Livin' La Vida Lucia

The Best Ways To Shave

Get Smooth Soft Legs All Summer Long

By Lucia Rossi

Not all of us can afford or have time for waxing or laser hair removal, so what do we usually resort to? Shaving.

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Shaving has been a trend among women since World War II and it’s time to bring it back again for swim suit season. This is also a good opportunity for you men out there to get tips on getting a clean close shave. We all get razor bumps, ingrown hairs, burns,rashes, nicks, cuts, and irritation. Let’s talk about how we can prevent that.

The answer my friends, is simple. It’s all about preparation. So don’t rush the process and don’t dry shave. Then you’re just asking for nicks and razor burn. You need to prep your skin first.

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To get the best shave your skin needs to be wet, warm, and soft. This doesn’t mean start shaving as soon as you hop in the shower. You need to let your skin absorb the heat and moisture, so wait a few minutes.

It helps your skin if you exfoliate first either using exfoliating gloves or a scrub. This will remove the dead skin cells that could clog your razor. Then try applying an oil, like baby oil or even olive oil. The oil will keep your skin from getting nicks and razor burn. When you shave with the shaving cream over the oil, be sure to clean your razor after every swipe because it gets easily clogged with buildup. If you don’t have shaving cream, hair conditioner is a decent alternative because it moisturizes, but please, don’t use a bar of soap.

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When applying shaving cream, pick a formula that is high quality, one that is rich and creamy and won’t foam up. The less foamy the cream is, the better it is, because you’ll have less irritation, less nicks, and a longer lasting blade. If you use women’s formula or men’s formula, it doesn’t matter. Just be sure to check the ingredients to see if one of the first three ingredients are either alcohol or fragrance, if so skip it. You might want to go for the sensitive formula instead.

Many professionals have different opinions about what kind of razor blade is better for the skin, the good ole’ single blade, or the modern powerhouse five blade, or maybe something in between. It depends on your skin’s sensitivity and what works best for you. The five blade provides the closest shave but according to a Gillette study, 60% of users found that their skin was dry after shaving. The single or two bladed razor is more simple, cheap, and safe but it may drag the skin and not give as good of a result.

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In case you were wondering, using only men’s razors doesn’t give a closer shave than female razors. Good Housekeeping tested women with both and the male razors did just as well as the female’s. Just so you know.

Anyway, no matter what razor you choose, make sure it’s sharp and not dull. Dull old razors can lead to nicks, razor burn, rash and infection. You should change your blade or cartridge after anywhere from three to ten uses. So if your razor is dull, replace it.

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Let’s talk about your shaving technique. Most people shave against the grain, or in the opposite direction in which the hair grows to get a closer shave. Even though it gives you a closer shave, you run a higher risk of irritation, nicks, and cuts. It’s much safer to shave in the direction that the grain is growing in. This is especially true when you want to re-shave an area over again. Re-shaving an area too much can be dangerous since it can cause a rash or burn, but shaving in the direction of the grain should help.

Ingrown hairs are a pain. They’re caused by hairs that curl back under the skin. To treat ingrown hairs or razor bumps, exfoliate the affected area every day and cleanse with an acne formula that has 2% salicylic acid in it. Don’t pick at it, as tempting as it is. If it’s really bad, try using Tend Skin on it in the morning and at night. If you have razor burn, try putting some tea tree oil on it.

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Whether you’re a man or woman, you should always use some type of after shave, whether it’s an oil, lotion, or balm. Remember, shaving removes two layers of skin so you need to be well moisturized and soothed afterwards.

Happy hairlessness!

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