How to shave your legs properly according to dermatologist from Gillette Venus
Chances are, you've never had to think much about how to shave your legs post-adolescence.
You're handed a bog-standard razor, and proceed to embark on a life marked by razor burn, and the odd close shave.
And, those pesky follicles seem to be the fastest-growing hairs on our body, meaning you'll usually take to them once or twice a week to stay smooth.
How to shave your legs
If you want to get a close shave, it's important to invest in a sharp razor.
If your razor feels rough on your skin while shaving, or appears to pull on the hairs, it's time for a replacement.
Using a dull blade really is a no-no. It can increase the chances of cuts, razor burn, and irritation.
Your skin must be hydrated before you shave
It's more difficult to cut hairs effectively if your skin isn't moisturised beforehand.
This also increases the chances of irritation and razor burn. And if your hairs are dry, this can dull down your razor blade to boot.
Another way to soften your hair follicles is to soak the area you want to shave for three to five minutes prior to taking to them with a razor.
What products should you shave with?
If you're anything like me, you do a hasty job of hair removal by lathering up with shower gel, or some other bathroom staple.
But an expert on the matter, Venus ambassador Dr Anita Sturnham, has condemned this practice. Sturnham told PopSugar that we really shouldn't be using shampoo, shower gel or soap to shave with.
"Shampoos, conditioners, and soaps are not designed for shaving," she said. "Shaving has a naturally exfoliating mechanism of action, so you need to use products that are designed to work in synergy with your razor and improve glide, reduce friction, and the risk of irritation and cuts."
Our household shampoos and shower gels might seem like they'll do. Sure, they smell good and provide enough lather for the razor to move over smoothly. But they're actually clogging the razor and coating the leg hairs to they're trickier to shave closely.
"These formulations will coat the hairs, making them thicker and more difficult to shave," Sturnham continued.
Lathering up with the wrong thing "can also blunt your razor," and clog up the blade.
That means out with the shampoo and shower gel!
Shave against the direction of hair growth
When you're shaving, ensure you use long, steady strokes to avoid cuts and razor burn.
And in order to get that close, smooth shave that we all dream of, it's important to shave against the direction of your hair growth.
So if you're shaving your legs, start at your ankle, and work your way up to your knee. Of course, be careful when it comes to trickier areas, like your ankles and around your knees.
Then, stop and rinse off your razor blade after every stroke to get rid of hair and any residue of shaving gel.
Oh, and as long as your razor is clean and sharp, remember that you don't need to press hard against the skin when you're removing body hair.
The bottom line
Wow, that all sounds pretty lose-lose. So how does one shave their legs correctly, may I ask? Use products formulated for shaving purposes.
Shaving mousse, gels, and foams are plentiful, and it turns out they'll really make all the difference for a clean, close shave that won't be blunting or clogging your razors.
Using shaving cream means you'll probably need to shave less frequently (because you're doing a proper job of it), and you won't find yourself replacing your razors as often either.