A Beginner’s Guide on How to Prepare Your Skin for Shaving

Whether shaving for the first time or simply looking for ways to better protect your skin, here are shaving preparation tips to make the experience a smoother one.

Girls in a power pose.

Whether you’re shaving for the first time or just want to better protect your skin against irritation, we’ve put together some shaving preparation tips for a better experience.

Moisturize your skin

Refillable razor Gillette Venus Comfortglide Breeze.

When your skin is well-hydrated, your body hair will become thick with water and break away from the skin more easily, resulting in less chances of skin irritation. Soak the area you plan to shave for about three minutes via a warm shower or bath, or under running water.

Exfoliate before shaving, if needed

Refillable razor Gillette Venus Comfortglide Breeze on the sink.

If you want a closer, longer-lasting shave, try exfoliating before you start shaving. Exfoliation helps to remove any surface-level, dead skin and helps your razor glide over your skin more easily.

It’s better to exfoliate your skin before shaving rather than after. Otherwise, you might risk causing additional irritation. Use a loofah or a gentle scrub in the shower for better results. Learn more about exfoliating before you shave.

Use ample shaving gel to avoid irritation

Satin Care Sensitive skin shave gel.

After you’ve hydrated your skin, apply a thick, even amount of shaving gel over the area you plan to shave. Using shave gel properly will help prevent moisture loss and add an additional layer of protection to avoid any nicks, cuts and hair pulls while you shave, and thus cut down on itchy razor bumps and skin irritation post-shave — especially if you have more sensitive skin.

Using shave gel also shows you exactly where you’ve shaved with your razor already. This helps to avoid having to re-shave over any areas, thereby decreasing chances of skin irritation. Learn more about how shave gel can help you avoid irritation and find out how to choose the shaving cream that’s right for you.

Choose the right razor

Comfortglide & Olay Coconut Razor

Most razor blades will last between five and 10 shaves. And, whether using a disposable or reusable razor, you want to make sure your razor blade is sharp and clean. This will reduce the chance of feeling the blade pull on your body hair or feel rough while gliding across your skin. If your blade starts to do this, it’s time to replace it.

After shaving, be sure to rinse your razor completely, let it air dry and keep it in a dry place in your shower. Learn more about choosing the right razor for you.

Learn how to shave the right way

Satin Care Sensitive skin shave gel.

Your best chances of achieving your best shave will depend on what areas of your body you are shaving. Learn more about how to shave:

  • Legs: shave lightly from the ankles up
  • Underarms: shave in all directions your hair grows
  • Bikini Area: shave in the direction of the hair growth first; then you can go against the grain for a closer shave

Apply Moisturizer

Refillable razor Gillette Venus Comfortglide Breeze on the towel.

When you’re finished shaving, rinse, pat your skin dry and apply your favorite moisturizer. Post-shave moisturization will help keep your freshly shaven skin healthy and hydrated. What’s more, since soap and water can often cause dry skin, applying a post-shave moisturizer helps to protect your skin against moisture loss while shaving.