Shaving is the most popular method of hair removal for both sexes. It is inexpensive and does not take long. Unlike some other hair removal methods it is painless unless you cut yourself while doing it. Shaving removes hair at the skin surface so it needs to be done frequently. For many women this translates into daily or at least several times per week. The most common complaints about shaving is the after effects of itching, redness and razor bumps. Nicks and cuts are also common concern. In this article I am going to share shaving tips for women, how to stop the razor burn. Men may find this advice helpful as well.
Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells. This is something you should be doing 2 times per week for your face and body. This will help to prevent ingrown hairs and clogged pores. Your complexion will be smoother and brighter. Skin cells renew themselves at night so first time in the morning is the best time to do this. Over exfoliation can have the opposite effect of irritating your skin so please don’t do this every day.
How to exfoliate your face
- Place a warm, wet washcloth to your face and keep in place for 2 minutes. This will open up your pores.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Do not dry.
- Apply an exfoliating scrub. There are several commercial ones you can purchase but I suggest making your own. It is easy and inexpensive.
- Using light pressure, rub the scrub in a circular motion for 30 seconds. This works best if you use an exfoliating brush or a facial sponge. If you don’t have either one you can use a washcloth or your fingers.
- Rinse with warm water until all the scrub is gone. Follow with a splash of cold water to close your pores.
- Dry your face while patting it gently with a towel. Do not rub.
How to exfoliate your body
- Do this while taking a warm bath or shower to open up your pores.
- Clean your skin with your normal cleanser or body wash.
- Apply an exfoliating scrub to a sponge, loofah, exfoliating gloves or a textured washcloth.
- Start at your feet and massage your skin in circular motions, as you work up your body.
- Rinse off the scrub with warm water.
Do not exfoliate skin is sunburned or has nicks and cuts.
Exfoliation should not be done immediately after shaving, It should always be done before shaving. If you do not shave everyday you can do it on the days in between.
How to prep your skin for shaving
- Do not shave your skin while it is dry. Skin needs to be soft to avoid nicks and irritation. Heat and moisture are the best way to accomplish this. The easiest way to shave your body to do it in a warm bath or shower. I like doing it in the bathtub because it is easier to stretch and bend my legs to reach all areas.
- Another tip is to apply baby oil or olive oil to your skin, then apply shaving cream on top of it. This will moisturize your skin and help your razor to glide smoothly.
- Hair conditioner can be used as a substitute for shaving cream if you run out or simply prefer to use it. Don’t shave with shampoo or soap. They will both dry out your skin.
You can also make your own shaving cream
Homemade Shaving Cream
- 1/3 cup Coconut Oil
- 1/3 cup Shea butter ( I buy mine here)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Add the Shea butter and coconut oil to a small sauce pan and melt at low heat.
- Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in olive oil.
- Place bowl in refrigerator until mixture hardens to a solid texture.
- Using an electric mixer, whip for 3 minutes or until mixture is a light and creamy consistency.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool dark place when not in use.
- Use this the way you would use a commercial shaving cream.
You will have to experiment with different razors to find the perfect razor for you. Here are some general guidelines as well as techniques you can use to avoid nicks, cuts and irritation.
- Use a razor with a pivoting head. It will help you navigate around curves and small areas better.
- Change your razor blade every 3-5 days. A dull blade will give you nicks and cuts.
- Use a light to medium pressure when gliding your razor. If you need to press down hard that means your blade is getting dull.
- Always use short strokes and rinse your blade between strokes to keep hair from clogging your blade.
- Shaving in both directions will give you a smoother closer shave. This will require shaving each spot twice. For the first stroke shave in the direction of the hair growth. For the second stroke shave in the opposite direction. Armpits can be shaved in a diagonal star pattern
- Save and reapply the plastic shield that came with the razor after each use. This will keep debris out of your razor
- Always use clean high quality blades.
Always moisturize with lotion or oil immediately after shaving.
How to get rid of razor burn
If you have overly sensitive skin and still have razor burn, here are some things you can do about it.
Apply a cold compress
- Wrap ice cubes in a towel.
- Place the compress against your rash.
- Hold it there until you get relief.
- You can do this several times per day.
Apply black tea bags
- Soak tea bag in warm water.
- Rub tea bag over affected area.
- Rinse with warm water.
- You can repeat this 2 times per day
Use Baking Soda
- Add 1 tablespoon of water to 1 cup of water. Mix well.
- Soak a cotton ball in mixture and apply to affected area for 10 minutes.
- Rinse affected area with cold water.
- Repeat 2-3 times per day.
Apply Aloe Vera to the affected area 2-3 times per day.
Apply a thin layer of coconut oil 2-4 times per day.
Use tea tree oil
- Add 5 drops of tea tree oil to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Apply to affected skin.
- Leave on for 1o-15 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water .
- Repeat 2 times per day.
Razor burn is most commonly caused by dull razors, improper shaving techniques and a lack of preparation and after care. There are several ways to prevent and get rid of razor burn to make shaving a more pleasant experience.
Do you have any shaving tips or a favorite product ?
Let me know in the comments below.