Skin care and shaving

Lets look at some basic issues before we start to even think about applying makeup.

We will run through skin care and shaving.


Skin Care Basics

First, let's look in some general issues about skin care.

As men, we were never taught much about skin care as most women learn from their teens or before. However, many more men these days are now buying moisturisers, avoiding excessive sun and generally taking better care of their skin. This is particular important if you are a cross-dresser.

Good skin care involves cleansing, toning and moisturising, at least once and preferably twice per day. This routine is a must after removing make-up. Never go to bed wearing make-up. Apart from making a mess of the pillow and sheets, it is not good your skin, clogging your pores.

Moisturise

For day-to-day use, I stick with moisturisers designed for male skin, ones that are more water-based than oil-based, which women tend to use.

Eye creams

The other optional thing that you can do daily is to use an eye cream, gently massaged into the upper and lower lids. It seems to reduce the wrinkles and "crows' feet" at the corner of the eyes.

Exfoliate

Exfoliation is something else that you should do at least twice per week. Initially, I tried a couple of women's products, but I found these a little too gentle as female skin is naturally softer and needs gentler care. I use an exfoliant by Natio. The first thing that I noticed was that it was more abrasive than what the female ones that I had been using, but my skin coped with it well.

When we shave everyday, we are actually exfoliating the beard area with the razor blade. There is then enough difference to highlight the shaved area from the rest of the face, and make it look lighter and may make the beard shadow more noticeable in contrast. By exfoliating the whole face and neck regularly, the balance between the two areas is closer. It may make just a subtle difference, but every little improvement we make increases our feminine appearance that little bit more.

Oh, and do not forget to exfoliate your lips regularly, to keep them smooth and make your lipstick go on more smoothly.

Christine's Tip

In the last few years, I have had several comments from women, when I am male-mode, about how good my skin looks. I do not look like I was born in 1948! I use moisturiser every day. I also try and limit the amount of direct sun to which I expose myself. So many men of my age group or younger have very weathered, wrinkled skin.


Shaving

There is a saying among cross-dressers about the beard:

"If you can feel it... you can see it"

Yes, I know that you have been shaving for years, but there are some extra things that you can do to achieve a better result. Here are 12 pointers to getting the best results for a smooth face that will last for up to 8-10 hours:

Where and how.
I find shaving in the shower, using shampoo as the lubricant, to be the best as the skin and beard will be softer. Others prefer to do it in the sink using shaving cream, gel or oil. It is a personal preference, so do what works best for you.

Exfoliate your face and beard area before shaving.
This will remove dead skin cells and allow you get a close shave. It is best to exfoliate the rest of your face while you are at it, so the whole face is evenly exfoliated.

Never shave with a blunt razor. Do not use the same blade for much more than a few days. Before a big night out, use a new blade, although some people recommend having a shave with a new blade the day before a night out, so that it is not so sharp that it nicks your skin.

.

Use a multi-blade razor.
They give a much smoother shave and you are less likely to cut yourself. I recommend Gillette Fusion, which has five blades (shown on the left). I am told that the Aldi 5 blade razors are as good, but much cheaper.

Use a different razor on your face and not the one you use of the rest of your body, such as your legs. This reduces the risk of skin infections, such as folliculitis. We have a lot more bacteria on our legs than we have on our faces.

Double shave.
That is, shave once with the grain of the beard, then re-lather and shave gently against the grain.

Never apply strong pressure or drag the razor when shaving
You are more likely to cut yourself or get a shaving rash. Gentle slow shaving is better for your skin.

Shave in multiple directions.
The beard grows in different directions in different parts of the face. Do this until your face feels as smooth as possible.

Splash cold water on your face.
Do this immediately after shaving to close the pores. I sometimes use a toner, which is quite astringent, to do the same job.

Moisturise the whole face thoroughly.
Give special attention to the newly shaved beard. As you do this, you will find areas of the beard where you can feel a little bit of stubble. Gently touch up these areas with your razor until you can feel hardly any beard. You may need to moisturise again before you finish.

Do not overlook any places.
For example, just under the nostrils and around the Adam's Apple, that can be easily missed.

If you are out for the whole day and then going out in the evening.
You will need to shave again and reapply your make-up, to look your best.Yes, it's hard being a girl!



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