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Summer is near, which means pool days and trips to the beach will all come into full effect soon. And while we are all for embracing how you look as you are, we don’t think you would enjoy flaunting razor cuts, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs all over your body. Shaving can be a challenge for both women and men and if you’re prone to these shaving irritations, but don’t worry, there are tips and tricks you can use to help you get soft and smooth skin. Ahead, we’re addressing seven common shaving mistakes and offering tips for what to do instead and product picks, so you can learn how to shave like a pro.
If shaving is the first step in your shower routine, you’ll need to rethink your entire process. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the best time to shave is right after taking a shower, as your skin will be moist, free of excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog up your razor blade. In addition to that, you should always wet your skin and hair to help soften the areas before shaving. Shaving on dry skin can actually cause scratches—ouch!
Sure, we all have days when we’re in a rush—and skipping out on shaving cream may seem tempting. But using a shaving gel or cream is always the better option as these products are specifically designed for hair removal and can help prevent you from cutting your skin, per the AAD. If you have sensitive skin, look for a gentle formula that includes good-for-you skin care ingredients like aloe vera, which helps to soothe the skin. If you’ve run out of shaving cream and need a quick substitute, check out our article, Ran out of Shaving Cream? Try These Household Options Instead, to learn about good shaving cream alternatives.
Editor’s Tip: Dry shaving is a big no-no and can lead to razor burn, cuts, and ingrown hair. So be sure to always wet your skin before reaching for a razor.
Should you shave in the direction that your hair grows—or against it? This is a highly debated question, and depending on who you ask, you might get a different answer. According to the AAD, you should shave in the direction that your hair grows, not against it. Shaving against the grain tugs at the hair, which pulls it away from the skin before cutting it off and can then lead to an increased risk of irritation.
Editor’s Tip: You should also avoid switching the directions you shave in. Shaving in different directions can increase your chances of razor bumps, irritation, and even ingrown hairs because of the angle that the hair was shaved off.
Nothing lasts forever—and that should include your razor blades. Using an old one can lead to irritation, and, according to the AAD, you could easily cut yourself when using a dull blade. Old razors left in the shower can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria (gross!). So change out your razor blade or throw away disposable razors after five to seven shaves to help minimize irritation. Keep a few new ones stocked in your bathroom cabinet, so you don’t have to worry about running out of them in times of need.
When you use a fresh razor blade and shaving cream, you shouldn’t have to repeatedly go over the same spots. Doing so could actually lead to irritation. Instead, glide your razor once over each spot, moving slowly and gently.
Remember when you were warned to be careful when handling sharp objects when you were little? The same rule applies to your shaving razor. Using too much pressure and moving too quickly can leave you with cuts and nicks, according to the AAD. So use a light hand when shaving and focus on moving your razor slowly, making smooth and even strokes. After each stroke, rinse off your blade to help ensure it doesn’t become dull while you’re using it.
After shaving your facial or body hair, the work doesn’t just stop there. Be sure to apply a hydrating moisturizer to soothe your skin and help prevent any irritations from a lack of moisture. Reach for the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest, and Hands and apply a generous amount over your targeted areas. Formulated with honey extract and nurturing oils, this moisturizer helps to soothe and soften the skin, leaving it with a healthy glow.
Photo Credit: iStock
Next: 8 Ways To Remove Unwanted Facial Hair
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