The Best Way to Use Body Scrub: Before or After Shaving?

Exfoliating with a body scrub is an important step for smooth, irritation-free shaving. But the timing of when you use the scrub in relation to shaving can make a big difference. 

Should you exfoliate before or after picking up the razor? Let’s explore the best approach for silky, glowing skin.

Should I Use Body Scrub Before or After Shaving?

Shaving is a key part of many people’s grooming routines. But to get the smoothest, closest shave possible, it’s important to properly prep your skin first. 

One way to do this is by using a body scrub. But should you exfoliate with a scrub before or after you shave? Let’s find out.

Why Use a Body Scrub?

A body scrub helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, and oil from the surface of your skin. This process, called exfoliation, unclogs pores and creates a smooth base for shaving. 

Scrubbing also softens hair and lifts it away from the skin, allowing your razor to cut closer for a smoother shave with less irritation.

Why Shave Your Legs?

Many people, especially women, shave their legs for aesthetic reasons. Shaving can make your legs look and feel smoother and silkier. 

For men, shaving legs is common in certain sports like cycling and swimming to reduce drag. Bodybuilders also often shave their legs to show off muscle definition.

Shave Then Scrub or Scrub Then Shave?

The experts agree – you should exfoliate with a body scrub before shaving, not after. Scrubbing first removes dead skin and debris, prepping your skin for a closer, less irritating shave. 

If you exfoliate after, your freshly shaved skin may be too sensitive and prone to irritation.

Steps of Scrubbing

Here’s how to properly scrub before shaving:

  1. Rinse your skin with warm water to soften hair and open pores.
  2. Apply the body scrub in gentle circular motions. Focus on areas prone to ingrown hairs like bikini lines.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Don’t scrub for more than 30 seconds.
  4. Shave as usual, then follow with a moisturizer to soothe skin.

The Benefits of Scrubbing and Shaving

When you exfoliate before shaving, you’ll notice benefits like:

  • A closer, smoother shave with less irritation and razor burn
  • Fewer ingrown hairs and bumps
  • Skin that looks and feels softer and healthier
  • Allows skincare products to absorb better

Why Do You Need to Exfoliate?

Your skin is constantly shedding dead cells. If they build up on the surface, your skin looks dull and dry. 

Exfoliating regularly keeps your skin smooth and healthy looking. It also prevents dead skin cells from clogging razor blades, giving you a better shave.

How Long to Wait Before Shaving After Exfoliating?

You can shave immediately after using a body scrub. The scrub preps your skin so it’s ready for the razor. 

Just make sure to rinse the scrub off completely first. Then apply a shaving cream or gel before shaving to further protect your skin.

Choosing the Right Body Scrub for Your Skin Type

When selecting a body scrub, it’s important to consider your skin type and sensitivity. Here are some options:

  • For sensitive skin: Look for gentle, fine-grained scrubs with natural ingredients like oatmeal or jojoba beads. Avoid harsh, abrasive scrubs.
  • For normal to oily skin: Sugar or salt scrubs can work well. They’re effective at removing dead skin cells without being too harsh.
  • For dry or mature skin: Try a scrub with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil to exfoliate while hydrating.
  • For acne-prone skin: Consider a scrub with salicylic acid or tea tree oil, which can help combat breakouts.

Remember to always do a patch test before using a new product, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Post Shave Care: Maintaining Smooth Skin

After shaving, proper care can help maintain smooth skin and prevent irritation:

  1. Rinse with cool water: This helps close pores and soothe the skin.
  2. Pat dry gently: Avoid rubbing, which can irritate freshly shaved skin.
  3. Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer: This helps hydrate the skin and create a protective barrier.
  4. Use an aftershave balm: This can help soothe any irritation and prevent ingrown hairs.
  5. Avoid tight clothing: Loose, breathable fabrics allow your skin to heal and reduce the risk of irritation.
  6. Treat any nicks or cuts: Apply an antiseptic to prevent infection.
  7. Exfoliate between shaves: Gentle exfoliation a day or two after shaving can help prevent ingrown hairs.
  8. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

By following these post-shave care tips, you can maintain smooth, healthy skin and reduce the likelihood of irritation or ingrown hairs.


Can I use a body scrub every day?

No, over-exfoliating can irritate your skin. Limit scrubbing to 1-3 times per week depending on your skin type.

What’s the best body scrub to use before shaving?

Look for a gentle scrub suited for your skin type. Avoid harsh scrubs that can cause micro-tears. Sugar and salt based scrubs tend to work well before shaving.

Do I still need to use shaving cream if I exfoliate first?

Yes, you should still use a shaving cream or gel after scrubbing and before shaving. This provides an extra protective barrier for your skin.

What if I get razor burn even when I exfoliate first?

Make sure you’re not pressing too hard with the razor. Also look for shaving creams and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin. If irritation persists, try shaving less frequently.

The Bottom Line

For the smoothest, closest shave, always exfoliate with a gentle body scrub before you shave, not after. 

Scrubbing first unclogs pores, lifts hair, and removes dead skin, prepping your skin for a better shave with less irritation. Follow with shaving cream and a moisturizer for soft, healthy, glowing skin. 

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