Shaving is one of those things that nearly every grown man and women do on a regular basis. We all assume that shaving is a simple process, perhaps even an intuitive one. But have you been shaving wrong your entire life?
Stop and think about shaving, and razor burn, and all of the irritations that come with the rote habit of shaving your legs, underarms, bikini area, or face. Run these questions through your head…then we will uncover the correct answers!
- Do you use a razor with the proper number of blades?
- Do you shave with or against the grain?
- How hard should your press?
- What kind of shaving cream do you use?
- How frequently should you shave?
- Are you supposed to do anything special before or after you shave?
- How long should you use a disposable razor?
- Are razor bumps or burns normal?
Shaving is an art form
Shaving should be an art form. It’s a process that requires intentional, yet quick and easy, steps. Compare it to applying makeup. You should wear a primer and sunscreen, but those are two layers that are fast and simple to apply under your makeup.
If you rub a bit of soap on your skin and then hack away with a sharp razor, of course the results aren’t going to be desirable. You must first soothe your skin, help the blaze glide over your hairs, allow your exposed pores and follicles to be nourished, and finish with a clean blade.
The Right Way To Shave
- Exfoliate. Prepare your skin, whether your face, legs, underarms, or bikini line, by gently exfoliating. This removes dead skin or dirt and smoothes out the surface so that the razor blade will be able to glide along.
Try the Alba Botanica Even Advanced Sea Algae Enzyme Scrub. The sweet almond oil, aloe leaf juice and cucumber extracts not only help schluff away dead skin, but also nourish with natural remedies so that you can move on to step number 2.
- Oil. Rub a small amount of oil onto your skin. This softens your hair and will allow the razor to make a clean cut as the blade moves smoothly along your skin.
Try a geranium and lavender pre-shave oil, which is a natural antiseptic and will prevent razor bumps or burns.
A well-combined mixture of 1 tablespoon coconut oil with 2 drops of tea tree oil also does the trick well.
- Blades. Mega brands and large corporations want you to believe that more blades equals a better shave. Although it may help your shaving session go faster, it won’t necessarily be better. A two or three-blade razor is satisfactory for most shavers; in fact, even one blade will work f you have sensitive skin or are prone to razor burn. Have you noticed that razors are either cheap plastic? Those are the disposable ones. The ones with elaborate handles are reusable, but the blades are made to be swapped often. How long can you use your razor? Keep reading, and we’ll answer that question towards the end.
Bic Twin Blade Disposable Razor is a cheap option for disposable razors, while Bic Soleil is a highly rated 3-blade razor.
- Shaving cream. Many shavers assume that shaving cream is simply another body product to smell good. But it’s actually an essential ingredient in the shaving process! When you run that blade along your skin, you’re actually shaving off the hair and some of your skin as well. Without a lubricant, like shaving cream, your skin will become too irritated after shaving. Apply a thin layer of a quality shaving cream all over the areas to be shaved.
Look for brands that include coconut oil, olive oil, or shea butter to lather up your skin before you shave. Try Pacific Shaving Company Shave Cream, Creamo Coconut Mango Shaving Cream, or Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel with Oat and Vitamin E.
- Press lightly. Similar to thinking that more blade equals a better shave, many shavers think that more pressure equals a closer shave. That myth is busted! Pressure caused additional skin irritation because you’ll begin to tug hairs, rather than simple slice them. It may take an additional pass, but it’s better to be gentle and avoid razor burn than to be aggressive and have red bumps dotting your skin.
- Go with the grain. Can you believe all of the shaving lies that are commonly believed? Another one is that shaving against the grain will accrue a closer shave. However, that’s actually more likely to cause razor bumps because it inflames the hair follicles. Similar to the last point, this effort may require an additional pass with the razor, but it’s better than suffering through uncomfortable razor bumps.
- Rub with cool water. Rub down your legs with cool water. This not only allows you to feel the glorious results of your shaving labors, but the cold water also closes up your pores. No fancy equipment needed for this. You can turn your shower water to cool, or dampen a washcloth with cold water and rub across your freshly shaved skin.
- Aftershave lotion. Aftershave isn’t just for men! Using an aftershave lotion nourishes your skin and acts as a barrier so that unwanted things won’t clog your pores. Coconut oil is always a safe option, but any mild organic moisturizer will work, like Mrs. Meyer’s or Avalon Organics.
- Lastly, clean your razor. Most people toss aside their razor, leaving it in a drawer or on a shower ledge between uses. But those blades can harbor bacteria. Wipe it down with a quick swipe of rubbing alcohol or extremely hot water. Once you see rust, it’s time to toss it out. It’s recommended that you use a razor no more than seven times; after that, the blade is dull and is prone to cause irritation.
Stop believing the shaving myths and walk in the truth of how you can achieve gloriously smooth skin – without any razor burn!