M.A.C. Shave Cream
As you can tell by the name and utilitarian packaging, M.A.C. Shave Cream ($10) is a pretty no-frills shaving cream. The unisex formula has a hint of menthol that adds a refreshing buzz to the moisturizing product, which is laced with sandalwood for an ouch-free shave.
The Art of Shaving's Pre-Shave Oil in Rose Absolute
The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil, Rose Absolute ($18) is the perfect primer for a painless shave. The blend of essential oils are meant to create a protective barrier between sensitive skin and a merciless razor blade without feeling greasy or grimy. (And the pretty-in-pink packaging looks nice on the edge of the bathtub.)
Like most dermatologists, we're big fans of Aveeno's gentle-yet-effective products. And Aveeno Therapeutic Shaving Gel ($4.50) is no exception. The drugstore gel is ideal for super-sensitive legs prone to razor burn or irritated by fragrances. (And one bottle costs about the same as a single latte!)
It might be built with guys in mind, but Prince Triple Orange Blossom Shaving Cream by LUSH ($12.50) works just as well for the ladies. The thick, almost gloppy organic formula has a bright citrus-y scent (unlike many, over-cologned male shaving products.) And because most of Lush's handmade, natural products come with an expiration date, it might be a good motivation to get back in the hair-removal habit.
Kiss My Face's Moisture Shave Vanilla Earth ($3.50) has a subtle, natural scent and, like all the brand's products, isn't tested on animals. (That always scores points in our book.) The wallet-friendly, vitamin-laced formula lathers from a cream into a rich foam in your palms. And it's easy to find on the shelves of your local drugstore.
Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil ($28) might take a while to get used to if you're accustomed to rich, thick shaving creams and gels. But the oil promises to moisturize while it protects, and rinses off in warm water without leaving a gross, lingering residue. Seems to us like a great way to be nice to skin that's still recovering from a harsh winter.
If you really, really hate to shave, look for products that can help you avoid it altogether. Boots' Botanics Hair Minimizing Lotion ($9.99) promises to make hairs feel finer and less noticeable, saving you time in the shower. And for the price of a pack of blades, it seems well worth it.
Barc Bump Down Razor Bump Relief ($11) is a good antidote for those times when you dry-shaved your armpits against your better judgment or used a razor blade you knew had seen better days. (We've done it, too, okay?) Not only does the product fight ingrown hairs with glycolic acid and triclosan, it packs a moisturizing punch of chamomile, too.
Bliss Homme Improvement Thermal Shaving Cream ($18) heats up when applied to skin. It's another one of those "meant for men" products, which its subtle cardamom scent hints at. But we don't care. Sure, we have no idea what Bliss means when they say it includes "essential oils that stimulate beta-endorphins." We just think it feels cool.
We admit we've never been brave enough to try Bliss Poetic Cosmetic Waxing Kit ($45) at home, but we have a handful of girlfriends who swear by it in the summertime. The waxing kit is known for being easy-to-use and surprisingly mess-free, and comes with everything you need to rip your own hair right out of the follicles. Thankfully, it also comes with calming aromatherapy oils to apply (and breathe in deeply) post-pulling.