Shaving can be one of the most stressful regular grooming routines we follow, but it really doesn’t have to be. Depending on skin’s sensitivity or our level of patience, shaving routines may often take more time and effort than we’re willing to invest, particularly if we’re shaving on the daily. If this sounds like you, our simple five-step shaving regimen could transform this exhausting and annoying routine and make your daily skin prep a breeze. Whether you’re removing unwanted hair from the face, neck, chest, legs, bikini line, or elsewhere, stress-free shaving for men and women is just five simple steps away.
Finding the perfect razor will vary depending on the body part being shaved and skin’s sensitivity level. For those who are looking for a close shave on the face and are willing to put in the time to learn the proper technique, a safety or double-edged razor offers the best option. These razors are known for getting a closer shave with less irritation and at a sliver of the cost of multi-blade cartridges. For the legs, however, multi-blade disposables, particularly those designed for men with a lubricating strip, offer a more comfortable and safer shave for all your curves. For those looking to make quick work of unwanted hair, electric razors can do the trick, though they can also be a pain to maintain. Finally, for the bikini line or areas that are a little more curvy and difficult to reach, a razor that allows for pivoting or bending of the blade cartridge will make the job much easier while preventing painful knicks and cuts (bonus if it also has a trimmer!). It may initially seem silly to stock different razors for shaving different areas of the face or body, but starting with the right tool for the job will make all the difference in capturing that perfect shave.
Prepping sensitive skin before shaving is essential to prevent irritation while getting a smooth, close shave, especially along the face and neck. Exfoliation prior to shaving can remove any buildup of oil, dirt, or dead skin, allowing the razor to more easily glide over the skin’s surface, preventing knicks and cuts as well as potential post-shaving infections. For extra-sensitive skin, skip exfoliating pre-shave and simply maintain a regular exfoliation routine between shaves instead (see step four for more post-shave tips). However, always apply a shaving cream or oil. These products include moisturizing essentials that serve as a slick lubricant to minimize friction between the razor blade and skin, preventing razor burn, knicks and cuts, or other post-shave irritation. Re-apply shaving cream or oil for each repeated pass of the razor over the same area.
The right technique for applying a razor blade to the skin or which direction in which to shave depends on the razor used. For double-edged or safety razors, hold the blade at a 45-degree angle and rest it gently against the skin, making three passes over each section in short, slow strokes: 1) going with the grain, or the direction in which hair grows; 2) across the grain; and 3) against the grain (you can skip this one if you’d like). For all other razors, shave the same area just once as much as possible and shave in the direction of hair growth to prevent razor burn or skin irritation, particularly for those prone to ingrown hairs or razor bumps.
To minimize risk of irritation following shaving, don’t linger in the shower and rinse the area with cold or warm water, never hot water. Shaving essentially removes dead skin on the surface, so skin will be more sensitive to higher temperatures at this point. Be sure to gently pat skin dry; rubbing can cause irritation and worsen razor bumps or burn. Follow up with a moisturizer, particularly one with gentle aloe or shea butter to soothe skin and prevent razor bumps. For the face and neck, treat skin to a shave gel or balm that’s best suited to your skin type and always apply sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30, regardless of the season. Finally, cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing regularly between shaves will maintain smoother skin for longer while preventing ingrown hairs.
If you’re following all of the above steps and you’re still finding shaving to be a hassle, why not cut it out of your daily routine altogether? Intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser hair removal treatments may be a better hair removal match for you. Utilizing targeted energy to damage hair follicles and prevent future growth, these treatments for the face or body offer permanent hair growth reduction for smooth, hair-free skin. IPL hair removal treatments are effective for those with coarse, dark hair and a lighter skin tone, while those with tanned or darker skin tones may find diode laser hair removal treatments are the better match. Whichever treatment works for you, there’s one very common point: following your prescribed treatment protocol will ensure optimal results throughout your hair removal treatment plan. Though minimal regrowth may occur, it’s perfectly natural and while often unnoticeable, it can be easily treated with a quick maintenance appointment.
To learn more about whether IPL or laser hair removal treatments are best for you or to start a customized treatment today so you can finally ditch that razor of yours, contact a certified treatment provider using the search field below.