Given how much so many women love experimenting with makeup, indulging in face masks, and playing with bath bombs, it's a bit of a mystery why so many of us who shave our legs still aren't using a shaving prep product. If you're one of the many women who lather up with soap or shower gel before a shave, we have news for you: not only is it doing your skin no favours, it could also be the reason you're spending a fortune on new razor blades.
Shave prep products are designed to help a razor glide across the skin with the optimum lubrication for a clean, gentle shave. Soap and shower gel can have the opposite effect, clogging up the razor. The result is not only a dull, blunt blade, but a more dangerous shave. You're far more likely to suffer from nicks or bumps if you're using a clogged razor full of soap residue and hair.
You may argue that you can just rinse or wipe the razor between each swipe, but that does it no favours either. According to the experts at Gillette, the worst thing you can do to your razor is wipe it with a cloth or flannel: this ruins the smooth, sharp edge of the blades and reduces the life span of your razor.
Using conditioner instead? This is actually one famous beauty hack that does do the job, there's just one thing to consider: cost! If you use an expensive conditioner, the liberal application you'll need to cover your legs could end up costing you a lot more overall than shelling out for a separate shaving foam or gel, which costs a few pounds and goes a lot further.
If you really can't bring yourself to add yet another product to your shower arsenal, look for a razor that has built-in lubrication and hydration, like the Venus Breeze or the Venus and Olay. These have moisture bars on the cartridge that, when used on wet skin, fulfil the same purpose as a shaving foam or gel. They were designed specifically because we're all so lazy about using shaving foam, but the key thing here is that the bars are not soap (as some people think). They're specially formulated to lubricate the skin, give the razor the perfect glide, and also leave skin feeling smooth.
If you're still content to lather up with shower gel or shampoo, just remember that this could be the reason your shave isn't as perfect as you'd like. If you're finding your blade is blunt after only a couple of shaves, steal your dad's/brother's/partner's shaving foam and see if it helps to prolong the life of your razor. You might just be surprised!