We all know that hair removal can be a tedious task, especially when you have sensitive skin. Creams that carry harmful chemicals and waxing can all lead to red bumps. And if you use a razor, then you need to ensure you avoid those razor burns. So, we caught up with Dr. Rashmi Shetty; celebrity dermatologist and an aesthetic physician who gave us a few tips on how one can improvise their shaving routine—which can help protect your sensitive skin, so you’re smooth and irritation-free whenever it’s time to remove some excess hair.
Before you pick up a razor, prepare your skin and hair to ensure a smooth shave. To prevent irritation, wet the skin for at least two minutes before you shave. If you try to shave when the skin is dry, you may experience chaffing or irritation as the razor drags across the rough surface. Use warm water to dampen skin as it helps raise and soften the hairs so they’re more pliable and easier to remove. Your skin shouldn’t be continuously soaked, however, or the skin around the hair follicles may swell up, preventing a close shave which means you should avoid shaving while taking a bath.
To get a close, irritation-free shave, lubricate your skin so the razor doesn’t drag. Look for shaving gels that are formulated for sensitive skin or better if you can pick a razor that has in-built moisture gel bars to avoid any other preparatory agents. Check the ingredients carefully in preparatory agents, and avoid any products that contain alcohol, peppermint or menthol. These can cause further irritation, redness and rash.
Use the right razor to prevent shaving irritation on your sensitive skin. Prefer to use those with replaceable blades and the recent ones that have in-built moisture gel bars like Gillette Venus’ new Breeze razor, where you don’t even have to prep your skin with any gel or cream. Newer razors have ergonomical handles, with pivoting heads to ensure a close and comfortable shave. A front pivot system allows the razor to move over curved areas independently of the handle, keeping the blades optimally positioned on the skin.
For the ones who have sensitive skin, the greatest nemesis is an over-used razor blade with a dull or damaged edge. When a razor’s blades are dull, you will need to apply more pressure to effectively remove the hair, which can lead to rashes and bumps. Therefore, it is extremely pertinent that you use a good quality razor with a flexible head and round edges so that it moves around smoothly on the contours of your body without you requiring to put a lot of pressure on it. It is advisable to swap out blades after every five uses to ensure an effortless hair removal. Blades that come from reputable companies go through thorough research and are so sharp and clean that they do not end up giving cuts and nicks.
You get the closest shave when you shave against the direction of hair growth. However, that can irritate sensitive skin and cause bumps and razor burn. On sensitive skin, shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation, and avoid shaving the same area more than once. When you’re moving the razor over your skin use smooth, even strokes without applying too much pressure to keep your skin smooth and irritation-free. The advantage of using a 3-bladed razor is that it is positioned to extend gradually closer to the skin to aid in the reduction of drag. Each blade is independently mounted on springs, allowing a constant adjustment to the contours of the body, keeping them in contact with the skin, even in hard to reach areas.
Always moisturise your skin after shaving. A moisturised skin will leave your skin smooth and supple thus preventing burns and rashes. If you have an extra sensitive skin, use a calming lotion post shave and use a sun-screen while stepping out of the house as shaving finely exfoliates your skin and exposure to sun may cause irritation.
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This post is in partnership with Gillette Venus.