8 Hacks For Getting A Closer & Smoother Shave

I shave five times a week, even in the dead of winter. I like the routine of it, and honestly, I just prefer the way it feels when I’m sitting cross-legged in shorts. That's not to say it's for everyone, though. Some people are constantly looking for new and better ways to get a closer and smoother shave, simply because they hate taking time out of their schedule to do it — and we all know trying to use a razor in a time crunch is bad news. I mean, isn't that why laser hair removal exists in the first place? A closer shave means a less-frequent shave. And while I may not have any qualms against shaving itself, I'm all for others saving time.

Of course, there are people who think women should not be expected to shave — ever — with reasons ranging from, “It’s unnatural,” to “It leaves your skin vulnerable to infection,” to “It’s boring.” I say, “Who cares?” If you’re one of the aforementioned ladies, more power to you. But if you’re a shave-for-yourself kind of girl, like I am, I'm here to help. Thankfully, there’s tons of ways to lessen the inconveniences of hair removal (think bumps, nicks, and fast-growing hair). Here are eight hacks to help you stretch that shave a few extra days.

1. Exfoliate Beforehand, So Dead Skin Won't Clog Your Razor

New Leaf Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge, $15, Amazon

It’s imperative to gently exfoliate before you shave. Dead skin gets caught in your razor, as well as clogs your hair follicles, and that stops the blade from getting the closest shave possible. These bamboo and charcoal sponges are a great option because they gently exfoliate skin, while pulling excess oils and impurities out of your pores using activated charcoal. They’re entirely hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and natural, which means they’re great for sensitive skin. Plus, because of their mid-alkaline levels, they balance the pH of your skin, creating a smooth, clean, and bacteria-free surface to begin your shave.

2. Shave With Oil, Instead of Cream

Bikini Soft Shave Oil, $10, Amazon

The synthetic additives and fragrances in many common shaving creams can cause bumps and rashes that are super irritating. This shaving oil has top ratings because it’s filled with entirely natural ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, avocado oil, and olive oil. It softens the hair for an easier shave, as well as hydrates skin with a smooth, healthy lubricant that helps your razor effortlessly glide along your curves. Reviewers love it because they were left with no bumps, cuts, or razor burn — just an incredibly smooth shave.

3. Keep Your Razor Sharp

Blade Buddy, $16, Amazon

A dull razor not only causes cuts and irritations, but result in less effective shaves, too. This blade sharpener allows you to prime any and all of your razors (even disposable ones) in a quick and easy motion. Simply push the razor forward against the rubber pad, and your blades bend back into shape — so you can get that "new razor" shave without bumps, irritations, or infections. Also, because you’re drastically extending the life of your razors, you’ll likely spending significantly less money with weekly replacements.

4. Consider Epilating, Instead

Keda Cordless Personal Epilator, $18, Amazon

If your hair grows back too quickly after shaving, but waxing sounds too messy, epilation might be your next best option. This cordless epilator is great for anyone who wants to try razor-free hair removal because it’s effective, affordable, and easy to use. It pulls hair out from the root anywhere on the body, and because it’s battery-operated, you can take it anywhere. It also has a light to help you see better, a cleaning brush and a little storage case. Reviewers like it because they can go a week (or more) without shaving, and many find it to be less painful than waxing.

5. Or Try Switching To A Safety Razor

Edwin Jagger Safety Razor, $37, Amazon

Think safety razors are just for dudes? Think again. Safety razors are a great solution for women with sensitive skin. Plus, you'll save money and get a closer shave. Just a couple lessons on technique, and you’ll be a boss at it in no time. This safety razor is double-edged for a super close shave, and it has an elongated handle to reach just about anywhere. It also comes with five extra blades and a classy box, and reviewers (especially ones who broke out from cartridge razors) wondered why they waited so long to switch.

6. Pack A Mini Shaver, So You Can Decide Last-Minute

Styles II Mini Shaver, $29, Amazon

If you’re a shave-only-when-it’s-entirely-necessary kind of groomer, this mini shaver could be an excellent option for you while traveling. After all, who knows if you'll want a shave before dipping into the hotel pool? It’s super tiny and comes with a packable mesh bag, so it fits right into your purse. But don’t let that fool you — it delivers a dry shave that’s just as close as any razor. It’s rechargeable, and can be used anywhere on the body. Plus, the shave cap and cleaning brush ensure that things stay hygienic and sanitary, even if you’re shaving shotgun.

7. Treat Your Bumps And Ingrowns — Don’t Ignore Them

Organic Bump & Ingrown Hair Serum, $18, Amazon

Did you think there were only two options when it came to bumps and ingrown hairs — like, give up shaving until they go away, or try to shave over them? Neither of those methods turn out pretty, and it's time to upgrade: This ingrown hair serum is a great way to get a smooth, close, and rash-free shave, even if you have the most sensitive skin. It’s made with all-natural ingredients (like willow bark, aloe, and citrus essential oil) that hydrate and heal areas that are typically prone to irritation. It even smells pleasant and refreshing! And because a little goes a long way, you’ll be using this to soothe any and all shaving-related irritations. Just wet the area again after shaving, massage into your skin, and let it work its magic.

8. Regularly Disinfect Your Razor

Barbicide Disinfectant, $8, Amazon

For those who are particularly prone to shaving-induced infections, this disinfectant is a favorite amongst razor-users. It kills ringworm, bacteria, and pathogens right on contact. It won’t cause your razor to rust, and it can also be used on brushes and combs. Since it’s a concentrated liquid, you can make up to four gallons of disinfectant solution, meaning you'll get more bang for your buck. Reviewers say that the bumps and infections have greatly decreased since they started keeping a jar of this in their bathroom.

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Images: Fotolia; Amazon (8)