Heads-Up: You've Been Shaving Your Legs All Wrong

Katharine McEntee

Razor burn is not a seasonal occurrence. Regardless of whether you are frolicking around in a maillot or not, little nicks, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs are painful year-round, as is the frustration that comes with them. So, how exactly can we prevent razor burn?

Since we don’t plan on giving up shaving anytime soon, although we commend those who have, we reached out to dermatologist Dr. Rita Linkner for some tips on how to rid ourselves of the pesky little problem that is razor burn. To which she replied, “In terms of proper shaving technique for those prone to razor burn, I have six 'musts' that I impart to every patient, and I have been told that even employing just a few of these tips goes a long way.” For Dr. Linkner’s six-step shaving process that wards off bumps, cuts, and ingrown hairs, keep on reading.

1. Use A Single-Blade Razor

Oui Shave Samantha Chrome Shave Set ($65)

Put down the multi-blade razor! Dr. Linkner prefers a single-blade razor as the "three- to four-blade razors are super irritating to the skin, especially if you run on the sensitive end of the spectrum."

2. Choose The Right Shaving Cream

Grown Alchemist Shaving Gel Sandalwood and Sage ($49)

When it comes to choosing a shaving gel or cream, Dr. Linkner recommends a "simple formulation," which will likely give a closer shave. 

3. Shave With The Grain

PHOTO:

Damsel in Dior

We might be tempted to shave away from the grain for a closer shave, but if you are looking to prevent irritation, Dr. Linkner says to "shave with the grain of the hair."

4. Use A Warm Compress

PHOTO:

Damsel In Dior

Dry shaving is a sure-fire bet for skin irritation. Instead of rushing to shave, take some time and either let your skin soak up water in the shower or use "a warm compress with a damp towel both before and after [shaving]." By prepping the skin with moisture, it "keeps the pores dilated after the hairs have been affected to prevent extra irritation."

 

5. Moisturize

Cetaphil Dry Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Cream ($11)

An essential step of any shaving routine is following up with an intense moisturizing cream. Dr. Linkner recommends staying away from products with alcohols and acids as they "will do you more harm than good." Her moisturizer of choice is Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, as she says it "replenishes moisture stripped away during a shave."

6. If All Else Fails, Laser Treatment

PHOTO:

The File

If you have persistent razor burn, Dr. Linkner suggests talking to a dermatologist about using a retinol cream, which "unclogs pores while also brightening blemishes." If your ingrown hairs and scarring don't subside, Dr. Linkner says "a discussion about laser hair removal is a must." For those nervous about the treatment, Dr. Linkner ensures us that only "a couple of laser treatments are needed to provide that relief" from ingrown hairs.

Want more shaving tips? Check out these six shaving habits you need to drop immediately.

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