It is also said to be the reason why men's skin ages less noticeably than women's. The regular exfoliation that takes place when the hairs are removed helps keep skin smooth - although men's skin is thicker than women's, which is probably a greater factor.
The key to a great wet shave is to ensure the blade is always sharp. Using an open or traditional safety razor and sharpening it on a stone every few months will help prevent nicks as well as maintain smooth results. Lathering up, using a brush and working in circular motions to raise the hair above the skin making it easier to cut, is the second most important step. Lather softens the hair for the same result.
If you've got time, use a hot towel on skin first, which softens the skin as well as the hairs and helps cleanse pores, especially around the nose. Use one hand to hold skin taut and work in downward flicks - which will also help reduce ingrowing hairs - using the wrist to move the razor.
Finish with cold water to help calm the skin.