If you like your body hair of the nonexistent variety, shaving is a quick and inexpensive way to keep your legs, underarms, and bikini line fuzz-free. But, unlike waxing, that hair grows back relatively quickly, meaning you usually have to shave again in a day or two.
Whipping a razor over skin you legitimately just traumatized can result in razor burn, bleeding, and ingrown hairs. If you don’t want to trade a sprinkling of bikini-line body hair for a painful patch of raw skin and ingrowns, you need to bring your shaving A game.
“The best time to shave is towards the end of your shower — warm water can help hydrate the skin and soften hair so that it easily can be [removed],” said Dr. Zeichner. He stressed the importance of using a shave gel or cream (or hair conditioner, if you’re in a pinch) to further soften the hair and make sure your razor glides over your skin rather than dragging on it.
“Take single strokes in the direction of hair growth and clean the razor every two to three strokes to remove residue that builds up between blades,” he advised.
Equally important as how you shave is what you do afterward. That means you must maintain that healthy skin barrier function by using lightweight lotions post-shaving.
Dr. Zeichner recommended using gentle moisturizers with petrolatum to help seal in that hydration and further protect your extradelicate skin. Try Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion ($9). And if you do manage to give yourself razor burn? Calm down the inflammation with an over-the-counter one percent hydrocortisone ointment and an Advil, he said.