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Cleaning a shaving brush

Your shaving brush is doing good work getting you a closer shave. But it needs you to help keep it in top condition. So here’s your guide to cleaning a shaving brush.

Why is cleaning a shaving brush important?

Cleaning a shaving brush is important to keep it in top condition. It will also help it last longer. Shaving brushes do wear out over time. But you can keep your shaving brush for years if you look after it properly.

Your shaving brush collects dirt, dead skin and oil from your face that needs to be cleaned. It can also collect a build-up of shaving foam. And it needs drying properly to avoid that damp, wet smell.

The first step is to always rinse off your shaving brush. It’s great for working up a lather of shaving cream but it needs to be cleaned afterward. Give it a thorough rinse after each shave. Make sure the clean water gets through all the bristles and right down to the handle. It’s common for dried shaving cream to build up where the brushes meet the handle.

Then your brush needs to be allowed to dry off properly. Shake off excess water before standing the brush to dry. You can fluff up the bristles to get the air between them. And don’t store your brush in a drawer or cabinet until it is dry. It needs to be somewhere the air can move around it.

Lots of people have two or more shaving brushes that they alternate between. Not only does this extend the life of the brushes but it allows them to dry completely between uses.

Every so often you will want to give your brush a proper clean. You can do this using household Borax, or shampoo, apple cider / white vinegar or washing up liquid.

Let the brush soak in warm water for a few minutes and use shampoo or washing up liquid to clean the bristles. Carefully scrape away any build up at the base or use a toothbrush to clean it. Soaking in diluted apple cider vinegar or white vinegar helps remove oil from the bristles.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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Do shaving brushes wear out?

How quickly do shaving brushes wear out? If you’ve thought about switching to a wet shave you’ve probably thought about that question. A good quality shaving brush should last for two or more years. Some people have brushes they’ve used for decades. It depends on how the brush is used and treated though.

How do shaving brushes wear out?

The hairs may wear down and become shorter with use, though this can take many years. The hairs might also get too floppy and weak to be able to use the brush.

It can depend on how vigorously the brush is used. The harder the brush is treated, the quicker it will wear out. And obviously how often the brush is used in shaving. If you are shaving daily, or alternating between different brushes, or only shaving weekly will have a huge impact.

It’s not at all unusual for a new shaving brush to shed hairs the first few times it is used. But a poor quality brush will continue to shed hair and eventually that will affect the quality of the brush.

When a shaving brush starts to wear out you will notice it takes longer and longer to work up a lather. It will feel different against your face – the bristles will feel less stiff, for instance. You might notice a lot of shedding, or that the bristles start to splay out or are getting shorter.

This will affect your shave but everyone has a different tolerance. One person might want to replace their brush as soon as it shows the smallest sign of wearing out, others won’t mind a little decrease in performance, or not even notice for a long time.

You can prevent your brush from wearing out by giving it a good rinse after every shave to get all the excess lather off. Then place or hang it somewhere with a bit of airflow to help the brush dry out – so ideally not in a closed cabinet. You can give it a wash once a month or every few months to help it stay in tip-top condition.

Photo by Christoffer Engström on Unsplash

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Choosing a shaving brush

Vegan Friendly Shaving Brush

Shaving brushes make a big difference to the quality of your shave. But how do you go about choosing a shaving brush?

Top things to look for when choosing a shaving brush: Bristles

The main event of the shaving brush is the bristles. You’ve got plenty of choice here, from the rugged boar hair, the softest badger hair and horsehair somewhere in between. Don’t discount synthetics either! They are better than ever and cruelty-free.

Badger hair bristles are the most common for shaving brushes, especially for men that are just starting out. Within badger hair there are four different types:

  • Pure badger
  • Best badger
  • Super badger
  • Silver tip – the softest bristles

A good synthetic shaving brush can be indistinguishable from a badger brush. Out of concern for animal cruelty and unethical practices a lot of people choose synthetic bristles instead. They also tend to be cheaper and longer lasting than animal hair brushes.

Boar bristles are tough and vigorous. They get the soap into a good lather but can feel a bit too coarse for many people.

Horsehair isn’t so popular nowadays. It is softer than boar hair but tougher than badger.

Shaving brush handles

Brushes differ by their “loft” – the length of the brushes – and the “knot” – the diameter. This affects the size and shape of the handle. This is mostly a matter of personal preference. The handle should be easy to hold and maneuver. It should feel good in your hand.

The handles are made out of various materials, commonly horn, wood, metal or synthetic.

Shaving brush prices

Prices for a shaving brush can range from a few pounds to the hundreds. A silver tip badger brush will command the highest prices as a high luxury item. But you don’t have to shell out over a hundred pounds to get a great shaving experience.

A synthetic shaving brush from PimplePopper combines a great price with quality and durability.

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Do shaving brushes make a difference?

It’s become trendy to use a shaving brush. We’re moving on from a purely convenient, functional shave. It’s a retro throwback to our grandfather’s pride mixed with a modern treat yo’self aesthetic. But do shaving brushes make a difference, really, to your shave? Or is this just a marketing ploy, or a new bit of effort to spend money and time on?

The reason shaving brushes have become so popular is that they really do make a difference to your shave, and your day. Men have been enjoying a much closer, easier and more satisfying shave with less irritation since starting to use a shaving brush. And it doesn’t hurt that it makes you feel like a very dapper gent.

But why do shaving brushes make a difference?

It’s not exactly the science bit, but there are plenty of reasons shaving brushes make a big difference to your shave. Rather than just slapping on some shaving foam, taking a moment to stir up a good lather with a shaving brush results in a whole new level of shaving.

The bristles of the brush pump up your skin, like giving it a little exfoliation. It gets a freshening up and at the same time the bristles of your brush prep the bristles on your face. Lifting them up and scrubbing off some dead skin means less ingrown hair. Softening up your stubble means a smoother shave with less irritation so the razor can slice right through. And because the hairs have been shook up and swirled around by your brush the razor can catch more of them and cut much closer.

But isn’t this expensive and time consuming? Actually, it doesn’t take long just to add a moment of lathering up with a shaving brush, compared to the difference it makes. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Our shaving brushes are great value and long lasting.

Once you give it a go and see how much of a difference shaving brushes make you won’t go back. Enjoying that smooth, close shave with better looking skin and less irritation. You’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch earlier.

Photo by Patrick Coddou on Unsplash

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Common blackhead myths

The blackhead spot is a common scourge to clear skin and something that pretty much everyone has experienced at some point, if not daily. But despite being so widespread there is a lot of misinformation and myths about them.

The most common blackhead myth: blackheads are made of dirt

This is such a common belief, but totally wrong. Blackheads are actually made of oil and some bacteria – which everyone has on their face, clean or dirty. This gets clogged up in the pores. When the pore is open to the air it reacts with oxygen – oxidises – and gets a dark colouring. When you actually remove a blackhead you can see it is a much paler, oily colour.

Keeping the oil levels on your face down can help combat a blackhead but that’s not the same as dirty. People’s natural level of oil and areas affected are different.

Myth 2: Shrinking your pores

You have pores all over your body, they are an essential part of skin. There’s no getting rid of them – or shrinking them. Products that talk about shrinking pores can’t do anything physical – pores just are. You can minimise the look of them though, which is different but achieves the same effect.

Myth 3: Spots are for teenagers

Acne and whiteheads are more common in teenagers because of all the hormones but they, as well as blackheads, are common in adults too. And kids are starting with spots earlier now, due to puberty beginning earlier on average.

Myth 4: You can just squeeze a blackhead away

It’s not as simple as that. Squeezing a blackhead with your fingers is a recipe for trouble. You can accidentally push the blackhead further in, introduce new bacteria and germs from your fingers and cause swelling, redness and inflammation.

Instead, you should use a proper pimple popper, or comedone extractor, to take care of that blackhead in the most hygienic, easiest way.

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Nail files and your pamper party

Nail files symbolise a certain sort of elegance or pampering. A woman reclining with a cocktail, having her nails filed. Or a comfy night in, a fun film on the TV and you have a little pamper with a nice cup of tea.

So here are the ingredients for your perfect pamper party

To start off with, give your nails a good clean. Our wooden nail brush has flexible bristles that feel soft but will give you a good clean. And they come in a pack of two, so you can have one for normal dirt and keep one for your special relaxation time. Soak your hands for a minute or two first. You can use a little bubble bath or similar, or a drop of an essential oil.

Nail clippers are essential, for that initial trim and tidy up. However you like to do your nails, keeping them trimmed and tidy helps prevent snags and breakages. Having had a little soak will make the nails easier to cut and make sure you use strong, sharp clippers.

For the finishing touches you need nail files. PimplePopper have metal nail files in a handy pack of three. They are professional grade and stainless steel, so you know they are strong and durable.

After you’ve done with your little manicure make sure to use some soothing hand cream. It’s especially great in the colder weather and some varieties can boost your nails too.

For your other extremities the foot file will get your feet soft and smooth. If you like a bit of pain with your gain then grab a pack of the wax strips, as used by the professionals.

PimplePopper has everything you need, from nail files to wax strips, ready for your pamper session.

Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

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Black head removal the easy way

Black head removal really can be easy and quick. You can do it without swelling and redness or risking infection. You just need the right black head removal tool.

That tool is a comedone extractor – also known as a pimple popper. It’s the safe, hygienic, easy and fuss free way to deal with your black heads.

If you squeeze your spots with your fingers then you really need to get a pimple popper. Using your fingers is unhygienic and risks infection. Ever had a black head get worse after squeezing, not better? Did it turn into a large, painful, swollen white head? That will be because dirt and bacteria from your fingers got into the skin through the wound left by the black head. Trying to deal with this infection caused the white head.

At best, squeezing your black heads with your fingers leaves your skin red, sore, irritated, puffy and swollen. You have to hide yourself away for hours until the redness goes down, or add lots of makeup. Fingers are too large and inaccurate – as well as too dirty – to do a proper job of squeezing spots.

How to use a pimple popper

Which is why you need a proper pimple popper. Well constructed and strong, using stainless steel, it is the right tool for the job. At either end is a loop – one larger and one smaller. Choose the best size for the spot in question. Black heads tend to be smaller so you will probably want the smaller end. Place it over the spot and apply a firm, even, but gentle pressure.

Then you can wash your pimple popper and pop it away for next time – keeping it safe and clean. Your skin won’t be all red and swollen. The wound will be safe from infection. And you can get on with your day after a successful and easy black head removal.

Photo by Logan Ripley on Unsplash

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Cotton wool balls and their amazing uses for personal care, beauty and so much more

Fluffy little cotton wool balls might not look too exciting or multifunctional. But their cloud-like appearance hides a multitude of uses.

The many amazing uses of cotton wool balls

Cotton wool balls, like their unsung friends the ear buds, are so versatile. Some people prefer cotton pads but it’s worth having some cotton wool balls around too.

The balls have a loose, open texture. So they are great at holding liquids. Toners, cleansers, nail varnish remover – all liquids work great with cotton balls.

For the same reason they are also great at cleaning up messes.

There’s lots of first aid uses for cotton wool balls too. Wipe away blood or put pressure on a little cut. Dab on antiseptic or clean up a messy area. It’s definitely having a few cotton balls tucked away with your plasters.

They are so soft they are lovely to use for babies as well. Clean between little fingers and toes or hygienically apply cream. Throw a few cotton balls in the nappy changing bag and you won’t regret it.

It’s much easier to pull a ball apart if you only need a smaller amount of cotton wool. Or you can pack a few in together for a bigger ball.

They also work great all around the house. For gentle cleaning or getting into tough to reach areas. Applying spot treatment or buffing up a polish. Rubbed in a petroleum jelly they even work great on the barbecue as cheap fire starters.

Whatever you use them for, PimplePopper has a great value large 100 pack of cotton wool balls.

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The worst thing about tweezers

Using tweezers

Tweezers get overlooked a lot. They are not the most glamorous of personal care instruments. In fact, they only really catch our attention when they aren’t working like they are supposed to.

Which brings us to the worst thing about them…

Blunt and misaligned tweezers

It’s not quite Halloween yet but this is truly a nightmare. We have all been there. Grasping and grasping at a hair that eludes our grip. You’re sure you have it but as you pull away you realise you’ve failed yet again. We finally latch on and pull but it slips away.

We’re getting hot and bothered. The skin around the hair is getting hot and bothered from being poked and pulled constantly. It’s taking forever.

The moral of this story is that your tweezers are actually very important. A good quality pair that are well looked after can make all the difference.

The tapered edge needs to meet firmly. The arms can get bent out of alignment easily. In cheaper, low quality tweezers, they may never have been aligned properly in the first place. This creates gaps where the tweezers can’t be fully pressed together and hairs can slip through.

The same thing can happen with blunt blades. The tips need a nice sharp line. Any dents or dullness allows hairs to escape.

So get rid of your old, battered pair and get a good quality new pair from PimplePopper.

To keep your tweezers in tip top condition gives them a clean and wipe them dry every so often. Protect the blades and try not to knock or drop them. Keep hold of that bit of plastic that comes with them and holds the blades together.

Tweezers can be the unsung heroes of your personal care products.

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Why do you need a blackhead extractor?

Nearly everyone has suffered from a blackhead at some point and they can be a regular battle for many. What’s the best weapon against blackheads? A professional, hygienic blackhead extractor: the pimple popper.

Why you need a blackhead extractor

You might think you have been getting along fine without a blackhead extractor. You might be using your fingers to squeeze your spots, maybe with a tissue to help. But once you see how well a real blackhead extractor works you won’t go back.

So you’ve been squeezing your blackheads with your fingers. That means you probably think the redness, swelling and irritation is just par for the course. And sometimes the blackheads get infected, get bigger, or turn into whiteheads. That’s just normal, right?

No. It’s not normal – at least, it doesn’t have to be. You can remove blackheads without swelling and redness. You just need a proper blackhead extractor.

How to use a pimple popper

The pimple popper is a simple tool for blackhead extraction. It has two loops at either end of different sizes, for different sized spots. Blackheads often only need the smaller loop. Place the loop over the spot and press for easy squeezing.

It’s not just easier either. It’s much more hygienic than using your fingers. Our fingers carry dirt and bacteria even when they look clean. If you squeeze spots with your fingers they can transfer that dirt and bacteria into the empty pore. This is why squeezed blackheads can get infected, blocked again, or turn into whiteheads.

Because the loop is much smaller than your fingers the pressure is more accurate. This means less force is needed and over a smaller area. So there is less redness, swelling and irritation. Those side effects aren’t caused by the spot but by squeezing with large, stubby, imprecise fingers.

So those are the many advantages of a blackhead extractor.