Everything you need to know about shaving to make razor bumps and burns a thing of the past
With summer winking at us from around the corner, poolside days will bring extra shaving sessions with them, and by extension, shaving mistakes are bound to happen. However, if you’d rather not have razor cuts, burns and inflammations tagging along to the beach, here’s what Dr Madhuri Agarwal, founder of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, wants you to know:
The common shaving mistakes to avoid this summer
As our skin emerges from bulky winter layers, it is time to walk into the sunshine with the smoothest skin of your life—which means closing the door on last-minute shaving before getting ready. To avoid any skin irritations, you will want to ensure that you are treating your skin to some good old-fashioned TLC before and after your shave and steering clear of these common mistakes:
Not lathering up before shaving
Taking a razor to dry skin is the quickest route to razor burns and irritated skin because scraping dry skin repeatedly with a razor can lead to inflammation. Always ensure that you soak the skin in warm water for a few minutes or have a warm shower to soften the skin, apply a cleanser or shaving foam and then do a wet shave.
Shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth
When shaving in the opposite direction, you are cutting hair against the natural direction which leads to increased chances of in-growth. You also end up disturbing the skin cells, leading to increased pigmentation. As a rule of thumb, run the razor over your skin with long, gentle strokes and do not shave the same area more than twice.
Applying too much pressure
Don’t be in a hurry while shaving as it can lead to cuts, nicks and infection of the skin if not tended to carefully. Use a fresh razor blade each time so that the shave is smooth, even with minimal amount of pressure.
Not exfoliating beforehand
The payoff for taking the time to exfoliate before shaving comes in the form of a smoother shave as dead skin cells and dry skin can often clog the hair follicle. Buffing away any old skin, oil and dirt will ensure that your razor has a smoother path to follow.
Not moisturising after shaving
After shaving, the skin is prone to sensitivity and irritation as the top layer of dead skin has been scraped off as well. The removal of this layer also means that moisturisers are able to penetrate deeper into the dermis.
Precautions to observe when shaving your skin
If you don’t have the time to pencil in a salon appointment, an at-home shaving session can also deliver the same results—as long as certain precautionary measures are observed. Dr Agarwal agrees and adds, “Always clean the skin post-shaving with regular tap or cold water to remove the debris or residue of shaving creams and soothe any irritation. Once the skin is washed, pat dry gently instead of rubbing it vigorously and wear soft cotton clothes for a few days to avoid any irritation. Keep the freshly shaved skin free from chemical exfoliation and any active ingredients. However, if you are stepping out, sunscreen is always welcome,” she concludes.
This article was originally published on Vogue India.