Most of us love the feeling of silky smooth, freshly shaven legs against cool, clean sheets. The razor bumps, nicks, rashes and ingrown hairs that come from shaving the wrong way? Those, we could do without.
From using a blunt razor to applying too much pressure or skipping the body moisturiser, there are a bunch of common shaving mistakes that could be damaging your skin. And we’ve rounded them all up here.
To make sure you know what NOT to do next time you’re standing in the shower, razor at the ready, read on. Whether you’ve been shaving for days or decades, we guarantee you’ll learn a thing or two!
Hands up if you’ve ever been in a rush and attempted to dry shave your legs or armpits before running out the door? And how did that work out for you? Not so great, I’m guessing. A dry shave can seem like a good idea at the time, but it really is a one-way ticket to irritation city...
To keep your skin calm and comfortable, always make sure you use water when shaving, and invest in a shaving gel or cream. Unlike soap, these are formulated especially for a smooth glide and clean results.
Shaving at the start of your shower
We get the temptation to get shaving over and done with, but it really is best to leave hair removal to the end of your shower. Why? Because a few minutes spent under warm water in a steamy cubicle helps to both soften your hairs and open the hair follicles. This makes shaving a breeze and ensures a super-close, stubble-free finish.
Not exfoliating before shaving
You already know that exfoliating before fake tanning will give you better results, and the same situation applies to shaving. Using a scrub, like our heaven-scented, triple-exfoliating Bali Buffing Sugar, will thoroughly cleanse the skin and slough away dead skin cells. This means you'll achieve a more even shave, avoid razor burn and those dreaded ingrown hairs, and leave the shower with the silkiest limbs on the block.
Leaving your razor in the shower
If you want your razor to last longer, stop leaving it hanging around in the shower! Not only will constant exposure to water dull your blade and cause it to rust, but you'll also be exposing your razor – and subsequently your skin – to unpleasant bacteria. Instead, make sure you shake your razor off and store it somewhere clean and dry.
Not replacing your razor often enough
To give nicks, cuts and razor burn the flick, never shave with a razor that's past its use-by date. This means you’ll need to replace your razor (or blade head) regularly – possibly much more often than you expect. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should replace your blade every 5 to 7 shaves.
However, everyone’s different and you also need to consider the thickness of your hair, as thicker hair will dull a blade sooner. If your razor ever feels like it’s tugging, contains a build-up of gunk that can’t be easily rinsed away or has signs of rusting, bin it – no matter how many uses it’s had.
Shaving in the opposite direction to hair growth
It can be tempting to shave against the grain in the pursuit of a super-close shave, but, when shaving the bikini line, it’s always best to shave in the direction of hair growth to prevent damaging your hair follicles and causing irritation. Shaving against the direction of hair growth is a frequent cause of razor burn and it can also increase the likelihood of ingrowns.
However, advice does differ a little when it comes to leg hair. While some suggest sticking with the rule, others swear by an initial downwards shave to remove the bulk of your hair, followed by an upwards sweep (against the direction of hair growth) to get a super smooth result. Others advise going against the grain to start with. However, if you have sensitive skin, the shaving pros recommend sticking with the direction of hair growth.
Pressing too hard
When it comes to shaving, make ‘easy does it’ your motto. A decent razor will have flexible blades, so you really don’t need to press down hard to get up close and personal with your skin. Doing so will just increase your risk of nasty nicks, cuts and razor burn. The same can be said of shaving too quickly – and you’re also likely to miss a spot. Use long, steady strokes, rinsing the blade after each stroke, and be extra careful around the ankles.
Sharing a razor
You wouldn’t share your toothbrush, so please don’t share your razor. You really don’t know how hygienic someone else is with their razor, or how long they’ve had it. So, stick with your own blade to avoid swapping bacteria. It’s also best to avoid borrowing a men’s razor as these are more suited to facial hair and contours than the hair on your body.
Skipping the body lotion
Freshly shaven pins are crying out for moisture, so make sure you apply a generous layer of body lotion or cream to keep them calm, hydrated and itch-free. Packed with nourishing, skin softening virgin coconut oil and protective, radiance-boosting antioxidants, our tropical mango or lychee and dragonfruit Body Moisture Whip is just the ticket!
Remember that moisture escapes into the atmosphere quickly and moisturise that freshly shaven bod while the skin is still damp for maximum penetration and comfort.
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya