"Sensitive skin" should be my middle name. A new foundation? I break out. Only sunscreen available isn't oil-free? I'm screwed. Wearing a bikini this weekend? Almost the most embarrassing of all. But, since all those areas can be somewhat masked with some great concealer or boy-short swimsuit bottoms, I will survive. Public enemy #1, however, are my legs.
I had a weird follicle condition as a teenager that made every single pore on my legs inflamed and just basically look like the worst acne breakout ever. Lucky me, the humidity of NYC has brought it back.
I'm back to my old games again of trying every new razor on the market and every category of shaving cream you can think of – and lots you've never even thought to use. In my opinion, they all give me a closer shave than soap or regular gel shaving cream.
Pick up a bottle of super cheap Johnson's Baby Oil at drugstore.com. The great thing about baby oil it is that it doesn't wash away very easily. So, if you have a teeny shower like me and nowhere to stand to prevent the water from washing the shaving cream right off your leg – this is the product for you. Also, it leaves you so silky smooth you won't even have to apply lotion after your shower. WARNING: It will leave your shower very slippery. You should either live alone so that you don't have to warn anyone, clean the shower after every session, or get some really great insurance so that when your roommate sues you for a broken leg, you're covered.
Natty Girl's Bamboo Salt Glow ($26) is a salt scrub that will exfoliate the heck outta your skin. I use it some days just as a regular exfoliate, but it also works when I'm out of shaving cream. Rub it all over your legs like normal and shave! You'll have to rinse the razor out a bit more because the salt granules can clog up the blades. But it's like killing two birds with one stone: exfoliating and shaving!
Whish Body Products ($32) makes a luxury line of hypoallergenic shaving creams. Choose from toning lemongrass oil, moisturizing almond oil, rejuvenating pomegranate oil, anti-aging blueberry and mint oil, and restoring coconut and papaya oil mixed with gentle glycerin soap to create a cream with an alluringly sweet and lovely smell.
I'm always wary to spend more than what a regular can of shaving cream costs at the drugstore, so I couldn't have been happier to find Neutrogena's Energizing Sugar Body Scrub in Fresh Citrus for about $10. Sugar crystals work just like the salt scrubs to smooth away dry, dull surface cells but won't leave you screaming with salt in a wound if the razor slips.
And peruse our Hair Removal Guide for at-home alternatives to shaving.