Silky, smooth legs. File under things I want with little to no effort required. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and shaving any part of my body requires a lot of effort. Shaving is a constant battle.
While the price to pay for bump-free legs seems high, there are a few ways to make them more attainable and less of a distant reality (if you’re into shaving at all). And for those that despise shaving, myself included, I promise there are ways to make the process less of a hassle!
Here are a few easy tips to help make your next shave painless.
Repeat after me: don’t shave without using shaving cream or conditioner first! And never dry shave. First-off ouch, and second, it leads to irritation and more bumps. You always want to soften the area before you shave, so wait a few minutes after hopping in the shower too.
Body soap or shampoo isn’t ideal because they can cause more irritation and redness. We’ve all done it before, but if you typically get redness and irritation post-shave, this could be part of the problem. I’d recommend the Billie Shave Cream ($8) to soften your skin and make the razor glide through seamlessly.
Use a quality razor
A good razor is key for a good shave, and if you’ve shaved with a low-quality one before then you know how important this. We all have our go-to razor, but you want to look for a one with three to five blades so that the pressure is evenly distributed. This will lead to fewer cuts! Here are the three I use regularly:
- Gillette Venus Sensitive Disposable $6 for 3
- Billie Starter Kit, 2 for $9
- Schick Quattro, $8 for 4
- Honorable mention: Joy Razors, $9 (comes with two blade refills)
Change out your razor, seriously
I’m so guilty of this, but your razor needs to be changed around once a month depending on how often you shave. Five-to-ten uses, and it’s time for a new one! Your razor gets dull every time you shave, and it’s prone to bacteria and rusting, especially if you store it in the shower. Gross, right? Do yourself a favor and switch it out for a new one every month.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, the skin on your armpits and bikini area is extra sensitive and if you’ve ever gotten a shaving cut on either region than you know how painful it can be. An old razor is the #1 culprit for shaving cuts, plus all the bacteria it holds? It’s a breeding ground for infection. Switch your old razor out, seriously!
Ever heard of strawberry legs? It’s the appearance of dark spots on your legs that are basically large pores filled with dead skin and sebum. Sort of like a blackhead on your leg! It sounds really gross, but it’s more common than you think, and the fix is relatively easy. Exfoliate with a scrub a few times a week to remove dead skin, and after you shave splash cold water on the area to close the hair follicles.
Exfoliation will also help with pesky, ingrown hairs. An ingrown hair happens when the hair curls and grows back into the skin. They can be itchy, they look like whiteheads. The simplest fix is taking a good body scrub to the area a few times a week on the days that you don’t shave.
My favorite body exfoliant is the Raw Sugar Mango Body Scrub ($12).
You want to moisturize pre and post-shave. First, with shaving cream and after shaving, you always want to follow up with a gentle moisturizer. Moisturizing will help with any redness and it’ll soothe the area. Shaving is only the first part to soft, silky legs, so lather on the lotions and body oils! Any lotion you have will work, but if you’re getting redness and irritation after application, switch to a gentler one.
Shave in the “right” direction
Maybe I speak for myself, but I feel like it’s really common to shave your legs upwards to get the closest shave. Shaving in the direction that the hair grows, downward, is actually the best way to avoid cuts and ingrown hairs. Shaving upwards cuts the hair at a sharper angle that makes it more likely to curl and grow back under the skin leading to ingrown hairs.