The 7 cardinal sins of at-home hair removal

Shaving your legs in the morning is a bad idea?! Here's how to make your wax last longer, your shave cut closer and your depilatory cream work like a charm.

hair removal, shaving, waxing

1. Shaving or waxing in the wrong direction. We know how tempting it is to shave against the grain, but dragging your razor or pulling up wax in the opposite direction of hair growth can lead to painful razor burn, ingrown hairs, and pesky nicks and cuts.

2. Not making time to exfoliate. Exfoliating on a regular basis is crucial to removing dead skin cells (that’ll clog up your razor or make it hard for your wax to stick), smoothing residual razor bumps and conditioning the skin surface. It also helps to prevent ingrown hairs by buffing and opening the pores.

3. Dry shaving. You are asking for trouble if you are running a sharp blade over your skin without the proper lubricant. Shaving gels, creams and foams provide a protective blanket allowing the razor to glide along the skin with easy and movement. Bonus: They help to soften the hairs, too.

4. Shaving as soon as you get in the shower. Maximize your shaving efforts and allow the hot water and steam to soften up your skin and open the hair follicles. This only takes 5 to 10 minutes and you will be rewarded with a cleaner, closer shave. We promise.

5. Leaving depilatory creams on longer than recommended. It’s important to remember that while these creams are a safe and effective, they have a strict application time for a reason. Leaving them on for extra minutes will not lead to better hair removal but rather irritation, redness and potentially burns.

6. Removing hair first thing in the morning. As you sleep, your body swells which tends to hide some of your hair. Waiting until later in the day will ensure that you are removing the most hair possible.

7. Waxing at the wrong time of the month. Hormonal shifts and increased blood flow before, during and after your period mean that you are more sensitive to pain and discomfort. Although not always possible, it’s best to wax mid-cycle, especially if its your first time.

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