Ask The Beauty Editor: ‘How Can I Shave Without Irritating My Skin?’

By Ashleigh Cometti
Collage / Julia Gessler

Dear Beauty Editor,

I’ve recently made the switch from waxing to shaving, but my skin is suffering! Not only does my skin feel itchy and dry after shaving, but I’ve been experiencing little bumps and the odd in-grown hair.

I’m shaving against the direction of growth, and my blade isn’t


Itchy & Scratchy

Dear Itchy & Scratchy,

Tending to body hair remains a touchy subject (excuse the pun), with many people keeping theirs long and luscious while others prefer to go completely hair-free.

There’s certainly an art to shaving, and if you’ve been waxing for some time then consider this your back-to-basics masterclass. Armed with the right tools, shaving oil and post-shave balm, your skin will be free from nicks, in-grown hairs and rashes in no-time.

The itching and dryness you’re experiencing is known as razor burn, a type of irritation that’s caused by the friction between your razor and your skin. Those little bumps? They’re called razor bumps and are the result of hair growing back into the skin instead of growing out (like an ingrown hair).

To prevent this, ensure you’re trimming the area first before lunging at it with a razor. Otherwise, you could be tugging or pulling at the hairs with your razor, which will only serve to irritate your skin further.

Shaving prep is important, so reach for a quality body wash to hydrate and cleanse the area first (my current obsession is the Ashley & Co. Wash Up All-Over Body Wash in Tui & Kahili), before going in with a gentle exfoliator to slough away dead skin cells and achieve a close shave. Try This Works Perfect Legs 100% Natural Scrub.

When you’re razor-ready, use a hydrating shaving gel or oil to protect the skin while you shave (Grown Alchemist Shaving Gel is always a winner), and enable the razor to glide over hairs with ease. Always shave in the direction of hair growth (rather than against it) to prevent pimples or redness and be sure to take your time to avoid nicks or cuts.

Use a high-quality safety razor, like the Cali Woods Safety Razor, a more sustainable option than your standard plastic razor from the supermarket.

Aftercare is also important, so reach for a calming balm or lotion to keep the area soft and supple like the Aesop Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion, so you don’t experience any ingrown hairs post-shave. It’s a good idea to avoid an extra-hot shower immediately afterwards and continue to gently exfoliate the area every time you wash.



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