You’ve been growing out your facial hair to help raise awareness around men’s health, but December is here so it’s time to clean it up and shave it off.

The truth is, most guys don’t realize how important it is to treat the skin pre and post-shave. Shaving can cause damage, redness and irritation because the process disrupts the skin's protective barrier. Lucky for us, our founder Vaughn Acord hooked us up with his favorite tips to get you looking smooth, fresh and well-groomed.

1. Exfoliation is key to maintaining a fresh and healthy face. I love a good steamy shower so skin is soft and pores are open to allow for a close shave. Be sure to use an exfoliating face wash while you’re in the shower to gently slough off dead skin cells. As you exfoliate, pay close attention to the beard and neck area and any other problem zones you may have with acne or ingrown hairs.

2. Depending on how long your beard is, you may need to knock it back with some sheers first before you tackle with a razor.

3. For a razor shave, apply a shave cream or gel that is packed with moisturizing ingredients and essential oils, like Clean Shave Hydrating Gel Cream. Make sure you are shaving with the grain using a new, clean blade.

4. If you tend to be prone to ingrown hairs, electric razors are a good alternative. It rids the face of visible hair but leaves a slight stubble. A beard oil is great for creating lubrication so there is no pulling on the skin while you shave.

5. Finish your shave with a pre and post-shave beard oil, like the V76 Beard Oil. It goes on translucent so you can clean up sideburns, under the nose, and other hard to reach areas. The Beard Oil also helps infuse skin with moisture thanks to Safflower Oil, which is critical after shaving.

6. I like to follow with a favorite moisturizer to lock in hydration and further soothe skin.

If you are digging your bearded look and don’t want to part with your stubble just yet, don’t forget to care for your beard as it continues to grow. Be sure to wash your beard and entire face daily with a facial cleanser. Follow-up with a moisturizer to keep skin looking energized and hydrated. For added beard TLC, work V76 Beard Oil into facial hair and skin. Guys love the double-duty ingredients that soften and condition both hair and skin.

Whether you are clean-shaven or bearded this December, being well-groomed is the perfect look for you.