In an ideal world you'd have a barbershop-style warm towel to warm the skin, but a hot shower will have the same effect.
A face scrub or cleanser should be your first go-to. The scrubbing motion will ease the hairs into standing position and rid the face of any dead skin cells and dirt. You'd sand down a piece of timber before crafting and laquering, the same deal should be applied to your greatest asset.
The gel versus foam or soap argument is a personal thing, everyone's got their favourite. The type of facial hair you grow will have an impact on the right choice.
If your face is full of beard, products designed for tough stubble will get the job done in a way that reduces the likelihood of disaster.
For the best shave, tighten a patch of skin with one hand and sweep the blade across the area in one movement following the direction of hair growth. Small movements will scrape away at the same patch and cause irritation. If you're not satisfied with the length, re-lather and repeat.
The post-shave face needs attention, aftercare is just as important as preparation. Alcohol based aftershave or cologne will dehydrate skin and burn.
The best option is to splash your face with cold water to help close your pores before applying a post-shave product. If you do your research, you'll be able to find one that is to your taste and will help rehydrate your skin.
NIVEA MEN'S aftershave lotions contain 30% alcohol, half of traditional products. This will successfully disinfect post-shave skin without a post-shave flare up.