go over the same area multiple times.

What’s the difference between shaving gel, foam and cream? 

There’s not a lot of difference between shaving gel and shaving foam - but gels tend to be slightly thinner liquids than foams, meaning they’re that bit easier to spread across your skin.

Shaving cream, on the other hand, needs to be worked up into a lather before it’s applied - while gels and foams can be put straight on the skin as they are - but it does a great job of protecting your skin. 

How long does shaving gel need to sit before shaving?

You should let shaving gel sit on your skin for between two and three minutes before you begin shaving. This gives it time to settle into the skin and start softening your hairs. 

You can spend the time brushing your teeth, styling your hair - or scrolling through Instagram. Just don’t drop any gel on your phone. 

Can you use shaving gel with an electric razor?

Always check the packaging on your electric razor, but most are designed to be waterproof - meaning you can use shaving gel just as you would with a normal razor. 

After all, you’re using a different tool for shaving but the need to protect and soften your skin is just the same. 

How to use shaving gel

Don’t just squeeze it out and slap it on - like any element of a great shave, there’s an art to using gel the right way…

    • Apply a dollop of shaving gel to your hand - but be aware that shaving foams in particular will exit the can at an alarming rate the moment you press down on the catch. What you don’t want is to end up with three times as much as you need, with great blobs of it dripping off your face.
  • Get a good lather going. With shaving foams and gels, you won’t need to do much at all - but if you’re using a shaving soap or cream there’s a little bit more manual labour involved. What you’re aiming for is a liquid thick enough to stay on your skin and do its all-important protective work. 
    • Apply it to the skin you’re going to shave, and make sure every hair you’ve got in your sights is covered before you start. You don’t want to be giving yourself razor burn if you decide to shave slightly further than you’d originally planned.  
    • Start shaving, and make sure you rinse your razor between strokes. Not only does this help get rid of excess gel but it stops the razor getting blocked up with dead skin and dirt. Don’t bang the razor on the side of the sink - this can damage the blades inside (and we’ve spent a long time crafting those to perform at their best!).