Here's how you're actually meant to be shaving your legs

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

It's something we often don't really even think about (unless we're about to go on a date and realise it's been like three weeks since it's been done......): Shaving our legs.

According to a shaving expert, there are a few tips and tricks to ensure a smooth, close shave, without the risk of a rash.

Venus beauty ambassador Nathalie Eleni told the Daily Mail that when it comes to shaving, there are a few more steps in the process than you might think.

"Shaving technique is important, but there's more to achieving soft, smooth, hair-free skin than a few strokes with a razor. What you do before and after the shave is just as important."

Exfoliate

While many beauty experts emphasise the importance of exfoliating before any kind of hair removal procedure, Nathalie says it should ideally be done the day before shaving.

"Exfoliate the day before shaving to release hairs trapped under dead skin, this is help avoid the risk of ingrown hairs."

Soak the skin

Letting the skin soak for 2-3 minutes before shaving expands the hairs by 60 percent, making them much easier to cut.

But don't spend too much time in the water before shaving - after 15 minutes, water will cause the skin to wrinkle and swell slightly, resulting in less of a close shave.

Nathalie also advises against shaving legs in the bath, as the hot water can cause the skin to become red and irritated before you even start.

Don't use soap

Nathalie suggests using a good amount of shave gel instead, to help keep water in the hair and to ensure the razor glides easily.

"Don't rely on soap to prepare skin - it may clog the razor during shaving. In addition, many soaps cause dryness and flaking."

And if you nick yourself with the razor, Nathalie advises soaking a cotton wool pad in freezing cold water and pressing it firmly on to the cut. This helps to constrict capillaries to stop the bleeding, while the cooling prevents inflammation.

Stretch the skin as you shave

Nathalie's key piece of advise is to gently stretch the skin to create a flatter surface to glide the razor over. This makes it easier to catch the hairs, and ensures a smoother finish.

Don't rub the skin

After rinsing skin thoroughly, it's best to pat it dry and leave some of the water on, rather than rub.

"Don't rub skin harshly and don't dry off completely," Nathalie told the Daily Mail. "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 goddess glow."

Don't use your boyfriend's razor

While many women do it, the expert says using your boyfriend's razor is a no-no, as the guy's version is designed for different areas than a woman's razor.

Nathalie also recommends replacing the blade after 10 shaves.

And if you do suffer from irritation after shaving, the expert says applying coconut oil is the best way to heal inflamed skin.

This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.