Single Mom needs Shaving Lessons fo 16yo son

I mean, what do I know about facial shaving? And then there’s the pimple factor.

Little Foot has been using disposables. He uses soap and water. He states that shaving cream leaves him feeling itchy. He states that when he shaves his acne clears up.

The hairs are still spotty and he doesn’t need to shave everyday and I don’t know what else I’m supposed to know.

Might he be a candidate for an electric razor?


Defintiely a candidate for electric.

Have him try this…
get a good electric (I use a Braun series 3, it’s fantastic) and then have him go over his face again geltly with a good razor. Don’t use the crappy 20 razors for $10 grocery store brand, use a good 2 blade.

I don’t know if this makes sense but your face kind of has to get used to being shaved. It takes a few weeks imho.

Using both an electric and a good razor will get him a very close shave and will also help him practice. He may decide after a while he prefers one to the other, that’s fine, this is practice.

I successfully shaved with a safety razor throughout puberty and pimples.

Hot washcloth on face
Generous lather of shaving cream on face.
Sharp Blade in Razor
After Shave lotion

I never could stand electrics. They pull hairs and hurt like heck. I got bad rashes and ingrown hairs from electrics. others may have other results. But I’ve used a razor for 40 years. The modern cartridge razors give even closer shaves than the injector blades I used 20 years ago.

Speak to us about after-shaves. What do they do?

But wouldn’t he be slicing his pimples off?

My WAG is that the reason his acne is clearing up when he shaves is because the shaving is helping exfoliate his skin. Less dead skin cell buildup means less crud to get stuck in pores and clog them up. (It may not do the trick the whole time, so look into getting him one of those “skin care for men”* products that helps exfoliate - a product with AHA/BHA (alpha-/beta-hydroxy acid) or salicylic acid is probably best.)

  • There’s nothing about them specifically designed for men except the packaging. I’d say the fragrance, but skin care products shouldn’t have added fragrance because it’ll just irritate the skin.

Don’t use shaving cream, use shaving soap. Buy him a mug and a brushand a bar of shaving soap, availble at most drug stores. Dispoable razors are fine.

He doesn’t have to slice his pimples off with either an electric or a blade. What he needs to learn is a light touch, and at his age, a light touch is all he needs. He shouldn’t expect to plow his face like a corn field and dig out every follicle on the first pass. Have him go over a spot lightly, then lightly again, and again if need be.

Personally, I just use soap and water, too. I shave while I’m in the shower, so there’s always plenty of steam to keep my skin soft. When I used an electric razor, I always shaved after I showered, so I started with a clean, oil-free face. If he goes electric, get a bottle of pre-shave. It does help with sensitive skin.

What aftershave is supposed to do is be an astringent, close those pores and give you a nice fresh feeling as it dries. Unfortunately, it’s usually just alcohol and fragrance. Young men tend to use too much of it.

cynyc, I might recommend a little differently.

Maybe I just never had a good enough electric razor or maybe my beard is a lot heavier than your son’s will be, but I don’t like electric razors for two reasons 1) They do not seem to shave nearly as closely as blades do; and
2) They sometimes catch hairs if they are long enough and can give a painful yank. If it’s a nose hair (happened to me once) this can be so painful as to bring tears to the eyes. But your son may have such a light beard which warrants another look at an electric razor. Or perhaps his beard will grow in thickly.

If an electric razor suits him, he might consider that the extra soaping of his face is clearing away oils that can clog pores and give zits a harbor to grow in. He might continue washing his face more frequently to control the acne, as I am almost sure it is the soap and water and not the blade that is helping. I see no problem with using soap as a shaving cream substitute.

Now assuming your son’s beard grows in heavy over the next few years, I would advise him to quit buying the disposable razors. They can be very good for a shave or two of a heavy beard, but they lose their edge quick. I use one of thos Gillette five blade jobbies with the replacable cartridges. One of those cartridges lasts me six months to a year. (okay a year is pushing it, it’s dull by then, but you get the idea)

Disposables are for vacations and the like when you forget your razor, to a sensible man with a heavy beard.

actually they seem to slide right over em for the most part.

I have very sensitive skin and still have the occasional zit, I use one of the multi blade razors and cream for sensitive skin. IMO cream is better than soap as it lubricates better, a warm wet towel opens the pores and cream/soap cleans them out when shaving and rinsing. After shave is usually a mild cologne with alcohol that closes the pores after shaving, I never use the stuff. IME it takes a while for the skin to get used to shaving. Electric shavers have never worked for me, don’t worry about slicing a pimple off, bleeding is part of shaving at least for a while, welcome to having a boy/man in the house. Good luck


It helps to shave in the shower. The longer the hair is wet, the softer it gets.

Shower, wash, wash hair, shave last. He’ll need a mirror that sticks to the shower wall or hand held.

Meanwhile I’m going to hook him up with witch hazel and cotton balls to help with the dirt and oils especially since it is effectively summer.

But you guys are welcome to go on. He’s 16 and I don’t know F-All about F-All because I’m merely a mother with 39 years on him.

I haven’t finished a sentence in his presence in 3 years. Sigh.

Hey! Will barter kid for a camper!

A styptic pencil is a good idea for beginners.

Very good point.
Get him one of these.

this. I started doing this several years ago and it’s much easier.

Moved from General Questions to IMHO, where you can get all the opinions you wish.

samclem, Moderator

I started shaving with an electric razor. It was much easier; my beard wasn’t anywhere near as full as it would be ten years later, and the electric worked fine. No risk of cutting myself, no need for creams and lotions, and it did a great job.

I actually did a primer for shaving some time ago, as a Staff Report:

Got it. Had it about moist skin, etc. That much I knew. Sorry that much I didn’t know because I don’t really know anything about Guy Stuff so I’ll have Little Foot read this and get out of the way. What I’m saying is that it’s not my intent to be rude. :slight_smile:

Try Edge brand shaving gel. They make several varieties, my favorite while learning to shave with a blade was the variant that is meant to provide extra protection against nicks and cuts (dull red container) and there are other variants such as for sensitive skin, with aloe, for tough beards, etc. I’d also suggest taking him to an actual barber (i.e. not a hairdresser, Supercuts, etc.) for his next few haircuts and have him ask for some pointers on shaving. Never tried this myself, but I know several middle aged and beyond adult men who have asked, even after shaving every morning for decades without problems, and all have said that it was very helpful.

I was somewhat prone to acne as a teenager and I found that using my dad’s electric razor made things worse - electric razors can have a somewhat abrasive effect on the skin of the neck, especially if your inexperienced at using one. This can irritate the skin and cause a rash, which often turned into acne. However, this was before wet/dry, lubricated, etc., electric razors were available.

Another bit of wisdom I can pass on from my teenage years is that the conventional wisdom of how it is best to shave (with a blade) after showering does not apply so well to acne prone teenagers, unless you wash your face very thoroughly afterwards. Shaving in the shower is probably optimal, but I’d recommend that he waits until he has enough experience that he doesn’t need to pay too close attention to what he is doing first. I’ve also found that minor nicks and cuts seem to take care of themselves during the duration of the shower if you shave beforehand. For this reason I still do so occasionally.

Finally, while multiple blade razor cartridges are great, they can often result in multiple cuts, i.e. if you slip and cut yourself really good with a Gilette Mach3 razor, you might end up with three slash marks on your face.