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.”