Close shave: Tips for a stubble-free summer

Shaving tips: A photo of a woman's legs as she sits next to the pool

As the spring temperatures rise and summer nears, shorts, skirts and swimsuits reign supreme. And alas, I can no longer hide stubbly legs under long pants.

Keeping legs hair free can be a time consuming chore. So how can you make your shaving time count? I asked Dermatologist Joshua Tournas, MD, from Banner Health Center – Mohs Dermatology in Sun City West how we can get the closest shave.

His number one tip: exfoliate first.

“Use a sugar scrub in the shower before shaving,” Dr. Tournas said. “This lifts the hair away from the skin, preventing irritation and providing a closer, smoother shave.”

Don’t just use any old razor when you start your shaving session. Investing in quality razors and shaving cream can make a difference. Replacing those razor blades or cartridges regularly is also an important step to help prevent ingrown hairs or nicks.

“Many razors come with safety guards or gel strips on them that help prevent the skin from getting cuts,” Dr. Tournas said. “Taking your time when shaving, and going with the grain of the hair, is the best way to avoid cuts and ingrown hairs.”

After shaving, be sure to exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin that can build-up and can cause follicles to turn in upon themselves, creating ingrown hairs.

So now that you have a close, cut-free shave, how do you battle stubble? Dr. Tournas does not recommend shaving more than once a day and if your skin is sensitive, you might have to scale back even more.
“Certain skin types are more sensitive than others and can’t handle daily shaving,” he said. “It’s better to shave every two to three days if overly sensitive, rather than shave a few days in a row and have to take a longer break because of excess irritation.”

And my pet peeve after shaving: Do goose bumps really make your hair grow back faster?

The quick answer is no.

“Goose bumps are caused by the contraction of your smallest muscle, the arrector pili, which is found in the skin and attached to each hair follicle,” Dr. Tournas said. “When you feel cold, the muscle contracts and causes your hair stand up. Your hairs are sharply cut diagonally right after shaving, and as such will stand up and feel pointy when you get goose bumps, which may explain why this myth persists.”

Also read: High Heel Horrors

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Close shave: Tips for a stubble-free summer

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