I think I speak for most women when I say that I don't even bother to exfoliate my skin before
I shave because I am already in a race against time and I really don't want to look like a werewolf in public. It is not until I start itching my armpits and bikini line (from my hair growing back) that I realize that I have razor bumps and ingrown hairs. I think back at it now I realize how careless I was at my approach to shaving because I was so fixated about not walking out the house looking like chewbacca. The worse part about this is that in order to avoid the itching, razor bumps and ingrown hairs, I would shave about once every 3-4 weeks; it became worse during the Winter time (I took hibernation very seriously) and now that I am at a point in my life where I have to shave about every 2-3 days, I needed to find a solution FAST.
First step I took was getting down to the root of the problem... Literally. Why was I getting razor bumps? and what the hell are ingrown hairs and why was I getting them? Well, after reading a bunch of health websites and evaluating my shaving method, my solution was simple. I was getting razor bumps because of the way I was shaving. Shave downwards; not upwards. Scratching the areas of my skin where the razor bumps were, I noticed that I also have ingrown hairs. It didn't bother me at first but I became worried when it started to create bumps bigger than what I was used to.
The chart above shows the cause of ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
I'll further clarify; Ingrown hair are hairs that have coiled back into the skin instead of rising up. Instead of growing upward, the hair tends to grown sideways inside the skin. It is common for people who have coarse and curly hair (mainly African American and Hispanics) to have this problem and affects mainly the bikini area, thighs and armpits. Having ingrown hairs can cause a whole bunch of bullshit to your skin that is just embarrassing and uncomfortable to deal with: Pimples, sores, razor bumps and dry scabby bumps.
The importance of exfoliating before shaving comes into play when you realize that even when you are shaving properly (remember downwards, not upwards) and still manage to find ingrown hairs on your skin. Dead skin cells can clog the hair follicle which can cause ingrown hairs. Exfoliating your bikini line, legs and armpit area ahead of time can really help having a more better and easier shaving experience and can also help lighten those areas (if you are of a more darker skin tone, those areas seem to be the darkest areas of your body). Here are two of my favorite products that I have been using to exfoliate my skin:
Walgreens website for $4.49. Catch it if you can!
Frank Coffee Scrub is is a scrub that I've tried recently that is said to help get rid problems such as dry skin, cellulite, acne, psoriasis, eczema and varicose veins. It is made with all natural ingredients and it does an amazing job at making your skin feel baby soft however, it is really messy. If you are down with getting messy in the shower for the price of amazing skin, I say go for it. Personally, I would not be into cleaning a mess very frequently after taking a shower but I purchased this scrub for $15 so I'm going to make it worth my while. This scrub can only be purchased on the website Frankbody.com.
Things you might want to remember before shaving:
- Exfoliate 48-24 hours before shaving.
- To make sure you are exfoliating properly, gently rub your skin (with the exfoliate) around sensitive areas in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.
- DON'T FORGET TO SHAVE DOWNWARD, NOT UPWARD. I'm going to continue to stress this because this can really be the root of the problem.
I really hope I've helped
I would love to know if my tips have worked for you!