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How To

How To Get a Smooth Shave Every Time

by Neutrogena
May 31, 2024

The razor blade can be a friend or foe, with the ability to leave behind soft, sleek skin — or bumps, stubble and razor burn. Here's how to get a smooth shave every time.

How To Get a Smooth Shave

If you consider irritated, itchy legs to be a normal part of your shaving routine, then try these seven tips to make hair removal a smoother experience for you and your skin alike.

1. Never Shave Dry

Always prep your skin with a gel-style wash, lotion or oil preshave. Dry shaving can result in tiny cuts and tears on your skin, exacerbating any irritated or burning feelings. An added bonus of shaving away unwanted hair is the exfoliation it provides your skin, but softening the skin first is key to avoiding irritation.

2. Exfoliate First

Although shaving is also exfoliating in and of itself, sloughing away dead skin cells before you shave keeps your razor from ending up full of flaky skin, which lets you get a closer shave.

3. Use Warm — Not Hot — Water

A hot shower may feel great, but hot water softens hair and makes it lay down flat. Lukewarm water, on the other hand, gets your hair to stand up straight, ensuring you cut away the entire hair.

4. Don't Go Against the Grain

Shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth will cause ingrown hairs and bumps. When shaving your legs, for instance, start by shaving in the direction your hair grows. This shortens your hair and softens your skin. If you still need a closer shave, you can then shave in an upward motion, though this may not work for you if you have sensitive skin.

5. Close Your Pores

After shaving, rinse your skin with warm water. Then, follow it up with cool water to tighten the pores that were just disturbed by the razor's edge.

6. Provide UV Protection

When going out in the sun after shaving, be sure to apply sun protection. Your skin is more sensitive to ultraviolet rays right after a fresh shave.

7. Use a Fresh Razor

Wondering how often to replace your razor? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends changing your blade after every five to seven shaves. In between shaves, be sure to keep it clean and dry to avoid rusting.

Best Products To Use for a Smooth Shave

It's important to use the right products when shaving — not only for a close shave but to help minimize irritation and discomfort. The AAD recommends using shaving cream made for your skin type; For instance, if you have oily skin, a product with salicylic or glycolic acids can help decrease the appearance of clogged pores or acne. Or, if you have sensitive skin, opt for a cream that is fragrance free and formulated with mild ingredients.

Which Razor Should You Choose?

You may have several shaving products, but your choice of razor anchors the rest of your arsenal. The art of shaving has gone through many different eras, and a classic safety razor can get the job done as well as more modern options as long as you use the right technique. Today, though, disposable and cartridge options are typically the most common choice:

  • Gilette Venus Original. Three blades and a lubricated glider pad offer a comfortable, close shave.
  • Billie. A five-blades on a pivoting head means this razor can hug curves — plus, it's cute.
  • Gillette Venus Swirl. The razor head moves in multiple directions for a closer shave over bends such as ankles and knees.

Must-Have Skincare Products

Shaving gels and oil help make sure that your shave is smooth, your skin is protected and you feel confident showing off the results of your shaving session.

The Neutrogena® Rainbath® Refreshing Shower and Bath Gel is a top seller for a reason. This gel makes a perfect shave gel, leaving skin feeling amazingly soft. It cleanses away bacteria as well to make sure your skin feels balanced and conditioned.

A creamy shower gel such as the Neutrogena® Rainbath® Replenishing Shower and Bath Gel works great for shaving, especially if you have sensitive skin. It's rich and thick enough to nourish skin as you shave, with the added bonus of awakening your senses with a tropical aroma.

For those with dry skin, the Neutrogena® Body Oil, Light Sesame Formula For Dry Skin can give your skin a dose of hydration, leaving you feeling nourished and pampered.

FAQ for a Smooth Shave

What causes razor bumps?

Bumps and irritation can occur when you don't prep your skin and shave properly. Ingrown hairs form when shorter hairs curve, becoming trapped, and grow back into the skin.

Is it good for my skin to shave every day?

Since shaving not only gets rid of hair but also exfoliates the skin, shaving every day may not be the best idea. A good rule of thumb is to exfoliate just a couple of times a week.

Is it best to shave wet or dry skin?

Dry shaving can result in bumps, itchiness and irritation. Always shave when skin is wet and lubricated.

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Beauty begins with healthy skin, so we're bringing you skin science and how-to guides to help you achieve your best skin ever.

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