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Top Mistakes You're Making When Shaving Your Legs

By Stacey Feintuch

Created: 12/14/2016
Last Updated: 12/14/2016

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You hop into the shower half asleep but in a hurry. You absentmindedly grab a razor and start hastily getting rid of the hair on your legs. Stop right there! Read below to see if you're making some of the most common leg-shaving mistakes.

By following these strategies, you'll maximize those precious minutes and keep those legs in tip-top shape.

You use a single-blade disposable razor.
These razors are fine occasionally, such as when you're traveling and want to toss your razor before you head home. But for everyday use, invest in a razor with at least three blades. This type of razor will give you the smoothest results and help handle difficult areas like the ankles and knees. That's because the razor's first blade lifts the hair. The blades after that cut hair lower and lower on the shaft. So, at least theoretically, the more blades the razor has, the closer your shave and the smoother your legs will feel.

You shave as soon as you get in the shower.
Take care of your soap, shampoo and conditioning routine first. If you bathe or shower in warm (not cold and not hot) water for about 15 minutes (aim for a minimum of two to three minutes) and then shave, you'll help soften the hair and open the hair follicles. That will make for a smoother and closer shave, which helps prevent razor burn.

You don't change your razor blade enough.
Change your blade at the first sign of dullness or rust. How long that will be depends on the coarseness of your body hair, how large an area you're shaving and, of course, how often you shave. If your blade feels like it's tugging on the hairs, get rid of it. Another sign of a dull razor is if you aren't getting a close shave or shaving causes bumps, cuts and redness, which can trap potentially infection-causing bacteria. You can also inspect the blades to see if they look dull or the moisturizing strip at the top of the razor appears faded.

You shave in the morning.
As you sleep, your legs slightly swell. And that means hair can retreat into its follicles. Shave at night if you can for a smoother result.

You shave dry.
Lather up legs with shaving cream, foam or gel—which are designed to soften the hair—to help ensure that the razor glides over the skin, preventing cuts and nicks. Avoid shaving with soap as it doesn't offer enough of a barrier between your skin and the blade. Soap can also clog the razor's blades.

You share a razor.
Trying to save time and money by shaving with your partner's razor? Or maybe you grab your sister's or mother's razor since you all use the same brand anyway. You're making yourself more susceptible to cuts, nicks and infection.

You shave too fast.
Take your time, especially when you have a fresh blade. Use slow strokes to prevent nicks, paying special attention around the ankles and knees.