Ever wondered why body scrubs and razors are found next to each other on the aisles of most convenience stores? It’s not a coincidence because they really do make a good pairing; exfoliation gives you a smooth and silky shave. Infact, shaving is a form of exfoliation in that it not only helps to remove unwanted hair, but also sloughs away dead skin cells from the upper most layer of the skin’s surface.
But this question pops up quite often with people wondering whether they should exfoliate before or after shaving. As a rule of thumb, one should be exfoliating at least two to three times a week, regardless of shaving or not. For people who have oily skin, they might increase the frequency, and those with dry and sensitive skin might stick to one to two times a week.
However, exfoliation alongside shaving has shown to improve the effectiveness of the latter in giving one smoother and silkier skin post hair removal.
So let's dive a little deeper into everything related to exfoliation when it comes to shaving, whether it should be done before or after, how it should be done, and the dangers of over-exfoliating.
What is exfoliation?
It is the process of removing dead skin cells, and debris from the skin’s upper most layer to help kickstart rejuvenation of the skin to reveal newer and fresher skin cells. The process also helps to unclog pores and in turn keeps acne at bay. It also plays a great role in helping fade acne scars and blemishes, lending your skin an even and glowing skin tone.
Does the skin need to be prepped before shaving?
The answer is yes, you should definitely prep your skin before shaving. You will have to make sure your hair is wet as dry shaving can lead to irritation and razor burn. Hopping in the shower or taking a warm bath beofre shaving will make sure that your hair is soft and it will also help the razor glide smoothly. Another part of skin prep before shaving is exfoliating.
When to exfoliate?
The answer isn’t as tricky as it’s made out to be, because the benefits of shaving before shaving are manifold. Not only does it result in a smooth canvas for the razor to glide along, it reduces the chances of nip and cuts as a result of skin tugging. Furthermore, exfoliating before shaving will lift the hair and loosen any hair that is trapped underneath the skin, giving an extremely clean shave.
On the other hand, if you exfoliate after you shave it might result in skin irritation and inflammation as the skin is already likely to be sensitive as a result of coming in contact with the razor blades.
How to exfoliate before shaving?
Choose an exfoliating product: Opt for a physical exfoliant when doing so before shaving as it will help to loosen the trapped hair and lift them up.
Use warm water: Slightly warm water helps to open up the pores, enabling the exfoliant to do its job well.
Use gentle circular motions: Make sure to keep a gentle pressure as being too rough when it comes to exfoliation can hurt the skin, resulting in redness, swelling and inflammation. Instead use gentle circular motions to to the job.
Wash off: Once you’re done, rinse and pat the skin dry.
Now your skin is ready for shaving. If you want to learn how to get a clean and smooth shave, you can check that out here. Make sure to use a shaving cream as dry shaving can cause undue pain, nips and cuts.
Now it’s time for after-shave care.
After your exfoliating and shaving process, make sure that after coming out of the shower you gently pat yourself dry and apply a moisturiser or body oil while your skin is still a little damp. Doing this will ensure that the moisture you already have will be locked in the skin, leaving it feeling supple, soft and smooth. The Leovard Tonic makes a wonderful after-shave care product and helps to keep inflammation, redness and razor bumps post shave at bay, allowing you to enjoy silky smooth skin for long.
What are the dangers of over-exfoliating?
Yes, there is such a thing as over-exfoliating. It’s when you become so rigorous and rough, that instead of benefiting from the process, your skin starts to hurt or worse, become red, inflammed or even start to bleed. Amongst the dangers of over-exfoliation is excessively dry and flaky skin which may even start to peel. So remember, an excess of anything is bad.
Now that we’ve covered everything one needs to know about exfoliation for a better and smoother shave, we hope you’ll be able to make informed choices and do your skin the favor of doing what makes it feel loved and cherished.