Chances Are, You're Shaving Your Legs Wrong

Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Toothpaste isn't actually an effective method to treat acne, you shouldn't be using 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners, and running your hand through your hair isn't the same as brushing. But we get it, you're short on time and money. If you pick up these time-saving — but in the long run, naughty — habits, they're quite hard to shake.

You may think you're shaving your legs by the book, but if you find yourself constantly nicking your skin, scratching ingrown hairs, and finding patches of hair here and there, your method could use a little work. And since the weather won't be cooling off for at least another month, there's still time to go back to shaving school this year.

Should you choose to shave, your legs shouldn't be bleeding. You shouldn't be getting rashes. No bit of you should be stinging, and every inch of you should feel smooth.

If you're into keeping things natural, we salute you. But if you're more in favor of baring it, we've got you covered with this simple guide to smarter shaving.
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Exfoliate the day before you shave.
Ingrown hairs are hairs that have bent back over and are now trapped under your skin. More importantly, they're unsightly and itchy as hell. Give your legs a gentle exfoliation in the shower using a scrub, like Ren's exfoliating body balm, to get them out. Exfoliation is good for sloughing off dead skin cells and brightening, too — just do it a day before you shave so your skin has a chance to recover.

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Shave at the end of your shower.
By this point, the hairs will be softer after they've been subjected to warm water and the pores will be open, which means you'll enjoy a closer shave.
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Always use a clean razor.
Your roommate's rusty blades won't cut it — razors are hothouses for bacteria. Plus, a blunt blade almost inevitably leads to a patchy shave.
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Use a gel or foam.
Creating a foamy barrier between your skin and the sharp blade just makes sense — and will prevent redness and irritation. Plus, gels and foams mean you can see what spots you've already covered!
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Be gentle.
You need very little pressure on your skin if your razor is new. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race.
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Use an alcohol-free lotion afterwards.
Avoid overly perfumed moisturizers and alcohol-based lotions after you've shaved. Your pores are open and easily exposed, so go for something plain and simple, like Nivea Q10, to avoid irritation.

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Clean and air-dry your razor.
Give your razor a good soak afterwards, and leave it to air-dry — a blade clogged with hairs will mean a poor shave next time. If you have time, get your hands on some isopropyl alcohol, pour a bit into a cup, and leave your razor in it for five minutes to sanitize it.
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