12 Things You Aren’t Doing When You Shave But Should Be

By Emily Estep

Whether you're in a rush, can't be bothered, or are simply too lazy, there are probably things you aren't doing when you shave that would make a huge difference in your results — like ridding yourself of razor burn, keeping unwanted hair at bay for much longer, and reducing the amount of time you spend shaving in the first place.

With the proper precautions, a nice, sharp razor, and a steady hand, it's usually pretty easy to shave thoroughly without nicking the skin. But then, a few days later, you begin to feel the dreaded, telltale itch of razor burn. So what are you doing wrong?

Personally, I know I messed up when I have to deal with the hell that is ingrown hairs — they can be a nightmare anywhere on the body, but perhaps most annoying in the bikini region. So for me, anything that can reduce irritation from shaving is a real lifesaver for me.

This list of steps will let you know what steps you've been missing when shaving your legs, underarms, face, or anywhere you choose to do so. If you're looking to step up your shaving game, here's what you can do to make the experience a better one.

1. Exfoliating Thoroughly With A Dry Brush


C.S.M. Dry/Wet Body Brush, $18, Amazon

Exfoliating before shaving is essential, as getting rid of dead skin will make for a much cleaner shave and will help your razor last longer, too. This dry/wet body brush can be used in the shower or while you're still dry, with natural bristles that exfoliate gently without irritating the skin. Afterwards, your skin will be prepped for a close, thorough shave — with no dry skin to interfere with the process

2. Applying An Oil Beforehand To Reduce Ingrown Hairs


Fur Ingrown Hair Concentrate, $32, Amazon

Using a pre-shave oil can be a game changer when it comes to shaving, as the the oil softens up hair — making them much easier to remove without snagging the skin or pulling on the hair follicle. This pre-shave oil concentrate was designed specifically to prevent ingrown hairs, on the face or anywhere else, but works best on sensitive areas. Plus, it's fragrance free and is not tested on animals.

3. Shaving When Your Skin Is Hydrated And Nourished


IAdora Honey Milk Bath, $35, Amazon

Everyone's made the mistake of shaving as soon as they get in the shower, or before their skin is wet at all — leading to gnarly razor burn, ingrown hairs, and overall irritation. One easy way to avoid this is to let your skin get nice and soft before shaving, particularly with this creamy milk bath soak in a nice bath. It's made with honey, oatmeal, and coconut — all natural ingredients that will prep your skin and keep it soft.

4. Trimming Longer Hairs Before You Use A Razor


Panasonic ER224S Wet/Dry Hair Electric Trimmer, $29, Amazon

If you shave hair that's growing longer than usual — most likely your pubic hair — you're setting yourself up for irritation and possibly some cuts. Instead, use this electric trimmer to trim down hairs to a much more manageable length, perhaps a centimeter or so, and you'll find that shaving the remaining hair is much easier and leads to less razor burn. This trimmer can be used on dry hair or wet hair and is even waterproof — perfect to take in the shower.

5. Keeping Your Razor Blade As Sharp As Possible


Razorpit Razor Blade Sharpener, $18, Amazon

Using a fresh, sharp razor is vital to getting a close shave that lasts — and using a dull one will cause a lot of irritation. This razor blade sharpener has won awards for its ability to keep blades sharp by removing the build-up of skin cells and shaving product that accumulates on blades overtime. Build-up may be invisible to the naked eye, but this razor blade sharpener doesn't miss a thing.

6. Using A Special Razor For Your Facial Hair


FT Shiseido Facial Razor, $7 (3 Pack), Amazon

The skin on your legs, the skin around your bikini line, and the skin on your face are different, and they deserve different razors that meet their specific needs. These facial razors are ideal for the gentle skin around you lips, above your eyebrows, and on your cheeks — or hey, whatever area of your face you'd like to shave. They're sharp but precise, allowing you to dictate exactly where you'd like to get rid of your unwanted hair. And bonus: these are great exfoliators, too.

7. Using An Electric Razor On Your Bikini Line


Panasonic Electric Shaver, $18, Amazon

The bikini area is an especially sensitive area, and you shouldn't really apply the same amount of pressure on that area as you do on your legs. If that's a weak spot of yours, try an electric shaver — it still gets super close to the skin, but it's a lot gentler. Plus, this shaver has three independently floating heads, designed to glide easily along difficult areas without nicking the skin.

8. Using A Thick Shave Cream Instead Of A Light Foam


Coochy Rash-Free Shaving Cream, $23 (3 Pack), Amazon

While it may tempting to skimp on the shaving gel every now and then (who hasn't used conditioner as a substitute?), using a thick shaving cream softens hairs and allows your razor to cut them smoothly. This way, they'll tug less at the pores, which in turn creates less razor burn. This rash-free shaving cream is cited as a "simply the best shaving cream out there" by an Amazon reviewer, and it's fragrance free, too.

9. Shaving Safely On The Edge Of A Shower Step


Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Foot Rest, $10, Amazon

Sure, on a good day, you can contort your body into whatever shape necessary to get to those hard-to-reach places you want to shave. But why struggle? With this shower step that suctions securely in place, you can prop up a leg for easy access, making it way more simple and safe to shave your legs and bikini area. It's also awesome for applying self-tanner or other products to your legs without have to bend awkwardly.

10. Moisturizing Immediately After You Shave


Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil, $25, Amazon

When you shave, you remove the very fine, top layer of skin — which means your skin is going to be crying out for some moisture, and if you don't listen, you're going to have some irritated, cranky skin to deal with. This all-over miracle oil from Elizabeth Arden is ideal for post-shave application, infused with tsubaki oil, which contains deeply moisturizing omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.

11. Using A Finely Bristled Brush Afterwards To Prevent Bumps


MEILI Fine Bristle Brush, $12, Amazon

After you've shaved and noticed some razor bumps, the last thing you should do is just wait and let it possibly get worse. The majority of razor bumps are simply ingrown hairs, stuck just under the skin. With this fine bristle brush that's safe for anywhere on the body, you can exfoliate areas you've recently shaved, freeing ingrown hairs without irritating the area even more. Then, they'll be able to heal on their own instead of blossoming into an eventual disaster.

12. Treating The Razor Burn You Do Have


Tend Skin Care Solution, $15, Amazon

Finally, don't let any razor burn or irritation you have fester and become worse, forcing yourself to suffer. This skin care solution from Tend Skin promises to tackle ingrown hairs in 48 hours, with just a small amount of product. Seriously, a little bit goes a long way with this solution, so it's a good idea to patch test ahead of time and get a feel for how little you will need to put pesky razor bumps to rest.

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