1. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Exfoliation Pre-Shave
If you don’t want ingrown hairs, then exfoliation before your shower is absolutely vital. Dead skin cells clog your hair follicles and trap your hair under the skin, which how ingrown hairs are formed. Removing dead skin first through a process of exfoliation will not only ensure the hair follicle is in the best condition for hair removal, but it’ll also pave the way for normal growth post-shave. In terms of the product you’re using, it’s best to avoid harsh scrubs. Physical exfoliators are too abrasive to use in conjunction with shaving, so instead, opt for a gentle, chemical exfoliator. Ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid encourage cellular turnover while exfoliating the skin nicely.
2. Replace You Razor Blades On A Very Regular Basis
I always recommend people replace their blades every five to seven shaves. Even if you rarely shave, the switchover should never be longer than a month as bacteria can build up in between uses. The first sign of your razor rusting or tugging the skin should be an immediate indication to replace it. Leaving the razor in the damp area of the shower can also cause infections, so store it in a safe dry place with blade facing upwards. By leaving it in the shower, the blade will rust faster and if you use it for too long it has a mass chance of harbouring bacteria causing little bumps on your skin.
3. Use Hair Conditioner As Shaving Cream
Conditioners are cationic which put simply, means they coat the hair and leave legs feeling super soft. This is because conditioner is positively charged making it attract to the hair and able to coat the strands – which can be either on your hands, or legs. You’ll find the razor glides over your legs and allows you to get the tougher parts better with conditioner, too.
4. Always Shave In The Right Direction
I recommend on your first strokes to only shave in the direction in which your hair grows (down the leg), and if your skin is prone to sensitivity then avoid shaving upwards. Although it can get you that closer shave, it also increases the possibility of irritation, nicks and cuts. Once your hairs are already short, going against the direction of hair growth is much safer and prevents bumps and ingrown hairs. If you prefer a closer shave, then reapply the shaving balm (or hair conditioner as recommended above) and shave against the direction of hair growth.
5. Never, Ever Dry Shave
It’s really bad for your skin and effects the future of your hair growth. More often than not, it’s done to be time efficient, but the aftermath is always more time consuming to fix. When you dry shave, you’re skipping out the most important steps for shaving, which is dampening the hairs with warm water and using a good shave cream to prevent razor burns and cuts. Dry shaving ends up seriously drying out your skin, which causes dull, flaky and lacklustre patches. It also leaves the areas extra sensitive, so once you apply moisturiser, you’ll feel an uncomfortable sting.
6. Close Your Pores For A Super Close Shave
I am often asked, what’s the best way to get the closest shave? The answer is to close your pores. The warm water of a shower or bath opens the skin’s pores. After you shave, rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove foam and excess product, then rinse with cold water to close the pores. It sounds like a long process, but it seriously makes a difference. It’s always good to use a hydrating moisturiser straight after drying too. This prevents flakiness and any further drying out of the skin.
7. Seek Out Products With Chamomile
Chamomile is a great shaving cream ingredient because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and is well known for its skin calming properties. Another key ingredient is aloe vera because it soothes and heals your skin. Glycerin is a great one to look out for in body products too as it’s a humectant that draws water into your skin to help keep it moisturised.
8. Don’t Press Too Hard On Your Skin
This is a major common shaving mistake. People seem to think that the harder you press, the closer the shave, but it’s really not true. Firm pressure can actually cause trauma to the skin. A light touch does the job just as well and new blades are more flexible which allows them to glide better over the different areas and surfaces of the body. The less pressure applied will equal to the cleanest of shaves.
9. Steal Your Partner’s Product
If you have nothing to hand, you can always use men’s shaving cream as it works just as well on your skin. The only downside is the scent will be more masculine as opposed to feminine, but you’ll get the foamy aspect that is needed for your razor to meet. I never recommend people use bar soap as it doesn’t create enough lubrication for a razor to slide easily against your skin, which results in cuts.
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