5 At-Home Remedies To Treat Razor Burn
Baring it all during bikini season often means breaking out the razor a little more frequently - and while we love the look of smooth legs and a perfectly groomed bikini line, we usually don't make it through a summer without encountering painful razor burn at least once. Normally, we'd just deal with the redness and bumps, but it turns out there's plenty of ridiculously easy home remedies that keep razor burn at bay, meaning your summer just got a little more struggle-free. 1. Aloe vera Aloe vera is famously good at soothing a sunburn, and it's equally amazing when it comes to razor burn too. Try applying an aloe vera gel like Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel ($5.99) to your problem areas for relief. 2. Honey and apple cider vinegar Let's just say what we were all thinking: apple cider vinegar is basically a beauty miracle product - and it's not just a great rinse for your hair. First, apply honey to the razor burn, and leave it on for five minutes. Rinse it with cold water and dry your skin. Next, rinse the area with apple cider vinegar and let it air dry, making for an easy two steps to being razor burn-free. 3. Black tea If you're a tea drinker and happen to have any extra black tea bags around, this one's for you - black tea reduces inflammation. Dip as many as you need to cover the affected area in warm (not hot!) water, and place them on the burn until it subsides. 4. Baking soda Because baking soda is such an amazing exfoliant, it's great for getting rid of those little red shaving bumps. Create a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water, and soak a cotton ball in it. Use the cotton ball to apply the mixture to any razor burned areas for five minutes and then rinse. 5. Coconut oil Repeat after me, "When in doubt, coconut oil." There are few things this magic beauty ingredient can't solve. Getting rid of razor burn is as easy as applying a small amount to the shaven area post-shave. Easy enough! For more beauty tricks, check out: 10 At-Home Remedies To Try When Zits Pop Out Of Nowhere and The Single Best Eyeliner For Women Who Can't Draw A Straight Line [Photo: Shutterstock]
How To Prevent Those Annoying Dark Dots On Your Legs After Shaving
Women with pale skin and dark hair may be familiar with this scenario: you shave your legs in the shower and they look smooth and beautiful under your bathroom lights. You pat yourself on the back for an at-home hair removal job done well. Then, you step out into the cruel light of dawn and are halfway to work when you look down and see them: hundreds of dark hair follicles--that basically look like red or black dots--that even your five-blade razor couldn't eliminate. What's the deal with these? "The black dots are actually the part of the hair shaft that remains behind in the follicle," says Dr. David E. Bank, founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. And, yes, women with lighter skin will have a greater color contrast to the darker hair. There's also another shaving phenomenon called "strawberry legs," which refers to the pink-purple dots that show up on light-colored skin and seem to be even more obvious after shaving, says Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse at Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills. "Sensitive skin can get irritated from any hair removal practice," Shainhouse says. "The repetitive inflammation and enlargement and subsequent constriction of the surrounding tiny vessels in the peri-follicular skin can lead to chronic vessel dilatation and even scarring." To help prevent the development of these spots, Shainhouse recommends preventing and reducing inflammation by being gentle with your skin and hair follicles. "Exfoliate with an AHA-based lotion, then soak your legs in warm water for 5 minutes (think, warm, relaxing shower) before shaving in the direction of growth with a sharp, multi-blade razor and a moisturizing, soothing shaving cream," she says. "Try not to re-shave the same patch of skin more than once. Moisturize after shaving with a soothing lotion. Try one with aloe, chamomile or rosehip oil. If you get pink, try hydrocortisone lotion as an 'aftershave.'" Both experts agree, though: because the base of the hair follicle is deep in the skin, the best preventative measure to take if you are prone to dark dots on your legs or underarms is to invest in a more permanent hair removal method. "Even if you figure out how to get the closest shave, the blades can only smooth the surface of the skin," Shainhouse says. "If you have dark hair and light skin, the base of the hair follicle and hair shaft can be visible through the skin and appear as permanent dark dots." Two options that work include waxing, which will pull the hairs right out of the follicle, Shainhouse says, and laser hair removal. "One good thing about having dark leg hair and super pale skin is that you are the perfect candidate for hair removal laser (HRL)," she says. "HRL targets pigment, so when used on pale skin, it penetrates down to the hair follicle beneath the skin and zaps it, eventually killing it and preventing re-growth. Expect to need at least 6-10 treatments to achieve about 70% permanent hair reduction. You may require touch-ups once in a while, if any new hairs pop up. This is expensive, but worthwhile in the long run, if you really hate seeing the black dots." For more beauty tips and news, check out what is dry brushing and does it really work? and the one thing you should never do when shaving your legs. Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.
4 Simple Ways To Prevent Razor Burn
One of the best parts about shorts and skirt season is, of course, shorts and skirts. But one of our least favorite things about summertime? The constant need to shave our legs. Shaving itself would be a breeze if not for razor burn, a dreaded consequence that many of us have experienced after speedily running a razor along our dry legs. "Razor burn is the colloquial term for the irritation and ingrown hairs that can follow shaving," says Dr. David E. Bank, founder and director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. "Razor burn can occur when using an overly dull razor, from using soap instead of shaving cream or being overly aggressive." The good news is that there are four simple toprevent razor burn so that your legs looks smooth all summer long. 1. Only shave wet skin. "One of the simplest ways to avoid the dreaded razor burn is treating and conditioning the skin before you shave," says Regina Rodriguez, senior brand manager for GiGi. "Always start with clean skin and make sure both the hair and the skin are wet. 2. Always use shaving gel. You also want to apply a shaving gel before you shave; Rodriguez recommends GiGi No Bump Shave Gel. The clear gel formula makes it easy to see exactly where unwanted hairs are. Aloe and chamomile soothe sensitive skin while salicylic acid prevents razor burn and ingrown hairs from forming. 3. Shave in the right direction. Resist the urge to shave in the opposite direction of hair growth, Rodriguez warns; instead shave in the same direction the grows. 4. Store your razor properly. Last but not least, keep your razor in a clean, dry place and toss the blade after about 5-7 uses. For more beauty news and tips, check out Ran out of shaving cream? Try using this instead and Why you should never shave your legs with cold water. Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.
Ran Out Of Shaving Cream? Try Using This Instead
There's nothing more frustrating than having to shave your legs only to realize you ran out of shaving cream. What's a girl to do? It's a huge no-no to shave your legs with just water because it can lead to irritation and razor burn. Instead, try using something you most likely already have in your shower. Hair conditioner will be your saving grace if you don't have any shaving cream. It will lubricate your legs so the razor will glide along without causing any nicks or cuts. Plus, conditioner will moisturize your legs so you'll be left with really soft skin. Don't miss how to store all your beauty tools and why you should never shave your legs with cold water!
This Is Why You Should Never Shave Your Legs With Cold Water
There are a lot of different ways women shave their legs. You can use shaving cream or hair conditioner, a 5-blade razor or a single blade razor, etc. However, there's one thing that should be the same in everyone's routine and that is water temperature. When it comes to shaving your legs, you should most definitely use warm/hot water instead of cold water. Cold water can cause goosebumps on most people and won't allow you to get a close shave. This could also lead to irritated skin and razor burn. Warm water, on the other hand, loosens up the hair follicle and softens skin, which makes it easier to shave away. Remember to always use warm or hot (but not too hot!) water when shaving. Don't miss why you shouldn't air dry your hair and how to fill in your eyebrows! [Photo: Shutterstock]
5 Alternatives To Shaving Cream That Will Save You Money
Confession: I hate buying shaving cream. I find that I always use too much and I go through a can so fast, or I drop a whole glob in the tub and it disappears down the drain. Obviously, shaving cream isn't a necessity and I know people who don't need it to shave their legs, but I need it and I want an alternative. After doing some research, here are the five best alternatives to shaving cream. 1. Conditioner. This item is most definitely already in your shower. If you want to use a nicer conditioner for your hair, then go for it! However, you don't need an expensive conditioner to shave your legs. 2. Raw honey. Honey is so good for the body and has so many different uses. Raw honey is very moisturizing and will leave your legs feeling soft. 3. Oil. You can try any type of oil whether it's olive oil, baby oil or coconut oil. Any option with keep your skin super hydrated and soft to the touch. Oils will also help prevent getting nicked because the razor glides right across. 4. Body wash or bar soap. This one is pretty obvious. These may not be as hydrating as the other options, but chances are you will always have these items in your shower. I would say to use body wash/bar soap when you're in a bind. 5. Body lotion. This option is very similar to conditioner. You're not only shaving your legs, but you're also moisturizing at the same time! Bonus points for saving time. Don't miss the right way to use facial moisturizer and 6 drugstore face washes that have great reviews and are under $10! [Photo: Shutterstock]
You Should Be Changing Your Razor Blade More Often Than You Think…
For most girls shaving is the worst and getting the perfect shave is always an issue. This is probably happening because you're not changing your blade often enough. At least I definitely wasn't. Jeanine Dowie, a dermatologist, recommends you change your razor every 5-10 shaves to avoid bumps, redness, and infections. However, this number varies based on the thickness of your hair and the area you are shaving. If you shave every day and have thinner hair, you should change your blade every 10 days. If you hair is thicker, you should be changing your blade every 5-7 days. Here are some tips to determine when it is a good time to change your razor and how to make it last longer: When to change your razor blade: Dr. Oz says that if your razor begins to snag or pull, it is getting dull and you should replace it. These dull blades can cause cuts and razor burn. If there are any traces of rust on your blade, you should change it immediately. A razor should slide smoothly across your skin. How to maintain your razor blade: After every shave, you should make sure you rinse the blade with hot water until all excess hair and shaving cream is off of the blade. Take it out of the shower so it dries completely. This will prevent it from rusting which will keep the razor sharper for longer. Don’t miss Taylor Swift is launching a clothing line and Khloé Kardashian is coming out with her own primetime talk show! [Photo: Shutterstock]
How To Prevent Goosebumps Right After You Shave Your Legs
The last thing any woman expects to have to deal with after shaving her legs is to be left with two legs that look worse than they did before shaving. But that's exactly how it can feel when you step out of the shower and find mysterious goosebumps every place you put a razor. Or, even worse, you have to actually shave over the bumps, which just irritates the skin even more. What are these unsightly bumps, why do they continue to appear and, just as importantly, how can we prevent them? "After shaving your legs, those annoying little bumps that seem like goosebumps are actually ingrown hairs or skin irritation," says beauty expert Scott-Vincent Borba. "You skin is screaming help me!" Here are 6 tips on how to prevent those bumps from appearing on your legs after you shave. 1. Exfoliate before you shave. If you exfoliate your body on a regular basis, the chancees that you will have to deal with ingrown hairs decreases significantly. But remember: it needs to become part of your skincare routine. "Before shaving, be sure to exfoliate to remove dry, dead skin and create a smooth surface for shaving," Borba says. "Use a moisturizing scrub, with an oil base to slough off dead skin on elbows and legs. My personal recipe is a mix of kosher salt and olive oil. As an alternative, you can also oil up first, then put salt in a saltshaker, and sprinkle it on before scrubbing. It feels like light magical rain and leaves skin remarkably soft." 2. Choose razors wisely--and replace them often. When shaving, three or four blades are always superior to one. And it's crucial that you replace your blades on a regular basis. "Be sure to use a fresh razor as often as possible because a dull blade can drag against the skin, causing irritation," Borba says. Gillette Venus Original Women's Razor contains a three-blade cartridge and a helpful indicator strip that lets you know when your razor has become too dull to prove effective. 3. Shave after a hot shower or bath. If you tend to shave as soon as you climb into the shower, you might want to lather up and wash your hair first because it's best to wait until your skin is warm. "The steam extends the hair follicles and opens the pores," says beauty expert Shauna Murphy from Nancy Lo. 4. Apply shaving cream. Warm water and soap don't provide nearly enough of a buffer to protect skin while shaving. Incorporate a moisturizing shaving cream like Nancy Lo Mint, Pine & Citrus Natural Shaving Créme to ensure you get the smoothest shave possible. "Apply a shaving cream to moist, warm skin and massage in a circular motion--this enables the cream to lift the hair follicles for a more precise shave," Murphy says. 5. Rinse with warm water. "Experts recommend that you rinse your skin with cool, running water to close the pores and remove any shaving residue," Murphy says. "However, as the cool water may prompt the dreaded goosebumps, you may want to rinse with lukewarm water, then gently pat dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing your skin dry as this can irritate the skin." 6. Hydrate your skin. "Finish by applying your aftershave balm or moisturizer of choice by warming the product up in your hands prior to applying to your skin," Murphy says. "Applying cold balms and moisturizer to the skin can also trigger goosebumps." For more beauty tips, check out the correct order to apply hair products and the right way to shave your armpits.
Once And For All, This Is The Best Way to Remove Bikini Line Hair
Summer is the one time when it helps to be ready for anything from an impromptu beach party to a spur-of-the-moment dip in the pool. Nothing kills your mood to swim in public or lounge on the sand faster than the realization that it's been a week since you attended to the area, uh, down there. You may be tempted to grab the first razor you see on your shelf and get rid of your bikini line hair fast, but you'll actually be doing far more damage than good. When it comes to hair removal, particularly the small area along your bikini line, waxing is the way to go. Here's why. Why Is Waxing Better Than Shaving? "Shaving is the ultimate bikini line no-no, because the hair in the bikini area can grow in multiple different directions and the skin is usually more sensitive than other areas of the body," Summer Vasilas, cofounder of Waxing the City, explains. "Wax can be applied in small patches with the direction of the hair growth and pulled against the growth which removes the hair from the root minimizing breakage and the potential of ingrown hairs." What's more is that hair removal as a result of waxing can last anywhere between four to six weeks. "For some people, who have been waxing for years, the smoothness can last even longer," Vasilas explains. Why Is Waxing Better Than Laser Hair Removal? "Laser treatment is often costly, and unfortunately, many people are unaware that the ideal candidate for a laser treatment yielding the best results is an individual with fair skin and dark hair," Vasilas says. "Blondes and redheads are not candidates because the laser cannot detect the hair follicle due to the light pigment in the hair. Since this method works best only on a certain hair and skin colors and costs significantly more, it is an option that is often not the best for many." Dr. David Bank of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery adds, "Laser hair removal is not recommended if you're tan because it will target that pigmentation. The laser works by targeting the melanin pigment in the hair follicle, thus destroying it." What If Waxing Gives Me Itchy Red Bumps? There are women who will experience some red bumps after waxing, and it can be in relation to the sensitivity of their skin. However, there are things to keep in mind to reduce such an experience. For those with more sensitive skin, the type of wax used during the service can make a huge difference. "At Waxing the City, it is standard practice for us to use our custom formulated Cerazul™ hard wax in all bikini line waxing services, as well as facial waxing services. The reason is that as the wax cools, it shrink wraps around the hairs without sticking to the skin," Vasilas explains. "This method is less abrasive to the skin and less painful for the client, making for an overall greater experience. Additionally, there are topicals that can be used after the wax to minimize redness or bumps. One that we use and recommend in our studios is Tend Skin." Additionally, Dr. Bank advises women to be mindful of when they schedule waxing appointments. "Before your menstrual period and ovulation, hair removal techniques can be much more irritating and painful," Bank says. "Keep track of cycles and try to avoid plucking and/or waxing during that time frame to avoid irritation. You should also not wax the week before or during your period, when you retain water, which is when your skin is most sensitive and waxing will cause the most skin irritation. Additionally, you shouldn't wax if you are taking Accutane or a topical vitamin A product--you can rip off a layer of skin." How Can I Make A Bikini Wax Last Even Longer? "Exfoliate the skin when showering!" recommends Vasilas. "It will keep dead skin cells from building up and causing an irritation or ingrown hairs. Additionally, there are hair growth inhibitors on the market, such as Tend Skin and Whish's Ingrown Hair Serum. To prolong and get the best results from waxing, make sure you see your Cerologist™ on a monthly basis and do not shave in between your waxing services." For more beauty tips, check out the best haircuts for every face shape and 6 slimming beauty products.
How To Shave The Trickiest Spot On Your Body: Your Knees
Admit it: you have no idea how to shave your knees. Chances are if you're like most women, you shave around them, waiting until the very last possible moment when you're shaving in the shower. When you can no longer hold out, you carefully drag your razor up the middle--deep breath, good so far--then a little to the left, and then--slip, ouch, darn it, not again! The blood, the rush to douse water over the cut (ouch again), and the fumbling out of the shower in order to tear off a piece of toilet paper and stick it to a wound that will now bleed for at least the next 20 minutes. Or maybe that's just me... Shaving your knees is the complete opposite of the bee's knees. Few women seem to know how to keep this area of their body both hairless and free of cuts and nicks, which is why we sat down with Gillette Venus' dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine to, once and for all, explain how to master the art of removing hair and fuzz from the knees. 1. Prep your skin and hair. First, it’s extremely important to hydrate your hair with warm water. When you step into the shower, don't start shaving right away. Let the water run over your legs for a few minutes first. This will make your hair softer and easier to cut. 2. Use the right shaving lubricant. Incorporating a shave gel is an important step as it allows your razor to glide more easily over your skin. Essentially, you shouldn’t feel like you’re scraping the skin as you’re shaving, but instead should feel the razor glide easily and smoothly over your skin. Shave gel also makes it easy to see where the blades have already shaved, so you can stop shaving the same spot over and over again (something that can irritate the skin--fast). I always recommend shave gel because it provides a protective layer between the blade and skin and helps keep the hair soft throughout the shaving process. Levine adds that creamy body washes and hair conditioners are sometimes used, but that they aren't as effective as shaving gel because they can be too slippery and cause the razor to slip or fall out of your hand. Looking for specific product recs? Try Gillette Venus with a Touch of Olay Violet Swirl, which is super hydrating. If gel isn't your jam, The Honest Company's Organic Shave Oil contains calendula, aloe, and tamanu oils to hydrate skin and form a sweet barrier from your razor's edge. 3. Equip yourself with the right tools. Use a razor with five, fresh blades. Dull blades require you to press harder or take more strokes while shaving, which can lead to skin irritation. A fresh razor not only minimizes these chances, but also provides a good, close shave. Levine recommends Venus Swirl Razors, which has a FLEXIBALL designed to navigate areas like knees so you can shave with fewer strokes. It also features five contour blades--each of which is independently spring-mounted to adjust to a woman's curves. "This enables close skin contact and helps to minimize the chances of nicks and cuts on tricky shaving areas such as the knees and ankles. The less interaction there is with your skin and razor, the less chance you'll have in getting skin irritation." 4. Master your technique. Go slow and press lightly. You do not need to press hard to get a close shave. We recommend going slow and starting with shorter strokes, particularly as you navigate tricky areas like your knees and ankles. There's no firm rule when it comes to whether you should keep your knees bent or straight when you shave, but it is recommended that you first try to keep you knee bent and shave in different directions to capture every hair. Then straighten your knee to get any strays you might have missed. For more beauty tips, check out how to get rid of hair on your fingers, toes and other awkward body parts and 7 of the best beauty secrets from around the world.
How To Get Rid Of Hair On Your Fingers, Toes And Other Awkward Body Parts
Body hair doesn't discriminate. It likes to grow just as freely on our legs, heads, and under our arm pits as it does in places that really don't require hair, thank you very much. The last time we checked, neither our toes, nor our chins, needed to be kept warm and protected from the elements--yet, the hair keeps growing. And growing. Before you grab hold of your razor and go to town on your entire body (and please don't do that) consider more effective options that won't promote additional hair growth or leave you with a patch of stubble, which is just as bad as the hair it replaced. We turned to beauty and hair removal experts to give us the scoop on the best way to remove hair from the most awkward places. Toes, chin, ears, & other small areas. When you spot a stray black hair or two on your face, ears or toes, it's tempting to want to pluck and be done with it, but you aren't always your own best aesthetician. Unless you are extremely patient or have a great magnifying mirror, you're likely going to miss a spot. "These hairs are best removed by threading, which allows for a more precise hair removal for these small, hard-to-reach areas," says NYC brow guru Hibba Kapil of Hibba Beauty. Buttocks and below the belly button. The last thing you want to do is irritate your backside or the skin beneath your belly button, so Kapil offers a more gentle solution. "Sugaring is best for happy trail and buttocks as these areas are sensitive and often covered by clothing," she says. "Sugaring is natural and drastically reduces hair growth in these awkward places." What, exactly, is sugaring? Instead of using hot wax, a paste or gel is made from ingredients like sugar, water, and lemon juice and applied to the skin. It is then gently flicked off in the opposite direction of hair growth. The results last up to six weeks. Back and forehead. Some women have dark hair on their backs or even a thin, dark strip of hair along the forehead (Kim Kardashian famously had hers removed with laser treatments). If lasers aren't an option, Kapil says hair on the back and forehead can easily be removed with waxing. "One strip usually does the trick," she explains. One thing Kapil says you shouldn't even think of doing to minimize unwanted hair growth in these awkward spots? "Never, ever shave these areas because you're only promoting more hair growth, which often comes in thicker and more noticeable," she says. "Let a pro handle it." Of course, I would be holding out on you if I neglected to mention the number one hair removal treatment at the top of most experts' recommendation list: laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses an intense pulsating beam of light, which heats the hair follicle and ultimately destroys it entirely, preventing future growth of any hair, says Dr. Jill Waibel a dermatologist at Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute. "This is the one option that will target these tricky areas and get rid of hair once and for all." Another reason why laser hair removal is better than waxing or shaving? "It's done by someone that has a better angle, a better view, and a better shot at targeting those hard-to-reach hairs," Waibel says. "Choosing to undergo laser hair removal to remove your stubborn hairs will save you money--and lots of frustration--in the long run." For more beauty tips, check out dandruff 101: what it is, how to prevent it and, most importantly, how to get rid of it and 6 makeup mistakes that actually make you look older.
Women Who Shave Their Face Claim To Have A Softer, Clearer Complexion
Most women admit to threading or waxing facial hair...but shaving? Believe it or not, tons of women are taking a razor to their face and removing facial hair at-home. Celebrity facialist, Kate Somerville, reluctantly admits to shaving her face once a week. “Initially I did it because of the hair, but then I noticed that it was a great exfoliant and that my makeup went on a lot better," Somerville revealed to The New York Times. In case you were wondering, she uses the men's razor, Gillete Mach3. According to the NYT, "three out of four American women ages 18 to 34 have had facial hair removed or done it themselves in the last year." And don't worry about it growing in darker or thicker. “It is definitely a myth that shaving will make the hair coarser or darker,” says Elizabeth K. Hale, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center. At-home shaving is almost like dermaplaning, except not as intense. What is dermaplaning? Facialists, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons use a scalpel-like tool to shave the face. It sounds a little scary, I know. In fact, dermaplaning has great benefits for your skin. In addition to removing facial hair, it also greatly exfoliates your skin due to the removal of "dead skin cells, pollution and imperfections" according to Dr. Stafford R. Broumand, a plastic surgeon in Manhattan. Many women enlist the help of a little (and efficient) product, called Tinkle. It's actually an eyebrow razor but it does the trick for removing all facial hair. Tinkle is a single-blade disposable razor and is super cheap ($5 for a 3-pack). For a tutorial on how exactly to go about shaving your face, watch the video below. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA2N3oT3rU4[/youtube] Don't miss what swimsuit styles are popular in your state and Anthropologie dresses are 25% off this weekend only! [Photo: Shutterstock]
How To Shave Your Legs Less Often
The official start of summer is just a few weeks away and the living is bound to be easy... with the exception of one pesky beauty task we find ourselves having to do far too often: shave our legs. There is rarely a hot day that goes by when women across the Northern Hemisphere aren't waking up and contemplating which is a greater form of torture: wearing jeans or shaving their legs--again. While I am a fan of a monthly wax, I admit it isn't always easy to drop everything and spend time at a salon. And worse: waxing means having to put up with at least one week or more of hair growth, which isn't going to fly for most women who want to spend three glorious months of the year wearing as little clothing as possible. Shaving is definitely the easiest and cheapest hair removal solution--and it provides instant gratification. Now, if only there were a only few tricks to make it so that we didn't have to shave every. single. day. Ask and you shall receive, ladies. Below, top beauty experts weigh in on how to shave your legs less often. 1. Exfoliate before you shave. The closer your shave, the more likely you will remove all unwanted hair and can stretch out your shaving time just a bit. And if you exfoliate your skin beforehand--even better. "When you exfoliate prior to shaving, you are stimulating the area by the massage action, increasing blood flow, and sort of temporarily 'plumping the skin," says Roberta Perry, president of Scrubz. "When you exfoliate, you are taking off the dead skin cells that normally catch on razors, creating razor burn. No dead skin, no razor burn. When you rinse off the sugar and shave with the natural oils, which give you a friction free surface, you are literally getting a closer, cleaner shave which lasts longer." 2. Keep skin moisturized. The softer your skin, the softer your body hair. And, the softer the hair on your legs, the easier it is to remove it with a razor, which means less time fumbling in the shower with a razor blade. "While hair regrowth is hereditary, we have a say in how hydrated our skin is," says Karen Young, founder of Oui Shave. "By moisturizing the skin, we moisturize the hairs as they grow back." Therefore it's essential to always use a hydrating shaving gel like Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel while removing hair and follow up each and every morning with a moisturizing lotion; L'Occitane Almond Lighter Legs is a unique gel cream that contains almond oil, peppermint essential oil, and menthol. 3. Use a better razor. You know those single-blade disposable razors that cost pennies at the drugstore and that we assume are just as good as our husband's million-dollar razor? Sorry to say: they aren't even close--and by close, what I mean is, they just can't give you a close enough shave that will actually last any decent amount of time. In order to get the best possible shave--one that will effectively remove all unwanted hair--invest a few dollars more and purchase a four or five-blade razor like Gilette Venus Embrace Disposable Razors. 4. Use hair bleaching cream. You probably aren't going to want to just bleach all of the hair on your legs and leave it a spiky, blonde jungle, but celebrity makeup artist Belinda Moss offers a great suggestion on how you can incorporate a cream like Jolen into your everyday routine. "Use Jolen to lighten hair stubble on your legs or even on your thighs so you never have to shave that area," Moss says. A product like Jolen, which is available both in original and sensitive aloe vera formulas, takes just 10 minutes to bleach super-dark hair and can even help carry you from one wax to another. 5. Consider the alternatives. I know I began this post promising to share tips about shaving, but the truth is the number one way to shave your legs less often is to open your mind to alternative hair removal methods, like waxing or laser treatments. "Shaving only cuts the hair back to the skin line which makes hair appear thicker," says Ottmar Stubler, president of PFB Vanish. "In addition, shaving a few times per week is required to keep the skin feeling smooth. A better solution is waxing or laser hair removal (electrolysis). Waxing pulls the hair from the root, causing much slower regrowth and over time the hair becomes finer, also reducing the need to shave. Laser hair removal is a more permanent solution for those individuals with dark hair as opposed to light or blonde hair. Those with lighter hair usually don’t see the same results with electrolysis. Also, laser hair removal usually requires multiple treatments and the results can last years." For more beauty tips, check out The single most effective treatment for 11 of the most common skin problems and 10 Things you didn't know about L'Occitane.
Ingrown Hairs 101: What Are They, Where Do They Come From And How To Rid Of Them
Ingrown hairs--they're painful, itchy, ugly and seemingly impossible to destroy. If you've never experienced one, consider yourself insanely lucky. For those of us who have suffered, however, you know just how awful they can be, showing up unannounced to torment you on your bikini line before a pool party or under your arm on the day you were dying to wear a strapless dress. So just what the heck are these hairy annoyances? "An ingrown hair is a hair that curls around and goes back into the skin instead of growing out of the skin," says board certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. "It causes irritation to the skin and usually makes a red bump or sometimes a painful pus filled bump that looks like a pimple." Becky Sturm of StormSister Spatique adds, "The pore becomes aggravated by the hair trapped inside and the trapped sebaceous gland doesn't get a chance to drain properly because there is dirt and bacteria trapped inside and a plug seals it all in." Gross, right? Sadly, women with coarse hair are more prone to getting ingrown hairs. If you were blessed with a head full of curly hair, your trade-off for having gorgeous locks that we all envy is usually more ingrown hairs, Jaliman explains. Now the good news: you don't just have to suffer with these painful bumps in silence. Here are 3 ways you can prevent ingrown hairs: - Exfoliate. Also known as the solution to 98 percent of skin problems. "Exfoliate the body 2-3 times per week and the facial skin 1-2 times per week using a cleanser that is non-comedogenic (i.e. doesn't clog pores)" Sturm says. Better yet, look for plant-based products that are water-soluble like Shea Moisture's Lemongrass & Ginger Body Scrub. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in Earth Therapeutics Exfoliating Hydro Gloves. Jaliman also recommends sonic cleansing systems to help get rid of dead skin cells, which is good news for all of you Clarisonic loyalists because you can purchase a specific body brush head to use on your legs and bikini area. - Shave well. Never, ever shave your legs, bikini area, or underarms without a moisturizing shaving gel or cream. We know it's Saturday night and you're in a rush, but that's still no excuse for splashing water on your poor legs and going to town. Also, Jaliman reminds us to follow a few basic shaving rules to reduce the risk of getting ingrown hairs: "Shave in the same direction as the hair is growing as opposed to against the grain. This will not give as close a shave, but it will help prevent get ingrown hairs," she explains. "Also, use a new razor every time you shave so the razor is sharp." - Consider laser treatments. They're more expensive than shaving, more painful, and more time-consuming, but, if you truly want to ensure you never have to see another ingrown hair on your body, Katrina Fadda from Bona Fide Skin Care says one of the only ways to truly prevent them is to remove them permanently with a series of laser treatments. Despite your best efforts, sometimes an ingrown hair is inevitable. What do you do to get rid of them fast? Try these tricks: - Use a salicylic or glycolic acid product. Fadda recommends applying a product with salicylic or glycolic acid onto the infected area and being consistent with your application. "This prevents dead skin build up and can help 'release' any growing hairs," she says. "Manual 'scrubs' don't do much, so you need the chemical action of the acids. They are also able to penetrate the skin and pore, so they are more effective." Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads contain glycolic and salicylic acids, as well as nourishing lavender oil and green tea. - Tweeze away. A little at-home "surgery" may be necessary to remove the hair. "Take an alcohol swab and clean the area," Jaliman explains. "Then take a sharp tweezer and try to remove the hair that is embedded in the area. Then apply a topical antibiotic to the skin." I've long adored Tweezerman, which is perfectly slanted and never makes me work too hard to yank out an unruly hair. - Consult a skincare professional. If your ingrown hair shows no signs of breaking through the skin, it may need to be lanced by a skincare professional or dermatologist, Sturm says. While you wait for your doc appointment, Sturm suggests trying a natural treatment: "I treat the wound with tea tree oil," she says. "It's a fantastic natural anti-bacterial that kills germs and speeds healing." For more beauty tips, check out how to make your underarm shave last longer and 4 ways every woman should switch up her skincare routine for summer.
How To Make Your Underarm Shave Last Longer
Is there anything more infuriating (or embarrassing) than shaving your underarms in the morning only to find a 5 o'clock shadow has developed by evening cocktails? While shaving is the fastest, least painful and most affordable hair removal method around, it doesn't always seem like the most efficient. "Shaving is one of the least traumatic ways to remove unwanted hair, especially under the arms," says Dr. David E. Bank, author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age and founder and director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. "But it only removes hair from the surface of the skin. It doesn't treat the follicle directly, which is why you have to shave very often and this can cause ingrown hairs and also irritate skin, especially if you have sensitive skin." Obviously, there isn't a woman out there who wouldn't like to spend less time with a razor in her pit, so we spoke with experts who gave us 7 must-try tips on how to stretch out the time between shaves so we aren't slaves to our razor this summer. 1. Remove hair as close to the root as possible. You aren't going to suddenly flick your wrist a little more to the right and remove hair from the root, but the type of razor you choose can make all of the difference, says Dr. Chynna Steele, a cosmetic and medical dermatologist from Atlanta. "Using triple or quadruple blade razors is beneficial because you remove the hair from a deeper level beneath the skin and therefore, it takes longer for the hair to regrow to a level that is visible," Steele says. Since the armpit is a small area, she recommends a smaller head razor with a triple blade. We love Gillette Venus Simply Venus Disposable Women's Razor. 2. Don't shave right before you swim. "Chlorine and salt water can sting freshly shaved skin, which will cause irritation," Bank says. And, if your armpits are irritated and you run a razor over them, you're only going to wreak more havoc on your skin. 3. Shave at the tail-end of your shower. I don't know about you, but I thought I had my shaving routine all figured out. Wash hair, condition it, and then shave while I allow the conditioner to soak in a bit. But Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of the book Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist, says we may not be allowing my underarm hair to become soft enough before removing it. "To get a closer shave it's always better to shave at the end of a shower when the hairs are hydrated and softer to cut off," she says. 4. Use a shaving gel instead of cream. I used to think: why spend additional money on a special shaving gel when my husband has this super cheap, foamy cream that's good enough for his face? But there is a difference between cream and gel when it comes to an area like your underarms. "A foam or cream has more air and is less dense so it effects the glide of the razor across the skin," Jaliman said. Skintimate SkinTherapy Moisturizing Shave Gel is affordable, made with Vitamin E, lanolin, and Olive butter, making it ideal for dry skin, and smells amazing. 5. Shave the right way. When most women turn 13, they aren't usually given shaving lessons by their moms. Instead, they purchase the cheapest pink razors they can find at the local drugstore and proceed to do a bloody number of their legs and underarms. In order to get a closer shave, it is crucial to shave against the direction of the hair, says Summer Vasilas, co-founder of Waxing the City. "Shave in an upwards motion, bottom to top and the follow in the opposite direction, top to bottom," Vasilas said. "Your hair in the underarm grows in multiple directions and this method will ensure a clean shave that lasts longer." Since the skin beneath our arms is usually loose, it also helps to pull it taut while shaving so you get every single hair as close to the root as possible. 6. Nourish your skin with after-shave treatments. Don't just shave and forget about your underarms. It's important to use body lotion to keep your underarms moisturized and to even invest in a quality exfoliating treatment. "Exfoliation is important to help your shave last longer," said Hibba Kapil, founder of Hibba NYC. "If you are waxing and shaving you might be prone to ingrown hairs that are stuck under the skin surface. When you go in for a wax or if you shave you will miss these hairs and they might pop up a few days later. Now your hair is on an uneven growth cycle and it seems as if your shave/wax didn't last, but it's because you missed hairs that were stuck under the skin." LOOFAH IT by Hibba is a hand-woven cloth made from the Agave plant that removed dead skin and prevents ingrown hairs so your shave lasts longer. 7. Ask your doctor about prescription creams. Vaniqa is a prescription topical cream that drastically slows the rate of hair growth. Although most women usually apply it to their faces, Jaliman says you can ask your doctor about using it under the arms, which will make your shave last longer. For more beauty tips, check out The 12 worst things for acne-prone skin and how to chore-proof your manicure.
How To Treat (And Even Prevent!) Razor Burn
May might have been slow to the party, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less pumped for this summer. Between all the miniskirts, high-waisted shorts, and sundresses I plan on incorporating into my wardrobe, it’s high time to get a game plan together on how to tackle those pesky hair removal issues. My preferred method for as long as I can remember: definitely a razor (sorry, waxing enthusiasts!) As someone who’s in a pretty committed relationship with her 5-blade, I’ve become all too familiar with the thrills of razor burn. It’s peculiar if you’re unfamiliar with it: that pesky itchy burning sensation that happens a few minutes after you wick those hairs away is the bane of every shaver’s existence. Check out my favorite ways to beat the burn (and how to prevent it in the first place). 1. Exfoliate! The main culprit behind razor burn is a dirty razor. Exfoliation helps remove oil and dead skin, which can get stuck on the blade. You can use your favorite loofah or an exfoliating bar to keep the burning at bay (and they're probably the easiest and cheapest options out there, too). Personally, I'm a huge fan of scrubs, and have been using the & Other Stories Moroccan Tea Body Scrub for well over four months (that little jar is practically bottomless!) 2. Get up close and personal. A close shave not only looks (and feels) better--it’ll also help prevent the burn. Change out your blades often (a dull razor can lead to an uneven shave, which can lead to that itchy feeling.) In addition to a good razor, be sure to invest in a good shaving gel, like the new Completely Bare Moisturizing No-Bump Shave Gel. It helps your razor get the closest shave possible – plus, it prevents bumps and in-grown hairs, too! 3. Don't irritate the burn. I don’t have to tell you how bad of an idea it is to spray perfume or apply alcohol-based anything on a razor burned area. Also, be sure to avoid wearing tight or restricting clothing immediately following shaving--it’s bound to irritate your skin even further. 4. Soothe, hydrate, repeat. Treat a nasty razor burn with the best multi-tasker in nature: aloe vera. It helps hydrate and soothe your epidermis (plus it feels amazing on stressed out skin.) If you don’t have any aloe vera around, you can just try using a cold compress on the area. 5. Hit up the drugstore. One of the best treatments for razor burn is hydrocortisone cream, which targets the swelling and itching. Apply once a day until the irritation goes away. Sure, it’s not the prettiest remedy, but it works. What are your favorite ways to beat razor burn? Be sure to check out how to not ruin a fresh pedicure and the right way to apply eyeshadow.
‘Tis The Season Of Hair Removal…Are You Ready?
If only we could all look so sexy while shaving, a la Jessica Simpson. Between the thought of hot wax and lasers, our legs and bikini lines hurt just thinking about it. But, thankfully our shopping guide to the best hair removal products features the best razors, shaving creams, depilatories, and at-home waxing kits. So what are you waiting for? Time to get rid of that unwanted hair and show off your smooth skin, just in time for Spring. Make sure you've shopped our beauty guides for the best hair care and the best moisturizers. Join our e-mail list for exclusive SHEFinds updates.
Sponsored Post: You Can Even Shave Dry With Eos Moisturizing Shave Cream
How many times have you realized you missed a spot right above your ankle and needed to re-shave? Probably a bunch. With eos ultra moisturizing shave creams, you don't even have to jump back in the shower: They're so intensely hydrating that you can even shave dry. Seriously, how great is that? The super moisturizing cream also means your skin won't hate you for shaving like a madwoman all summer; your legs will feel smooth and hydrated. You'll find ingredients like aloe, oat, shea butter, and Vitamin E & C in each bottle. And then there's the awesome price tag - eos shave creams cost only $3.49, and you can get them at Walmart, Target, and Walgreens stores, or visit evolutionofsmooth.com to order a bottle or five (in case you're stuck at home with unshaven legs, eep). If you visit smartsource.com, you can even get a coupon for an additional $1.00 savings. So get a bottle of eos ultra moisturizing shave cream, and shave happy.
Freebie Friday Reminder: Just One More Day To Win A Summer’s Worth Of Shaving Cream & Lip Balm From Eos
Nobody likes dry skin, especially when the season dress code calls for short dresses, shorter shorts, and bikinis. Eos is helping you fight scaly skin all summer long with 3 chances to win 5 shaving creams and 5 lip balms to keep you smooth. The shaving cream can be used on wet or dry legs and contains aloe, oat and shea butter--you won't even need lotion. The lip balm comes in a very visible tube and will keep your lips looking healthy and radiant all day. Enter our Freebie Friday Sweepstakes now to be one of 3 lucky subscribers to win these amazing products. Take a look at our other Freebie Friday Giveaways. Check out our other favorite hair removal products, lip balms, and self-tanners. Subscribe to our newsletter for even more updates.
Freebie Friday: 3 Chances To Win A Summer’s Worth Of Smoothness From eos
What: 3 of you will win five shave creams and five lip balms from eos - enough to keep you smooth for the entire summer. Why: You can get eos's awesome wet-or-dry shave creams and 95% organic, paraben-free lip balms at Target, Walmart, or evolutionofsmooth.com...but we're giving 3 lucky readers a 10-piece collection for free. The lip balms come in substantial, easy-to-find-in-your-bag tubes and cool egg-shaped spheres - way more sanitary than pots. Eos's super-emollient shave cream has aloe, oat and shea butter so your legs will wind up totally silky - you won't even need to moisturize. How: To enter, sign up for the SHEfinds newsletter, then comment below about your favorite summer beauty tip. Rules: 1. Sign up for the SheFinds newsletter, then comment below about your favorite summer beauty tip. 2. The contest starts now and entries must be date stamped by our server no later than Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:59 AM Eastern Time to be eligible. 3. Three winners will be selected during a random drawing. The winner will be contacted and must reply via email as instructed in the newsletter to claim the prize. 4. No prize substitutions. 5. You must be 18 years old or older to enter and a resident of the USA. Residents of the state of Florida are not eligible to enter; entries from the state of Florida are void. 6. No purchase necessary. 7. Void where prohibited. 8. Click here for the full rules.
Not-So-Scary At-Home Hair Removal Tips, Straight From The Expert’s Mouth
We know that bikini season causes borderline-hysteria (hello, crash diet). Since hair removal is at the top of the worry list, we did you a solid and asked hair removal expert Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare Hi-Tech Spa, for insider tips on shaving, waxing, depilatory and the big guns - laser hair removal. "It's not about beauty," Cindy explains, "It's really about feeling good about yourself. If you have a bikini problem, it affects you." So. true. Shaving "If your hair is too coarse, shaving is not the avenue you should be taking," Cindy explains. (Skip ahead to the waxing tips below.) If shaving is your MO, do it at least 5 minutes into a hot shower so that the pores are open. Cindy says to exfoliate before shaving - we love Bliss' Super Minty Soap 'N Scrub ($30) for its refreshing minty scent - and to always use a fresh razor. For the bikini area, we love these specially-shaped Noxzema Shaving Bikini Shavers ($3.99). Insider tip: if you do reuse razors, dab on oil each time to refresh them. After shaving, Bishop waits for the pores to close and applies Neutrogena's Body Oil Original Light Sesame Formula ($9.99) to keep skin smooth. If you have acne-prone skin, try Kiss My Face Moisture Shave in Lavender & Shea ($8) - lavender's calming affect is great for after-shaving and waxing. At-Home Waxing Make sure the hair is about quarter inch long before waxing, and apply a little powder to ensure that the skin is dry. "I always tell clients to Google and research their wax products. You want a low temperature wax - and avoid honey wax! We have progressed beyond it," Cindy explains. The Poetic Waxing At-Home hair Removal Kit ($45) fits the bill - it heats evenly in the microwave. Apply the wax and the strip in the direction of the hair growth, and then peal it off like your turning the page in a book. Between waxes, use the Completely Bare Razor Bump Blaster ($32.00) to keep ingrown hairs and bumps at bay. Or try the DIY technique: just exfoliate then apply salicylic acid (found in most acne creams in your medicine cabinet). This at-home recipe prevents and helps heal razor burn. Dipilatory Hair removal creams always sound like the easiest way to go, but seem to fall short. Or so I thought. Sally Hansen's Pure Scent-Sation ($8.49) for Face and Body is only one I've tried that actually works - and doesn't stink to high heaven. Just don't use soap or cleanser for 2 hours before or after using the cream. Need more info? Check out our guides to the best hair removal products, and our beauty roadtests. Looking for a great bikini? Check out our buying guide to cheap swimwear.
Beauty Roadtest: Get Your Whish – Less Painful, Less Frequent Shaving
There is nothing about shaving that I don’t hate – from the nicks, dryness and bumps of razor burn to the inevitable re-growth of stubble just two short days later. The Whish line of products sets out to make shaving a little less annoying – and I couldn’t resist that. Whish Hair Inhibiting Gel ($26) actually slows the growth of hair and soothes irritated skin, which makes the upcoming bikini season a little less daunting. I tried the product immediately after shaving and was hooked; the gel is non-greasy and dries quickly while still delivering moisture to the skin. My hair follicles were noticeably less visible on the second and third day. The hypoallergenic, organic product is almond scented - great for health-nuts, or gals with sensitive skin like me. Finally, you can cross shaving off the season's most annoying beauty routines. Check what we have to say about other products in our beauty roadtests, then peruse our hair removal guide for at-home alternatives to shaving.