Do You Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving? 3 Best Answers To Know

People usually use soap and a razor to shave but did you know that there is an entire procedure that should be followed before and after shaving? If you have ever wondered do you exfoliate before or after shaving then you have come to the right article. Keep reading to find out the dos and don’ts of shaving.

Many people prefer waxing over shaving because it removes the hair from its roots. Shaving only cuts the hair which can result in ingrown hair and strawberry legs. There are ways to get rid of strawberry legs: click here to know them.

But not everyone has the time to go to a salon and get waxed. It is recommended though, that you wax your nether regions (despite how much it pains) instead of shaving them since it can cause a lot of razor bumps and bleeding. But if you are going to shave, do you exfoliate before or after shaving?

Shaving can be a tremendously difficult task especially if you are a beginner. You should do good research about what razors you should be using for shaving for the first time, what shaving cream or butter you should apply, do you exfoliate before or after shaving, etc.

Here is a step-by-step guide to a shaving routine you should follow.

1. Razors

Keeping aside the question do you exfoliate before or after shaving, you will need all the tools to shave. Since a razor is the most important tool for shaving, you have to pick the best one that will suit your skin. A wrong razor will not produce the results you desire and instead will give you razor burns and razor bumps.

Here are some good razors you can use for the smoothest shave:

do you exfoliate before or after shaving?
Image by George Redgrave via Flickr. Copyright 2022.

1.1. Gillette Venus Sensitive Women’s Disposable Razors

The Gillette Venus is famous among all women for being a smooth razor with a moving neck that has three blades and a moisture strip. The moisture strip will help the blades glide smoother and help to avoid all razor burns. Meanwhile, the three blades will help get rid of any extra hair follicles that were missed.

1.2. Schick ST2 Disposable Razors

Schick might be the cheapest but still effective and a great razor. It has twin blades and an extremely comfortable handle so that you don’t stumble and give yourself a razor burn.1

1.3. BIC Premium Shaving Razor Set

These razors have a twin blade and moisture strips that are made with aloe vera and vitamin E for an extra close shave. They come in different colours and have a handle big enough to hold perfectly.

2. Shaving Creams/Shave Butter

Shaving cream has always been used by people to shave. But nowadays, a safer and better alternative has entered the market. To replace the chemicals that are harmful to the skin that are present in shaving creams, shave butter is used instead to get rid of hair growth.

Gillette itself makes a lot of shaving creams/gels/foams which can be used for sensitive skin types but even with these, there are ingredients like alcohol and sulfates which can be quite harmful.

2.1. Why Shave Butter Over Shaving Cream or Gel?

Shaving creams and gels have been used throughout the years for hair removal. It is now coming into light the threat they pose to our skins. They contain chemicals like emulsifiers 2(foaming agents), aerosols, and fragrances that can cause many internal and external problems including skin irritation, headaches, and respiratory issues.

Instead of exposing your skin to these dangerous problems, switch to shaving soaps or organic shave butter.

Shave butter is more in trend in today’s modern world since they are usually organically made with the least amount of chemicals. So the only things these butter contain are organic butter, natural enzymes, essential oils, and aloe vera. These organic products will leave your skin soft and smooth and naturally lubricate it.

2.2. EOS Shea Butter Shave Cream

EOS is known for making products for sensitive skin. So even if you don’t have sensitive skin, it is recommended that you use a sensitive skin type product.

2.3. Shave Butter by Van Der Hagen

Van Der Hagen’s Shave Butter is not only an organic product but also contains macadamia nut oil 3and glycerin. This helps to keep your skin natural and also removes any or all dirt in your pores.

3. Do You Exfoliate Before or After Shaving?

Dermatologist's Shaving 101: Tips on How To Shave to Avoid Razor Burn and Ingrown Hair

First, you need to understand what exfoliation is. Our skin contains tiny pores from which hair follicles grow. These same pores also excrete natural oils because of which, dirt and other pollutants get trapped in our skin.

These dirt particles can obstruct hair growth which can cause ingrown hairs and can also restrict the shaving process.

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells. This is useful since dead skin can also restrict the shaving experience. Dead skin cells are bound to get stuck in between the razor blades if they are not removed before shaving. The blades can get restricted from the skin and the hair removal is incomplete and takes more time.

Not only this, but exfoliation also helps avoid getting strawberry skin. There are no ingrown hairs after shaving if you have carefully exfoliated. It removes all the dirt and oils from the pores that restrict hair growth and in turn causes ingrown hair.

3.1. Pre-Shave Routine

Now that you have an answer to the question: do you exfoliate before or after shaving? let us look at the next steps.

Before you start shaving, make sure you follow a certain routine. Dry shaving can cause razor burns and itchy skin afterwards. To obtain a perfect shave and smooth skin, you must first draw a warm bath. Warm water will soften your hair and make it easier for hair removal.

Once you have soaked your skin in warm water for at least 3 minutes, start the exfoliation process.

Now that you have got the answer to whether to exfoliate before or after shaving, let us learn how to exfoliate.

3.2. How to Exfoliate

To exfoliate your skin, you are going to need a good quality, organic exfoliating body scrub. It is important that you get a chemical-free exfoliant4 to avoid any kind of harmful acids or chemical reactions. It is not advised to use chemical exfoliators since they can do more damage to your skin than not using them at all can.

To be on the safer side, you can also make a sugar scrub at home by mixing lemon, honey, and sugar. Add a few drops of essential oils like tea tree oil or argan oil for extra effect.

If you are too lazy to make a sugar scrub, you can buy these exfoliators that have the least amount of chemicals:

3.2.1. Restore & Replenish Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Scrub

This scrub comes from Dr Teal’s and contains aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E. It also contains certain essential oils that can nourish your skin.

3.2.2. Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub

This is another everyday-use scrub you can buy to avoid getting chemical exfoliators that will harm your skin. This scrub contains sugar, sea salt, and oatmeal along with shea butter to moisturize the skin.

Now that you have your exfoliator scrubs, let us start scrubbing!

Take a pinch full of scrub and apply it to your body. Rub the scrub in circular motions for 3-4 minutes with your hand till the entire area is covered. Press a little harder if you are scrubbing your arms and legs since the skin there is harder than the other parts of the body while gentle exfoliation is recommended on your chest and other sensitive regions.

Try to avoid loofahs and scrubbing gloves as they can tear your skin and give you rashes.

This exfoliation will remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. This will help you get a smoother shave.

Your freshly exfoliated skin is now ready to be shaved! Apply the shaving butter and shave in the opposite direction of your hair growth. Since you have exfoliated your skin, there are no dead cells or dirt in your pores. This results in no obstacles in your razor. The exfoliation has also helped you avoid ingrown hairs and the embarrassment of strawberry skin!

Rinse off your body with cold water to close the pores.

3.3. Post-Shave Routine

Now that you have freshly shaved skin, you have to make sure to keep it fresh and smooth. To maintain this soft skin, you must follow a skincare routine.

do you exfoliate before or after shaving?
Photo by Yen Phi on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

Patting dry your body is recommended over wiping it with a towel since you have freshly dry skin and don’t want to give yourself an itch that can cause irritation. Apply moisturizer cream, moisturizing oil, or moisturizing gel as soon as the skin is dry. This will help ease the pain that the tiny cuts and razor burns may have caused.

You are now ready to show off your freshly shaved body in a great dress!

Pro-tip: To maintain smooth skin till the next time you shave and to avoid ingrown hairs, exfoliate two days after shaving for best results.

So you could say that the answer to the question of whether you exfoliate before or after shaving is both! It is definitely an important step in the shaving routine to exfoliate before shaving but technically you should also shave after shaving, after 2-3 days when the hair starts to grow again.

4. Conclusion

By now you must have guessed that the answer to do you exfoliate before or after shaving is that it is important to exfoliate before shaving. Exfoliation can clear out your skin and prepare it for shaving. You need a pre-shaving routine and a post-shaving routine to keep your skin healthy and moisturized.

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5. Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is It OK to Exfoliate After Shaving?

It is better to exfoliate a few days after shaving so that the hair grows back. However, exfoliating immediately after shaving is not recommended, especially if you have already exfoliated before shaving.

Q2. Can You Exfoliate and Shave on the Same Day?

The short answer is two. You can apply it before or after brushing your hair. However, if you have to choose only one, you should soak it first and then brush it through your hair. Making sure you do this means your skin is clean and ready to shave.

Q3. What Is the Correct Way to Shave and Exfoliate?

Exfoliation helps remove any surface-layer, dead skin and helps your razor glide over your skin more easily. It is better to exfoliate your skin before than after shaving. Otherwise, you may risk additional inflammation.

  1. Crutchfield III, Charles. “Avoiding Razor Burn.” The Physician and Sportsmedicine 29.3 (2001): 5-5. ↩︎
  2. Kamel, B. S. “Emulsifiers.” Food Additive User’s Handbook. Boston, MA: Springer US, 1991. 169-201. ↩︎
  3. Akhtar, Naveed, et al. “Evaluation of basic properties of macadamia nut oil.” Gomal University Journal of Research 22.1 (2006): 21-7. ↩︎
  4. Islam, Aminul, et al. “Ultra-fast, chemical-free, mass production of high quality exfoliated graphene.” ACS nano 15.1 (2021): 1775-1784. ↩︎

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