We’re making a beeline for summer, and our hemlines are well and truly starting to creep up. If, like me, you haven’t had a good look at your legs for the last few months, I’m starting to think about all the primping and pruning that might be required for (me, personally, to feel good on) that first mini-dress-wearing day.
There is no right or wrong way to do things when it comes to grooming (including nothing, embracing the au naturel!). But we spoke to our best mates at LUI - the experts in elevating body care and shaving - about the must-do’s and must-don’ts if you are picking up a razor.
Rebecca Harding, founder of LUI, shares her top 10 tips for the perfect shave:
Invest in a quality razor you love to use.
“A great shave begins with great tools. We spent three-and-a-half years developing the LUI Razor to elevate your shave. Ergonomically designed to sit comfortably in your hand, the soft-touch grip and perfectly weighted handle provides control and precision. Five diamond-sharp blades, enclosed in a moisturising vitamin e cushion, make for an exceptionally close shave while rehydrating the skin. Taking inspiration from the fluidity of our bodies, the Razor is informed by female shaving.”
Shave in the direction of hair growth and then against it.
“Many of us think that shaving against the grain gives a closer shave, but this can cause regrowth to curl back into the follicle, resulting in ingrown hairs and inflammation. Instead, begin by shaving in the direction of hair growth to ‘trim’ the hair down as close as possible to the skin. This also gives the skin ample time to moisten and soften. After you’ve done this, then shave against the grain to finish off.”
Perfect your technique.
“The key here is taking your time. Shave with long and gentle strokes, applying a light amount of pressure. If you find yourself needing to apply pressure, it may be time to change your razor head. Which conveniently leads into our next point…”
Replace your razor head often.
“Dull blades are a recipe for disaster. If your blade isn’t sharp enough, it will drag across the skin and you’ll have to go over the same area again and again. This can lead to irritation, razor burn, nicks, cuts and ingrowns. Worse yet, overused razor blades can become contaminated with dead skin cells and bacteria, potentially causing infection or breakouts. We recommend replacing your refill blade after 6-8 shaves.”
“Ingrown hairs are caused when hair becomes trapped underneath the skin’s surface. The hair has no follicle to grow out of, so it curls back into the skin. Regular exfoliation (1-3 times a week) nudges ingrown hairs out of the follicle and gently buffs away the dead skin cells, excess sebum, dirt and grime which would clog them in the first place. Just make sure you’re keeping up with your moisturisation when doing so; a really nourishing body cream or oil to keep that skin barrier replenished and soothed and never scaly.”
Use a nourishing shave cream.
“Dry shaving causes micro-trauma to the skin, damaging the skin’s barrier and potentially leading to the fungal condition folliculitis, ingrown hairs, rashes, irritation and dryness. It’s important to use a formulation created specifically for shaving (never a body wash or hair conditioner!). We created the Shave Cream to not only protect the skin during shaving, but give back to it. A luxurious, pH-balanced antioxidant formulation, it contains shea butter that softens the hair follicle and skin, while aloe vera and avocado oil soothe and calm.”
Shave with warm water.
“Hot water is incredibly drying and strips the skin of its natural oils and moisture, so turn the tap down – just a little. Good news if you’re in a bath: submerging in warm water will soften your hair, making it easier to shave. And if you’re showering? The steam will gently open your pores.”
Clean your razor blades.
“Razor blades can become clogged with hair, your shave cream product and dead skin cells. Rinse your razor blade often while you’re shaving, in between every few strokes, for an even, easy shave.”
Air dry your razor.
“Leaving your razor submerged in its own pool of water in a damp, humid shower or bath recess is as unappealing as it sounds. This can cause the blades to rust and become home to bacteria. To make your razor last, give the blades a thorough rinse after shaving and store it outside of the shower. Oh, and don’t try to dry your razor with a towel or tissue (this can damage the blade).”
Think of shaving as a ritual.
“At LUI we believe shaving should be a more beautiful experience. Up until now hair removal was considered a chore, but we’re here to change that: we think shaving deserves a place in your self-care routine. So we’ve created conscious products that elevate your daily/weekly/monthly beauty ritual while considering body and planet. (And they just so happen to look great too.)”