Repeat After Me: I Promise to Keep Shaving My Legs Even Though Summer's Ending
Posted 09/08/10 at 05:01PM by Total Beauty
I would cop to that sentiment instantly because that's precisely the way I used to feel when fall was around the corner. Then, I moved to Los Angeles and all bets were off.
Sure, the weather here's fantastic and everyone's a super-hot surfer (shyeah), but, as a trade off, we pretty much need to keep our legs smooth all year long -- no hiding behind wooly pants out here in La-La land.
I must say that I've learned a lot about shaving in recent years. I was never really a "hairy" person (a fact which drove my sister bananas) until I had kids and whichever hair-growth hormones kicked in and forced me to re-evaluate the once-a-month leg shaving schedule I'd pretty much always adhered to.
That's when I realized that I'd been doing it all wrong; using soap instead of shaving cream, never exfoliating and other such egregious faux pas.
Here's the advice that I've gleaned from digesting umpteen articles on shaving -- I've narrowed it all down to these four simple steps that help to make my legs silky smooth year 'round.
Step 1: Exfoliate! Getting rid of those dead skin cells allows your razor to glide over your skin more smoothly. The hitch? You have to do it the day before you shave or you'll risk irritating your skin and getting those dreaded razor bumps. (Shudder.)
Step 2: Use bona fide shaving cream not soap! Who knew that your regular bar soap will clog the razor? Well, it does and thereby prevents you from getting the closest shave possible. Note: hair conditioner will work in a pinch, but, really girls, pony up for some proper shaving cream. (I like Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel Skin Smoothing with Vitamin E and Shea Butter, $3.99. It moisturizes and smells yummy.)
Step 3: Replace your blade after every 3-4 uses. Nothing ruins a good shave more than an old, dull blade -- and nothing's grosser than a razor that has bacteria living in it. And, here's another tip; you don't have to spend big bucks to get a great razor, but stay away from the cheapie disposable ones. Gillette's Venus Embrace, $11.99, boasts 5 blades for a closer, more uniform shave and the flexible head conforms to the curves of your legs (especially around the tricky ankle and knee areas). Not cost-prohibitive and definitely money well spent.
Step 4: Make sure to rinse off all the remaining shaving cream and pat your legs dry before applying a good, emollient moisturizer. (I like Lubriderm Intense Skin Repair Body Lotion, $7.99. It really helps to keep my skin smooth and soft and banishes that "alligator skin" look.)
If you're prone to razor burn or bumping of any kind, apply a cortisone cream to help keep inflammation to a minimum. They're available at every drugstore -- sometimes near the shaving stuff. (Try Cortizone 10 Anti-Itch Ointment, $9.99)
See? Simple as [insert your preferred idiom here]. So, what's it gonna be? Are you woman enough to stay silky smooth even in Duluth in January? Or, does it just not matter in the slightest? Your call. Let me in on which way you're leaning.
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