Achieving and maintaining a clean-shaven face or perfectly trimmed beard may seem as easy as taking shaving gel and a razor to your face. On the contrary, however, there are a few simple steps you need to take to ensure the best possible shave while taking care of your skin.

Here are five tips that are well-worth adding to your shaving game:

Get steamy

If shaving is part of your morning routine, then you may want to do it after your shower or bath, and not before. This gives your skin the chance to enjoy some light steaming to wake up and open up your hair follicles, soften the facial hair and open your pores.

Cleanse the way

Make sure to use a mild facial cleanser suitable for your skin type to remove any dirt and oil from your face before shaving. This will also help in fighting breakouts.

Lock in moisture

With your skin supple now, use a pre-shave oil to keep it soft and to seal in the moisture. This step will also enable the blade to glide more smoothly across the skin.

Keep your brushes clean

This vital step is often overlooked, but it’s essential to keep your shaving brush clean. Wash them with soap and warm water to get rid of dirt and bacteria that can easily be transferred onto your skin when you use the brush to apply shaving cream.