How to Shave Your Legs with Less Irritation and Better Results

You were probably initiated into the female ritual of leg shaving by your mom, your sister or your best friend, or perhaps just by trial and error. Do you still shave using the same techniques and supplies as you did back in the day? Take a look at these tips to see if you can get a smoother, less irritating, and longer lasting shave!

shave legs with less irritation

1. Timing is important

Do you shave your legs during a morning shower? Do you do it first when you get in the shower or bath? Consider changing up your routine. Put off shaving until last so your legs get to soak in the warm water

This opens the pores and softens the hair. Also, shaving your legs at night gives you smoother skin in the morning. Your skin swells slightly overnight, leaving the cut edges of your leg hairs inside the follicle rather than right at the surface.

2. Prep your skin first

Before shaving, use a mild skin exfoliant to buff off the surface layer of dead skin. The skin underneath is softer and less dry, which will make your legs look and feel silkier when you finish. Removing this top layer also helps cut down on ingrown hairs.

3. Use the right tools

Ditch the cheap single-blade razors, even for one-time use. Opt for razors with multiple blades, and flexible heads that move over curves more easily (because razor nicks on the knee are no fun!). Some women swear by men's razors as being better and cheaper, but Good Housekeeping tests showed the same results from multi-blade men's razors and women's razors. So get what's on sale! 

And be sure to keep your razor sharp -- ten times should be the maximum number of uses before reaching for a new one, less if you use the same razor to shave elsewhere on the body as well as the legs.

4. Skip the soap

Don't use bar soap, or worse, just plain water when shaving. It's hard on your skin and hard on your razor. Soap causes the razor to become dull faster, and shaving without enough lubrication adds to the possibility of razor burn and ingrown hairs. What to use instead? Some swear by the shaving creams made for women, but look for ones that don't have a lot of alcohol or scents that can dry out or irritate your skin. Other possibilities include baby oil or hair conditioner. Try different approaches to find the best one for you.

5. Shave both directions

You were probably told to only shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it. If you shave against the grain, it cuts the hair at an angle that makes it feel more prickly when it grows back, and increases the chance of in-growns. Instead, do one pass downward, with the grain, then take a second pass upwards. This gives your leg hair tapered ends that feel thinner and finer as it grows back.

6. Take time for TLC after shaving

After you finish your shower or bath, make sure to generously moisturize your legs. This will make your legs feel even softer than the shave alone, and your pores will still be open from the warm water, so it will be more deeply absorbed into the skin. 

MOR Essentials Body Butter
MOR Essentials Body Butter

Even if you prefer having your legs waxed or using a chemical hair remover, you probably still shave once in a while for "touch-ups". And over half of women who remove their leg hair use shaving exclusively. So take the time to do it right, and enjoy the results more!

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