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.