If you want your legs to feel as silky as the bedsheets we imagine Chrissy Teigen and John Legend to sleep on, you need to pay attention when shaving.
To avoid any missed hairs, mishaps and missed opportunities (wink) follow these commandments and never suffer from red bumps again.
Thou shall soak the skin before shaving
Dry shaving is obviously a no-no, but did you know you should actually soak your skin for up to three minutes before shaving?
“Hydrating the hairs makes them up to 60 per cent easier to cut”, says Dr Anita Sturnham, Venus Ambassador. “Soak your skin for two to three minutes before shaving.”
Thou shall not lather with shampoo
Eeeeek we’ve all done it, but you really shouldn’t use shampoo or just ‘whatever is in the shower’ to shave.
Dr Sturnham says using shampoo or body wash as shave prep can, “increase your risk of redness and irritation, and blunt your razor blades.”
She recommends using a specific shaving gel like Venus Olay Satin Care (£3.49), which reduces friction while shaving for less chance of irritation.
Thou shall always shave against the direction hair growth
To get your closest shave possible, shave against the direction of your hair growth. For the legs, start at the ankle and work your way up towards the knee.
If you’re using a good blade, this won’t cause any irritation and will cut the hair right at the root for a longer-lasting shave.
Unless of course, you have a razor that shaves in BOTH directions like Wilkinson’s Sword Intuition f.a.b (£11.99). In which case, you can go back and forth as you please.
Thou shall use little pressure
Your razor shouldn’t make a dent in your skin in order to work.
“The razor should glide across the skin, not drag”, says Adam Boulding. “Remember to use a light touch, exerting as little pressure as possible.”
If you need to press your razor firmly to work, it can be a sign your blades need changing. Which brings us to…
Thou shall change blades regularly
A blunt blade not only increases friction against the skin, but also the likelihood of missed hairs.
There are many factors that can impact blade life, including your hair type, how much of your body you’re shaving and how you store your razor. Sarah Woods, Marketing Director at Edgewell says for this reason there’s no set number of days, but instead “women should change their blades whenever they start to feel tugging or pulling during their shave.”
According to the experts at Venus, this is approximately after every ten shaves.
Thou shall not use razors with less than four blades
The number of blades you use is actually super important. The less blades you have, the higher the chance of cuts and nicks.
“A razor with more blades means that the pressure is distributed across more evenly”, says says Adam Boulding, Venus Scientific Communications. “Therefore less pressure is applied to any one spot of skin during the shave, reducing the probability of cuts.”
Thou shall use a manoeuvrable razor head
The second thing to look for in terms of razor quality is the manoeuvrability of the razor head.
When it comes to the backs of knees and areas like ankles, where the bone is close to the skin surface, you need a razor that moves with the curves of your skin to glide over trickier areas. A stagnant blade will only increase the chance of missed hairs or cuts.
Thou shall always bend a knee
Knees are notoriously the most tricky spot to shave. The solution? Sarah says to slightly bend the knee.
“This will pull the skin tight before shaving, as folded skin is difficult to shave.”
Try propping your leg up on the side of the bath.
Thou shall not forget aftercare
If you suffer from red bumps after shaving, rinsing properly is a must post-shave. If you can bare cold water, this is even better to ensure the pores are closed.
Sarah also recommends leaving the skin to rest for at least 30 minutes before applying lotions or moisturisers, to avoid inflammation.
“If you must moisturise immediately following shaving, select a cream formula rather than a lotion, and avoid exfoliating moisturisers that may contain alpha hydroxy acids.”
Thou shall store their razor upright
Most razors come with holders for a reason.
Dr Sturnham says storing your razor in an upright position and somewhere dry means “bacteria won’t get to your razor and the blades won’t blunt in damp conditions.”
“After each shave, simply rinse and air-dry your razor. Regular rinsing will help prevent your razor from becoming clogged, meaning a closer shave.”
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