3. You Shave in the Opposite Direction of Your Hair Growth
True, it might help you get a slightly closer shave, but it’ll also cause pain. Plus, the blunt-tipped end of the hairs can grow back into the skin rather than up and out. Holy ingrown hairs. “Especially for those with sensitive skin, it’s better to shave only in the same direction that your hair grows,” says Schlessinger. “If you’re prone to razor burn and ingrown hairs, apply a gel or serum like PFB Vanish ($22, lovelyskin.com), which relieves irritations caused by hair removal techniques like shaving.”
4. You Do It as Fast as You Possibly Can
“You’re more likely to nick yourself, irritate your skin, or miss spots when you’re trying to shave too quickly,” says Engelman. “Instead, you want to carefully use smooth, even strokes to prevent any skin troubles.” If you do slice yourself—even slightly—you’ll probably bleed more than you’d expect, so the best thing to do is place pressure on the area until the bleeding stops. “If you’re running out the door and don’t have time, put a little astringent on it to halt blood flow and rub some antiperspirant on the area,” says Engelman.
5. You Apply Too Much Pressure
When it comes to how hard you should be pressing the razor blade down on your skin, always remember less is more. “The harder you bear down, the more uneven the skin surface becomes, because you are essentially creating dimples where the blade falls,” says Engelman. Many multi-bladed razors shave below the skin, causing ingrown hairs and infections when you press too hard.
6. You Don’t Exfoliate Beforehand
To avoid razor bumps, you should use an exfoliator before whipping out that razor. That’s because it removes dead skin cells, allowing your razor to glide over areas easier. “I always recommend First Aid Beauty Cleansing Body Polish ($28, sephora.com) to all my patients with shaving complaints,” says Engelman. “It not only exfoliates, but it also cleanses and helps moisturize the skin.”
7. You Skip Moisturizing Afterwards
“It’s best to moisturize your skin as soon as you step out of the shower,” says Schlessinger, since applying moisturizer while your skin is still damp helps lock everything in. If you skip this step, the top layers of your skin can quickly become dry and dehydrated from the combo of exfoliating and shaving. Engelman also recommends dabbing a hydrating body oil over the area to reduce inflammation and redness. Try Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil ($13, amazon.com).