Even though there are many ways to remove unwanted hair, shaving seems to be the go-to for many women because of its ease and how quickly it achieves the desired results. The only downside to this method is the irritation, red bumps, and razor burn that often develop. Luckily, there are ways to prevent these unsightly side effects.
Exfoliation is the key to getting smooth, hairless skin. The right time to exfoliate is the day before shaving, or at least a few hours before. It’s best to avoid exfoliating right before you shave. I would recommend a wash containing glycolic acid, which has the smallest molecule and the ability to dissolve dead skin cells, debris, and excess oils from the pores.
The sebum in our skin is made up partially of waxes and cholesterols. If these are not cleared away before hair removal, it will lead to irritation—and you just won’t get a clean, close shave. One product to try: Enhancing Glycolic Body Wash, which is available for $17 at idermedstore.com. You can also exfoliate with a regular body scrub, loofah, or dry brush.
General Guidelines for Shaving
Prep the area you are going to shave. Open the pores by wetting the area with warm water, or pressing a warm face cloth over the skin. Next, apply a quality shaving cream or gel, mixed with a little shampoo. This particular combination changes the texture of the shaving cream, reducing almost all friction. Massage it into the skin using upward, circular motions. Let it set in for a couple of minutes to allow the protective barrier to form. Remember to frequently rinse the razor between strokes and shake excess water off of the blades. Be careful not to exert too much pressure when you shave; it’s not necessary to press down really hard. Please read full explanation.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, I suggest using EOS shaving cream. This is an all-natural product packed with conditioning oils and skin protectants. Another great brand is Pure Silk, which contains real aloe. It comes in several exotic scents, such as coconut and cherry blossom.
Each area of your body has a different set of shaving rules. Follow the guidelines below to get the best results.
BIKINI LINE: You need to use a single-blade razor. The reason this is important is that it keeps the hair even with the surface. The trick is to shave with the direction of the hair, not against it. It is also advisable to trim the hair with a pair of small safety scissors before starting the process. Use a different razor for each side, as it is the sharpness of the blade that aids in preventing irritation.
LEGS: As crazy as this might sound, using a men’s disposable razor is going to give you the best result. Men’s razors are much sharper than women’s razors, and they’re going to provide the precision that you want. My personal suggestion is the Gillette Mach 3 for sensitive skin with Lubrastrip. These razors are a little pricey, but there’s no comparison for getting the perfect shave.
UNDERARMS: Hair in this area tends to grow in several different directions. For that reason, I would again recommend using a men’s multi-blade razor. Start by pulling your arm over your head, so that the fingers are resting on your opposite shoulder (this will pull the skin tight). Shave in a series of strokes going downward, and then shave across.
Other options to remove hair from your body includes laser hair removal and waxing. Bareskin.co.za is such a company specialising in the laser hair removal device niche.
After each shave, rinse the area with cool water and pat dry. Then apply witch hazel using some gauze from the drugstore. An alternative to witch hazel is Tend Skin, a product that is specially formulated to prevent and treat redness, razor burn, red bumps, and ingrown hairs.
Once air dried, do not apply deodorant to the underarms, because it will clog the follicles and cause red bumps and irritation. It is best to wait until the next morning to apply it. In the meantime, dust the underarms with corn starch, which is a natural deodorant and will keep the skin dry and soft.