Maybe you’ve been shaving since you first noticed hair grew anywhere besides your head, or maybe you started when you realized you were the last girl in class rocking legs au naturel. Either way, shaving is second nature, and yet we still try to cut corners (i.e. throwing those legs into the sink, spritzing on water, and swiping a dull razor over them before running out in a micro-mini). Sadly, nothing in life comes that easy, and with summer here we could all use a little smooth skin 101. Here are some tips on how to get the closest (and best) shave ever.


The Right Razor
Those with sensitive skin should choose a razor with enough blades to be effective, though too many can actually irritate skin, especially if it’s new. With a new razor, try shaving less delicate areas a few times first, so you don’t suffer the consequences of too sharp a blade. If you have dry skin, a razor with a moisture strip is best.

Exfoliate before shaving.
Exfoliating beforehand means a closer shave, because you aren’t running your razor through a slough of dead skin. It also helps prevent ingrown hairs. However, gentle is key, otherwise you leave skin vulnerable to irritation.

Wait Until the End.
You probably already know that hot water dries out skin, so a warm shower is best. Same goes for shaving, as well as waiting until you’re almost finished with your routine, allowing you to work with softer skin.

Consider Conditioner.
Soap is drying, so a gel or cream is a much better to lather up with. Because conditioner is often moisturizing, it can actually be just as effective as a gel. Try working a bit of your conditioner into a lather and shaving with that — it could save you time and money.

Different Area = Different Method.
Always shave in a way that causes less irritation, yet gets the job done. For legs, that means going against the grain in order for the razor to catch the hair. On the bikini area, going against can cause major irritation, so a downward stroke is a safe bet and more effective against razor burn. Armpits are tricky, and shaving in a few different directions is most effective.

Post-Shave Hydration.
After slathering product on your body and hitting it with a steady stream of warm water, you’ll be ready for a moisturizer. Simply continue your regular post-shower skincare regimen afterward, and use a moisturizing lotion once you’re completely dry.

Use It and Lose It.
Most of us are guilty of keeping a razor in our shower for way longer than we should. If you have to go over your skin several times for it to pick up the hair or if it’s pulling, it’s time for a change. If it’s starting to rust, swap it out ASAP. Lastly, those super cheap 2-blade razors really are disposable—do your skin a favor and throw ‘em out when you’re done.

Do you have any smooth skin secrets? Share your stories below.

Photo: thinkstock

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