I remember the first time I tried shaving my legs when I was still a tad too young to really understand the proper technique.
The experience can be summed up in two words: razor burn.
Of course, I’m not immune to making mistakes now that I’m older and have had more practice with the task. I look like my legs got in a fight with a rose bush more times than I’d care to admit when summer rolls back around every year.
If you prefer to go without shaving your legs altogether, that’s great too! But for those who do tackle the follicles on a regular basis, the unfortunate errors listed below are an all too common occurrence.
Take a look to see what you might be doing wrong when it comes to getting your legs smooth and hair-free — and maybe even learn a few tricks for making the whole process much easier.
And don’t forget to SHARE the common shaving mistakes with your friends!
Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Betsssssy
1. Exfoliating Directly Beforehand
Regularly exfoliating a few days before you decide to shave your legs is a good way to get rid of dead skin cells, but doing so right before you bust out your razor can lead to extra irritation with the back-to-back abrasive actions.
You should also wait before scrubbing your legs directly after shaving since your pores will be more open and potentially nursing a few wounds from nicking yourself.
2. Using Long Strokes
If you find yourself constantly having to go over the same spot again and again, it’s likely because your razor got clogged with hair and shaving cream from the long patch you’ve been attempting to cover rather than focusing on small sections.
3. Applying Lotions That Contain Alcohol
Alcohol causes your skin to dry out, which negates the whole effect lotion is supposed to be giving your more sensitive legs, so be sure to read the ingredients carefully before slathering up post-shave.
Shea butter or coconut oil are two great options for keeping your legs smooth and hydrated after shaving.
4. Sharing Razors With Roommates Or Family Members
Dr. Cynthia Bailey explains on her website how sharing razors can spread bacteria and fungi, even without blood present from nicking yourself with the blades.
She lists possible ailments such as staph infection and warts. In cases with blood, there’s a chance for contracting hepatitis B and C.
5. Using An Old Razor
It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re not paying close enough attention to how long you’ve been using the same blades, but as they get duller, they have a higher potential for causing razor burn.
6. Skipping The Shower
Obviously there are occasions where you have to squeeze in a shaving session without showering, but shaving during a shower (and waiting until the tail end of your shower) will give your legs a chance to absorb moisture and soften the follicles, making the job much easier and kinder on your skin.
7. Using Soap Instead Of Shaving Cream
I know I’ve been guilty of this when I’m in a pinch, but most regular soaps will also dry out your skin and possibly cause irritation while you shave.
It can also wear out your razor blades and cost you money on replacements, according to dermatologist Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos.
8. Going Swimming Right After
Your pores are open and can react badly to the chlorine in public pools, so it’s best to wait a day or two. The same goes if you’re planning a trip to the beach, especially because of the abrasive sand.
9. Rushing Through The Job
I know this one seems a little obvious, but I also know how guilty me and my friends have all been of trying to quickly rid our legs of hair, only to end up with unsightly bandages covering up our nicks. Of course, this pretty much defeats the purpose of shaving to make our legs look nice, so be sure to take your time to get it done right!
10. Forgetting Sunscreen Afterward
After hiding your legs during the winter months, it makes sense that you’ll want to lay out in the sun to give them a nice tan. However, keep in mind that they’ll be extra sensitive following a shave. You’re more likely to end up with a bright red sunburn if you skip out on the sunscreen!
Are you guilty of any of these common shaving mistakes? Be sure to SHARE the helpful tips with your friends and family!