26 August 2013

(A Problematic Leg) Shaving Routine

I've probably mentioned this multiple times before but i have very sensitive skin. Not just on my face, but on my body too and that's one of the reasons i get such bad eczema under my arms, especially when i use products that are too harsh. One of my most problematic areas, besides my under arms, are my legs. This really flares up in the Summer because, obviously, i want to be shaving my legs more often. However, for years and years i have either not bothered shaving because of the horrific rash and sore skin that follows or i shave, suffer the horrible after effects and then hide them in tights. As i said, after shaving a horrible, red rash occurs which is very bumpy, sore and actually hurts to touch. This usually takes days to go down by which time the hair on my legs is growing back, so i would never feel comfortable having on my legs on show. It's become quite a joke in my house now that it has to be scorching weather for me to get my legs out, and that's how they now it's really hot. I tend to only get my legs out when i'm on holiday and just work with what i can to keep my legs hair free and as pain-free too.

I've always used the same razors which were the Gillette Simply Venus 2 Disposable Razors, mainly because they're cheap and give a good, close shave. However, after learning a lot more about skin and shaving routines i came to the conclusion that they were far too harsh for me, and my legs. This led me on the hunt for finding my perfect leg shaving products for the Summer months and finally, after years of hiding under tights, i think i've finally found the routine for me.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Scrub | I've never been one to be a regular scrubber, i sure use body scrubs for the rest of my body and occasionally on my legs but i never used it regularly. After reading reviews of Flake Away and reading about other peoples leg shaving routine, i decided to add this step into my routine every time i shave my legs and it sure does make a difference. It seems to prep my legs and the skin for the razor, as well as getting all the hair follicles standing up to get the closest, cleanest shave. I love this scrub best of all because of it's moisturising properties. I leaves a sort of residue behind that's very moisturising, which i'm sure helps the razor glide in the long run. If you apply it dry it gives a very abrasive scrub, but if you apply to wet skin it turns into a paste and becomes even more moisturising, and this is how i like it applied.

Wilko Sensitive Shaving Gel | I've never been too bothered about buying fancy shaving gel, and i'm still not bothered. I've watched a lot of Youtube videos about people who use shampoos and conditioners in replace of shaving gel products, but i just gravitate to the shaving gels entitled sensitive. I've tried Wilkinson's, Boots', Superdrug's and many other own brand, and frankly they all do the same thing with the same results. I love the ones with Aloe Vera in because it really does soothe the skin.

Gillette Venus Proskin Sensitive Razor | Now, this is the biggest change to my shaving routine and i think this is what has helped my skin the most too. I spotted this while i was in Wilkinsons buying my usual razors, i'd never seen them before and wasn't sure if you could buy them readily as i don't have a Wilkinsons close by to my home in Southampton, while i'm at university. So i held off buying them until i could check out Boots and Superdrug, to check they were available there too. Once i'd checked my local stores, sure enough they were available there too. Perfect. However, something that almost put me off was the price tag. As a student, i'm very aware about pricing and what i spend my money on so at £7.99 for three disposables, it worked out a lot more expensive than my usual £3 on the Gillette Simply Venus 2s. However, these are of far better quality than the Simply Venus 2, mostly because these boast five blades which help for an easier, cleaner, closer shave and in the long run help my poor skin. They also have a great moveable head that really helps getting into the grooves of the ankles and on the backs of your legs. When using these i get little to no rash which is a serious triumph for me. Even when my legs are having a sensitive day, the rash that occurs is only a sixth of what used to happen so i'm far more confident baring my legs in the Summer.

I did look at the price comparison of buying the disposables against the one razor and then just buying the razor heads, but it actually works out more expensive buying the disposable razor heads than the razors. Go figure.

Life Plan Aloe Vera Gel | This used to be my go to moisturiser and soother for my legs post shave, when i had sore skin and a rash. This used to soothe and protect the skin, as well as moisturise them to help with the pain. I do still use this sometimes, especially if the weather is really hot as we all know that Aloe Vera Gel is a great after sun and is really good at cooling down warm skin, however i wouldn't say this is my go to product now.

Nads Ingrow Solution | I picked this product up on a total whim long before i even thought about trying to find the right shaving routine for me. I had some free time, so i was just browsing around my local Boots and happened upon this. It's usual price is about £10 but it was on offer for half the price, and it sounded like something i could really do with so i picked up to give it a test. It claims to minimise ingrown hairs, razor bumps and rash as well as waxing irritations, which sounded right up my alley as i unfortunately had all those issues. It contains Aloe Vera and Chamomile to help soothe and protect the skin, so it works in a similar way to the Aloe Vera Gel however, this is much thinner in consistency and applies much easier. You can instantly feel the skin being soothed, however sometimes if my legs are feeling extra dry or sensitive it can burn a little but after a few seconds it's gone. I can't say whether this really helps for ingrown hairs but for soothing  protecting and helping with irritations and rashes it has definitely improved the sight of my legs. I'm not sure whether i would always buy this at full price but for now i'm really loving it, and i think i'll miss it when it's gone. The only qualm i have with this product is it's scent. It's really not all that attractive  although you can't smell it on yourself once it's rubbed in but when applying it kind of smells like toilets. Attractive.

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Butter | Last, but not least, is my body moisturiser. I don't really stick to one and i usually go with whatever i have in my stash or whatever's on offer but one of my favourites, that i keep going back to, is The Body Shop Body Butters. They are so thick and luxurious, not to mentioned heavily moisturising which is great for dry, sensitive skin like mine. My current favourite is Cranberry Joy which i bagged for just £4 rather than the usual £13 in their sale. It smells fresh and fruity, perfect for the time of year, and it really moisturises my legs after shaving. I sometimes use this after i've applied the Nads Ingrown Solution or sometimes just on it's own, depending on how my skin is feeling, but it just love how thick it is but how quickly it soaks in leaving no residue. My usual favourite go to scent is Satsuma, but when you can bag these on the cheap i go for it.

Now, with my newly revamped routine my legs are much happier. As i previously said, i now get little to no rashes, occasionally bumps but i'm willing to forgive that as it's significantly better than i've ever seen it before. I hope that it you have sensitive legs and shaving is a problem for you too, that this has given you some ideas in which direction to go next. And a note to all you lucky ladies that shave your legs daily with no problems, think yourself lucky and don't take it for granted!


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