We all know how to shave but do we know how to shave properly? Seriously, if you want long-lasting smoothness (who couldn't do with more time in the mornings?) then your shaving technique is important. Celebrity beauty therapist and skin expert for Venus, Nathalie Eleni, explained to us that what you do before, during and after shaving can grant you smoother skin for longer. Here are her top tips for the perfect long-lasting shave:
1. Use a salt scrub the day before you shave to lift off any dead cells that may have trapped little hairs, start from the ankles and work upwards in a circular motion. If your skin is particularly sensitive then using exfoliating gloves will prevent flare-ups, but still get the job done efficiently.
2. Shower or bathe before you shave to remove natural oils and perspiration and hydrate the hair, which makes it up to 60% easier to cut. Two-three minutes is optimum soaking time (after 15 or 20 minutes, water causes your skin to wrinkle and swell slightly, resulting in a shave that's not as close as you'd like).
3. Apply an ample amount of moisture-rich shaving gel before shaving to help keep water in the hair and to ensure the razor glides easily over skin. This will allow you a good few extra shave free days. Don't rely on soap to prepare your skin—it may clog your razor during shaving. In addition, many soaps cause dryness.
4. Choose your razor wisely. It is important to choose one that's properly equipped for the job.
5. Shave with a fresh blade; they provide a closer, smoother, more comfortable shave and can help prevent cuts and irritation. You should replace blades at the first sign of dullness or discomfort, and because hair growth can vary dramatically depending on the person, you are the best judge. On average, women replace blades after about 10 shaves.
6. Use a light touch, exerting as little pressure as possible, and shave in the direction that feels most comfortable. Re-lather before shaving the bikini and other sensitive areas.
7. Leave hard-to-shave spots for last. The backs of knees and thighs, and areas like ankles, where the bone is close to the skin surface, are often difficult to shave.
8. Rinse skin thoroughly after shaving, and then pat skin dry. Don't rub skin harshly and don't dry off completely. The extra water on your body will be sealed in as you apply moisturiser, helping to eliminate dry, flaky skin, especially on freshly shaved legs so you can achieve a healthy glow.
9. Coat your freshly shaved legs in some gorgeous natural body oil (don't use synthetic perfumes or fragrances). Try simple coconut or macadamia oils which you can buy from a health food shop or chemist; these will deeply nourish your skin. Apply every evening before bed.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.