So it’s that time again – you have to scrape the thatchy growth off your face and endure the nicks, razor burn, and dry scraping that comes with it. While we can’t eliminate the problem by bringing ZZ-Top length beards back in style, we can offer 3 easy tips you probably didn’t know to ensure that your shave is smooth and successful.

1. Never shave dry, unmoisturized skin. Always shave right after a shower. If that’s not possible, wash or splash your face with hot water to open pores – that’s probably the advice you’ve heard before, but what you may not have heard is that applying a dollop of moisturizer post-rinsing will make your shave even closer and smoother.

2. Use a toner right after shaving. A quick swipe of refreshing toner will remove residue and encourage pores to close, resulting in impeccably smooth skin.

3. Battle ingrowns with minimal effort. Using a face scrub once or twice a week (if you want a really low-maintenance DIY recipe, mix 1 part regular white sugar with 1 part avocado or olive oil) will keep dead skin flakes from clogging pores and contributing to painful ingrown hairs. Prevention is the best defense!

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