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

Updated 06/20/18
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Razor burn is not a seasonal occurrence. Regardless of whether you're going to the beach 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?

If you plan on giving up shaving anytime soon (it's your choice, after all), read through dermatologist Rita Linkner's tips on how to rid yourselves of the pesky little problem that is razor burn. "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 Linkner's six-step shaving process that wards off bumps, cuts, and ingrown hairs, keep on scrolling.

1. Use a Single-Blade Razor

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Put down the multi-blade razor! 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

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

3. Shave With the Grain

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

4. Use a Warm Compress

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Dry shaving is a surefire 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

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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

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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.

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