As a former competitive swimmer, shaving was always a big to-do before our end-of-season statewide competitions. The entire team would grow out their leg hair for weeks in preparation for the big day, then shave the night before (along with our arms and virtually every other inch of body hair) so the shave was as close as possible.
"Milliseconds count!" the older girls would tell us, and because we were young, impressionable youths, we'd grow out our hair (and hope no one called us Sasquatch behind our backs) before shaving it all off. But in all honesty, my skin never felt more like a baby (aside from when I was an actual infant). It was weird, but it was (hopefully?) necessary.
Today, smooth, hairless bodies are still seen as a necessity in sports, specifically this year's Olympics. When asked which beauty product they use before their big event(s), many women answered with razors or some other form of hair removal like Nair. Learn more below!
"I shave the morning of a competition, using a Gillette Venus Swirl ($10)," says Douglas. Following a close shave, she uses almond oil and shea butter moisturizer for silky-smooth gams.
"I think shaving [can make you faster]; it at least makes you feel faster in the water," Zaferes says. "Leading up to the race, I rarely shave, so that I can have that sleek fast feeling on race day. My favorite razor is actually the Men's Schick Hydro 5 ($10)."
The morning before a competition, I use Nair ($5)," she laughs. "The smell is strong, but it really works. I often cut myself with a razor, and this way it doesn't leave any marks."
Opening Image: Getty/Emmanuel Dunand
Want more Olympic beauty? Check out more products the U.S. gymnastics team can't live without.