Without a doubt, shaving is the quickest, most painless way to get rid of all that unwanted body hair. A simple razor can go a long way in getting soft, smooth, and silky skin. But while it is a painless process, it isn’t altogether without risk.
Here are a few hacks to make your shaving experience a comfortable, efficient, and risk-free one.
Exfoliating is a very critical precursor to shaving. It helps get rid of dead skin cells, so that they won’t hinder the shaving process by choking your razor. Buy yourself a good pair of exfoliation bath gloves and go about exfoliating your skin in gentle circular motions. If you don’t have a pair handy, pumice stone works well, too – but remember to be very gentle so as to not land up grazing the skin.
Replace your cartridges
What many women don’t know is that razor blades have a shelf-life of their own. General rule of thumb suggests that you should change your razor blade after every three (max. four) uses. A dull blade could provoke the nuisance of ingrown hair and can also increase the chances of getting nicks and cuts. A good way to tell when you need to replace your razor’s cartridges is by checking the indicator strip – if it is faded, it’s time to head out and buy some new cartridges.
Substitute shaving gel with hair conditioner when in a pinch
If you need to tighten the purse strings and can’t afford to go out and buy a good quality shaving gel/cream, use hair conditioner as a substitute for it. Avoid using soap because soap foams contain more air than water, thus reducing the moisture content required. Hair conditioner is a good quick-fix for those months when you’re strapped for cash.
Shave with the grain and then against it
There are a number of articles on the right direction to shave in for women. Some suggest shaving in the direction of hair growth to avoid ingrown hair while others recommend shaving against the direction of hair growth to get a closer shave. To be safe, shave downwards (i.e. with the grain) and then proceed to shaving upwards (i.e. against the grain). This is a good way to go about it, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Never use horizontal strokes
If upwards or downwards shaving is a controversial topic, shaving horizontally is a forbidden one. Never shave using horizontal strokes because you could slice your skin if you slide the razor sideways across the skin. Stick to vertical strokes and you’re safe.
Bypass sores and wounds
When shaving, try to avoid going over any injured parts of your body, i.e. parts affected by sores or wounds. If they’re open wounds, all the worse – running a razor over them could be painful and result in unnecessary and avoidable infections. So, make sure you go around those spots.
Bend the knees
When shaving your legs, bend your knees to get a thorough shave on and around the area. Because the skin on the knee is loose, it is likelier that the razor might get caught in the folds of the skin if your leg is outstretched. Bending the knee makes the skin taut, which in turn makes the shave easier and more efficient.
Keep your razors capped
Most razors come with a protective plastic covering, and there’s a reason for that. When not in use, keep your razors capped with the protective plastic – it prevents dirt and dust from accumulating on and interfering with the blades and allows for a smooth, easy shave.
Store your razors outside the bathroom
We often tend to leave our razors on some shelf in the bathroom after we’re done shaving. However, the steam and heat in the bathroom can cause the razor blades to rust, thus rendering the blades ineffective much faster than usual. Keeping the razors outside of the bathroom, in a dry place, prevents the rusting and prolongs the life of the blades.
Never take your skin for granted. Whether or not you have sensitive skin, it is advisable that you apply a moisture-rich moisturiser post your shave. A cooling moisturiser with aloe vera is a good go-to option. Since shaving peels off a layer of dead skin, moisturising after prevents post-shave skin irritation and red bumps.
Pull your skin taut
When shaving the flabbier parts of your body, where the skin is loose, pull the skin taut – it makes shaving easier. Shaving on loose skin could be a bumpy ride, with chances of the razor getting caught in the skin folds, thus impeding nice, even strokes for hair removal.
Use long and short strokes
It’s okay to use long strokes on your arms and legs, but on awkward areas like the knees, just as a precaution, make your strokes short to avoid slicing yourself.
Buy razors that come with moisturising stripsWhile shaving gel/cream is a great way to moisturise the patch of fuzz before shaving, it is also recommended that you purchase a razor that comes equipped with a moisturising indicator strip. The Gillette Venus razor comes with a Vitamin E- and Aloe Vera- infused indicator strip, which helps with moisturising your skin whilst shaving.