IRL, there’s no way someone would keep a smile on her face while doing a mundane task like shaving—unless you used some of these handy tips to make the whole process less annoying. Bikini season is fast approaching, after all!
(1) Prime your skin by with a thick olive oil the night before you plan to shave, says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, M.D. This particularly works well for your underarms by cushioning the area, which leads to less irritation and fewer micro tears from your razor. It also softens the hair itself, making for a smoother shave.
(2) Exfoliate (we love Dermalogica Exfoliating Body Scrub, $35) right before shaving to remove oil and dirt from your skin, letting the razor get as close as possible.
(3) Watch out for any shaving gels or creams that contain fragrances or alcohol, as they can irritate sensitive skin.
(4) Apply a calming pre-shave product like Whish Prelude Pre Wax & Shave Serum, which uses clove leaf oil and menthol to numb the skin and aloe to prevent redness.
(5) Use a guy’s razor like Harry’s The Winston: They’re (unfortunately) more precise and sharper because they’re made to handle a dude’s stubborn stubble.
(6) Avoid a dry shave! It might be tempting to skip the step of using shaving cream and water to save on time, but that’s a recipe for nicks and irritation.
(7) Consider shaving from just the knees down. Especially now that midi skirts and crops tops are such a major look for summer—who will notice?
(8) For the most effective shave, start from the bottom and make your way to the top of the leg by shaving against the growth of hair.
(9) Shave at the end of your shower when the warm water has expanded your pores and the hair follicles are closest to the surface of your skin.
(10) Replace your razor blades often by subscribing to an auto-renew service like the Dollar Shave Club to have blade refills shipped directly to you every month. You’ll never have to worry about a last-minute drugstore run.
(11) To treat ingrown hairs, moisturize properly after showering to comfort and soften hairs and make them less prone to infection.
(12) A cold compress is a very effective and easy way to get instant relief from the discomfort of razor burn. “It will help reduce redness and itching,” says dermatologist and founder-director of the Fifth Avenue Dermatology and Laser Center in New York Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D.
(13) If all else fails, grow it out! Not only are women doing it for charity, celebs like Madonna and Cameron Diaz are fully embracing the hairy look.