What’s the best way to shave your legs? Are you supposed to shave against the direction of your hair growth? Our lead skin expert Dr Giulia D’Anna weighs in.
To get the closest shave, you need to go against the direction of hair growth, and use a clean sharp razor. Begin by wetting the skin, and apply shaving cream. Work it into a lather and let it sit for a minute or two to soften the hair. Then starting at the ankle, sweep upwards towards the knee. Every swipe or two, rinse the shave under hot water to release the cut hairs, or the shave will not be clean and you also risk nicking yourself. There is no need to press hard either as this further increases the chance of you cutting yourself.
To reduce the chance of ingrown hairs, moisturise your legs everyday. There are some great moisturisers that have a small amount of lactic acid in them, like PCA body therapy. This helps to reduce the amount of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of the skin, possibly blocking the hair from popping through the skin.
Exfoliating once a week will also help to move dead skin cells from the surface, and also improve the uptake of moisturiser in your skin. I like Aspect Dr Cellablation to do this, and it smells so good too.
What’s the best way to avoid irritated skin/red bumps after shaving?
To reduce the chance of ingrown hairs, moisturise your legs everyday. There are some great moisturisers that have a small amount of lactic acid in them. This helps to reduce the amount of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of the skin, possibly blocking the hair from popping through the skin.
What are some common mistakes people make when shaving their legs?
Using shampoo to shave is a common mistake, as the pH of shampoo can cause irritation or red bumps to appear. Also it is important to make sure that you change your razor regularly as the blades can become dull quickly, meaning that the shave will not be clean or as close as you like.
Another tip is to store your razor upright, so that the water runs out of it, so it does not rust.
How regularly should you be changing your razor blade?
Changing blades is important to make sure that you do not cut yourself, get the closest possible shave and also dont miss any hairs. Looking at blades under a microscope shows that each shave causes the blades to blunt. And after about 10 shaves, the blades are not in good condition at all, so this would be the perfect time to swap to a new razor.
Any tips post-shave?
Using a moisturiser with an AHA or lactic acid daily is ideal to keep both your skin healthy and functioning well, but also avoid pesky ingrown hairs. As mentioned, exfoliating about once a week is also great at allowing the hair to grow through without any problems, and also let the moisturiser work its magic as it doesnt need to fight through layers of dead skin cells.
Alternatives to shaving?
If you are sick of shaving, there are so many other alternatives these days. Obviously waxing has been around for a long time, and gives you a longer period of being fuzz free since the hair is removed from the follicle completely.
For a much more permanent solution, laser hair removal is amazing at cutting the number of hairs down long term. This means that you are always skirt or beach ready. The perfect time to consider laser hair removal is as we approach winter. The reason for this is when we laser your skin and hair, we need a little bit of stubble to be showing through. So when we cover up, we are less worried about “growing out” our leg hair a little for this purpose. However the most important thing is that laser targets the colour in the hair and hair follicle. So the whiter the skin and the darker the hair, the better the result for laser. A great dermal therapist will avoid doing laser hair removal whilst you have a tan, which is common in summer, so that we do not heat the skin.
Thanks for reading!
Video by Taryn from pexels