I want to say that Spring is fast approaching, but I fear that I jinx the lovely Winter rain that we are getting in Cape Town at the moment. SO, instead I am just going to say that in preparation for a great Spring season, a good shaving routine is always a must.
Here are a few tips for the perfect shave:
The right tools: a good razor is essential. Toss the old, blunt one that you have been using and replace it with a sharp, new one that has multiple blades. I use this the Gillette Venus Embrace Razor. You are also going to need a loofah, body scrub, and some shaving cream before you head into the bath or shower.
Soften the skin: open pores mean a closer shave. Save the shave for last and let the water warm your skin while you wash the rest of your body. This will help prevent razor burns.
Exfoliate: when you are ready to start on the shaving, take a few minutes to scrub your legs with the loofah and some body scrub. This will get rid of any dead skin and clear away pore blockages that could lead to ingrown hairs.
Use a moisturising shaving cream: once you are done scrubbing, then it is time to apply your shaving cream.
To take your perfect shave a step further, why not try using coconut oil as shaving cream? Coconut Oil helps with preventing irritation from the razor, and also leaves your skin feeling silky smooth, and because your skin absorbs it, there is no need for any fragrance-free, after-shave lotions to sooth your skin. It’s a win-win in every way. Here’s how I shave with coconut oil, and what you should expect.
The consistency of coconut oil changes very quickly – when you take some out of the jar it is usually hard, but it melts very quickly once you start applying it to your skin because your body heat is high enough to melt it. I warm the coconut oil in the palm of my hands and then rub it over my leg. A little bit of coconut oil goes a long way. There is no need to use a handful of coconut oil on your legs, a teaspoon is good enough. Coconut oil does not lather like shaving cream so, you can’t expect to see any white foam when applying it to your legs. If you shave in the shower, turn the shower off. Even though coconut oil is insoluble in water, most of the product will run off your legs into the drain before you have the chance to mow your leg hair.
Coconut oil definitely gives me the closest, smoothest shave I have ever had. And because it doesn’t clog up my razor, like most shaving creams, I didn’t have to go over any missed spots on my leg. I shave as usual, against the grain. And when it comes time to clean the razor, I use hot water to break the oil down enough to get it off the razor. If you do not rinse the razor properly, the coconut oil will harden on the razor - and although there are no negative affects of the dried coconut oil, it just looks gross.
In my opinion, coconut oil is not just a good alternative, it is the best alternative to shaving cream. Coconut oil not only leaves my skin feeling silky soft hours after my shave, it gives me a close, non-irritated shave that is friendly on my drain, and my pocket. And if I’m feeling adventurous, I just add a few drops of essential oil to the teaspoon of coconut oil to make my shower smell great. 🙂
Here are a few other tips for a close, smooth spring-ready shave.
Go against the grain: with your new razor, soft hair, and open pores you are ready to start shaving. Glide your razor lightly over your skin going against the direction of the hair growth. Avoid going over the same areas twice because this could cause razor bumps, irritation and cuts. If you have reason to go over the same area twice then you need to replace your razor.
Rinse and pat: rinse with cool water to sooth and close the pores. Pat the skin dry with a towel. Do not rub because this will cause skin irritation.
Apply some moisturiser (this is not really necessary if you use coconut oil): once you have finished drying yourself apply some moisturiser. Try a fragranced one so that your skin does not get irritated. OR you could just slather yourself in more coconut oil for that extra soft feeling.
Slow down hair growth: make sure you exfoliate between shaves to slow down the rate of growth and also to loosen and hairs that might be trapped under the skin.