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Five shaving mistakes that could be damaging your skin

Most people begin shaving various parts of their body during their teenage years. Shaving continues into adulthood, but that doesn’t mean that you become a pro just because you’ve been doing it for years.

Even with experience, you might be subject to cuts, nicks, razor burn, and ingrown hairs that can be both painful and irritating to deal with. Avoid these five common shaving mistakes that could be wreaking havoc on your delicate skin. 

Use careful and even strokes to remove the hair. Image credit The Shaving Shack

1. Shaving dry

Shaving without anything as a barrier between the razor and your skin is a big no-no. The friction makes it uncomfortable. Saving yourself a few minutes can lead to unpleasant bumps and itching that last for days. Is it worth saving five minutes to have itchy, red, and irritated skin for days? Joel Schlessinger M.D, a board-certified dermatologist, states that the purpose of shaving creams and gels is to allow the razor to move smoothly across your skin without tugging at the hair or causing irritation.

To prevent accidentally cutting yourself when handling or snagging the blade on something and to keep the razor’s sharpness for longer, you should go for the best safety razor travel case. Dry shaving is likely to cause at least one of the following: cuts, damage to your skin, razor burn, and irritation. If you’re desperate and need to shave without access to shaving cream, opt for conditioner that you use in your hair or even water, which is better than nothing at all. 

2. Shaving opposite of your hair growth

It’s crucial that you only shave in the direction that your hair grows. You might think that you’re getting a smoother or closer shave by shaving in the opposite direction, but you’re creating a recipe for disaster, especially if you already have sensitive skin that is prone to damage. The primary risk of shaving in the opposite direction is that the blunt hair will grow into your skin, causing very painful ingrown hairs, instead of up like they are supposed to. You may also benefit from using a gel or serum designed to help with irritation related to shaving, especially in your more sensitive areas. 

shaving brush
Use a shaving brush as this helps to create a much better shaving lather. Image credit The Shaving Shack

3. Using a disposable razor for too long

It’s tempting to use the disposable razor for a more extended period of time to save a few pennies, but your skin won’t appreciate it. Your razor gets dull after you use it multiple times, and a dull blade is more likely to cause irritation, ingrown hairs, and a shave that isn’t as smooth as you desire. A good indicator that it’s time to pull out another razor is if you feel that you are pulling on your hair when you shave or if you need to go over one area repeatedly.

Dendy Engelman, M.D., a dermatologist from the Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, states that if a razor is tugging at your skin, it is just a time bomb waiting to irritate your skin and make the experience much more unpleasant than it needs to be. 

4. Shaving too quickly

It’s not the most fun activity to do. Shaving takes extra time in your day and can turn a power shower into another adventure. Your skin will thank you if you take the extra few minutes to make sure you lather up correctly and don’t rush through the hair removal process.

Use careful and even strokes to remove the hair. If you do end up nicking or cutting yourself, you might not even notice until after you get out of the shower. Apply pressure to the area to slow and stop the bleeding, and if necessary, stick a Band-Aid on it before you head out the door. A little astringent can also help with slowing or stopping the blood flow altogether. 

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5. Skipping exfoliation

Exfoliating your skin is yet another task that takes valuable time, but it’s well worth the time spent doing it. You’ll want to remove the dead skin cells before taking the razor to your skin to get a smoother and close shave. Dead skin cells clog your blade and create uneven spots, which can make it necessary to shave again sooner because you didn’t get the shave you were looking for initially.

A good exfoliator will remove dead skin while also moisturising your skin. Moisturise your skin after shaving for best results and fewer skin problems when you’re done shaving. Exfoliating is harsh on your skin, so it helps to moisturize after to restore your skin’s smooth and soft feel. 

Shaving isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, but it needs to be done if you want to remove unwanted body hair. Take your time and use the proper shaving techniques to keep your skin silky smooth and avoid unwanted irritation, bumps, cuts, or ingrown hairs.