Both men and women suffer from shaving rashes -- irritated skin and large, red bumps that are unsightly and oftentimes painful. When you have sensitive skin or use improper shaving techniques, a shaving rash is a common occurrence. Not only is the rash uncomfortable, it can last for several days after you shave. Prevent shaving bumps and dry skin by using a few quick techniques before, during and after shaving.
Keep the skin hydrated. Whether you shave while showering or when you get out of the shower, make sure your skin is moist.
Use lukewarm water as opposed to hot water. Hot water opens pores; when shaving, however, you want to keep the pores neutral. If you shave with hot water, it dries out the skin, and allows the shaving substance to seep into pores, causing clogged pores, breakouts and possibly a shaving rash.
Sharpen your razor or make sure you use a sharp razor. Throw out any old, dull razors that don't provide a close shave.
Clean your razor with antibacterial soap and water. Your shaver accumulates dead skin cells, hair and shaving cream inside it. These substances make their way onto your skin when you shave, causing skin irritation, red bumps and breakouts.
Coat the area of the body you're shaving with shaving cream. Make sure to find a product made specifically for sensitive skin or with added moisturisers.
Use a steady downward motion with the razor in the same direction as the hair growth. If the hair is growing downward, use a downward motion when shaving.
Shave in one direction only, even when you shave hard-to-reach places. Resist from turning the razor sideways.
Finish with a hydrating moisturising cream. Apply immediately after you shave.
You can also use baby oil in place of shaving cream. Baby oil is an excellent moisturiser, and helps hydrate skin. It's also helpful for eliminating the skin irritation responsible for shaving rashes. Use a patting motion, instead of a rubbing motion, to remove excess shaving cream or water from your legs. The patting motion helps to lock in moisture, while a rubbing motion removes moisture and oils. Hudson's FTM Resource Guide suggests that men shave less sensitive facial areas last. This is because most electric shavers generate heat over time, which causes skin irritation. Hudson's FTM Resource Guide also suggests that men avoid shaving when they first wake up in the morning, especially if their skin is swollen. Swollen skin makes it more difficult for hair to come to the surface.
Never attempt to shave your legs dry; you risk cutting yourself and causing painful skin irritation.