Wouldn’t you like soft to the touch legs? The good old-fashioned shaving method is one way to do this.
But shaving is not a mindless job that simply involves the simple act of putting a blade against the skin. If done incorrectly, you may end up with unsightly nicks, painful razor burn, ingrown hairs, and bumpy skin as dry as the Sahara Desert.
So how can we shave our legs the right way? Here’s CNA Lifestyle’s definitive step-by-step guide to hairless legs that feel as smooth as silk.
1. GETTING STARTED FOR THE FIRST TIME
Have a vacuum handy before you start. Use a hair clipper to remove as much hair as possible, otherwise your poor razor blade will have to work twice. Pick up the hair with the vacuum cleaner, instead of washing it down the shower drain.
2. SHAVE AFTER SHOWER, NOT BEFORE
Never be so lazy and in a rush to shave dry because you’re more likely to cut yourself and miss pimples if your skin isn’t wet. Take your time. Lather up your body, then rinse it all off. This time spent in the shower helps ensure that your skin is thoroughly wet and also helps soften your hair. Softer bristles and open follicles allow for a closer, more comfortable shave, while helping your razor blades stay sharper longer. A 15-minute wait is preferable; longer and your skin may wrinkle and swell, making it harder to shave closely.
3. EXFOLIATE BEFORE SHAVING
This will help remove the layer of dead skin cells, so you get a cleaner, deeper shave. It also prevents those dead skin cells from clogging your razor blade, which can lead to razor burn. Use a body scrub and not a loofah as the latter tends to trap dirt and bacteria.
4. APPLY SHAVING CREAM
The lather helps condition your skin and soften hairs, and allows the razor to glide smoothly over the skin, reducing the risk of skin irritation and nicks. Pour a dab of shaving cream into your hand and spread a thin, even layer over your legs. If you really hate cluttering your bathroom with too many different products, conditioner is a good substitute. Try not to use soap or body wash as they can dry out the skin too much.
5. USE A CLEAN, SHARP AND DRY MULTI-BLADE RAZOR
Dull blades tend to cause nicks and cuts; rusty blades can lead to tetanus; blades that have not been allowed to dry properly between uses can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Your blade should be changed after 5 to 10 shaves. Once you have an idea of how often to change your razor, put a recurring alarm in your phone’s calendar as a reminder.
It’s worth investing in a four- or five-blade razor as they deliver the smoothest results, allowing you to navigate tricky areas like knees and ankles. Single blade razors are more likely to slip against the skin and become dull faster.
6. SHAVE IN THE DIRECTION OF HAIR GROWTH
Start at the ankle and carefully shave upwards. Don’t press too hard or you’ll get nicks and missed stitches. It helps to have something to lean your foot against for support.
7. RINSE YOUR RAZOR WHILE SHAVING
Rinse the blade after a few strokes to remove shaving cream and hairs that clog your razor by running it under the tap or running it through a bath of clean water. Don’t bang it against the wall of the tub or shower stall, as you may lose its edge faster. Dry the blade before starting on a new spot.
8. DO A CHECK
Rinse your legs and run your hands around to see if you missed any spots. If there are any missed spots, reapply shaving cream to them and repeat the shaving process. Then rinse your skin again.
9. MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE
Pat dry and apply lotion or body oil to your legs. This helps to avoid the little “strawberry” red bumps that can appear after shaving.
10. STORE YOUR RAZOR PROPERLY BETWEEN USES
Rinse your razor under clean running water and allow it to dry thoroughly before putting on the blade guard. Store it in a clean, dry place – not in the shower stall – to reduce the risk of rust or lingering bacteria or fungus on the blades.