Most respondents to my beauty poll said that shaving their legs is the top beauty ritual they would love to give up and never have to do again! I researched some shaving tips to make this chore a bit easier (and less painful). Julyne Derrick offers these tips on About.com:Beauty:
1. The trick to shaving is to wet your skin and let it soften from the heat and moisture. You don’t want to shave dry skin. Shaving is a natural exfoliator and you’ll clog up the razor with dead skin while putting yourself at risk for nicks.
2. There’s no need to waste your money on shaving creams formulated especially for women. They are virtually the same as the creams sold for men. (Now if you can just find a scent you can live with).
3. You are going to have to experiment with razors until you find the perfect one for you. Ask your friends for recommendations and look for a razor with lubricated strips, pivoting heads and spring-mouonted multiple blades. I’ve sampled several types and varieties and was amazed at how different each feels.
4. Be sure to change razors or cartridges on a regular basis, a dull blade can lead to nicks. Also, it’s best not to borrow your guy’s razor. His hair is coarser and will dull a blade. (Plus, don’t men typically hate it when women borrow razors?)
5. Be sure to exfoliate your skin before shaving. It gets rid of all the dead skin cells that could clog up your razor, preventing a close shave.
6. Since your leg hairs grow down, you’ll want to start at your ankles and shave up. For your underarms, you’ll need to shave in every direction since the hair there grows every which way.
7. When finished, apply oil or moisturizer. The skin on your legs has few oil glands and has a tendency for dryness.
8. Ingrown hairs are caused when the hairs curl back under the skin. Avoid ingrowns by exfoliating daily and using a glycolic acid body lotion.
9. If you have a chronic case of ingrown hairs, try Tend Skin, an over-the-counter lotion for ingrown hairs, applying it in the morning and at night. The bumps should disappear within a couple days.
10. Consider opting for waxing, at least on your legs. You’ll find that if you have coarser hair, it won’t grow back as fast.
I won’t be opting for #10 anytime soon, as hot wax poured on my body and then ripped off along with hair sounds like Medieval torture, not a beauty ritual. I have personally found that men’s razors work better than the pink flowery women’s razors, and that hair conditioner makes a great shaving cream.
By the way…did you know that the shaving and hair removal market is a $1.8 billion industry, with an 8% growth since 2002-07 (source: reuters.com)?