Tricks of the Trade: Easy shaving tips for soft, smooth legs

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Hi, Kelly! Any tips on how to shave my legs? I’ve sadly developed ingrown hair. —MARIE

Shaving your legs may seem incredibly simple, but there are still some of us who struggle with it and end up with nicks and cuts, and even ingrown hair. If you think about it, no one really teaches us how to shave our legs; we kind of just decide to do it when we feel our leg hair has become too noticeable. It’s really more of a preference—some women do it and others don’t, while the lucky ones don’t even have to because they barely have any leg hair. But for those who really shave their legs and have bad experiences from it, there’s a big chance you’re doing it wrong.

First off, it isn’t true that all you need is a razor to shave. The worst thing is to dry shave, because you can end up with unsightly razor burns and painful little cuts. Seriously, you might as well not shave and just wear pants. There is an art to the act of shaving your legs. You need to prepare for it, take the necessary steps and precautions, and care for your skin after. This ensures you get smooth, hairless, silky-soft skin, which is really why women shave their legs in the first place.

I’ve listed a few easy tips that will allow you to shave your legs without suffering from razor bumps, cuts and ingrown hair. Do these, and you’ll be well on your way to showing some legs.

Never rush or hurry. You can’t expect to shave fast and finish unscathed. A razor is sharp and can cause cuts if you’re not careful. So shave when you actually have spare time and not when you’re running late.

Wait until after you shower. While it’s tempting to shave before doing anything else, don’t. Skin experts say it’s better to wait until you’re 15 minutes into showering to soften the hair and open up its follicles. This will allow you to get a closer shave—to get all the hair in one go.

Shave at night. Apparently, cooler weather in the evening helps you get smoother skin. Shaving in the morning will expose your newly shaven skin to the sun, making it vulnerable to stress. You’ll be giving your skin time to recuperate and regain its suppleness when you shave at night.

Use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel instead of soap to prevent nicks and cuts. You might think it’s good enough to use that bar of soap to lather up for shaving, but this is nowhere near what the skin needs to keep it moisturized when shaving. Using shaving cream or gel specifically for your legs will not only make shaving easier, it will prevent any nicks and cuts and even go as far as keep skin moisturized after shaving.

Don’t use old razors. Dull blades cause skin irritation, and ingrown hair. Disposable razors can usually be used up to 10 times, but you have to use a new one when you feel that the blade has lost its sharpness.

Shave first in the direction of the hair growth—that is, if you have sensitive skin or shaving for the first time. Personally, I shave against the grain and never have any problems with it. But you may have to shave first in the direction of your hair growth; just be sure you use shaving cream or gel so you don’t cut yourself. Also, use the razor lightly. You don’t need to press on your skin so hard to get a close shave.

Exfoliate. If you want to prevent ingrown hair, then you must regularly slough off dead skin. Making this a habit (at least twice a week) can do a world of good for your legs. It will allow growing hair to pass through skin without any blockage.

Moisturize. This is to ensure that your skin stays soft and smooth. Shaving can leave your skin dry and irritated, and you’ll want to prevent this at all costs. Moisturizing also soothes razor burn and keeps skin nourished and protected.

 

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