A Woman’s Ultimate Secret Guide to a Better Shave in 2020SPOILER ALERT: YOU'RE SHAVING WRONG
With countless high-tech options on the market, is the razor you choose the key to a great shave? Partly, but much more of the magic happens before the blade even touches your skin, and the truth is, most of us have been shaving wrong for years!
Luckily, we’ve got your back, and we’ve distilled it down to a science. Follow the four simple steps in our guide to getting an epically smooth shave and you‘ll feel the difference—we promise.
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN WHO CHOOSE SHAVING AS THEIR PREFERRED HAIR REMOVAL METHOD
STEP 1: EXFOLIATE
Seriously, if you do only ONE thing to improve your shaving routine, this is the one.
Often overlooked, exfoliation is the first step to a great shave. It removes dead skin cells which can clog your razor and helps to fluff up new, smaller hairs making them easier to reach.
A loofah or brush in the shower is a good start, but in sensitive areas, it’s difficult to regulate the level of abrasion which can leave you with irritated skin before you even shave.
Instead, try an all-natural pre-shave body scrub made with natural oils and salt or sugar, which can be mixed with water to customize the level of abrasion. This is super important, especially for underarms and bikini lines, where you want to be able to control the grit against your skin. Since sugar and salt dilute easily, regulating the intensity of the scrub is much more manageable.
Remember to always test any scrub on your wrist or lower leg before using on other areas of your body. Now you’re ready for step two: Moisturizing + prepping skin.
BIKINI SOFT BUYING GUIDE
At Bikini Soft we developed three different all natural exfoliating pre-shave scrubs for different levels of intensity. Here’s a description to help you get the idea:
Our Coconut Joy Pre-Shave Scrub is natural oil and sugar-based, has minimal grit and is great if you prefer a lighter scrub or have sensitive skin. Oh, and it smells like a tropical vacation.
Our Arabica Coffee and Salt Pre- Shave Scrub uses all organic ingredients including coconut oil, fresh coffee grinds and salt. The grit is mid-way between our coconut and citrus scrubs, but a little more substantial, since coffee grinds don’t dissolve in water. Bonus: the caffeine in the coffee grounds is a powerful anti-cellulite ingredient, making it our pick for feeling extra fab for beach or pool day.
STEP 2: MOISTURIZE + PREP SKIN
Have you ever wondered why the lubricating strips on razors get bigger and bigger and are often cross-branded with well-known moisturizing products? It’s because when you strip away the bells and whistles, a crucial part of getting a clean, smooth, comfortable shave is making sure that your skin is properly moisturized and prepped before shaving.
We’ll dare to say it: you don’t need a fancy 6-blade, vibrating razor if you exfoliate and moisturize with the right product before you shave. Prep is key! So let’s talk product — we even made you a comparison chart.
SOAP We’ve all used soap in a pinch because it’s better than nothing, but body soap is drying and when combined with shaving (which does irritate the skin somewhat) you’re almost sure to have razor bumps and irritation.
SHAVING CREAM OR SHAVING GEL If you look at shaving cream through a microscope, you see thousands of little bubbles that sit on your skin and hair. But those bubbles don’t actually provide a protective barrier to your skin (we even made you a handy-dandy diagram to show this below).
This leaves parts of your skin unprotected and prone to nicks, cuts, and irritation from the razor that can lead to bumps, razor burn and ingrown hairs. No thank you! Because you can’t see through the shaving cream it’s also hard to navigate around tricky areas like knees and ankles. If you’ve ever looked down to see one crazy hair on your ankle, you know what we mean!
HAIR CONDITIONER OR CREME RINSE Using conditioner is another one of those emergency shave solutions that we’ve all pulled out of our bag of tricks at some point. While it does provide moisture, most conditioners are full of harsh chemicals and heavy fragrances (just look at the label and see how many of those things you can’t pronounce). Not only can those ingredients cause additional irritation on your skin, they can get downright hostile when you’re shaving below the belt! Creme rinse — same story. No thanks.
BABY OIL The primary ingredient in baby oil is Mineral Oil which is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. If that’s not gross enough, mineral oil is comedogenic, meaning it can block your pores, creating bumps and redness. And there is mounting evidence that this ingredient is bad for your health.
While baby oil does provide slickness for shaving, the oil sits on top of your skin rather than penetrating the surface, so when you shave, you’re largely scraping off the goop and getting some hair, meaning it can take several passes to actually reach the hair. That translates to more chance for irritation, nicks, scrapes and bumps. And if you’re shaving the delicate areas down below, mineral oil can contribute to the harboring of bacteria and lead to infections. #yikes
OLIVE OR COCONUT OIL We’ve been asked more than once, “why can’t I just use olive or coconut oil instead?” As always, there’s no rule to say that you can’t. However, it’s important to know a few things before you go hunting in the pantry for a standalone shaving solution.
Olive oil is a good anti-oxidant and a pinch of it is actually included in the Bikini Soft formula, however, there are some inherent risks with using it by itself to shave with. Olive oil has a thicker viscosity that is not optimal for shaving — it’s not easily absorbed into the skin, so can trap dust and sebum, causing acne and irritation.
Coconut oil is a moisturizer and can work for shaving. However, coconut oil used alone has a variable viscosity — it begins to solidify at about 76 degrees, making it hard to work with and control. Its nourishing and soothing properties are beneficial, though, which it is also why we use some (in combination with other oils) in the Bikini Soft formula.
The reason our formula is optimal for shaving is that it combines 11 different soothing and moisturizing oils and a powerful antioxidant to create the perfect viscosity to coat skin and hair without being so thick that it prevents a close shave.
ALL NATURAL SHAVING OIL Ditching shaving cream for shave oil is a game-changer because it provides a water-resistant moisturizing coating that is absorbed into your skin and helps you see what you’re doing because the oil is translucent.
All natural Shaving oil has thus far been a well-kept secret, mostly known only to barbers and, more recently, those in possession of lustrous beards. But why should men be the only ones to benefit? Shave oil is a game changer because not only do the essential oils in it provide a soothing, moisturizing surface for your razor to work on, but it provides the skin nurturing barrier that allows your razor to flawlessly glide across your precious skin and it’s translucent so you can see exactly what you’re doing!
Unlike shaving cream/gel which is porous, leaving tiny air bubbles between itself and your skin which create razor drag and irritation, shaving oil coats skin completely. This lets your razor move smoothly, dramatically reduces skin irritation, razor burn, nicks, scratches, unsightly bumps and ingrown hairs, and gives you your best shave ever — guaranteed. Not to toot our own horn too loudly, but our Bikini Soft Smooth Shave Oil comes in four (all natural) fragrances and we think it’s a total game-changer.
BIKINI SOFT BUYING GUIDE
Bikini Soft Shave Oils come in four delightful fragrances that can be layered or mixed-n-matched to suit your mood.
Happy. Energizing, Blissful. It’s the perfect citrus balance – not too heavy and not too sweet.
Luscious. Warm. Cozy. This clean scent is the thing vanilla dreams and fresh-baked cookies are made of.
A tropical vacation in a bottle. Fresh coconut paired with hints of sandalwood for a sophisticated scent.
Exotic. Relaxing. Spa-Worthy. This earthy botanical stress-melting scent is both soothing and relaxing.
STEP 3: SHAVE
Over cutting body hair is a surefire way to get ingrown hairs. Aim for no more than 3 passes.
#RealTalk, many of us buy razors based on marketing and price (or – let’s be honest — we borrow our man’s bajillion-blade one). The options are dizzying, making it hard to know what’s really best for your skin. Over time, razors have evolved from having one blade, to up to six! Along the way, we’ve been told that each additional blade makes the razor more effective— more is better. Moisturizing strips keep getting bigger, hinting at the fact that skin needs moisturizing prep before shaving. (Remember step two?)
READY FOR A TRUTH BOMB?
Almost as important as moisturizing and prepping your skin is the fact that when you shave, you can only cut the hair 2 to 3 times per shave session. So razors with more than 4 blades don’t actually provide a closer shave but can lead to irritation because the 5th and 6th blades begin to scrape away the upper layers of your skin. Ouch!
When more blades are packed onto a razor head, the space between the blades, also known as the flow through, is reduced. Flow through helps to keep the razor clear of debris so it can shave better, keeping things smooth. If the blades are gunked up with hair, skin, and product, there’s more drag, which can make things irritated fast.
Sound familiar? Try using a razor with fewer blades (sounds counterintuitive but trust us), and prepping your skin with Bikini Soft Shave Oil. The enhanced glide along with fewer blades will leave your skin feeling less angry all around.
HOW YOU’RE SHAVING WRONG
Prevailing wisdom teaches us to shave in the direction of the hair growth or with the grain, but hardly anyone sticks to that. Why? Because when you shave with the grain, you don’t get the closest shave, and you’re left with stubble! So we shave in many directions in the quest for epic levels of smooth — especially on underarms (where the hair can grow in 6 different directions) and bikini lines (where hair also grows in different directions and is coarser).
SO WHAT’S THE FIX?
Shave at the end of your shower or bath. This allows time for the hair to soften, making for an easier shave.
Your first pass in shaving should be in the direction of the grain.
This means when shaving under your arms or bikini line to take a good look at the grain and initially shave that area with the grain. For example: Under your arms, your initial 5 passes may be in different directions (with smaller strokes on smaller areas). The best way to do this is with translucent shave oil so you can see the grain, and a mirror.
After your initial pass, stop, clean your razor and re-apply 3 or 4 drops of Bikini Soft shaving oil.
Now shave in alternative directions. A good sequence: down, diagonally down, side-to-side then up.
Try shaving this way and you’ll really notice the difference in smoothness.
Time Saver Alert — our shave oil eliminates the need for post-shave moisturizing completely! Bikini Soft’s unique combination of eleven all natural oils (including jojoba, argan, and vitamin e) not only give you ahhhmazing shaving glide, they also smooth, soften, hydrate, and moisturize skin — which means at least 10 extra minutes of time for the fun stuff in life.
STEP 4: CALM + SOOTHE
Bottom line, hair removal can irritate skin, no matter the method — all we can do is our best to minimize it and prevent the ultimate beach day bummers — ingrown hairs and razor burn! After shaving, (especially if you have sensitive skin) using a calming and soothing product like our Bikini Soft Smooth Skin Balm with natural ingredients, can soothe skin and speed healing.
We carefully crafted our balm so it’s powerful and gentle. The Chamomile and Jojoba extracts are antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, cleansing your pores and helping dislodge ingrown hairs. Rosehip gives it added antibacterial protection, neutralizing irritants, while gently calming your skin. It also protects against pseudofolliculitis — AKA razor burn!