3 Tips to Prevent Shaving Irritation
Say bye-bye to razor burn, skin irritation and ingrown hairs.
You shave your legs to get smooth silky hairless skin. So what’s the point if you’re left with irritation in the form of redness, bumps and dry patches? We’ve got the solutions.
The most common side effect of shaving is razor burn. This can be caused by using a blunt or dirty razor, lack of lubrication or by just pressing down too hard with your razor. Razor burn can appear anywhere from two to four days after shaving and often looks like a mild rash.
Not only is razor burn unsightly, but it can be uncomfortable and the constant friction from jeans and pants can worsen the condition. The best tips to prevent razor burn are to replace your razor often, at least once a week and to always use a shaving cream — not a gel — on your legs.
You can use either a disposable or a replaceable cartridge razor. To be on the safe side, try one designed for women, since you want to make sure that the razor is angled correctly for shaving legs and underarms. Try the Gillette Venus Divine ($10.44, amazon.com), which comes with two cartridges, and pair it with Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave Extra Gentle with Vitamin E ($3.99, drugstore.com). If you still find yourself with razor burn despite taking preventative measures, you can soothe irritated skin with aloe vera gel or a cortisone cream like Cortisone-10 Plus ($8.99, walgreens.com), which contains anti-inflammatory cortisone along with aloe, vitamin E and other skin-soothing ingredients.
Even if you get a smooth shave without razor burn, ingrown hairs can still be an issue. They’re more common along the bikini line than on the legs or underarms, and these painful lesions can lead to scarring, so it’s important to try to prevent them from occurring in the first place. An ingrown hair is caused by a hair curling back into the skin after it’s shaved off or growing back sideways. This can lead to a localized infection that looks like either a red bump or a whitehead that appears to be a pimple. To prevent ingrown hairs, use a gentle scrub before you shave to get the hairs pointing in the right direction.
It’s also a good idea to exfoliate your skin once a week to remove the buildup of dead skin that can prevent hair from popping out. Use a loofah or bath puff with a shower gel that contains glycolic acid. Therapy Systems Glycolic Cleansing Gel ($36, therapysystems.com) is a great option because it can be used from head to toe. For spot treatments use a topical product like the Tend Skin Refillable Roll On ($17, sephora.com). It’s gentle enough for bikini lines and underarms.