Last updated on November 2nd, 2023 at 10:05 AM
Shaving is one of the most popular methods of hair removal because it’s easy, inexpensive, and painless. The upkeep of smooth legs, arms and bikini areas can become very time-consuming, especially if you want your skin to be smooth and free from ingrown hairs and redness.
If you reach for the razor every week, or even every day, you might think you’re well versed in the process. However, there are many tips and tricks that women have been missing all these years.
From simple swaps in your routine to all-important aftercare, you’ll soon be saying goodbye to dry skin, cuts, and razor burns.
We spoke with Susie Bridgeman-Sutton, a beauty specialist at Thunderbird Skin who has shared the secrets to having a perfectly smooth shave.
1. Exfoliate first
Exfoliating before shaving is a very important step. The preparation will help get rid of dead skin cells so they don’t build up in your razor and will leave you with a close shave.
Exfoliating is also key to avoiding pesky ingrown hairs and leaving your skin looking radiant.
You can either use exfoliating gloves or in-shower body scrubs to help polish the skin. You should also use shaving cream or foam with excellent slip, additions to help are bentonite and soy.
2. Leave shaving until the end
When you take a shower or bath, keep shaving till the end. This is because the heat from the hot water and steam will soften the hair.
Softer hair and opened-up hair follicles will help to get a close shave. This small move will make a big difference to the smoothness of your skin and make shaving a whole lot easier.
3. Keep your razor safe
Whilst you might think it’s harmless to keep your razor in the shower in between uses, it can cause you damage.
Keeping your shaver in a wet environment will increase your risk of bacterial or fungal infection.
After you shave, immediately rinse your razor well with warm water, pat it dry with a clean towel and store it in a spot where it won’t get wet. This removes any hairs caught in the razor and keeps it clean until you next shave.
4. Understand the importance of aftercare
Often overlooked post shaving is the aftercare. After you shave any part of your body, rinse with warm water to remove all traces of foam.
Next, apply a hydrating post-shave balm or moisturiser to instantly cool and soothe down irritated skin.
Look for products that contain rosehip oil as this is one of the best sources of omega 3 + 6 and soothes the most sensitive of skin.
5. Reduce the pressure
Applying more pressure might sound like it equals grabbing more hair, but in fact it makes things worse.
The harder you press, the more uneven your skin’s surface becomes, because you are creating dimples where the blade falls. Heavy pressure means you’re more likely to create missed patches and razor burns.
6. Regularly replace your razor
It’s important to change your blade on a regular basis as old razors can cause infections and burns. Fresh blades provide a closer and more comfortable shave which helps prevent cuts and irritation.
Regardless of how long you’ve had yours, replace any at the first sign of discomfort or dullness. Disposable razors are only designed for one-time or short-term use, on average women ditch theirs after 5-10 uses.
Reusable razors have a handle with detachable blade cartridges and again last up to 10 shaves. Regardless of the type you have, if it starts to pull at your body hair or feels rough, it’s time for a replacement.
7. Stay consistent
During the winter, you might think it’s time for your skin to have a break from shaving. However, doing this could lead to more irritation when you decide to pick up the razor again.
It’s advised to keep consistent with shaving as having a break can make your skin surface more irritated and drier as the dead skin builds up.