A step-by-step guide to shaving your legs properly


Cropped shot of unrecognizable woman shaving her legs

Image source: Studio Getty/Moyo

  • Shaving is the most common method for remove unwanted hair.

  • When done correctly, shaving can help reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.

  • Here, find a step-by-step tutorial for shaving your legs the right way.

Did someone teach you to shave your legs? For many people, it’s one of the first beauty rituals we undertake, yet very few have learned how to shave the area properly. We are all flying it. Although you’ve learned to avoid nicks and cuts (at least to some extent), it can still be difficult to achieve perfectly smooth, hair-free legs. Without speaking about, ingrown hairs, razor strokesand itchy skin often come with the territory. With a razor in one hand and shaving cream in the other, you’re probably going to town and hoping for the best – but there’s a better way.

It’s never too late to learn how to shave your legs properly, just like it’s never too late to learn how to shave pubic hair or your armpits. As the weather warms up and you start pulling your shorts out of the back of your closet – or, if you live in a city, from a dark hiding place, like the bottom of your bed – then it’s the perfect time to get a short tutorial on shaving your legs.

Ahead, a body hair removal expert shares tips on how to shave your legs the right way.

Step 1: Take a body scrub, razor and shaving cream

First, gather all your tools. In addition to a fresh, clean razor and some sort of shaving cream, you’re going to want to pick up a body scrub. For razors, we love the Hanni Weighted Razor ($38) and the Flamingo Razor ($9). “Shaving with a dull blade can lead to nicks and cuts, so make sure you always shave with a sharp blade and change your blade every four to six shaves.” Leslie Tesslerthe founder of Hannisays POPSUGAR.

To moisturize the legs while you exfoliate the skin, look for a rich shaving cream like the Eos Sensitive Skin Shaving Cream ($5), Hanni shaving pillow ($22), or Truly Coco Cloud Luxury Shave Butter ($20).

Step 2: Exfoliate your legs

Before picking up the razor, you’re going to want to prep the skin for shaving by cleansing it and exfoliating it with your body scrub of choice. “Exfoliation is key,” says Tessler. “Dry brushing or using a physical exfoliant, such as a gentle scrub, are great options for prepping before shaving. Mario Badescu Coconut Body Scrub ($14) and the Ouai St. Barts Scalp & Body Sugar Cleansing Scrub ($38).

Five pink razor blades supported by a pink wall

Five pink razor blades supported by a pink wall

Image source: Getty/Javier Zayas Photography

Step 3: Shave upwards in short strokes

Now that your skin is prepped and ready, it’s time to grab your razor. Because the humidity and heat of the water can soften the hair, it is recommended that you wait until after your shower – after washing, conditioning and washing your body – to shave for a smoother result. “[This] occurs naturally in the shower with hot water and steam, but can also be accomplished by applying moisturizer and conditioner,” says Tessler.

With your foot slightly elevated, like on the side of the tub, coat your leg with shaving cream to lubricate it. Start at the ankle and hold your razor with light pressure (or no pressure if you use the Hanni razor) and slide the tool down your leg. “Move in small strokes over your skin,” she says. After completing a section, rinse the razor under running water to clean the blade before repeating the process.

Step 4: Shave your knees last

The knees are tricky shaving territory as they are bumpy and the skin is often looser, but with Tessler’s tips you will become a master in no time. “For bony lumps or small crevices, the key is to stretch the skin as you shave and remember to move in small strokes,” she says. When you’re done, rinse your legs under running water.

Step 5: Hydrate the skin

The shaving part may be over, but your job isn’t done yet. Once out of the shower, you want to moisturize your legs with a body lotion, oil or cream “ideally with calming ingredients like aloe to lock in moisture and soothe skin after shaving.”

We like it Dove Beauty Body Love Intense Care Body Lotion ($6), or for something a little thicker, the Fenty Beauty Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream ($42).

Step 6: Treat razor bumps and ingrown hairs

If you shave your legs properly, ingrown hairs and razor burn are unlikely, but if they do occur there are products formulated to help alleviate the problem, such as Oui the People PHA Incarnate Toning Lotion ($25), Ingrown Fur Eliminator Mitts ($22), or the Bushbalm Nude Ingrown Treatment Oil ($26).


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