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The Top 6 Shaving Tips for Softer, Smoother Skin

A pink razor; a black-handled shaving brush; a razor in a razor holder above a sink

Warmer weather means more shaving for most ladies, but are you already tired of dry, irritated, bumpy skin afterward? With just a few simple tips and tools, you can save your skin and improve your bikini or swimsuit look.

Shaving is one of those things most of us just try to get out of the way with as little fuss as possible. Unfortunately, a rushed approach can really cost your skin. However, this doesn’t mean you have to adopt an elaborate routine or buy a ton of expensive products. This list of easy-to-follow advice will help you get a close, smooth shave every time

Avoid Dry Shaving and Exfoliate

A woman washing her leg with a sponge in the shower.
Di Studio/Shutterstock.com

It’s tempting to just quickly run your razor over your skin using just the water in the shower, but don’t it! This is a surefire way to irritate your skin, and you won’t even get a close shave out of it.

Also, it’s a good idea to make shaving the last step of your shower routine. By that point, the warm water will have softened and relaxed your skin, making it much easier for you to shave closely and smoothly.

If you want extra-soft skin (yes, please!), make exfoliation a regular part of your skin and body care routine. When you exfoliate before you shave, it removes the dead skin cells at the surface. This way, you can get a smoother, closer shave, rather than a bumpy one with cuts and nicks.

It’s also a good idea to avoid the grittier exfoliating scrubs because those formulas combined with running a razor over your skin could cause irritation.

Instead, reach for a gentler product, like CeraVe’s SA Body Wash. It contains salicylic acid, which is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that gently exfoliates your skin without causing irritation.

Use a Razor with Multiple Blades

Close-up of a multi-blade pink razor; two women wearing swimsuits

A basic, disposable razor typically only has one blade, which means it’s harder to get to those tricky spots. They also don’t follow the contours of your skin. A better blade means you can get a closer shave with less pressure, which leaves you with softer skin and fewer nicks.

For the best results, look for a razor that has multiple blades and an ergonomic, contoured design. These features make it easier for you to shave and are also better for your skin. Bonus points for any razor with a removable head because then you don’t have to toss out the whole thing each time!

One option that offers all of this and more is the Billie Razor Starter Kit. The razor has a five-blade head for optimal shaving, with a “cushion” of shave soap surrounding the blades for extra-smooth gliding and gentleness on the skin.

The kit comes with the Magic Holder, a replacement head, and two blade replacement cartridges. The handle features a nonslip, secure grip.

Use Shaving Cream, Not Soap

A woman shaving her leg with Aveeno Shaving Gel.

Using your regular soap or body wash when you shave is fine if you’ve run out or are cutting costs. However, the properties in soap that strip away impurities can also dry out and irritate your skin.

As you might have guessed, that’s exactly what you don’t want when running a blade over your skin! If you don’t have any shaving cream, a mild face cleanser, or even hair conditioner will work.

You don’t have to break the bank on a fancy product just for shaving. If you don’t care for shaving cream, something simple and affordable, like Aveeno’s Therapeutic Shave Gel with Oat and Vitamin E, will work just fine.

Both oats and vitamin E are super hydrating to keep your skin soft and smooth for gentle, easy gliding. It’s also fragrance-free and ideal for sensitive skin.

Lather with a Brush

A shaving brush with a black handle; a white tub of semi-soft shaving soap

You’d be surprised what a difference it can make if you lather pre-shave with a brush, rather than your hands or a washcloth. Using a wet brush with your favorite shaving cream or gel provides a much better lather for the razor to glide through.

Plus, it also gently softens your skin and helps lift the hairs on your skin, making it easier for the razor to catch and remove them smoothly. A brush also introduces extra moisture into the lather, reducing the likelihood of post-shave irritation.

If you’ve never used a brush before, you don’t have to invest in a top-of-the-line sable model right away. Start out with a quality, far more affordable (under $10 at this writing) boar brush, like the Omega Pure Bristle.

Not only will you get a shaving brush that’s easy to grip, it effortlessly works up a lather with the slightly stiff bristles.

If you shave in the shower, it can be a real hassle to use a shaving soap that has to be lathered in a bowl. Instead, try a semi-soft soap that comes in a bowl, like Proraso. All you have to do is whip the wet brush around in the bowl, and then lather it right on your skin.

Rinse with Cold Water

A woman rinsing her legs in the shower.
ANAHIT GEVORGYAN/Shutterstock.com

Yes, the temperature of the water you rinse with can also make a difference to your skin. Using warm water early on during your shower or bath softens your skin and hair, making it easier to shave.

However, when it’s time to rinse after shaving, cooler water is the way to go. This is because cool or cold water helps close your pores, which also helps prevent any skin irritation later.

Install a Holder for Your Razor

A razor holder next to a sink.

You might be used to just setting your razor down on a shelf in your shower, but this could actually be damaging your skin. When the blades can’t completely dry, rust can form and make them rough which can not only irritate your skin, but make cutting yourself more likely.

To avoid this, install a razor holder somewhere that will allow the blades to completely dry all the way around.

Some razors, like the Billie Set we mentioned previously, come with their own holders. You can also snag a basic holder, like this set of two from Luckyiren.

Made of rust-resistant stainless steel, these are sturdy and easy to install with the strong adhesive on the back. The two-prong “scoop” design will also keep your razors steady and allow water to drip off and evaporate, so it won’t cause rust or dull the blades.

It’s important (and easy) to take care of your skin when you shave. Doing so can also help you avoid redness, irritation, and those annoying post-shave bumps. As a final step, be sure to lock in that hydration with a good moisturizing lotion to keep your freshly shaved skin looking plump, healthy, and smooth.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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