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While shaving might seem like a no-brainer activity, it turns out it actually isn’t so cut and dry. In fact, there could be quite a few common mistakes you could be making—and these could lead to skin irritation. Here, we’re addressing common shaving goofs so you can learn how to shave like a pro.
If shaving is the first step in your shower routine or you do it while your skin is dry, it’s time to change things up. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most important thing you can do is wet the area you’ll be shaving really well. Shaving dry skin can actually scratch your skin—ouch!
What to do instead: Don’t skip straight to shaving when you hop in the tub. Go about your routine, shampooing and conditioning your hair first before you pick up your razor.
Sure, we all have days when we’re in a rush—but passing on the shaving cream or gel is not ideal. According to the AAD, using one can help prevent you from cutting your skin.
What to do instead: Pick a hydrating shaving cream or gel that’s designed to help your blade glide across your skin without tugging and pulling.
Should you shave in the direction that your hair grows—or against it? This is definitely a highly-debated question, and depending on who you ask, you might get a different answer. According to the AAD, however, you should shave in the direction that your hair grows—not against the grain.
What to do instead: This is an easy fix! The next time you grab your razor and are ready to shave, do so in the direction that your hair grows.
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.
What to do instead: The AAD recommends changing your razor blade or throwing away a disposable razor after 5-7 shades to help minimize irritation. Keep a few new ones stocked in your bathroom so that you’re always ready to go!
When you use a fresh razor blade and shaving cream, you shouldn’t have to go over the same spots repeatedly. Doing so could actually lead to irritation.
What to do instead: Try to glide your razor blade once over each spot, moving slowly and gently.
Weren’t you taught to be careful with sharp objects? The same rule applies to your razor. Using too much pressure can leave you with uncomfortable cuts and nicks, according to the AAD.
What to do instead: Shaving requires a light touch. Focus on moving your razor in careful, short, smooth, and even strokes. Don’t press too hard—save your strength for opening jars and lifting weights.
When something is a pain in the you know what, it makes sense to want to put it in the past as quickly as possible. Applying this attitude to shaving is not exactly the best idea, though. The faster you go, the more likely you are to nick yourself in the process.
What to do instead: Take your time! Going slow can help make shaving a more pleasant experience. After each careful stroke rinse off your blade to help ensure it doesn’t become dull while you’re using it.
This one goes out to all the guys! After shaving your facial hair, your work doesn’t stop there. If you’re passing on applying moisturizer, you could be left with uncomfortable-feeling skin.
What to do instead: Post-shave, apply the L’Oréal Paris Men Expert™ Hydra Energetic After Shave Balm—which helps fight five signs of shaving discomfort including razor burn, tightness, irritation, redness, and excessive dryness—all over your face and neck.
Now that you’ve got the shaving basics down, read our article, How to Shave Your Legs Like a Pro for more expert tips.