How Many Blades Do You Need For A Smooth Shave?

It's the age-old question (or more like decade old): How many blades should a razor have to give you the best shave possible? These days, companies will lead you to believe that four, or even five, is the minimum. And when we asked our NewBeauty Facebook followers how many they think is necessary, the answer varied between one and five. So what is the answer? Veronica Barton Schwartz, esthetician and founder of Veronica Malibu says you only need one, but it has to be sharp.

"Using a new sharp, single blade is better for sensitive skin because multiple blades get too close to the skin," she says. "This can strip moisture from the skin and cause razor bumps."

Of course, there are also steps you should take to ensure you get a nice, smooth shave and they start before that razor ever touches your skin.

How to Get a Smooth Shave

- First, always remember to soak your skin in warm water for at least 10 minutes. "The best place to shave your legs is in a warm bath," says Los Angeles aesthetician, Gina Marí. "If time is an issue, a warm shower is the next best place." Barton Schwartz says this "softens the hairs so they provide less resistance against the blade."

- Next, exfoliate your skin with a gentle exfoliating cream or loofah sponge, while you soak, to remove dead skin cells. Doing so will help the blade get closer to the surface of the skin where the hair protrudes.

- Once your skin is prepped, apply a shaving cream like Kiehl's Simply Mahvelous Legs Shave Cream ($22). Barton Schwartz says it's, "a good, gentle formulation that contains chamomile for sensitive skin." If shaving cream isn't available, Marí says not to worry, "a rich hair conditioner is another great option."

- When it's time to shave, use a new razor to make sure its blade (or blades) is sharp, otherwise it can cause nicks and unsightly razor burn. Then she says, shave in the direction of your hair growth, not against it, like many of us do, because it can lead to ingrown hairs.

- Last, rinse your skin with warm water and pat it dry with a clean towel. Then apply an after-shave that does not contain alcohol because it can irritate and dry out your skin. Also, just-shaved skin is more sensitive to the sun so avoid exposure to it for at least 24 hours and wear SPF if you do go outside.

Related:
Waxing Actually Does Cause Ingrown Hairs
You May Never Have to Shave Again...Someday

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