The Smart Girls' Guide To Shaving

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Update: This post was originally published on October 14, 2013.
I don't know about you, but I've heard so many differing opinions when it comes to getting the perfect shave. Some have said it's best to do in a cold shower so you get goose bumps to raise the hair, resulting in a closer shave. Others have argued that it's a job best left for the end of a steamy shower because the hair is softened. Well, ladies, the verdict is no longer out. I did some research and put together this guide to ensure you're shaving the smart way — if you choose to shave, that is. It's certainly not for everyone.
Your Ammo
The Right Razor: Use a razor with a moisture strip containing aloe, jojoba or acai. I like Gillette Venus, but I've heard that Schick Quattro for Women is supposed to be just as good. Since razors dull over time, be sure to replace your razor after every 5-6 uses.
Get a Loofa: It will exfoliate your gams as you apply shave gel or cream before shaving.
Gel or Cream It: Instead of basic soap, use a moisturizing shave gel or cream. Your stems need all the moisture they can get and gels and creams not only hydrate, they also allow for a closer, smoother shave. Simply Mahvelous Legs Shave Cream by Kiehl's is great.
Bump-Free Lotion: After you shave and pat yourself dry, use an alcohol-free lotion to avoid irritating your freshly shaved legs and those unsightly, red razor burn bumps. 100% pure shea butter is always a good bet.
Photographed by Heather Talbert.
How to Shave
Temp: Warm. Hot water leaches moisture from your skin.
When: At the end of your shower: This way, your hair and skin will have time to soften.
How: Start from your ankles and shave up. You want to make sure you are shaving against the hair growth. As for your underarms, shave at every angle. I have found that shaving up and down and then in an "X" does the trick.
Extra Tips
Exfoliate: Since shaving actually exfoliates your skin, only exfoliate your legs with a scrub about once or twice a week, depending on how often you shave. If you have particularly coarse hair, it's a good idea to exfoliate a little more than average.
Bump Watch: If you are prone to ingrown hairs, try using a cleanser with glycolic acid or apply Tend Skin after shaving.
Wax Perhaps: If you have especially thick hair you might want to consider waxing. Waxing is really great for the bikini area, underarms and lower legs.
Do you have any extra tips to share? Divulge in the comments below. Also, if you have found any great alcohol-free lotions, let me know!
XO Lauren

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