By Alexis Wolfer

Smooth, sexy legs are summertime essential. Whether you’re strutting your stuff in the season’s hottest short-shorts or baring all beachside, silky skin is always in season come the hot days of summer. Laser hair removal may be the best permanent solution for unsightly hair, but with its hefty price tag, it’s not for everyone (or even most!). And while waxing can keep you smooth for longer, having to wait for a quarter inch of growth in between sessions just doesn’t work for those of us who are averse to body hair of any kind. Shaving, though, while certainly affordable and easy, is not without its downfalls. Sure, shaving doesn’t require that we wait for growth between swipes of the razor, but between ingrown hairs, dry skin and the need to shave almost daily, we’re not so sure it’s ideal either.

Waterproof makeup, perfect for when hitting the pool!

To help us change our minds, and get the most out of our trusted Schick Quattro for Women, we turned to Ronel Corbin, one of the fabulous experts from ESPA, the world-renowned UK based market leader in the spa industry.  As Ronel says, “the name of the game is pre and post shaving care when it comes to shaving in women.”  Here, she shares some of her tried and true tips!

Pre-Shave. It is of utmost importance to prepare the skin immediately before shaving. Hairs are often trapped by a thin veil of dead skin and clogged pores, so it’s important to use a natural body exfoliator, such as ESPA Exfoliating Body Polish ($54), (although here at The Beauty Bean we’re also fans of DIY exfoliators made by mixing sugar in the raw or ground oatmeal with our favorite shower gel). If your legs are particularly dry (the lower legs are often the driest parts of the body!), an oil-based body exfoliator, such as ESPA Salt and Oil Scrub ($52), will nourish the dry skin while simultaneously removing the veil of dead, dry skin.  (Similarly, you can make your own by mixing sugar in the raw or ground oatmeal with your favorite oil.) By exfoliating pre-shave, you free trapped hairs and remove dead skin, allowing the hair to be more efficiently removed with the razor, for a longer-lasting shave.

Does waxing make hair grow in finer? We have the answer!

The Shave. While soap and body wash may be convenient, they can dry out the skin and aggravate ingrown hairs. And who wants dry, bumpy, irritated skin? By using a product designed particularly for shaving, though, the razor can most efficiently glide along the surface of your skin for a smooth and silky shave.

Post-Shave. Ingrown hairs often occur when the skin is so dry and tight that the hair gets trapped beneath the surface, unable to grow through the dry, dead skin cells. To avoid these little lumps and bumps caused by shaving, it is important to hydrate daily, particularly after bathing or showering. For those who regularly battle ingrown hairs, daily exfoliation of the problematic area (either with a body brush or scrub) will also help to remedy the problem, as will products formulated to prevent irritation, such as ESPA Essential Tea Tree Gel ($18).

Do you dare to go bare?!