We’re not against body hair, but there’s something about having smooth and hairless legs that makes you feel so confident when walking in a sundress or shorts in the summer. Whether you’re using a manual or electric razor, avoid these seven common mistakes to effortlessly get a smooth shave every time.
1. Skipping exfoliating
Exfoliating before shaving lifts the hairs and prepares for a closer shave. Since exfoliating removes the top layer of dead skin cells away, it gives your razor the cleanest and smoothest slate possible to remove hair and allows your razor to get as close to the root of your hair as possible. Not only does exfoliating give you a smoother shave, but it also helps to prevent the formation of those pesky and sometimes painful ingrown hairs.
2. Storing your razor in the shower
The water, air and humidity from showers accelerate rusting and bacterial growth. Razor blade dullness also stems more from oxidation than from shaving itself. To prevent this, once you’ve showered and shaved, pat the razor dry on a clean towel and store it outside of your shower. This will prolong the life of your razor as well as ensure that you’re getting a smooth shave every time.
3. Shaving in the beginning of your shower
When shaving, your best bet is to wait until the end of your shower before pulling out the razor. By the end of your shower, your skin will have absorbed as much of the hydration from the shower as possible, thus helping to prevent bumps and ingrown hairs. The heat and steam from your shower will also help to soften your hair and open up your pores which makes getting a close shave much easier.
4. Using soap
Soaps and body washes contain ingredients that can clog up your razors. A clogged razor makes razors dull and traps moisture that can allow more bacteria to grow on your razor. Soaps also do not provide the gentle glide that a shaving cream or a shaving gel does. The combination of a dull razor and an insufficient lubricant will inevitably result in nicks, cuts, razor burn and a bad shave. If you don’t have shaving cream or gel on you, a little bit of hair conditioner makes a great alternative.
5. Not stretching your skin
When shaving areas with loose or floppy skin like your knees or bikini area, it’s important to stretch your skin to get a close shave. If it’s lose, you’ll end up cutting yourself or missing hairs. Razors can only do their job well on nearly flat surfaces. Before shaving your bikini area, stretch your skin tight with your free hand and hold it firmly, giving yourself a clear target. When shaving your knee, bend your knee to stretch out your skin and get a smoother shave.
6. Not rinsing your blade
Rinsing your razor between each stroke will prevent hairs from clogging your razor, and it’ll reduce your shaving time. The texture of your hair can effect how often you need to rinse your razor. When shaving areas with coarser hair like your underarms or bikini area, you may need to rinse the blade more often.
7. Shaving against the grain first
Whatever your skin type, you should shave once with the grain, and then a second time, against it. If you have sensitive skin, then shaving against the grain may cause irritation so avoid doing so if necessary. One thing that you should NEVER do with a razor is slide it sideways across your skin. That is unless you want painful cuts.