My general solution is to avoid shaving. I grow a beard, keep it trimmed for a few months, and then sheer it off with a clipper. Then, the cycle starts over.
Yet, for some reason, I find the process, history, and art of old-school shaving to be fascinating. When I do shave, it's so infrequent that I don't need to do much for my face to handle it. In the past, however, I had the full complement of gear - badger bristles, mug, and bar. If I were to start again, I'd re-up my gear.The Brush
I think the brush is the most important part when it comes to preventing razor burn. It's the tool you use to get the lather up, under, and around each individual hair to prevent snagging and pulling. Badger is the only way to go. Badger fur comes in four grades. From ok to best (and cheapest to most expensive) - pure, best, super, and silvertip. Pure will get the job done, but can be a bit scratchy if your face is sensitive. Best eliminates some, if not most, of the scratchiness. Super is soft and fluffy and will feel like a cloud on your face. Silvertip is stupid expensive and, for most people, not worth the premium. It's also pretty delicate and requires special care. If you want your brush to last a long time, you must rinse it out thoroughly and leave it out to dry completely. The easiest way is to place it in a stand where you can hang it to dry. The Handle
Safety razors are a nice compromise between the bad-assedness of a straight blade and the convenience (and stupidity) of the multi-blade contraptions they sell these days. Blades are cheap, which inspires one to replace them more frequently. There are three types of safety razor handles - 1-, 2-, and 3-piece. Stay away from 1-piece. They have a hinge mechanism that can get clogged with hair and debris and lose function if not meticulously cared-for. Between 2- and 3-piece, personal preference reigns. Me? I'd get a 3-piece.
You'll have to experiment with handles. They come in different lengths, thicknesses, and weights to suit personal preference. I like a short, heavy handle because it inspires me to let the razor do the work all by itself instead of me using the length of the handle as a lever to press the blade against my face.
Handles also offer different aggression levels - mild to aggressive. Think of it like peppers: depending on your sensitivity, you may find a jalapeÃ±o to add a delicious amount of heat to a meal or it may be intolerably hot. I suggest you start with a milder handle, although you may discover that the sensitivity you've experienced comes from your equipment and not your face. In that case, you can step up the aggression. Some handles offer the ability to adjust blade gap. If you want that, best to start with a small gap and slowly expand as you become more comfortable with the process. You'll find the perfect gap eventually.
Again, cleaning is important. It's best to disassemble the handle and rinse it thoroughly after every shave. If razor burn is an issue, you may even want to use isopropyl alcohol to disinfect it after use. If you have hard water that leaves mineral residue as it dries, vinegar is a great, mild way to keep your razor shiny and smooth.The Blade
Again, you'll have to experiment with blades to find the right one for you. It's not a case of the sharpest always being the best. If the blade is too sharp, it can scratch and irritate your skin, which you obviously want to avoid. Derby makes a good beginner blade. You can pick up a variety pack from some retailers that lets you try out different blades to find the right one for you.The Lather
I can't cover this here - It's way too personal and differs too greatly between faces. Cream or bar, ingredients...all depends on your face. All I can say is try things out.More Resourceshttp://www.shaving101.com/http://www.artofmanliness.com/category/dress-grooming/shaving/
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]