Unless you’re a hairless wonder, an incredibly late bloomer, or a hopelessly hirsute man-beast, shaving is a daily task that must be handled with care. While shaving is sometimes seen as a grooming obstacle we hurry to get over quickly and painlessly, it can also be — at its best (and if done right with the proper equipment) — a rewarding and uplifting start to your day.

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More than simply a manly duty, shaving is a sacred ritual, and shaving the right way is good for your mug — providing exfoliation and protection for the only face you’ll ever have. Of course, a good shave is only affected by the proper device, and that means finding the right razor for you. The types and choices are myriad, so consult our humble guide and get on the right track to one damned good shave.

Soaps, Foams, Creams, Gels or Oils
Soap: Shaving soaps are the most traditional shaving lube around. Lathering takes more time (use a brush and a dish) since the soaps tend to be quite hard, and they’re also not as moisture-rich as creams. They also provide less cushion than cream but supply plenty of slickness. D.R. Harris Marlborough Shaving Foam ($31)
Foam: Usually the easiest to apply and remove, foams can also dry the skin. Look for a foam with skin conditioner like shea butter that’s better for your baby face. Proraso Refresh Shaving Foam ($9)
Cream: Creams are great for your skin since they are typically glycerine-based, but they lather up nicely with fingertips or a brush. Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream ($14)
Gel: Gels are highly concentrated and moisture-rich. Plus, they lather up with minimal effort and create a great base for a razor’s glide. Portland General Store Alpine Shave Jelly ($16)
Oil: Comprised of vegetable oil and essential oils, shaving oil or pre-shave oil helps condition facial hair prior to shaving for better lubrication. It can enhance shaves or creams, as well, making shaving easier. The Art of Shaving Lavender Pre-Shave Oil ($25)

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