In warmer months, some women love to show off their bare legs as part of their beauty regimen. Ladies, you probably have a leg hair removal routine down pat that works for your schedule and lifestyle. But have you considered that maybe you’ve been doing indirect damage to your legs? If you use a manual razor, you may have nicked yourself here or there, or had a brush with razor burn. Dr. Oz and dermatologist Dr. Cybele Fishman break down some common shaving mistakes and give tips to get a clean, close shave.
Shaving First in the Shower
We’ve done it. Jump in the shower, lather the legs up quickly, and shave first. It’s a chore that we want to get over with. According to Dr. Fishman, shaving first doesn’t give the hair enough time to get moist. Allowing the coarse hair to get wet and soften also enables the pores and follicles to open up. The moisture helps with creating an easier shave, and also help prevent razor burn. The doctor recommends waiting until at least 5 minutes in the shower have passed before shaving. Another reason? Cleaning your skin first through regular scrubbing or an exfoliation will help get rid of any dirt or dead skin cells before you shave.
Lather up! Providing a smooth glide is important for avoiding nicks, cuts, and razor bumps. The woman in the video states that she sometimes shaves in the car, without any water, cream, or other moisturizer. Dr. Oz demonstrated that tiny nicks and cuts can progress into full blow skin infections like staph or some other oozy pus-filled sore. Dr. Fishman mentions using a cream shave instead or even hair conditioner for a good, moist lather. There are actually shave creams that don’t require water to use so those of you who like to shave on the go may find them useful. Cream shaves work great as lather but also as skin moisturizer, making the skin supple and resistant to ingrown hairs and rashes. It’s also good to note that bar soap is actually drying to the skin, so using a good lubricating agent is important for a close and clean shave.
Most women probably shave upwards. Think about it – it’s faster, easier, and more comfortable for the wrist. But the obvious reason to NOT shave upwards is that it goes against the grain. If you compare a man’s shaving habits with a woman’s, men don’t shave against the grain. Dr. Fishman suggests shaving downwards to lower the incidence of razor burn, cuts, nicks, and ingrown hair. Since hair grows downward, shaving down can help prevent the hair growing back in a curled fashion – causing painful ingrown hairs. We know that shaving upwards results in a closer, cleaner shave, but experts recommend that if you must go up, at least shave down on the first pass to curb problems. After that, shaving upwards may be better for some women. For those women who have sensitive skin, shaving downwards is the best to do it to avoid burns, etc.