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Body · April 23, 2018

The Right Way to Shave Your Armpits, According to a Dermatologist

Choose the Right Razor

First and foremost, the razor you choose to use makes all the difference. Based on your underarm's location, one with a pivoting handle allows you to reach the area easier and adjust to all its curves (same with your legs when it comes to your knees!) as you glide the razor along your skin. Additionally, selecting a head with multiple blades for a superclose shave (no hair left behind) is the way to go, Dr. Shamban recommends.

Replace Your Blade Often

Having a dull blade will require you to apply more pressure, which can lead to irritation. That's why it's important to switch out your blade frequently (rule of thumb is usually after three uses or so) and rinse under warm water after every pass so hair and debris don't get trapped in between the blades. Store your razor in a cool, dry place (read: not your shower) to prevent bacteria growth, which will help prolong the life of your razorhead.

Schedule Your Shave

Choosing when to shave is just as important as how you shave, says Dr. Shamban, reminding us that the same mindset applies to our legs and bikini lines too. Make sure to shave the night before an event to allow your skin to repair, recover, and heal any razor burn overnight, she says. If you run your razor under your arms right before you head to the beach, a workout, or a party, youre setting yourself up for chafing and burning, which only gets more painful and itchy when you add sweat to the mix. And when you do shave, make sure it's the last thing you do in the shower. This way, your skin will have absorbed as much hydration as possible, which helps prevent bumps and ingrown hairs.

Exfoliate the Area First

Just like the skin on your face, your underarms benefit from exfoliation to break up bacteria, dirt, and sweat. Similarly, you can choose to do this with either a physical or chemical exfoliator (or both) to get the most effective shave. Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel - Body not only sloughs away dead skin cells but also banishes any deodorant residue and lingering B.O. This will help eliminate the bacteria that are contributing to any odor, says Dr. Shamban.

Use a Shaving Cream

Because the skin under your arms is so sensitive, its important to use a moisturizing gel or cream when shaving versus a sudsy wash, which can dry out the area, leading to a more painful shave. Prep each pit with a creamy product like Whish Shave Cream to help your razor glide steadily without hitting any snags. The delightful scents (choose from pomegranate, lavender, or acai grapefruit) will upgrade your shower experience overall too.

Shave in the Right Direction(s)

While the hair on your legs tends to grow in one direction, the hair under your arms grows every which way. To avoid having to go over the same small area of sensitive skin several times with a sharp blade, raise your arm, pull the skin taut, and shave in every directionup, down, sideways, against and with the grainto get the smoothest finish.

Make Your Shave Last

After rinsing in the shower, gently pat (dont rub!) your pits with a towel. Slather on a dollop of (MALIN + GOETZ)'s ingrown hair cream, which not only prolongs the life of your silky underarms but also further exfoliates to prevent red bumps and irritation. Skin-softening ingredients like vitamins, chamomile, and allantoin hydrate the area too.

Pamper and Protect

Once pits are completely dry, a swipe of Schmidt's Sensitive Skin Deodorant Stick will soothe and moisturize the skin further while neutralizing odor and wetness with its 100% natural formula. Also, never underestimate the comfort of loose (read: nonchafing) cotton clothing, which will prevent any redness or irritation.

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Erica Smith