The art of shaving can be a relaxing ritual or an irritating one, depending on your grooming practices. Whether you regularly shave your legs, arms or bikini line, the right shaving tools can minimize your lingering razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Spoiler: If you're somebody who skimps on shaving cream and uses bar soap instead, it may be time to adjust your technique.
Shop TODAY asked experts to share their expertise and recommendations for a smoother, cleaner shave from your head right down to your toes.
How to shave correctly
According to board-certified dermatologist Emily de Golian, MD, the best time to shave is after a warm shower because your skin will be exfoliated and free of dead skin cells. She also recommended regularly exfoliating your skin with a moisturizer "that contains lactic acid, urea or salicylic acid," as these ingredients prevent ingrown hairs.
To prep, you should always use a shaving cream, mousse or gel to help "minimize tugging and nicking [since] this also helps visualize which areas have already been shaved to avoid double passes," advised de Golian. Since you're shaving the outermost layers of skin when you're using a razor, a shaving cream will also aid in avoiding razor bumps.
"If you don't use a good product with emollients and occlusives to protect and moisturize the skin, you can end up with abrasions and irritation," said board-certified dermatologist Hadley C. King, MD.
As a general rule, you'll want to shave in the direction of your hair growth with slow passes as this "will minimize ingrown hairs and irritation, and the razor should be rinsed after each pass," shared de Golian. Another thing to keep in mind, according to de Golian, is to avoid shaving areas with ingrown hairs and folliculitis. "Shaving too soon can worsen inflammation and increase the risk of [cuts]. Careful shaving may be resumed once clear."
How often should I change my razor?
The amount you shave depends on how fast your hair grows and personal preference. But when it comes to switching up your blade, de Golian recommends changing your razor after five to seven shaving sessions — depending on how thick and dense your hair is — to prevent irritation.
In terms of the type of razor you should utilize, King recommends looking for one with multiple blades. "Look for a razor with multiple blades to disperse the pressure, and look for a pivoting head that will adjust to all of your body's curves. [Also,] look for soothing strips to help protect the skin, and look for an ergonomic handle that fits your hand," she added.
Which ingredients should I look for in shaving products?
According to de Golian, shaving creams with antibacterial ingredients like "benzoyl peroxide can help minimize and treat folliculitis and ingrown hairs." And while skin care and shaving can be tricky if you have sensitive skin or are allergic to certain ingredients, she suggests looking for "a fragrance-free shaving formula if you have sensitive skin, since fragrance additives are common skin allergens." You can also trade scented products for other hydrating ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and hydrocortisone.
Best shaving products, according to experts and shoppers
eos Shea Better Shave Cream
If you have sensitive skin, this fragrance-free shaving cream from eos will feel like a treat thanks to its mix of colloidal oatmeal and shea butter. Along with its moisturizing effect, this hydrating cream is super thick and will leave your skin feeling extra soft for a long span of time.
Flamingo Women's 5 Blade Razor
The multi-blade razor features five blades that offer a smooth shave, a flexible hinge and a weighted handle for a better gripping. What makes this razor glide easily on the skin is the added strip with aloe and shea butter.
Aveeno Positively Smooth Moisturizing Shave Gel with Aloe
Avoid razor bumps with this moisturizing formula from Aveeno. The shaving gel contains aloe vera, soy and vitamin E to help condition the skin while reducing coarse hair growth. "My husband and I have always used a foam shaving cream but now we're convinced gel is the way to go! We're making the switch, permanently, thanks to Aveeno," added one buyer who rated it five stars.
Eucerin Roughness Relief Body Lotion
Use this Eucerin lotion as a post-shave treatment to keep your skin hydrated and smooth. This one is favored by dermatologists for its mix of ceramides and urea to prevent dryness.
Flamingo Foaming Shave Gel
This top-rated shaving gel provides a creamy, pillowy texture for a smoother, more comfortable shave. "I love how thick it is! [There's a] definite reduction in the number of razor bumps compared to the last shave cream I used," said one verified shopper who gave it a glowing review.
Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash
Buff away dry skin with Dove's gentle cleanser containing sea minerals and natural nutrients. Customers rave about how moisturizing the body wash is without feeling too heavy, with one 60+ reviewer saying, "Since I've been using it, I've not really had to use lotion on arms and legs like with other products."
Schaf Shave Cream
King recommends this shave cream for its blend of "coconut oil, aloe and hyaluronic acid [that] soften the hair and provide optimum slip for a comfortable shave."
Venus Platinum Extra Smooth Women's Metal Handle Razor
For those looking to pivot to using a new razor, this one from Venus has an ergonomic design for easy use. The razor comes with a rounded head that will reach uncommon areas and five blades for simpler passes. "This Venus razor is super high quality and I don't need to keep shaving the same spot several times to get a clean shave. Very versatile!" said one fan.
Fur Moisturizing Shave Cream
Have unruly pubic hair? This shaving cream will leave the area feeling super soft. The creamy consistency feels hydrating to the touch (the aloe vera and olive oil could be to thank!), so it should work wonders if you have ingrown hairs.
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