Fairly or unfairly, women have to spend plenty of their time and money toward getting rid of any extra hair from the neck downward. That’s just the world we live in, and the standard of appearances we’ve accepted as a society. This brings the much debated question: Should you shave before or after shower?

While waxing and laser hair removal has become increasingly popular methods of hair removal for women, more often than not, there’s still the need for routine “maintenance” needed in between waxing and laser sessions.

And that’s where the shaving process comes in.

There are many other household debates — like which direction should the toilet paper roll face, should ketchup be kept in the refrigerator, and whether pillows go over or under the duvet. When it comes to shaving, for men or for women, there are actually three camps: shave before you shower, shave while you shower, or shave after you shower.

But while some of those other debates might be a matter of individual preference (we like to keep toilet paper “over” the roll, for what it’s worth), there is a clear-cut and logical answer to the question or when is the best time to shave — especially for women.

Let’s dive in a bit further.

People Who Shave Before Showering Aren’t Doing It the Best Way

Women want to ensure the shaving process leaves them with smooth, firm, and strong skin, just as much as it removes the hair from that skin.

So, ladies: as counter-intuitive as this may seem, think of your shower as part of the preparation process for shaving, and not as the recovery process.

shave before shower

When you take a shower, the water and the steam generated opens the pores in your skin, allowing the water to cleanse it. More specifically, you’re softening your pores and allowing your skin to discharge of all the dust and dirt that gets stuck to it through the course of your day (or night).

Shave Before Or After Shower: What happens when you shower before?

So, when you shave before you shower, you’re essentially running your razor over an invisible layer of the aforementioned grime, which means that no matter how good quality and/or expensive your razor may be, it’s not going to be able to perform its job with maximum efficacy.

Similarly, you want to use your time in the shower to exfoliate your skin. We all have that thin layer of dead skin at the very top of our dermis, so running a razor blade over that skin is going to do nothing but pick up those dead skin cells and clog up the blades. Unfortunately, most women just try to apply a little more force to the razor, which can result in cuts or razor burn.

Along the same lines: if you try to shave before your shower, and then subsequently try to use that washcloth or loofah that you keep in the shower on your freshly shaved skin, this can cause major irritation and potentially lead to bumps or rashes on your skin.

Another tip that’s not as well-known as it should be: use your time in the shower to apply baby oil to your skin, helping further moisturize it before you shave it. And if you’re thinking that putting baby oil on in the shower will be a waste of time since it’ll just wash right off, that’s actually not the case. Because oil and water don’t mix, the oil will actually cling to your skin, as opposed to the water molecules falling upon it in the shower.

If you want the smoothest, softest possible legs — either for yourself or in a situation where someone else may be feeling them as well later on — this is a great trick to keep in your “getting ready” repertoire.

What’s the best time of the day to shave?

best time to shave

Here’s another tip that most people don’t talk about: the best time for you to shave your legs might actually be before you go to bed; so, if you’re one of those people who shower before bedtime, you might have a leg up on other women (no pun intended).

When you shave, you’re essentially exfoliating the very top layer of your skin, before you deliberately try to exfoliate it in the shower. While that might sound like a good thing, you end up making your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to the elements and the environment around you — anything from pollution to really hot or cold air. But shaving at night and then going to bed allows your skin to heal and strengthen itself before it’s exposed to external irritants.

Getting the Best Shave After a Shower

Now that you understand the optimal time for shaving your skin, here are a few tips for optimizing the actual shaving process:

It’s All About the Tools of the Trade

Any handyman will tell you that a great tool can do half the work for you. When it comes to shaving, the logic applies with razors. You want a razor that has the right grip, the right number of blades, and the right ability to hug the contours of your lower body, allowing the head to make maximum contact with your skin.

Don’t settle for a cheap disposable razor; the money you save is going to be cancelled out by all the tissue bits and bandages you’ll have to apply on your skin, and the frustration and misery you’ll go through when you keep tearing up your sensitive skin.

In that same vein, don’t try to make your money work longer by overusing the same razor blade, long past its “expiration date.” Your razor blade is just like a very tiny knife: it gets dull after prolonged uses, and unlike a knife, you can’t sharpen them.

So, does the idea of running a dull and jagged blade across your legs sound like a good idea? We didn’t think so. Replace your razor blades regularly. Your skin will thank you.

Use a superior quality razor. These days, there’s no shortage of razors that have a minimum of three blades, along with a whole variety of features. You can purchase them at one time, or you can join a monthly club that provides you a razor and a fresh set of blades on a regular basis.

And if you don’t want your own subscription, just steal your boyfriend or husband’s razor, and tell him to get extra blades; even though guys have so much less surface area that they have to shave, somehow guys always have the best razor options.

Checking Out the Best Razors

That being said, if something that screams “girl power” sounds more like you, you have two great recommendations for high-quality, inexpensive razors, from 99 Cent Razor:

The Pink Poodle: like several other popular options in the market, the Pink Poodle works on a subscription basis, which you can cancel at any time.

how to shave your legs

Your first shipment contains four three-blade disposable razors, which you’ll continue to receive for less than four dollars each month; that’s like getting a brand-new razor with a brand-new blade every week, without ever having to step foot in a store.

The Bernadoodle: the Bernadoodle is another subscription-based razor that promises you a “Blue Ribbon” has, backed by 99 Cent Razor’s money-back guarantee.

The three-blade razors contain an aloe and Vitamin E strip + shave guard, ensuring the best possible during and post-shave experience. For less than five dollars a month, you’ll also receive four three-blade razor refills (2 cartridges of 2 blades each).

Shaving Gel (or Cream) Over Shaving Foam

Whether you go with a gel-based or cream-based product is up to you; either of them is much better than going with your traditional shaving foam.

Shaving gels have more substance and volume. This means they’re more likely to soften the hair and make it easier for the razor to cut. They also allow the razor blade to easily move across the skin and cut the hair without nicking your skin.

Cream-based shaving products have many of those same benefits. They come with an added layer of incorporating some type of lotion in the product. This obviously helps provide an additional layer of moisture to the skin.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Soft skin yields better shaves. Moisturizing your skin significantly reduces the chances of nasty skin irritations, and maybe more importantly, ingrown hairs. We’ve talked about how showering before you shave helps moisturize the skin as preparation for shaving. But, it’s just as important to continue that moisturizing process both during and after you shave.

Most good razors these days contain a moisturizing strip at the top. It might seem like a trivial or meaningless addition. But, these really do add one more layer of protection to the shaving process. If you can find a razor that has a moisturizing strip containing acai and jojoba, that’s even better.

After you’re done shaving, clean off any of the remaining shaving product off your skin. Then apply your post-shaving product of choice immediately onto your skin. It’s very important that this post-shave product does not contain any alcohol. That will significantly dehydrate the skin on your freshly shaved skin. So, make sure your aftershave is an alcohol-free solution.

This will help your skin retain moisture, and also add that extra bit of “brightness” as a result. If you’re not sure which post-shave lotion to use, going with 100% pure shea butter is a fail-safe solution.

So, What’s Best?

From a functional standpoint, as a woman, it just makes the most sense to shave during or after you shower. The concept of showering is about cleaning and rejuvenating your skin. Those two things are just as important when you’re shaving your body part(s) of choice.

And for the males reading this post: what’s good for the goose may also be good for the gander. Since guys are primarily focused on shaving the hair on their face, the same principles may apply. For men, we’d recommend shaving after a shower for maximum effectiveness.

Men tend to have larger pores on their face. Getting rid of all the dirt and grime from their facial skin before they start shaving is just as important as it is for females. Especially if you’re looking for that strong and smooth skin on your face!


With a 99 Cent Razor Angel Subscription