10 Shaving Mistakes You Never Realized You’re Making

Shaving seems simple enough: apply shaving cream to your skin, carefully run a new razor up your leg (or whatever body part you’re making smooth), wash the hair away. Voila: Baby soft skin! Unfortunately, this is one beauty ritual that we’re all known for rushing along. Whether you’re in a huge rush or you just don’t have the patience to be slow and steady, shaving usually ends up more like this: you haphazardly throw your leg against the sink, realize you forgot shaving cream and use bar soap instead, you borrow your brother’s razor to save money, and you try to beat your last fast shaving time. Sure, you’ve just earned five extra minutes, but you’ve also given yourself cuts, ingrown hairs, razor burns, and probably some missed spots (and at that point, a stray hair is the least of your concerns).

The point is, shaving should be done with care. This is your skin we’re talking about! So many of us get adjusted to removing body hair, and we forget to do things correctly. It might not seem like a big deal, but it kind of is after a while. Here are 10 shaving mistakes you never realized you were making that you need to stop doing:

You're Using Cool Water

Shaving with cold water isn't the end of the world, but it also isn't helping you get the closest shave possible. Cool water shrinks pores, which in turn reduces the effectiveness of shaving. On the flip side, warm water softens hair and opens up the follicles, making shaving easier and allowing you to pull the hair out more smoothly.

Source: iStock

You're Shaving When You First Wake Up

This is weird, but some beauty experts swear that shaving at night is better than shaving in the morning. Apparently your legs swell slightly as you sleep, which causes any hair that's starting to peak out to retreat back into the follicles. Shave before bed instead!

Source: iStock

The Razor Isn't Getting Rinsed Enough

As you shave a single swipe up your leg, the razor collects excess shaving cream, hair, and dead skin cells. Ick. Even if you're not super hairy, the build-up happens quickly - and razors are tiny. You should be rinsing the blade after every single swipe for the closest possible shave. Not rinsing enough could also be the reason you have razor burn.

Source: iStock

You're Pressing Too Hard

It might seem like pressing the razor against your skin would give you a closer shave, but it's actually not a good idea. Pressing too hard can lead to bumps, razor burn, irritation, or cuts. Plus, if you feel the need to press that hard, it means you need a new blade. Sharp razor blades require only a gentle touch.

Source: iStock

You're Saving Money On Disposable Razors

Disposable, single-blade razors are super cheap, so buying a package of them over a $14 Venus razor might seem like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where the extra money makes a difference. Single blades will drag against your skin, while four to five blade razors give you a closer, smoother shave. They also work much faster.

Source: iStock

There's No Post-Shave Routine Happening

What do you do after your shave? I'm going to guess that the majority of you throw on pants and walk out the door. Here's what you should be doing: washing your legs off, then rubbing in a soothing body lotion or oil to keep skin smooth and protected. This not only keeps your skin from getting dry, but it also helps prevent irritation, razor burn, and cuts because the lotion protects it.

Source: iStock

You're Not Exfoliating

Speaking of an after-shave routine, you should also have a pre-shave routine. This should involve exfoliating. It might seem like overkill to exfoliate your skin every time you shave, but it's not. Exfoliating is the best way to ensure the closest shave and to prevent cuts and ingrown hairs. Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells that can cause ingrown hairs. Just quickly scrub your legs clean before applying shaving cream.

Source: iStock

You're Not Shaving In The Shower

I know that shaving in the shower is a pain in the butt. You have to figure out how to prop up your leg so that you don't fall, water always washed away the shaving cream, and the bottle always falls on your foot. I hate shaving in the shower, if you couldn't tell. Unfortunately, it's the best way to do it. Waiting about 10 to 15 minutes in a warm shower opens up your hair follicles, making shaving easier, faster, and safer.

Source: iStock

You're Not Using Shaving Cream

Almost everyone has been stuck in a situation where they have to end up using bar soap to shave, or even worse, where they have to dry shave (this is a horrible idea please do not do it). It happens, but please don't use bar soap if you're out of shaving cream. It's not moisturizing enough and, honestly, you might as well shave dry at that point. If you don't have shaving cream, you're better off using hair conditioner or coconut or olive oil. In fact, you can use those all the time if you want!

Source: iStock

You're Not Replacing Your Razors Often Enough

Razors are pricey and I get the feeling of wanting to save money on them. But not replacing the blades isn't doing you any favors. You should be replacing them about every five shaves, which seems a little excessive, but... hey, if you want soft skin without cuts and burns, you need to.

Source: iStock

Which of these shaving mistakes do you make? What did I forget? Let me know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

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