Pre-shave oils provide a protective lubricant layer to allow a smoother and less irritable shave. Apply after washing face with comfortably hot water.
Next, use a quality shaving cream, soap or gel. Soaps and tub creams require a brush to lather while gels and tube creams can be applied using your hands.
Ensure you're using a sharp blade and dip it in hot water. Use short 1 - 2 inch strokes going with the grain. To experience a closer shave, re-lather and shave against the grain.