The Cold Truth About Shaving with Cold Water

by Jay Kang | Updated on June 7th, 2023
rinsing face with cold water

You’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and now you’re rushing through your morning routine. Shower? No time. Shave? A must. But can you skip the steamy shower and shave with cold water? Whether you’re a habitual warm-water shaver, a die-hard cold-water enthusiast, or someone curious about the efficacy of cold-water shaving, we’ve got the answers for you.


Leveraging our years of expertise in men’s grooming, we’re here to explore the surprising benefits of shaving with cold water and provide guidance for achieving the perfect shave.

Why We Recommend Shaving Post-Hot Shower

Traditionally, we’ve recommended shaving immediately after a hot shower. The steam and warmth help open up the pores, thereby minimizing the likelihood of razor burns, bumps, or irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. Barbers prefer warm water too, but many traditional safety razor users opt for the invigorating refreshment of cold water. So, let’s dive into why cold water may be a surprisingly effective alternative for your shaving routine.

Taking the Cold Plunge: Shaving with Cold Water

It might be hard to believe, but yes, cold water can indeed be used for shaving. Many shaving aficionados report that their skin feels smoother and more moisturized when they use cold water for their routine. The logic here is simple – cold water helps constrict open pores and tighten them after exposure to steam and warm water.

Furthermore, cold water retracts capillaries and stubble, facilitating a closer shave with fewer passes. Even when no hot water is available, a cold-water shave can still yield impressive results. Personally, on a couple of occasions, I’ve had to resort to cold water shaving out of necessity, and the outcomes were quite remarkable – zero irritation, clean stubble, and barely any nicks.

The Perks of Cold-Water Shaving

Shaving with cold water isn’t just a last-minute resort – it comes packed with considerable benefits. Cold water’s anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the skin, reduce irritation, and help keep the pores closed. By flushing the skin of toxins and reducing puffiness, cold water creates an environment less welcoming for bacteria.

This makes it an ideal option for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. And don’t worry about moisturizing – cold water helps lock in skin moisture while protecting it from harmful germs and dirt. Plus, the stiffer beard that cold water produces can lead to a closer shave. Lastly, the brisk sensation of cold water can boost your mood, giving you an invigorating start to the day.

The Case for Cold Water

The case for cold water shaving hinges on its ability to stiffen the whiskers, close the pores and tighten the hair follicles. The aftermath is moisture locked in, harmful germs locked out, and a close shave achieved without any razor burn or cuts.

How and When to Shave with Cold Water

We still recommend taking a hot shower before shaving as it opens up your pores and preps your skin for a smoother shave. Post shower, rinsing your face with cold water can close up the pores and result in a smoother shave. Alternatively, you can apply a hot towel with pre-shave oil or tonic for about 30 seconds if you don’t have time for a hot shower.

After prepping your skin with heat, a cold-water shave can help constrict open pores, minimize irritation, and leave your skin looking healthy and hydrated.

Do You Need a Shaving Brush for Cold-Water Shaving?

Absolutely. Employing a shaving brush when using cold water for shaving is advantageous. The brush not only generates more lather but also works the shaving cream into the skin effectively. Furthermore, the brush’s bristles lift the facial hair, enabling a closer shave and exfoliating the skin, promoting healthier circulation.

Conclusion: Embrace the Cold for a Smooth Shave

Shaving with cold water might seem counterintuitive, but it offers several advantages, from tightening and closing your pores to locking in moisture all day. A cold rinse post-shaving washes away any excess hair and closes your pores, leaving your skin feeling smoother and more moisturized than if you had shaved with warm water. So, the next time you’re running late or want a more invigorating start to your day, why not give cold water shaving a shot? You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.