Going hair-free is a choice that no one should feel obligated to make. All those ingrown hairs and potential razor burns are sometimes not worth the effort. Plus, some people love their natural look, and that’s beautiful.
If you’re like me, you might enjoy shaving your hair away for that smooth feeling but certainly want to avoid the pain that sometimes comes with it. It all comes down to your preparation for shaving.
Most skincare specialists and doctors recommend that you exfoliate before shaving. Be sure to exfoliate again a few days after shaving to remove dead skin and prevent ingrown hairs.
Firstly, it removes all those dead skin cells that might clog your razor. Secondly, exfoliating afterward can irritate your skin because it is sensitive after removing hair.
What Kind of Exfoliator Should You Use?
It’s best to avoid physical exfoliators like heavy scrubs. Your skin is susceptible to micro-cuts when shaving. Using harsh products will
Gentle scrubs used in the shower are a good idea. You are softening the hairs with water and ensuring the exfoliator won’t soften your skin too much.
The best option is to use chemical exfoliators. Products with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) are best. They clear the skin of all unwanted debris but also encourage cellular regeneration.
What are the Steps You Should Take?
Properly preparing your skin before shaving has many benefits. It reduces the risk of micro-cuts, softens the skin, and gives a smoother look. You can also get rid of dead skin cells and excess grime to prevent your razor from blunting and cutting you.
You want to ensure you shave like a pro. Your body will love you for it. Follow these simple steps to improve your shaving routine and healing process.
Step 1 – Shower or Wash in the Bath
Shower softens the hair follicles, making it easier to shave. Try to use a moisturizing body wash or even exfoliate while you’re showering to encourage hydration in your skin.
You can also try soaking the area you want to shave in a warm bath instead of taking a shower. It might be easier because you can wash, exfoliate, and shave all in one go using this method.
Step 2 – Exfoliate
Now, you won’t repeat this step if you exfoliate while showering. If not, now is the time to exfoliate. Be sure to remove any excess product once you finish nurturing the area you plan to shave.
Step 3 – Apply Shaving Cream
Many people don’t use shaving cream, but it’s crucial to prevent things like razor burn. In fact, dry shaving can cause a variety of issues, including:
- Ingrown hairs
- Irritation and redness
- Dryness after shaving
Use a shaving gel that works best for your skin. Apply it generously. It helps you keep track of where you shaved and protects your skin from damage.
Also, carefully consider the type of razor you use. Most razors only last for five to ten shaves, even less if you don’t prepare your skin before shaving.
Always choose a blade that’s sharp and clean to prevent the blade from cutting you or pulling out your hair.
Step 4 – Shave
That’s right. Now we’re at the fun bit. After properly preparing your skin and adding your shaving gel, you can start removing that hair.
What is the best direction to shave? It all depends on the area you are shaving.
- Legs – Press lightly and start from your ankle up.
- Underarms – Shave in the direction your hair grows.
- Bikini – Start in the direction the hair grows first. Once done, go against the grain to shave as close as possible.
Step 5 – Moisturize
After you finish shaving, it’s crucial to use a good moisturizer to prevent any dryness, cracking, and ingrown hairs. It will also leave your skin looking silky smooth and feeling soft.
What About Exfoliating Before Waxing?
Skincare specialists and doctors recommend you exfoliate two to three days before waxing instead of right before.
Waxing can cause extra damage to the skin, so if it’s too soft beforehand, you can bleed. Try to use a gentle exfoliant as harsher scrubs can have a negative effect on your skin.
Things to Avoid Before and After Shaving
You might want to avoid doing certain things after you shave. It will help your skin stay smoother for longer and protect it from damage. Here are the top 7 things to avoid before and after shaving.
- Never share your razor – Bacteria can spread and cause infections.
- Shower or bath – You may be tempted to skip the shower but don’t. It goes a long way to protecting your skin and makes it easier to shave.
- Use lubrication – You might not want to use shaving gels, so maybe try using coconut oil instead. It will help keep the skin smooth and hydrated while shaving.
- Avoid products with alcohol – It will burn your skin and leave painful red marks.
- Don’t go swimming – The chemicals in the pool can damage freshly shaved skin.
- Avoid the beach – Sand and sun can irritate freshly shaved skin.
- Skip that second shave – It’s tempting to go back and shave off all the hair you missed, but that can cause razor burn.
Things to Remember
Exfoliate your skin before shaving to keep it smooth and healthy. It removes all dead skin cells and grime to protect your razor from damage. Blunt or dirty blades are dangerous and can cause infections.
It’s best to use AHA or BHA exfoliators as they are the least abrasive. If you exfoliate before waxing, do it at least two to three days before your session.
Use a shaving gel that works for your skin. Dry shaving causes a host of problems like dryness and folliculitis. You can use other natural oils, like coconut or avocado, if you don’t want to use chemical products.
Exfoliating is an important part of any skincare regime. Use it to keep your skin soft and smooth.