Waxing, for the warriors among us who don’t mind being pinned down while another person rips their hair from the root. (Bikini waxers, we salute you.)
And of course, shaving. Sweet, easy peasy shaving, which can be done in a jiffy and doesn’t cost you the earth. BUT it can cost you your skin if done incorrectly.
We doubt there’s a shaver out there who hasn’t suffered from red itchy bumps post-razor blade, but it can be avoided. You just have to be a bit savvier with your shave…
When it comes to hair removal, there’s a lot of options.
You’ve got laser hair removal, for the smug (and cashed up) ones, who were willing to go through pain ‘similar to a flicking of a hot rubber band’ to achieve hairless results.
1. DON’T just lather with any old thing
Soap, shower gel, shampoo, moisturiser – if you’re guilty of grabbing whatever is closest to lather your shave, this is mistake number one.
“While soap or shampoo may seem like good substitutions, they can be sabotaging the smooth results you crave, and the soaps in shower gels and shampoos can dry out your skin”, says Dr Anita Sturnham, Venus Skincare Ambassador.
“Shave gels and creams are designed to complement the efficacy of their razors. They are rich in ingredients that are hydrating and lubricating to reduce friction when shaving.”
Go foam, or go home.
2. DO fork out for a fancy razor
We know the 20 pack for a fiver is a bloody good bargain, but those budget-made blades are just irritation waiting to happen.
“Although a razor may look like a simple grooming tool, the technology that goes into producing good quality ones, behind the scenes, really is quite astounding”, says Dr Anita. “A high-quality razor means that the blades will be carefully designed to deliver the smooth shave that women desire without the irritation.
“Every single razor in the Gilette Venus range has been engineered using leading industry expertise and pioneering technology. I recommend the Venus Platinum Extra Smooth Razor (£11.99), which has five diamond-like coated blades that offer low-cutting force and precision.”
3. DON’T ever dry shave
Dry shaving is just a rash waiting to happen, friends. Don’t do it.
“Dry shaving leads to increased friction between the razor blades and the skin, which can result in redness and irritation.”
4. DO hydrate the skin before and after shaving
Hydration is key. And it’s not just about moisturising. If you really want to avoid a rash, you should soak the skin in water first.
“I recommend shaving in the bath or shower and soaking the skin for 2-3 minutes (!) – this is the optimum amount of time to hydrate the skin when prepping for a shave”, says Dr Anita.
“For best results after you shave, be sure to use an emollient-rich body moisturiser. I love moisturisers with natural ingredients. Aloe vera is a great one for soothing the skin.”
5. DON’T forget to exfoliate
You don’t have to exfoliate before every shave, but a full body exfoliation once a week can help prevent irritation.
“Exfoliation removes old, dull skin and improves skin texture and tone. And it also reduces the risk of ingrown hairs.”
6. DO rinse the area with cold water
After being soaked in warm water and lathered with product, the pores of the area you shaved will be open and vulnerable. If you have sensitive skin, it can be a good idea to rinse the area with cold water post-shave to close them again. This will also stop any moisturisers from causing further irritation.
7. DON’T be rough with your towel
It may seem silly, but rubbing a rough, dry towel vigorously up and down sensitive post-shave skin can aggravate the area and cause a rash. Be particularly gentle after an in-shower shave and use a patting motion instead.