The wonderfully warm weather ahead brings with it the anticipation of unending fun in the sun. But as we break out the shorts, tank tops and bathing suits, we realize it’s also time to get reacquainted with our razor. No more hiding in long pants and sleeved shirts. It’s time to start shaving!
For some, shaving is one of the downsides of wearing clothes that cover you less as the weather heats up. And, honestly, shaving can be a real drag if you’re not careful. The embarrassing redness and irritation of razor burn and razor bumps are often the price we pay to have a smooth, nearly hair-free body.
Luckily, these problems can be avoided. A few common mistakes often lead to an unpleasant shaving experience. Figuring out what you might be doing wrong is the first step to preventing painful razor burn and razor bumps from ruining the season.
Today’s blog post will clue you into the seven most common errors both men and women make when shaving and will let you know what to do instead for silky smooth skin you’ll be happy to show off.
7 Common Shaving Mistakes
1. Using a razor with multiple blades
Though it seems like the more blades your razor has, the more hair it will remove, this is simply not true. When it comes to razors, less is more.
Razors with four- or five-blade heads became all the rage years ago. But many are switching back to single or double blades lately. That’s because multiple-blade razors tend to shave off the top layer of skin along with the hair as they glide across the skin’s surface, increasing chances for redness and irritation.
Another issue with multi-blade razors is that the head is larger, making removing hair from some areas of your body difficult. The larger head doesn’t follow the contours of your skin as well, so the razor might put too much pressure in some spots and not enough in others. And you could end up with razor burn in some areas.
Try a razor with a single or double head to get a close shave with less risk of irritation.
2. Not exfoliating before shaving
Preparing to shave is just as important as how you shave. To ensure you get the closest shave, exfoliate your skin before using your razor. Use an exfoliating product with all-natural beads or a natural loofah.
By exfoliating beforehand, you remove the dead skin cell layers on top of the skin, allowing your razor to catch the hair farther down the shaft. Without exfoliating, your razor will pick up dead skin cells and be less effective at cutting the hair.
3. Not using shaving cream
Skipping the shaving cream may save you money, but you increase the likelihood of irritation, dry skin and stubble. It’s worth it to use a high-quality cream with rich emollients to lubricate your skin and create an easy-gliding surface for your razor. The lubrication will protect your skin from razor burn, help prevent ingrown hairs (razor bumps), and leave your skin happily moisturized.
Avoid shaving while skin is dry or using soap instead of shaving cream. These methods will leave you with rough, dry, or flaky skin and a not-so-nice stinging feeling. When choosing what to use to shave, remember that creams and gels work better than foams to keep your skin supple and get a close shave.
Nurture My Body's shave cream has ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, comfrey, dandelion and seaweed to soften hair, and calm and nourish your skin while shaving.
4. Using the wrong water temperature
Hot showers or baths are relaxing for some people, but the high temperatures aren't ideal for a silky, smooth shave. Warm water will help soften the hair and skin before you shave, but if it’s too hot, your skin will be more vulnerable to nicks and cuts.
While shaving, it’s best to use warm water to get a close shave. Then when you’re done shaving, rinse with warm water, then finish with cold water to close the pores and prevent inflammation and infection.
5. Neglecting to moisturize after shaving
To prevent skin from drying out after you shave, use a high-quality moisturizer with emollients to seal in hydration. Moisturizing will also keep skin looking supple and healthy and alleviate any redness or irritation. Look for calming ingredients like aloe vera, slippery elm, lavender, and rich botanical oils like jojoba and coconut.
6. Leaving your razor in the shower
Another common habit that can make shaving less effective or more uncomfortable is leaving your razor in the shower or near the sink, where it will remain wet. After shaving, rinse your razor off to remove leftover hair and shave cream, then set it somewhere it can completely dry off between shaves.
7. Not replacing blades often enough
It’s easy to forget to change out your razor blades. And it’s understandable to want to use them as long as possible before needing to buy replacements. But regularly switching out your blades can help you get a closer shave and avoid razor burn and bumps.
Replace your blades roughly every 5-7 shaves to get the best results, depending on how much gunk is left in them. If you have to scrub your blade to get the gunk off, it’s time to replace it! It’s not worth the risk of infection from any bacteria that may be lingering.
Additional Shaving Tips for Men and Women
- If you have acne on your face, use a gentler touch to avoid breaking the blemishes.
- Always use a sharp blade with light pressure.
- Avoid harsh aftershaves that contain alcohol or fragrance.
- Shave the more awkward parts of your face last to allow the shaving cream to soften the hair.
- Don't dry your face off before shaving. Shower first with warm water, and leave it wet or moist to lessen the chance of irritation.
- For the bikini area, shave in the direction the hair grows instead of against the grain.
- For your armpits, shave in both directions and use short strokes with a single blade.
- Redness and stinging are more likely in your armpit area. Try using pure aloe vera to soothe the area after shaving.
- Resist the urge to pull ingrown hairs out because this could break the skin and increase the risk of infection. Instead, exfoliate the area to help the pore breathe and eliminate the hair naturally.
Wrapping It All Up…
Shaving doesn’t have to be an unpleasant or painful experience. By following a few tips and tricks, you might even enjoy turning shaving into a relaxing self-care ritual. By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll be better prepared for the upcoming season with less stubble, bumps, or redness on your legs, face, armpits and bikini area. And you'll want to show off your smooth, glowing skin all summer long!