Steps to Pain-Free Shaving for Sexy, Smooth, Summertime Legs

Summertime is near. And with the days getting longer and warmer, out come the shorts, mini-skirts, and bare legs.

Like most women, I’ve tried it all: shaving, waxing, depilatories… you name it. While I do love the benefits of waxing, waiting a couple of weeks during the summer for the hair to get long enough to wax is not my idea of a good time. And I’ve never had success with depilatories.

So what’s a girl to do? Fall back on our old friend: the razor.

While shaving is definitely the easiest, quickest, and least expensive hair-removal option, shaving still comes with its own problems: most notably nicks, cuts, and the dreaded ‘razor burn.’ But it doesn’t have to. There are some very simple (and economical!) things you can do to avoid the pit-falls of shaving.

Follow these five easy steps that will keep you and your razor friends–all the way through the long, lazy days of summer:

  1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate. I can’t stress this enough. Exfoliation helps to smooth the skin by remove dead skin cells while softening the coarse hair on your legs. And that adds up to smoother, easier shaving. Grab your trusty scrub puff or a washcloth and a moisturizing body wash. You don’t need to scrub hard, as the puff or washcloth will do most of the work. (And while you’re at it, wash your whole body like this–your skin will glow!
  2. Save the Shave ‘Til the End. While it’s not quite like saving the best for last, waiting until the end of your shower will make shaving much easier. Ask any man. They usually wait until the end (or after) their shower to shave, giving their stubble time to soften. Not only is it easier to shave, but it allows for a much closer shave. The hair on your legs is coarse and needs time to soften in the hot water. Shaving at the beginning of your shower or bath, before the hair softens, will almost guarantee nicks, cuts and/or razor-burn. So to save yourself some pain–and get smoother legs–by saving the shaving until the end.
  3. Use a New(er) Blade. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but so many women don’t change blades often enough. While I couldn’t find statistics from any of the razor companies as to how many shaves a you can get from one disposable blade, the women in my informal poll agree that a razor blade is usually only good for about 10 shaves. And that number can be even less if you have very heavy or very coarse hair. You know when it’s not sharp enough. It may feel dull or like it’s pulling at your skin. It may look old. Or you may realize that you can’t remember the last time you changed it. But the rule of thumb: it’s better to change too often than not often enough. A dull blade is more likely to cause nicks, cuts and razor-burn. So switch out that old blade with a new one. Just remember that a new blade is sharp–so always shave slowly and carefully!
  4. Use Conditioner. If you only remember one tip from this article, remember this: conditioner is the best substance to use to shave with! Yes, I’m talking about hair conditioner. Conditioner provides a thin layer of protection on your skin, helps the blade glide smoothly, and further softens your hair. I keep a large bottle of inexpensive conditioner in my shower (I get the jumbo size from Costco, with a pump in it–which also makes it easier to dispense) that is dedicated for shaving. Use about the same amount that you do when putting lotion on your legs. Make sure you rinse your blade well after shaving. Try this tip once and you’ll never go back to soap or shaving cream again!
  5. Moisturize While Wet. This is the final step to the pain-free shave. You can moisturize with one of the new in-shower lotions, the kind that you put on and then rinse off in the shower. Or, after turning off the water but before reaching for your towel, you can moisturize with body oil or baby oil. I keep a bottle of almond oil in the shower, and add my favorite aromatherapy oils to it. Not only will your skin retain more moisture this way, but you also won’t be rubbing lotion onto dry skin–a combination I have found almost guarantees razor burn.