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There’s not a man alive who doesn’t want a smooth, close, and pain-free shave. Shaving gel manufacturers know this, and every product out there is supposed to provide the “best shave ever!” But every man’s face shape, skin, and whiskers are different, so what’s a great shaving gel for one guy may not be a good choice for another. Shaving frequency is another factor. Some guys only need (or want) to shave a couple of times a week, while other guys have to shave every day.

You know your face better than anyone. Check out this guide to three shaving gel ingredients and what they do so you can pick out the best shaving gel for you:

Editors' Pick

It’s formulated to prevent your razor from hanging up. Edge

You know what it’s like when your razor gets hung up somewhere on your face—it hurts, but it also means that you’re going to have a nick or a cut that you have to treat. Compounding the issue is that there’s probably going to be a small unshaven spot on your face, because you don’t want to put that blade on the cut itself. A shaving gel that has moisturizers and lubricants promote and improve razor glide. Moisturizers make your skin smoother and thus easier to shave. Lubricants allow the razor to move smoothly on your face.

Budget Pick

Ingredients that work to soften whiskers allow them to be cut on the first pass of the razor, so you don’t have to go back over the same spot. Nivea

Shaving irritation is typically caused by going over the same spot on your face with the razor more than once. You do that because the razor didn’t cut the whiskers close to the surface of your skin on the first pass. But that first pass has removed micro-thin protective upper layers of skin, and what’s beneath isn’t ready for prime time…or a razor. A shaving gel with stubble softeners makes each whisker easier to cut, preventing the need to go back over the same spot.

Also Consider

Formulated to help relieve and treat painful, itchy patches on your face caused by daily razor use. Aveeno

If you had the chicken pox when you were a kid, your mother might have given you an oatmeal bath to soothe all those itchy and painful bumps and blisters on your body. If you shave every day, that same sensation might return in the form of itchy, painful razor rash or razor bumps, often on the neck and throat area. look for a gel that contains oatmeal. It’ll soothe that affected area and help it heal. Mom would certainly approve.