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.