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You may have mastered how to exfoliate from head to toe and you may also know how to shave your legs like a pro, but what about combining these two grooming musts? Questions like, “Should I exfoliate before or after I shave?” and “Do I exfoliate before or after waxing?” may be popping into your head—and it’s a totally valid thing to ask. In fact, there is a proper order for exfoliation and hair removal, and we’re sharing it with you. Below, learn whether or not you should exfoliate before or after shaving and waxing so you can say hello to smooth, beautiful skin.
Let’s get down to business—do you exfoliate before you shave? The answer is yes! The Cleveland Clinic recommends exfoliating prior to shaving, as exfoliating first will help prevent the razor from becoming overloaded with dead skin cells, which reduces its effectiveness. Basically, exfoliating first is a serious pro-tip for a closer shave!
Not only can exfoliating prior to shaving help you get a closer shave and, in turn, smoother skin, it can also help prevent ingrown hairs. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should exfoliate with products like salicylic acid or beta hydroxy acids to clear pores and reduce oil prior to shaving. This can help keep your chances of ingrown hairs at bay. You don’t have to tell us twice!
Beyond the chemical exfoliants we mentioned above, the Cleveland Clinic also points out that you can use classic exfoliation products like loofahs and body scrubs before shaving. Some skin types may be better suited to chemical exfoliants, while others may benefit from mechanical exfoliation, which includes loofahs and scrubs.
So, what about waxing? For the best results, it’s usually a good idea to exfoliate prior to hair removal to help ensure that the buildup of dead skin cells is reduced. That being said, you won’t want to go overboard. Use a gentle exfoliant a day or two before your appointment and leave harsh scrubs alone. You don’t want your skin to already be irritated when you’re going in for a wax—ouch!
Unlike shaving, in the case of waxing, it isn’t really an either-or situation. You’ll actually want to exfoliate after waxing, too. No, not immediately after, but regular exfoliation will be key in keeping your skin silky smooth.
One more thing to take into consideration, in regards to some more intense forms of exfoliation, you really shouldn’t be sloughing your skin after waxing. For example, if you plan to use a chemical peel to exfoliate your skin, you should avoid certain types of hair removal—including waxing. According to the Mayo Clinic, about a week before the peel, you should stop waxing or using depilatory hair removal products.
Now that we’ve broken down some hair removal and exfoliating basics, let’s go over a smooth skin care routine for summer!
In case you missed it—you’ll want to prep your skin for hair removal by exfoliating beforehand. For your face, we recommend using a sugar scrub, as they offer gentle yet effective exfoliation. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, or the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub.
Once you’ve exfoliated your skin, use your hair removal method of choice to get rid of any unwanted hair.
Now that your skin is smooth, it’s time to reach for a moisturizer or body lotion! This step is key for replenishing skin hydration levels and making up for the natural oils you removed from your skin when exfoliating. It’ll also come into play for our bonus step—which we’re about to get to!
What’s better than smooth skin for summer? Smooth, tan skin for summer! Rather than risk sun damage from the sun’s harmful rays, simply add a self-tanner to your smooth skin routine. After all, at this point, your skin is prepped and ready for product! Grab the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse, which will give your skin a gradual and long-lasting sun-kissed glow with an even finish. To use, shake well and pump the mousse into your hand. Smooth the self-tanner evenly over your clean, exfoliated skin. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you’re done applying! Allow four to eight hours for the color to fully develop before showering. For a longer-lasting tan, apply three times over 12-24 hours. Let skin dry completely before putting on clothes.
Next: 11 Summer Skin Care Hacks
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