Today’s article comes from Balanced Babe contributor: Amanda Wilks!
If you’re like one of the billions of Americans who use a hair removal device, chances are you’ve dealt with your share of ingrown hairs and problematic skin issues. Fortunately, there’s several natural, healthy steps you can take to avoid these issues and achieve smooth legs.
Exfoliating: Is it Necessary?
Short answer is yes, exfoliating should be a permanent step in your skincare routine. Exfoliating removes the layer of dead skin cells your body produces every day. Exfoliating before you shave will help provide a bare canvas to work with so you get the smoothest skin possible. The bonus is that it also helps prevent ingrown hairs, since they are caused by a thick layer of dead skin cells. Here are some tried and true all natural exfoliates:
- Oatmeal is a gentle, moisturizing exfoliant that’s easy to use at home. My coworkers with sensitive skin swear by its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Baking soda is a popular facial exfoliant. It is effective yet gentle enough to use on your face. Bonus: baking soda is the main ingredient in many top shelf exfoliants! You can achieve the same effect at home, without all the unknown additives.
- Sugar is perhaps the most widely used exfoliant on the market. The glycolic acid helps your body produce new skin cells while ridding your body of the dead ones.
Soft, Healthy Skin
If you’ve added an exfoliant to your routine, you need to be religious about moisturizing. Even if you use a gentle, smoothing exfoliation you should be following up with a strong moisturizer.
- Olive oil has been used to battle rough, dry skin for generations. It can even help protect your skin from the sun.
- Coconut oil is full of lauric acid, which helps prevent signs of aging by activating the collagen in your skin. My sister has been using coconut oil for years and her skin is a testament to its benefits.
- Rub the inner peel of an avocado onto your legs after shaving to achieve soft, smooth legs. Avocados contains lots of healthy fats and vitamins that moisturize and soften your skin.
Hair Removal Options
We all know about disposable razors. They’re cheap and easy to pick up at the store. But what if you’re tired of razor burn, nicks, and having to get a new blade multiple times a week? Here are some lesser known tools you can use to achieve smooth legs.
- Electric shavers are growing in popularity every year due to their ease of use. Many women confuse them with epilators, but they are not the same thing at all. A shaver cuts the hair and doesn’t pull it out at the root, like an epilator. This means they are less painful and much quicker to use. Since the surface of the hair is only being cut, though, it does grow back quicker. But thanks to the hygienic and easy to use design, most skin types will be able to use it as often as necessary without any resulting skin issues.
- Epilators are a little more scary than electric shavers since they pull the hair out directly the root, which can be painful. The benefits include a longer wait between hair removable sessions and less hair growth overall.
- Waxing is one way to avoid the rashes and razor burn that can accompany traditional disposable razors. Like with epilators, the hair is pulled out at the root and takes longer to grow back, leaving you with silky smooth skin for longer.
There’s really nothing worse than ingrown hairs, and it’s an issue that is not discussed enough. If you shave, wax, epilate… chances are you have had to deal with an ingrown hair or two. We’ve already talked about how exfoliating can help with this problem, but what else can you do?
- If you’re shaving your legs, use a fresh blade and shave with the direction of your hair growth.
- Soak your skin in warm water before shaving. This will soften the hairs and make the process easier on you. Make sure you check for ingrown hairs before you start shaving so you can pull them toward the surface of your skin with a pair of tweezers.
- The only sure-fire way to avoid ingrown hair is to stop shaving altogether. Before you dismiss this option, keep in mind that the natural movement is growing in popularity every year. Celebrities like Julia Roberts, Madonna and Beyonce have embraced their natural beauty and thrown the razor in the trash.
Whatever you chose, don’t forget to exfoliate, moisturize, and prioritize the health of your skin! Your legs should feel just the way you want them this summer!
About the author: Amanda Wilks is a guest blogger whose work is generally shared on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to follow her for more useful information on self-development and natural living.