There's a good chance you've been shaving your legs for years, quite possibly decades. But how you were taught to shave way back when might be the root of your problems. If you're still struggling with irritating bumps, missed spots and other less-than-ideal results, here are the mistakes you'll want to remedy the next time you grab your razor.
1. Shaving your legs as soon as you hop into the shower.
Wait about 10-15 minutes in the shower or bath before you start shaving. This will soften the hair and open up follicles. Any longer, though, and your skin will wrinkle and swell, making it harder to get a close shave.
2. Doing it first thing in the morning.
Shaving at night will leave your legs smoother. Why? As you sleep, your legs swell slightly, which can make hair retreat back into its follicles.
3. Not using anything to lather up — or worse, using bar soap.
No matter how much you're in a hurry, skip the temptation to shave "dry." Lather up your legs with a moisturizing shaving cream like Wicked Good Shave Cream to make sure the razor glides easily over your skin, and you'll avoid nicks and cuts.
In a pinch, hair conditioner will do just as good a job. but skip the bar soap; as it doesn't create enough lubrication for a razor to slide easily against your skin, which can up the odds of cuts.
4. Using those single-blade disposable razors.
This works when you have no other choice. It's an okay option once in a while, like if you're staying in a hotel, but for everyday use it's best to invest in a four- or five-blade razor. They provide the smoothest results, letting you navigate tricky areas like your knees and ankles. Single-blade disposables are likelier to drag against the skin.
5. Not replacing your razor blade often enough.
You may have bought yourself a nice razor, but it won't do you any good if you don't change your blade at the first sign of dullness (usually, about five to 10 shaves). Old blades are not only ineffective, but more likely to cause bumps and redness and trap bacteria, which can potentially cause infections.
6. Shaving up the leg before you shave down the leg.
On your first pass, only shave in the direction your hair grows (down the leg), and 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 possibility of irritation, nicks and cuts. Once your hairs are already very short and the skin is warm and lubricated, going against the direction of hair growth is much safer.
7. Not preventing or treating razor burn.
Close shaving can result in ingrown hairs, and untreated razor burn can turn into long-term scars. To help prevent those annoying red bumps in the first place, use an exfoliating body scrub, like the Wicked Good Sugar Scrub twice a week to shed the skin that's trapping hairs. It's salt-free, so it won't sting like many scrubs on the market. To treat bumps, put a warm compress on the affected area — the heat will relax the hair. After showering, apply lotion to soften the hair, leaving your skin less prone to infections.
8. Shaving with your guy's razor.
A lot of women think using a men's razor is more effective. Not so. While this may have been the case in the past, there are lots of great razors made for women today.
9. Make shaving way less annoying.
Try a service like the All Girl Shave Club. This monthly box turns the chore of shaving into a treat. Each month you'll receive premium razors combined with unique, specialty shaving and body products that actually makes shaving fun! All while delivering the smoothest, closest shave.
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