How to Shave Sensitive Skin: 7 Tips for Less Irritation

Shaving your legs without turning your bathroom into some kind of scene from CSI is hard enough. Shaving your legs when you have super-sensitive skin is nearly impossible. That is, of course, unless you follow these seven tips for minimizing irritation, nicks and all that not-fun stuff.

7 Beauty Myths to Stop Believing

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1. Wash Your Hair And Body First

Wait until the end of your shower to wield your razor. This ensures that your skin and hair follicles have had time to soften up, making for a more productive (and long-lasting) shave.

2. Shave *with* the Grain

OK, we never thought of this. We’ve always shaved against the grain, meaning from our ankle to our knee. While that does give you a closer shave, it also increases the possibility of irritation and nicks. Shave in the opposite direction (knee to ankle) for a better chance at unscathed skin.

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3. Always Use A Shaving Gel Or Cream

As easy as it is to reach for a regular bar of soap, most can be rather drying. Go the extra mile to find a moisturizing gel or cream meant specifically for sensitive skin, like Aveeno’s Theraputic Shave Gel or Skintimate’s Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Gel.

4. Shave with Lukewarm Water

We don’t have to tell you that hot showers feel incredible, but they’re not great for shaving, since scalding water strips moisture from your skin—a problem if that’s something you’re already lacking. Instead, shave with lukewarm water and, once you’re done, turn the water down even cooler, which makes your skin nice and tight (this could help prevent ingrown hairs).

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5. Replace Your Razor More Often

Be diligent about keeping your shave kit up to date, which means changing your razor blades at the first signs of dullness. This usually happens after around five uses. Shaving with a dull razor increases redness and—worst-case scenario—the risk of an infection caused by bacteria that’s stuck around.

6. Moisturize Immediately After

After you’ve shaved and hopped out of the shower, use an alcohol-free lotion to butter up your newly smooth legs. The moisturizer keeps your gams nice and soft while a formula free of alcohol cuts back on irritation. We like Eucerin Skin Calming Body Lotion and Kiehl’s Crème de Corps. But on your bikini area, hit it with a preventative anti-bump cream like Shaveworks' The Cool Fix to stop ingrown hairs, razor bumps, razor burn and redness before they start.

7. Don’t Keep Your Razor in the Shower

After you dry yourself, be sure to dry your razor (we try to hit it with a quick, 30-second blast of your hair dryer) and store it in a cool, dry place, like your medicine cabinet. Keeping it in the shower between uses could cause rust or bacteria build-up, because of the humidity.

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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