Life isn’t always smooth, but your legs can be. Any woman who shaves her legs or underarms will admit it’s no party. But, thankfully there are a few smart ways to make shaving better and easier. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be safe in the knowledge you’re getting the closest shave that’s flawlessly smooth.
1. Wash first, shave second
Shaving clean skin helps prevent two things you don’t want: bumps and infections. Washing with warm water makes your skin more elastic and softens the hair, making shaving easier. This also helps prolong the life of your blades.
2. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!
Exfoliation is essential. It gets rid of dead skin cells, softens the skin, and helps to release ingrown hairs. You don’t need to use a coarse body scrub; just a gentle scrub or a glove will do. When you shave after exfoliating, the razor will move across your skin more smoothly. Plus, the results will last longer! Ideally, exfoliate a few times a week for ultra-soft skin and no ingrown hairs.
3. Lather up with plenty of shaving cream or gel
Think before you reach for the bar soap — especially if you have dry skin! Shaving gel is gentler than regular soap and allows the blades to glide over your skin easily, preventing irritation. Be sure to choose a brand with no alcohol, and look for ingredients such as green tea and shea butter. Spread the gel and leave the lather on your skin for a few minutes before shaving.
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4. Go slow and steady
Shaving is often done in a hurry, but taking extra time and care is so worth it. Shave in slow, gentle strokes and rinse your blades every two or three swipes.
On your first pass, only shave in the direction your hair grows. If you have very sensitive skin, don’t shave upward at all. While going “against the grain” may get you a closer shave, it also increases the chance of irritation, nicks and cuts.
Make sure that your skin is taut, whether it’s by lifting your arm in the air while shaving underarm, bending your knees while shaving them, or gently pulling your skin to flatten the surface where necessary. For best results, you should use a razor with lubricating strips and movable blades. Something like Bic Miss Soleil Sensitive razors will go a long way to helping you get a close shave without the painful bumps.
Be extra careful on tricky spots like your knees and ankles. A razor with a pivoting head will follow the contours of your body to help get where you need to. Check to see if you missed any spots. If you did, add a bit more shaving cream or gel and go over them again.
5. Finish strong
Your skin will be sensitive straight after shaving, so go easy on it. Gently pat it dry with a soft towel. Don’t rub — friction will aggravate your skin!
Always apply a good alcohol-free cream or lotion to soothe, moisturise and protect the skin post-shave. Also, avoid deodorant or antiperspirant immediately after shaving as it can irritate sensitive skin.
6. Evening is the best time to shave
When you shave can be as important as how you shave. If it works for your schedule, shave at night instead of in the morning, when you are calmer and not rushing. You’ll also allow your skin time to recover its suppleness and smoothness overnight.
7. Always use a sharp, clean razor
The duller the blade gets, the more irritated your skin may become. You’ll know it’s time to change razors when you start needing to make an extra effort to get that close, flawless shave. To help look after your razor, be sure to rinse it with hot water to remove hair and shaving cream. Don’t tap it or dry it with a towel — just let it air-dry.
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8. A tip before you dip
Both ocean water and pool water can irritate your skin if you swim right after shaving, so leave some time in between. Rather shave the night before to be safe. Also, use a soothing moisturising cream or a dry oil to safeguard your skin.
9. Do shaving and self-tanning go together?
The answer is yes, but in that order. Wash, exfoliate and shave before applying your self-tanning lotion. Remember, your skin needs to be smooth for your self-tanner to be efficient. So, start exfoliating days in advance, have a good, smooth shave, and moisturise daily for best results.
10. Watch that sun!
Sunburns hurt, they’re bad for skin, and they make shaving a pain. Be sure to apply sunscreen regularly. If you do accidentally get burnt legs, take a couple of days off from shaving and help them recover, with plenty of hydrating lotion.
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