When it comes to baring it (almost) all in short summer dresses and swim suits, there is no denying that having silky smooth, hair-free legs, underarms and bikini lines just make us feel all the more beach ready.
There are plenty of ways to get rid of unwanted body hair, of course, but when it comes to convenience and speed, few things will beat getting you racer out.
But as many of us will have experienced, shaving can unfortunately also leave us with nicked or irritated skin, ingrown hair and those dreaded red bumps. The good news? We have chatted to the experts at Gillette Venus – and these are all fairly easy to avoid – you just need to follow these pro tips:
How do you avoid red bumps and nicks when shaving?
Start with a clean smooth surface for shaving. Soaking in a warm bath or shower for 2-3 minutes softens hair and causes it to expand so that it is up to 60 percent easier to cut, however we recommend that you don’t stay in the bath or shower for too long because this over-hydrates your skin, meaning you can’t get such a close shave.
We also recommend using plenty of lubrication to aid your shave and help prevent drag across the skin – Venus do great razors with built-in shave gel bars or you can use a separate shave gel if you prefer.
Another great tip is to not apply too much pressure when shaving – a good razor is designed to glide with minimum effort over the skin’s surface leaving smooth, silky skin. Be careful to change your blades when they start getting blunt, as these can cause irritation because you might start to press harder or take lots of over-strokes in order to get the result you want. Look after the blades well by rinsing them properly and leaving them to dry.
How do I get a perfect shave?
Shaving technique is important, but there’s more to achieving soft, smooth, hair-free skin than a few strokes with a razor. What you do before and after the shave is just as important. Follow these steps for your best shave ever:
1. Shower or bathe before you shave to remove natural oils and perspiration and hydrate hair, which makes it up to 60 percent easier to cut. 2-3 minutes is optimum soaking time (after 15 or 20 minutes, water causes your skin to wrinkle and swell slightly, resulting in a shave that’s not as close as you’d like).
2. Apply moisture-rich shave gel before shaving to help keep water in the hair and to ensure the razor glides easily over skin. Don’t rely on soap to prepare skin — it may clog the razor during shaving. In addition, many soaps cause dryness and flaking.
3. It is important to choose a razor that is properly equipped for the job. Venus offers a complete portfolio of razors to meet every woman’s shaving needs. Each blade individually adjusts to stay in contact with the skin, even around such tricky shaving areas as the knees and the ankles.
4. Shave with a fresh blade. Fresh blades provide a closer, smoother, more comfortable shave and can help prevent cuts and irritation. Women should replace blades at the first sign of dullness or discomfort, and because hair growth can vary dramatically depending on the person, you are the best judge. On average, women replace blades after about 10 shaves.
5. Use a light touch, exerting as little pressure as possible, and shave in the direction that feels most comfortable. Re-lather before shaving the bikini and other sensitive areas
6. Leave hard-to-shave spots for last. The backs of knees and thighs, and areas like ankles, where the bone is close to the skin surface, are often difficult to shave. However, all Venus razors feature an oval-shaped cartridge that maximizes manoeuvrability in and around these hard to shave areas.
7. Rinse skin thoroughly after shaving, and then pat skin dry. Don’t rub skin harshly and don’t dry off completely. The extra water on your body will be sealed in as you apply moisturiser, helping to eliminate dry, flaky skin, especially on freshly shaved legs so you can achieve a healthy goddess glow.
Can you shave in different directions to hair growth?
Modern razors are so effective that you can shave in any direction that suits you. However, to get the smoothest, closest shave possible, you will need to shave against the direction of hair growth, which means in an upward direction on the legs. Hairs on the underarm grow in random directions so for a truly clean shave we suggest working a variety of directions.
How long should you leave between shaving?
How often you shave is a totally personal choice. As women we love the feeling of freshness and tend to shave quite frequently, on average two to three times a week.
How long does it take for hair to grow back after shaving?
Regrowth varies from 1-3 days depending on your hair type and the area of the body you are shaving.
How should I care for my razor for best results?
Always store your razor in an upright position and somewhere dry. This means bacteria won’t get to your razor and the blades won’t blunt in damp conditions. After each shave, simply rinse and air-dry your razor. Regular rinsing will help prevent your razor from becoming clogged.
Shave with a fresh blade. Fresh blades provide a closer, smoother, more comfortable shave and can help prevent cuts and irritation.
Any tips for shaving the bikini line?
Shaving the bikini area presents unique challenges women don’t face when removing hair from legs and underarms. But shaving the bikini area doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow a few simple pointers:
- Since skin in the bikini area is particularly sensitive, always soften the hair in warm water before you shave, and use a razor with a lubrastrip and a Protective Ribbon of Moisture like Venus Embrace Sensitive.
- To help further soften hair and to ensure razor glide on ultra-sensitive skin, be sure to use a moisture rich shave gel.
- Legs are easier to shave because the skin is usually level and taut. When shaving the bikini area, pull the skin back to create the same taut effect.
- Venus razors feature ergonomically designed handles that provide ultimate control, for hard to reach places, like the bikini area.
- When the coarser hairs of the bikini area are re-growing, they can sometimes curl under the skin’s surface and cause itchy, red bumps. To help prevent this, be sure to shave on a regular basis, using gentle strokes in the direction that is most comfortable for you.
- The lighter the touch you use, the better the shave you will get. A fresh blade and plenty of shave gel will allow you to exert less pressure. If you have to go over an area twice, reapply shave gel first.
- After shaving, rinse with cool water to close the pores.