There’s a good reason body scrubs and razors have become popular with shower buddies (aside from making room on the shelves). Exfoliation can help you get the most smooth shaving experience. Shaving is an example of manual exfoliation by itself because the blade is used to scrape unwanted hair from the surface of your skin. It then cuts off the dead skin lying on the top layer. However, buffing may improve the process and make the skin smoother.
Exfoliation, as we all know, requires proper attention and an incredibly delicate balance. What is the best time and method to apply peeling during your shaving routine? Before you start, learn everything you need to ensure a smooth, easy glide.
Should you exfoliate before and after shaving?
Experts agree that it’s better to exfoliate your skin before shaving. “Gentle exfoliation can help [loosen] the free edge of hairs that may be trapped under the skin,” dermatologist board-certified Joshua Zeichner, M.D. “This can give you a smoother shave and lower the likelihood of razor bumps or irritation.”
Ingrowns, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs are caused when that unintentional edge of hair is stuck in the skin, so it curls down and then grows back into the skin instead, resulting in painful, pimple-like, red spots. People with coarser hair are more likely to suffer from ingrown. However, “it is also more likely to happen if there is skin covering where the hair is growing,” reports a board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. Exfoliation removes the upper layer of dead skin cells. Without that cover, you’ll have a greater likelihood that freshly shaved hairs will grow without restriction.
On a practical note, the razor will be better for removing hair without a thin layer of dead skin cells obstructing the region.
Two King and Zeichner agree that a pre-shave exfoliation can be beneficial regardless of the part of your area you’re shaving. Be aware that delicate areas, like the bikini line, armpits, or the face, may require more gentle exfoliation techniques (which we’ll discuss in the future).
What do you think about waxing?
An even more complex answer: “Exfoliate regularly and before waxing, but not immediately before waxing,” King advises. King. “You want the skin barrier to be intact to minimize risk of burning or irritation from waxing.” Imagine applying hot wax to the skin that is freshly exfoliated and raw. Then you’ll be like, ouch.
However, you’ll want to cleanse your skin regularly (just not before your appointment! ). This reduces the chances of ingrown and helps to encourage hair to fall out of hair follicles during growth. Wax doesn’t stay on the hairs if they’re tucked away beneath your skin’s surface.
What products are you recommended to use?
To get your routine exfoliated, Chemical and physical formulations work well. And even though everyone has their exfoliating routine, We generally suggest 2-3 times a week or every other week if you’re suffering from dry skin. However, before you reach for shaving blades, Zeichner suggests a (gentle) physical exfoliation: “It gives instantaneous effects,” Zeichner claims when you manually remove dead cells from the surface of your skin. Here’s a simple body scrub recipe you can alter based on the specific issues you have with your skin, or if you prefer an alternative from the market, we recommend Herbivore’s Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish and Fur’s Silk Scrub.
It is also possible to use an afghan-like washcloth to exfoliate your skin before shaving, according to King, exceptionally if you choose to use firmer pressure and coarser fabric. In this regard, dry brushing can also be a tremendous physical exfoliation for your body by buffing the skin using natural boar or synthetic nylon bristles. ( Find our step-by-step guide to dry brushing here..)
Body lotion that is postbiotic
Between waxing or shaving sessions, chemical exfoliators can be helpful. King recommends looking for a moisturizer that is loaded with A.H.A.s or BHAs (lactic acid and salicylic acid, for example) for instance) which can both provide nourishment to the skin barrier as well as encourage gentle exfoliation. The K.P. Body Smoothing Lotion and Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion are both winners.
The exfoliator you select will differ based on the area you’d like to cut your hair. “Body exfoliators shouldn’t be used on the face. They are often thicker in consistency and contain higher concentrations of acids and could be too irritating for delicate facial skin,” states dermatologist who is board certified Raechele Cochran, M.D., regarding the exfoliation of your body. “Likewise, using a facial exfoliation on your body may not be strong enough to give you the results you’re looking for.”
A derm-approved shaving routine
It’s recommended to exfoliate before shaving, but what happens following? There’s a solution: Check out the complete list of essential shaving tips below:
Soften the skin. “Prior to shaving, spend about 10 minutes in warm water to help soften the outer layer of skin,” advises King, since it helps remove hair and lessens the risk of burning yourself. A long bath is good, or you can simply shave towards the end of your shower to ensure the water softens your skin.
Cleanse: The exfoliation steps come into play. Select one of the options above and begin scrubbing.
Use shaving creamDon’t cut off the shaving cream part. “It’s important to use a shaving cream or mousse, because when you shave, you are shaving the outermost layers of skin, too,” King explains. “If you don’t use a good product with emollients and occlusives to protect and moisturize the skin, you can end up with abrasions and irritation–this is razor burn.” No matter if you’re using foam gel, mousse, or oil, make sure you’ve got some kind of lubricant before you take an edge to your skin.
“Shave with single strokes, focusing on hair growth and clean the razor between each stroke,” says Zeichner. Please do not go over the same area more than twice, and ensure that the razor is in good shape and sharp every when you apply it. “If you feel any tugging on the skin, it means that the blades are getting dull and they should be switched out,” Zeichner says. If you’re searching for an alternative to refill your razor, look through our collection of razors suitable for sensitive skin.
Moisturize: After rinsing and patting dry, apply moisturizing cream and Body lotion to strengthen your skin’s barrier and help keep it well-hydrated. “Remember that shaving is an interaction between the blade, the hair, and skin itself,” Zeichner says. This means it’s essential to hydrate and soothe the skin after you’ve dragged an edge of a razor (and who doesn’t like the feel of lotion on a freshly cut face?). A soothing balm can prevent the appearance of flakes, inflammation, and irritation. All of these can cause clogged pores and ingrown hair.
The main takeaway
To avoid the possibility of irritation and ingrown hairs, Dermatologists recommend exfoliating before shaving. If you follow the proper techniques and remember the aftercare routine, rubbing off the dead skin layer will result in the smoothest shaving experience to date.