You've probably been there: a quick shave to tidy up before heading poolside and BAM! Before you've even shed your cover-up, your legs and bikini area have developed red, uncomfortable bumps. This embarrassing – and sometimes painful – experience does not need to define your summer. We have put together some tips and techniques that will help you have those amazing, summer-ready legs all throughout the year.
Use a Fresh Razor
The most important rule of shaving is to always use a brand new razor; never a dull one. Dull razors will no longer cut the hair, but rather they will pull at the hair, sometimes yanking from the root. This can irritate the follicle, as well as introduce unwanted bacteria into the follicle. Worse yet, if there are tiny fragments of skin near the hair follicle, these can become caught in the blades, much like unknowingly catching a hangnail on a piece of fabric. Obviously, this can be a painful experience.
Plan Your Shaving Ritual
It's best to shave in the evening when possible because your skin is "awake" and most pliable near the end of the day. It is not a good idea to shave in the morning, unless you're able to wait a couple of hours after waking. Taking a hot shower will allow the water and the steam created to weaken the hair, making it much easier to shave.
A definitive method of obtaining a close shave is to ensure that your skin is moisturised. Using a good moisturiser on a daily basis will help keep skin soft, supple and primed for your closest shave. Using a moisturiser, such as avocado, in the ingredients helps replace your skin's own natural oils, which can be lost due to a variety of factors, like chlorinated pools and excessive sweating.
Shaving every day is not recommended if you want to say goodbye to razor burned legs. For most ladies, a couple days' worth of growth is not visible anyway. Shaving on a daily basis will only aggravate any current skin irritation you may have.
Keep Skin Taut
While there are tips for great looking summer legs all year long, there are also specific techniques that will help you maintain healthy looking skin. For instance, regardless of your weight, all skin has a pliability factor. Holding the skin taut as you shave (running your hand up your leg ahead of the razor, keeping skin firm as you go) will minimize a lot of irritation.
Shave in the Right Direction
Experts agree that shaving in the same direction as the hair growth is safest. This is the best technique to avoid skin irritation. If your skin is not prone to irritation, shaving against the grain does give the closest shave; however, if you're attempting to rid your legs of unsightly razor bumps, shaving in the direction of the growth is best practice. Once your legs have been shaven downwards, you can then reapply your shaving moisturiser and shave upwards for an even closer shave.
What to Do if You Develop Razor Burn
Aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, and cold compresses can help your distress should you still, after precaution, get razor burn. Dabbing fresh aloe or apple cider vinegar on the affected areas will soothe the burning sensation and help swelling to subsist. Cold compresses also aid in the discomfort that this condition presents.
Using these tips and techniques will ensure that your legs are ready for summer – and all the other seasons of the year. Try these tips, and place your comments below. If you have a trick that we haven't listed here, let us know!