Let's be honest. Shaving your legs is irritating, and not just for the skin on your legs. Teen girls in American take warning: once you start shaving, cultural stigmas will make you keep it up unless you wear long pants forever, so make sure you're ready to take that on before you take that first step. Once you've decided that it has to be done though, there are a few things you can do to avoid cuts, bumps and razor burns.
- Get yourself a sharp razor. Do NOT borrow one from your brother or dad's shower unless it's new and he never expects it back. Faces are more sensitive than legs, and shaving your legs can dull a razor enough to make your resident face-shaver pretty unhappy if you leave it for him.
- Exfoliate. The smoother your skin is when you shave it, the better your shave will be. Scrub off the dead skin and ingrown hairs. If you wait until the end of your shower, your skin will absorb more moisture and the dead skin will slough off more easily.
- Always shaving with warm water. Shaving with cold can give you goose bumps, which gives you an uneven surface to shave and makes cuts and razor burns more likely.
- Use a high moisture shaving gel like "Gillette gel with silk". You don't need it to be an inch thick, but make sure you get good coverage - this is your first line of defense against cuts and razor burn.
- Place the razor flat against your leg and slide it gently in the opposite direction of your hair growth. Don't go too fast or twist the razor quickly, as this can cause nicks and cuts. Be especially careful around knees and ankles - the angles make them difficult to shave without cutting them.
- Pat your legs dry and moisturize. Apply good, rich lotion to trap in moisture, prevent flaking and minimize irritation. Aveeno carries a lotion that can actually make hair grow back more slowly.
- Take care of any cuts immediately with Neosporin antibiotic ointment or a similar product to prevent infection.