For the ultimate shaving experience, the blade experts generally agree that you should:

* Wash face and neck thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of two minutes.

* Always use a razor with a sharp blade.

* Rinse razor in hot water, making sure blade is clean and free of any old whiskers. Rinse blade frequently.

* Check face for any recent nicks or irritations and shave around them.

* Apply shaving soap, foam or cream with the fingertips, in a gentle, rotary motion, rubbing against the grain of the beard.

* Shave with the grain, which goes in different directions at different parts of the face and neck.

* Stretch skin area being shaved to maintain surface tension.

* After shaving, rinse face and razor thoroughly.

* Apply a mild aftershave lotion or balm to soothe and help disinfect the scrapes that accompany razor-blade shaves. Going Electric

* Wash face and neck with soap and water.

* Pat dry thoroughly.

* Use a gentle pressure, methodically moving shaver head in a circular direction.

* Going over a particularly heavy area of the beard more than once is okay but don't overdo it.

* Whether you use a pre-shave preparation or not, rinse the face with lukewarm water. Apply aftershave balm or lotion if desired.

* Clean the shaver head of whiskers after every shave.