How To Get The Smoothest Legs, Ever

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Winter is not exactly beauty's best friend. One of the only beauty bonuses courtesy of chilly weather: less-frequent shaving, for those of us who choose to do so at all. We've stowed away our skirts and shorts in favor of pants and leggings, so most days, a “What’s the point?” attitude makes total sense.
Another obstacle in the mix: It feels like hair grows faster (and longer). Although there’s no conclusive scientific evidence to explain this phenomenon, hormonal changes due to seasonal affective disorder or fluctuations in melatonin levels may be to blame. The most likely reason: “Body hair can feel longer during winter simply because of being cold and having goose bumps,” says Jennifer Chwalek, MD, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City.
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What does this all mean for your razor? That shave you occasionally indulge in better be good. Follow these simple steps for before, during, and after shaving for some seriously smooth gams.
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Photo: Via Lush.
Before: Take your shower or bath before shaving.
Soaking in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes will aid your razor's glide. “The warm humidity increases skin elasticity and softens hair,” says Linda Palladino, a senior brand manager at BIC. This way, when you do shave, it’ll be closer and much less likely to cause irritation and razor bumps. Lather your locks or slap on a face mask while you wait — your silky-smooth skin will thank you.

Lush Mask of Magnaminty, $24.95, available at Lush.
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Photo: Via Michael Todd.
While you’re in there, exfoliate.
Exfoliating gets rid of any junk sitting on top of skin — like dirt, oil, and dead skin — that could keep your razor from doing its thing. The most efficient tool for this is a vibrating body brush. This one includes a set of body bristles and is an antimicrobial, so it won’t get gunked up by bacteria as quickly.

Michael Todd Soniclear, $150, available at Michael Todd.
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Photo: Via BIC.
During: Use a sharp blade.
“The duller the blade, the more irritated your skin will become,” says Palladino. And, the pricklier your legs will be post-shower. Replace it every three to four shaves for best results. Take BIC’s Soleil Bella for a test run: It has four blades and a pivoting head to glide over the body’s contours.

BIC Soleil Bella Disposable Shaver, $5.99, available at Ulta.
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Photo: VIa Brooklyn Grooming.
An ultra-moisturizing shave soap helps, too.
We’ve practically pounded it into your head at this point: Soft hair equals a solid shave. However, you’re gonna need a little more than water. Hit up a super hydrating shaving soap, such as Brooklyn Grooming’s superstar bar. Its insanely dense lather is only made smoother by ingredients such as hand-harvested clay, shea butter, and nourishing oils. Plus, this baby lasts forever.

Brooklyn Grooming Shaving Soap, $18, available at Brooklyn Grooming.
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Photo: Via Completely Bare.
After: Apply a hair-growth inhibitor.
“These lotions decrease the formation of hair, and will slow down or inhibit the hair re-growth cycle,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. This one's an effective, affordable option. Apply it twice-daily for best results, which you’ll begin to see after about a month. The delicious lemongrass-and-green-tea scent is just an added bonus.

Completely Bare Don't Grow There Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor, $9.99, available at Ulta.
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