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As we begin to make the transition from Winter to Spring (even though I’m in Florida where it has been Spring since the end of October) we start thinking about busting out the shorts and baring our legs for the coming warmer weather. If you’re anything like me, the very thought of shorts sounds like the biggest inconvenience on the planet. It means you must shave your legs EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!!! I wish I could say I was one of the lucky ones who could go days or even weeks without removing unwanted body hair, but alas, I’m just not that blessed.
I tend to have very sensitive skin on my legs, but I have finally found a process that helps me avoid the dreaded little red bumps of death, aka Razor Burn! If I start prepping my legs now for the months ahead, my life will be SO much simpler with just a few easy steps.
When and Why
Below I’m going to outline a few different steps that I use to keep my legs free of razor bumps and ingrown hairs. I have a full on routine for when I really need to make sure they’re in tip-top shape, but I also have a quick condensed method that is more suited for daily life. Some steps are the same no matter what so let’s nail those down shall we?
If you’re not in it for the long haul, jump down to the bottom and read the section “Let’s recap…” for some quick tips to avoiding razor burn.
Always Always Always…
No matter what, I always dry brush my legs before I hop in the shower or sit on the edge of the tub to shave my legs. Using a dry brush with natural bristles helps to wake up the blood vessels in the legs and get your circulation going. This will do multiple things:
- Keep your legs from feeling shocked by the abrasion of the razor leaving you with fewer knick and cuts.
- Help the hair to “stand up” so that it is more easily found by the razor, resulting in a closer smoother shave.
Have you ever been shaving your legs only to get goosebumps and feel like all your hard work was for nothing, that your hair just instantly regrew? That is what I mean by making your hair stand up. Get this out of the way from the beginning so that when you go to shave you save yourself some time and won’t have to go over it twice! I feel like this is one of the biggest additions to my routine that has really helped me avoid razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
Keep it soft…
Usually, I shave my legs in the shower at the end when the warm water has softened the hairs. I like to use a moisturizing shave cream, not a gel. In the past, I have used everything from classic foaming shave gels to shampoo, body wash and even conditioner, but I have found the most success with a lotion type shave cream like this. I don’t even really rinse it, just rub it in as an extra moisturizer.
After shaving, before drying off, I moisturize with a rich formula meant for dry skin. This one is my favorite. It’s unscented and doesn’t cause any burning or tingling sensation on my freshly roughed up legs! No one wants to feel that pain, that’s what we’re trying to avoid after all! I rub it in the best I can, then pat dry as I towel off and try to avoid irritation.
When I’m feeling fancy…
Sometimes I take a few additional steps like exfoliating my legs with a sugar scrub. This usually helps me remove all the dead skin that the dry brushing missed. It also helps add yet another layer of moisturizer to the mix (are we sensing a pattern?) Hydrated skin is key to avoiding razor burn and ingrown hairs. It took me years upon years to stop being lazy and accept that, but I can’t deny it, and my legs have thanked me the world over ever since.
I’m not really a bubble bath or soaking fan, but sometimes, when I’ve waited just a little too long to shave, I’ll soak in warm water for about 10 minutes before I turn the shower on and continue with my great shave-capade. This helps me to really make sure that my legs are awake and ready for what lies ahead. Also, as a mom, this is a rare and sometimes much needed time to just chill out and close my eyes, am-I-right?
In a pinch…
When I’m pressed for time, but I really need to take care of shaving I have a few things that I will do. Usually I will sit on the edge of the tub and use the shower sprayer to run warm water over my legs for a minute or two. I don’t have the same length of time as I do in the shower, but it helps to not go to town right away on cold skin. I usually will load up my legs with a body oil like this one before I shave to try to put some instant moisture in there. This helps to make up for some of the lack of pre-softening. Then I just apply my shave cream and finish up as quick as I can.
All in all, I think keeping your legs hydrated and exfoliated is going to be the most helpful in avoiding razor burn. However, I want to share a few practices to stay away from that almost ALWAYS guarantee razor burn for me.
A few things to avoid:
- Never shave dry skin
- Never use a rusty razor. I tend to replace every two weeks to be safe.
- Never shave right before going into the ocean.
- Try not to shave the same day if you know you will sweat.
- Avoid scented lotions and body products immediately after shaving that have artificial fragrances or high alcohol content (one of the first ingredients listed).
Hopefully you have found this post helpful, and maybe learned a thing or two as we head into shorts season. I know it has taken me a long time (20 years give or take) to finally figure out how to properly shave my legs so that I don’t get razor burn, and I wish I had discovered a few of these tips a lot sooner! I hope everyone has an amazing Spring filled with vacations and lots of outdoor activities!!! Wishing you all the best. Thanks for stopping by!