With something as basic as shaving, you want your techniques to be practically foolproof. That means fine-tuning your routine a little—which sounds like a ton of effort, we know, but we swear it's worth it! We'd choose a refined shaving regimen over redness and ingrown hair any time, and we know you would, too.
To get you started, here are five dermatologist-approved shaving tips that'll get you a fuss-free shave every time:
1. Dampen and cleanse your skin beforehand.
Shaving dry, unprepped skin is definitely not something you should do for a smooth shave. Dr. LJ Maxfield and Dr. Muneeb Shah recommend getting the area wet with water, which will help smooth and even out the strands and make cutting through them easier (use your hands to pat them down!). The water also reduces friction from the razor.
While your skin is damp, it's time for a pre-cleanse. According to the derms, cleansing before shaving removes product buildup and bacteria, basically helping you "reset" so nothing gets stuck in your pores once you shave. Any gentle cleanser of your choice will do, but the doctors also suggest using a salicylic acid cleanser if you're prone to having clogged hair follicles. For "hotspots" like your armpits, Dr. Maxfield recommends benzoyl peroxide washes for their antibacterial properties that also prevent ingrown hairs.
2. Prep with a shaving gel/cream.
Nope, it's not time to shave just yet. You should apply something to help the razor glide smoother over your skin first, whether it be a shaving gel or a cream. Gentle, bland shaving creams without irritants like fragrance or menthol are favored by the derms, but when you're in a pinch, conditioner will do. Dr. Shah himself uses conditioner as a shaving gel for his face!
3. Shave carefully.
Everyone has their own go-to method and preferred tools for shaving, so at this point, do whatever works for you. But if you need tips, Dr. Shah says shaving downwards from knee to your ankle and coming back up allows for a closer shave. In case you miss some spots, Dr. Maxfields suggests doing short, quick strokes on that specific area. You can use the same technique on your underarms!
4. Store your razor properly.
After you shave, you should mind where you store your razors, too. Don't leave your it in the shower where the water can rust the blade and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, rinse off the razor, pat it dry, and store it in a drier environment.
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5. Remove all the shaving residue.
The first thing you should do post-shaving is to wash off all that excess shaving cream or conditioner. From there, go in with your cleanser again to make sure all the extra hair and product are removed from your skin. If you're taking a shower after, your body wash should take care of part!
Watch the full video on Doctorly's channel below: