How can you argue with a company that calls itself — and its first book — The Art of Shaving? From the purveyors of top-notch grooming gear that’ll leave you as smooth as the proverbial silk, here are the keys to a satisfying shave.

1) Put on some ZZ Top. (Okay, that one’s ours.)

2) Prepare. Shave after you shower, and use piping-hot water. Art of Shaving even makes an oil that’ll soften your scruff.

3) Lather up. Avoid creams or gels with numbing agents such as menthol or benzocaine; those close your pores and make things tougher than they need to be.

4) Shave. First, shave with the grain — i.e., in the same direction your beard grows. Then re-lather and go back lightly against the grain. Use little pressure on the razor — you get burned when you work too hard. Nicked? Art of Shaving’s Alum Block stops that blasted bleeding.

5) Moisturize. No skipping. And no using alcohol-based after-shaves.

6) Crank up the ZZ Top. Okay, that one’s ours, too.
To learn even more, click on www.theartofshaving.com or call (800) 493-2212.

— Rob Brinkley