By Cameron Alexis Moore and Tiffany Tramaine
If you prefer a hairless body aesthetic, you’ll likely perform some means of hair removal at least once a week. One of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to do away with body hair is to shave it off, but before you grab a razor and go to town, we recommend following these five shaving tips to help the process go smoothly:
Before each shave, commit to some light prep work for a more fabulous shave. Whether using a safety razor or a disposable five-blade razor, ensure blades are sharp and hygienic. Sitting in your shower, razors can pick up a lot of bacteria; clean with alcohol or a disinfectant before each use. Replace disposable razors after three uses, and keep the plastic cover on your razor when not in use. Assess if body parts with coarser hair—longer than a manicured nail—require a trim. Trimming longer hair helps the razor glide smoothly and avoids clogging the razor, hindering a close shave.
We recommend showering before shaving, not after, to give your skin more time to soften. After showering, exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and smooth any bumps. No body scrub on hand? Use a muslin washcloth or a body sponge for physical exfoliation. Using a dry brush before showering provides great exfoliation, too. Scrubbing too aggressively with a physical exfoliant can damage the skin, so take care and rub in a gentle, circular motion. Try Luv Scrub Mesh Body Exfoliator or Public Goods Ayate Washcloth.
While skin is still wet, apply a lubricant: shaving cream, gel, or oil based on your skin’s preference. A shaving lubricant has two functions that prove it’s a step not to dismiss, even in a time crunch. It lubricates the cutting action, providing a protective barrier between the blade and the skin, and it acts as a guide to avoid missed areas. We recommend shaving creams or gels with active ingredients like aloe vera or another soothing agent for protection against razor burn.
TIP: Use conditioner as a replacement for shaving cream in a pinch rather than soap, which can be drying.
We’ve heard it before: Shave in the direction of hair growth. But honestly, who sticks to that rule? Most of us hop in the tub or shower and shave in an upward direction. That works well for those who don’t have sensitive skin. For those who do, we recommend sticking to the sage advice of shaving downward. While going against the grain provides the closest shave, it is more likely to cause irritation and razor bumps after a shave. When shaving against the direction of growth, the blade bends the hair back against itself. This tears the hair at the root as it bends back on itself. Bacteria can then rush into this micro-tear, causing redness, irritation, and bumps. Shaving downward with the direction of hair growth avoids this.
TIP: Opt for short strokes versus long strokes, especially when working on tight and awkward areas like the knees.
Now that your skin is smooth and fresh, don’t forget to seal and protect your freshly shaven skin—we recommend Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Mask for a one-and-done solution to soothe, restore, and moisturize freshly shaven bits.
CAMERON ALEXIS MOORE is the founder of Flaunt Body, makers of the award-winning Ingrown Hair Mask.
TIFFANY TRAMAINE is Flaunt Body’s consulting esthetician, skin care pro, and owner of a wax and skincare studio in Houston, Texas.
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